Volume 36, Issue 5 (September 1991)
Shots Fired with Silencers—A Report on Four Cases and Experimental Testing
Four cases of homicide, in which silenced firearms were used, are reported and supplemented by data from experimental investigations regarding wound features, marks, traces, and ballistic behavior. Wound features are largely determined by the construction of the silencer. In one case, even a muzzle imprint was produced by a silenced weapon fired at contact range. In general, silencers are likely to result in a decrease in bullet energy and accelerated energy release in the target (tissue). In terms of wound morphology, silencers produced a reduction in or even a lack of the contact ring (ring of dirt). In close-range and contact wounds, any features indicative of shots fired at close range were missing (such as soot deposit and powder tattooing). It is also worth mentioning that biological matter may get into the silencer in shots fired at contact range.