# Axiom Investigative Services

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Emergency Medicine Residency

BALLISTICS
Craig Sluiter
Axiom Investigative Services
September 12, 2006
BALLISTICS - An Overview
   Definitions
   Bullet styles
   “Accidents Happen”
   Characteristics of pistol bullets
   Hands on and in-depth info on types
   Perspective
   Reading and Resources on ballistics
   Q and A
GLOSSARY
   Ballistics
1 a: the science of the motion of projectiles (as
bullets) in flight b: the flight characteristics of a
projectile (as a bullet)
2: the study of the processes within a firearm as it
is fired

   Muzzle velocity- the speed of a projectile,
usually expressed in feet or meters per second, as
it leaves the muzzle of a gun

   Projectile- an object fired from a gun with an
explosive propelling charge, such as a bullet shell,
-a body projected or impelled forward, as through
the air
GLOSSARY-cont
   Trajectory- The path of a projectile or
other moving body through space.

   Fragmentation- The scattering of the
fragments of an exploding bomb or other
projectile

   Revolver- a handgun having a revolving
chambered cylinder for holding a number
of cartridges, which may be discharged in
GLOSSARY-cont
   Semiautomatic firearm -Partially
automatic.
round of ammunition automatically,
but requiring a squeeze of the trigger
for each shot

   Automatic firearm -a firearm that
reloads itself and keeps firing until
the trigger is released
GLOSSARY-cont
   Hollow point bullet -A hollow point
bullet is a bullet that has a pit, or hollowed
out shape, in its tip, generally intended to
cause the bullet to expand upon entering
a soft target. A hollow-cavity bullet is an
extreme variant of a hollow point bullet.
In a hollow-cavity bullet, the hollow
dominates the volume of the bullet and
causes drastic expansion or even outright
disintegration on impact
GLOSSARY-cont
designed for shooting paper targets, usually at
close range and with significantly subsonic
velocities under 800 ft/s (244 m/s) such as are
found in handgun and airgun competitions. A
wadcutter has a flat or nearly flat front, which
acts to cut a very clean hole through the target,
making it easier to score and hopefully reducing
errors in scoring to the favor of the shooter. Since
the flat nosed bullet is not well suited for feeding
out of a firearm's magazine, wadcutters are
normally used in revolvers or specially designed
semi-automatic pistols.
GLOSSARY-cont
   Parabellum -The name
Parabellum is derived from the Latin:
Si vis pacem, para bellum ("If you
seek peace, prepare for war"), It has
cartridge in the world. It also is
widely used in a variety of pistol-
caliber carbines by civilians, and has
been the dominant submachine gun
cartridge since World War II.
Pistol and Revolver Bullets
   Pistol and revolver bullets are of several
kinds. They may be of homogeneous
they may be coated with a thin layer of
copper or other metal; and they may be
wholly or partially jacketed

   Pistol bullets are often round-nosed but
may also be flat (wadcutter or semi-
Pistol and Revolver Bullets
   Frangible bullets are made of small pieces of iron compressed
together and designed to break apart on impact. Duplex or
tandem bullets consist of two bullets, fired from the same
cartridge. A bullet known as the Super Vel. is designed so that
the soft lead core separates from the jacket on impact, and
the KTW bullet is Teflon-coated and has a tungsten core,
designed to penetrate cars. In general, lead hollow-point
bullet, jacketed hollow-point and semi-wadcutter bullets have
a substantially greater wounding effect (i.e., they create a
larger temporary cavity) than lead round-nosed bullets. Fully
jacketed bullets, as used in military service, cause the
smallest temporary cavities. The difference in wounding
power arises from the fact that, apart from the fully jacketed
bullets, all the bullets are capable of deforming on impact

   "all handgun bullets studied pose a
serious hazard to bystanders".
Hollow Point Bullets
Modern hollow point bullet designs use many
different methods to provide controlled
expansion, including:

   Jackets that are thinner near the front than
the rear to allow easy expansion at the
beginning, then a reduced expansion rate

   Partitions in the middle of the bullet core to
stop expansion at a given point
Hollow Point Bullets - cont
   Bonding the lead core to the copper jacket
to prevent separation

