3rd Edition

Gunshot Wounds Practical Aspects of Firearms, Ballistics, and Forensic Techniques, Third Edition

By Vincent J.M. DiMaio, M.D. Copyright 2016
    378 Pages 377 Color Illustrations
    by CRC Press

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    Written by the nation's foremost authority on gunshot wounds and forensic techniques as they relate to firearm injuries, this third edition of a bestseller provides critical updates to information on gunshot wounds and the weapons and ammunition used to inflict them. The book describes practical aspects of ballistics, wound ballistics, and the classification of various wounds caused by handguns, rifles, and shotguns. It also explains autopsy techniques and procedures and laboratory analyses relating to weapons and gunshot evidence. A much-needed update after nearly 20 years, the third edition of Gunshot Wounds provides the latest and most thorough information on firearms and best practices for examining firearm-related wounds.

    Firearms and Ammunition
    Small Arms
    Civilian Firearms in the United States
    Right-to-Carry Permits
    Source of Firearms Used By Criminals
    General References

    Forensic Aspects of Ballistics
    Class and Individual Characteristics of Bullets
    Comparison of Bullets
    Cartridge Cases
    National Integrated Ballistic Information Network
    Base Markings on Bullets
    Examination of Bullets for Tissue and Foreign Material
    DNA Typing of Tissue on Bullets and Cartridge Cases
    Fingerprints and Examination of Firearms for DNA
    Black Powder Firearms
    Discharge of a Firearm
    Hang Fires—Misfires
    General References

    Wound Ballistics
    Theory of Wounding
    Wounding Characteristics of Handgun and Rifle Bullets
    General References

    Introduction to the Classification of Gunshot Wounds
    Contact Wounds
    Hard-Contact Wounds
    Near-Contact Wounds
    Intermediate-Range Wounds
    Distant Gunshot Wounds
    Cylinder Gap
    Silencers: Sound Suppressors
    Muzzle Brakes/Compensators
    Flash Suppressors
    Gas Ports/Vents
    Miscellaneous Powder Patterns
    Entrance Wounds
    Microscopic Examination of Gunshot Wounds
    Fate of Tissue from Entrance and Exit Defects
    Graze/Tangential/Superficial Perforating Entrance Wounds
    Stippling: Powder Tattooing and Pseudopowder Tattooing
    Ricochet Bullets
    Atypical Bullet Wounds of the Skull
    Nonpenetrating Fatal Cranial Cavity Wounds
    Intracranial Pressure Waves and Secondary Fractures of the Skull
    Pseudoexit Wounds
    Caliber Determination from Entrance Wounds in Skin and Bone
    Bullet Wipe

    Wounds due to Handguns
    Handgun Wounds
    Gas Injuries
    Timed Test Firings
    Muzzle Velocity of Saturday Night Specials
    Addendum: Centerfire Handgun Cartridges

    Wounds from Rimfire Firearms
    .22 Magnum
    .22 Short, Long, and Long Rifle Cartridges
    .22 Ammunition
    .177 Rimfire Ammunition
    Wounds due to Rimfire Ammunition
    General References

    Wounds from Centerfire Rifles
    Breech-Loading Rifles
    Centerfire Rifle Bullets
    Assault Rifles
    Addendum: Common American Rifle Calibers
    General Reference

    Wounds from Shotguns
    Shotgun Ammunition
    Wound Ballistics of the Shotgun
    Shotgun Wounds
    Miscellaneous Observations
    Taurus Judge

    Bloody Bodies and Bloody Scenes
    Physical Activity Following Gunshot Wounds
    Wounds Seen in the Emergency Room
    Minimal Velocities Necessary to Perforate Skin
    Bullet Emboli
    Gunshot Wounds of the Brain
    Intrauterine Gunshot Wounds
    Lead Poisoning from Retained Bullets
    Location of Fatal Gunshot Wounds
    Behavior of Ammunition and Gunpowder in Fires
    Blunt Force Injuries from Firearms
    Multiple Gunshot Wounds through One Entrance
    Falling Bullets
    Reaction-Response Times in Handgun Shootings
    Nonlethal/Less-Lethal Ballistic Weapons

    Weapons and Ammunition: Miscellaneous
    Air/Nonpowder Guns
    Zip Guns
    Nail Guns and Powder-Actuated Tools
    Captive Bolt Devices (Pistols)
    Bang Stick, Power Head, or Shark Stick
    Sympathetic Discharge of Rimfire Firearms
    Bullets without Rifling Marks
    Elongated Bullets
    Cast Bullets
    Sabot Ammunition
    Tandem Bullets
    Handgun Ammunition
    Hollow-Point Design
    Blank Cartridge Injuries
    Interchangeability of Ammunition in Weapons
    Markings and Foreign Material on Bullets
    Effect of Environmental Temperature on Bullet Velocity

    Virtual Autopsy: Virtopsy®

    Detection of Gunshot Residues
    Gunshot Residue

    Correct Handling of Deaths from Firearms
    Autopsy Report
    Who Should Perform the Autopsy?

    Suicide by Firearms
    Suicide by Firearms
    Suicides due to Long Arms
    Gunshot Wound Suicides: Miscellaneous
    Accidental Deaths from Firearms
    More Guns: More Accidents, Homicides, and Suicides?

    Appendix A: Stopping Power and Hollow-Point Pistol Ammunition

    Appendix B: Forensic Autopsy in Gunshot Wound Cases


    Vincent J.M. Di Maio, MD, was a medical examiner and then deputy chief medical examiner in Dallas County, Texas. He then became the chief medical examiner in Bexar County (San Antonio), Texas from 1981 to 2006. He obtained his medical degree from SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York. He is board-certified in anatomical, clinical, and forensic pathology. He has over 40 years of experience as a forensic pathologist and has been recognized with several awards. He is a fellow of the National Association of Medical Examiners (NAME) and the American Academy of Forensic Sciences. He has authored many scientific publications, letters, and medical textbook chapters, has written three other texts in forensic psychology, and is editor-in-chief of The American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology.