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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10373/554

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Title: An investigation into the behaviour of air rifle pellets in ballistic gel and their interaction with bone
Authors: Wightman, Graham
Beard, J.
Allison, R.
Affiliation: University of Abertay Dundee. School of Contemporary Sciences
Keywords: Ballistic gel
Air weapon
Terminal ballistics
CT scan
Issue Date: Jul-2010
Publisher: Elsevier
Type: Journal Article
Refereed: peer-reviewed
Rights: Published version (c)Elsevier, available from DOI: 10.1016/j.forsciint.2010.03.025
Citation: Wightman, G., Beard, J. and Allison, R. 2010. An investigation into the behaviour of air rifle pellets in ballistic gel and their interaction with bone. Forensic Science International. 200(1-3): pp.41-49. Available from DOI: 10.1016/j.forsciint.2010.03.025
Abstract: Although air weapons are considerably lower in power than other firearms, there is increasing concern that serious injuries can result from their misuse. The present study was therefore carried out to improve understanding of the terminal ballistic behaviour of air rifle pellets. Pellets were fired into ballistic gel under a variety of conditions. The pellets penetrated further than anticipated from their low cross-sectional density, and Bloom number was not necessarily a good guide to gel behaviour. Pellet penetration into the gel decreased with increasing gel concentration, and appeared to be linear at higher concentrations. Pointed pellets penetrated up to 50% further than rounded pellets. Power and range affect penetration, but other factors are also important, and power alone is not a simple guide to potential penetration. Test firings were also carried out firing pellets into ballistic gel that contained sections of animal bone. Computed tomography (CT) and visual observation were employed to record the interactions. CT scanning showed potential as a tool for examining pellet damage. The bone appeared to be undamaged, but the pellets were severely deformed on impact. If the pellet strikes the bone at an angle, less energy is absorbed by the impact and the pellet fragments may ricochet and cause further damage in the gel. A tentative model is proposed for estimating the energy absorbed by the impact.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10373/554
ISSN: 0379-0738
Appears in Collections:Science Engineering & Technology Collection

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