   Fluted or otherwise weakened jackets to
encourage expansion or fragmentation

   Posts in the hollow, to prevent clogging of
the cavity with materials that may prevent
expansion, such as hair and cloth
Hollow Point Bullets - cont
   Solid copper hollow points, which are far stronger
than jacketed lead, and provide very limited
expansion even at high velocities

   Plastic inserts in the hollow, which provide the
same profile as a full metal jacketed round, but
crush on impact to expose the hollows

   Hollow point bullets are one of the most common
types of civilian and police ammunition, due
largely to the reduced risk of bystanders being hit
by over-penetrating or ricocheted bullets, and the
increased speed of incapacitation
How it Works
When the bullet strikes a soft target the pressure
created in the pit forces the lead around it to
expand greatly into a mushroom-shape. The greater
surface area limits penetration into the target, and
causes more tissue damage along the wound path.
Many hollow point bullets, especially those intended
for use at high velocity, are partially jacketed, that
is, a portion of the lead bullet wrapped in a copper
casing. This jacket provides additional strength to
the bullet, and can help prevent the bullet from
leaving deposits of metal inside the bore. In
controlled expansion bullets, the jacket helps to
prevent the bullet from breaking apart; a
fragmented bullet will generally not penetrate to the
desired minimum depth.
EXAMPLES
   357 Magnum rounds.      6.5 x 55 mm Swede before and after expanding.
Left: Jacketed, Soft                                                        A fired 38 spl hollow
The long base & small expanded diameter show
Point (JSP) bullet.                                                         point bullet viewed
this is a bullet designed for deep penetration on
Right: Jacketed,                                                            from the side, showing
large game. The bullet in the photo traveled more
Hollow Point (JHP)                                                          the intended terminal
than halfway through a moose
bullet.                                                                     ballistics sometimes
referred to as
mushrooming. This
image was taken using
a digital camera
attached to a stereo
microscope at 10x
Ballistic Characteristics of Handgun Rounds
Caliber            Type               Weight of bullet,   Muzzle velocity,   Muzzle energy,
g                   m/s                J
5.6 mm             .22LR              2.5                 250                80

.25 (6.35 mm)      Automatic          3.2                 245                99

7.65 mm            Browning           4.6                 291                197

.32 (8.13 mm)      Smith and          5.5                 214                132
Wesson
9.0 mm             9x17 ACP           6.2                 280                243
(Browning Short)
9.0 mm             9x19 Luger         7.5                 345                450
(Parabellum)
.357 (9.0 mm)      .357 Magnum        10.2                380                736

