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Forensic medicine firearms and firearm injuries


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Forensic medicine firearms and firearm injuries

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