Forensic medicine   firearms and firearm injuries
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Forensic medicine firearms and firearm injuries

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  • 1. FIREARMS AND FIREARM INJURIES BY DR. AB. HALIM HJ. MANSAR
  • 2. GENERAL CLASSIFICATION OF FIREARMS
    • Smooth-barreled weapons (smooth bore) eg. air gun shotgun
    • Rifled or grooved barrels (rifled bore) eg. Revolver, automatic pistol, service rifle, sporting rifle
    • AIR WEAPON (AIR RIFLE)
    • Fired single small lead pellets or lightly feathered darts by means of
    • compressed atmospheric air.
    • SHOT GUNS
    • One/double barreled version
    • The calibre of large shotgun is expressed according to their bore or barrel diameter usually 16 bore or 12 bore.
  • 3.
    • The size of the bore is determined by the number of lead spheres.
    • Each of the lead sphere will precisely fit the barrel that can be made from 1lb of lead.
    • The main powder varies with different makes of ammunition but nitrocellulose or nitroglycerine is usually incorporated.
    • Note:
    • The collective term for all injuries caused by firearms is “gun-shot wounds”.
    • When the wounds are caused specifically by a popular sporting weapon such as a 12 bore shotgun “A shot gun wound” should be used.
  • 4. RIFLED FIREARMS:
    • These include the revolver, the automatic pistol, the machine gun and the service and sporting rifles.
    • They all discharge a single projectile or a bullet.
    • The weapons may fire the bullets simply or in rapid fire depending on the mechanism.
    • The purpose of the rifling system.
    • - spin the bullet around its longitudinal axis  stability in-flight
    • - resisting tendency for the bullet to change its altitude.
  • 5. CHARACTERISTICS OF ENTRY AND EXIT WOUNDS
    • ENTRY
    • The dimensions will vary with the calibre of the weapon
    • A Contact Wound
    • - May be split, scorched, blackened and the muzzle area soiled with partly burned powder.
    • - Tissues may be bruised by blast or blown away.
    • A Near Discharge
    • - Within arm’s reach but over 15 cm.
    • - Show split entry hole and scattered tattooing by powder markings
    • A More Distant Discharge
    • - The entry hole is split by tail wag of the bullet.
  • 6. THE EXIT WOUND:
    • The exit wound will show merely a hole in the skin torn to a degree dependant upon the momentum of the bullet
    • The amount of bone splinter it carried with it.
    • Distant wounding
    • The soiling ring will distinguish entry from exit.
    • At close the entry wound is larger than the exit because being split by blast (exception the bullet comes out sideways or carrying bone with it)
    • At more distant range the exit and entry are the same size (unless the bullet is deflected by bone)
    • X-ray – facilitate a search for a lost bullet
  • 7. RECONSTRUCTION, SUICIDE, ACCIDENT & MURDER
    • The questions the doctor will be suspected to answer are:
    • Could the wound have been inflicted with that weapon.
    • At what range was it fires?
    • From what direction?
    • Could it have been self-inflicted?
  • 8.  
  • 9.