.38 (9.65 mm)      .38 Special        10.2                271                375

10 mm              10 mm Auto         11.7                360                758

.41 (10.4 mm)      .41 Remington      13.6                396                1066
Magnum
.45 (11.43 mm)     ACP                14.9                258                521
.22LR ammo
.22LR ammunition is very popular and
in widespread use in sport target
shooting. This ammunition was
designed for shooting practice, but
not for personal defense purposes.
Stopping power of a .22LR bullet is
poor, and .22LR ammunition is not
suitable for self defense. But a gun
with .22LR is better than empty
hands.
9MM:9x19 Luger (Parabellum) ammo
9x19 Luger (Parabellum) - Standard
ammunition for modern military 9 mm
semi-automatic pistols and sub-
machine-guns. It provides high
kinetic energy, high versatility, high
stopping power. Perfectly suitable for
self defense.
.38 Special ammo
Classic police revolver
ammunition, .38 Special
cartridges provide shooters with
relatively high firepower. Quite
sufficient for personal defense.
.357 Magnum ammo
Very powerful ammunition,
.357 Magnum ammo gives
immensely high stopping power
that's not typical for 9 mm
ammunition. Excellent choice for
self defense.
.45 ACP ammo
Some people don't trust 9 mm
ammunition - they say that larger .45
(11.43 mm) caliber is more reliable in
case of stopping power. Undoubtedly,
.45 ACP ammunition provides very
high stopping power, but owing to
considerably lower velocity of .45 ACP
bullet in comparison with .357
Magnum bullet, the energy of a .45
bullet is lower than that of a .357
Magnum bullet.
.41 Magnum ammo
The firepower of .41 Magnum
ammunition is extremely high. It's
what you might not expect from
handgun if you're not familiar with
Magnum calibers. This kind of
ammunition is suitable for hunting;
the stopping power provided is much
higher than you usually need for self
defense.
Fackler, Martin L., M.D.: "The 'Strasbourg Tests:'
Another Gunwriter/Bullet Salesman
Fraud?" Wound Ballistics Review, 1(4): 10-11;
1994.
MacPherson, Duncan: "Bullet Penetration --
Modeling the Dynamics and the
Incapacitation Resulting from Wound
Trauma." Ballistic Publications, El Segundo,
California. 1994
Fackler, Martin L., M.D.: "FBI 1993 Wound
Ballistics Seminar: Efficacy of Heavier
Bullets Affirmed." Wound Ballistics Review,
1(4): 8-9; 1994.
Wound Ballistics Articles
Patrick, Urey W.:“Handgun Wounding Factors and Effectiveness." U.S.
Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation, 1989.
Roberts, Gary K.; Wolberg, Eugene J.: "Book Review, Handgun Stopping
Power: The Definitive Study." Association of Firearm and Toolmark
Examiners Journal, 24(4); 383-387: 1992.
Fackler, Martin L., MD.: "Book Review, Street Stoppers: The Latest
Handgun Stopping Power Street Results." Wound Ballistics Review,
3(1); 26-31: 1997.
MacPherson, Duncan: “Sanow Strikes (Out) Again." Wound Ballistics
Review, 3(1): 32-35; 1997.
van Maanen, Maarten: "Discrepancies in the Marshall & Sanow 'Data
Base': An Evaluation Over Time." Wound Ballistics Review, 4(2); 9-13:
Fall, 1999.
Fackler, Martin L., MD.: "Undeniable Evidence." Wound Ballistics Review,
4(2); 14-15: Fall, 1999.
MacPherson, Duncan: "The Marshall & Sanow 'Data' - Statistical
Analysis Tells the Ugly Story." Wound Ballistics Review, 4(2); 16-21:
Fall, 1999.
Dodson, Shawn: "Reality of the Street? A Practical Analysis of Offender
Gunshot Wound Reaction for Law Enforcement." Tactical Briefs, 4(2);
April 2001
Resource Page
Several years ago when we first became acquainted with Dr. Martin L.
Fackler, M.D., he was a Colonel in the US Army Medical Corps researching
wound ballistics at Letterman Army Institute of Research, Presidio of San
Francisco, California. Dr. Fackler kindly provided us several articles he’d
written, co-written or suggested we read that cover a wide spectrum of
wound ballistics. We’re listing some of these articles below for the benefit
of those of you (especially medical students and researchers) who are
truly interested in learning as much as you can about wound ballistics.
Many of these articles can be located in the libraries and medical libraries
of large universities.
"Wounding Effects of the AK-47 Rifle Used by Patrick Purdy in the
Stockton, California Schoolyard Shooting of January 17, 1989."
Martin L. Fackler, M.D., John A. Malinowski, B.S., Stephen W. Hoxie, B.S.,
and Alexander Jason, B.A., The American Journal of Forensic Medicine and
Pathology, 11(3): 185-189, 1990.
"Wounding Patterns of Military Rifle Bullets." Martin L. Fackler,
International Defense Review, 59-64, 1/1989.
"Emergency War Surgery, Chapter II Missile Caused Wounds." Thomas
E. Bowen, M.D. and Ronald F. Bellamy, M.D., The Emergency War Surgery
NATO Handbook (Second United States Revision), USDoD, 13-34.
"Emergency War Surgery, Chapter XVI Wounds and Injuries of the
Soft Tissues." Thomas E. Bowen, M.D. and Ronald F. Bellamy, M.D., The
Emergency War Surgery NATO Handbook (Second United States Revision),
USDoD, 230-238.
Q and A

Thank you for your time and attention

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