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The Spread of Pellets After Shotgun Discharge 

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Old 01-04-2022, 04:12 PM
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The Spread of Pellets After Shotgun Discharge

As the muzzle of the shotgun is moved farther from the body, tattooing disappears and the diameter of the circular wound of entrance increases in size until a point is reached where individual pellets begin to separate from the main mass.

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Fig.1 The spread of pellets after shotgun discharge.

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Fig.2 Single-round entrance wound. From contact to 2 ft (60cm).

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Fig.3 Entrance wound with scalloped margins. From 3 ft (91cm).

From contact to 2 ft (60cm), birdshot fired from a shotgun, generally, produces a single-round entrance wound (Fig.2). By 3 ft (91cm), the wound widens and the edges of the wounds will have scalloped margins (Fig.3). By 4 ft (121cm), scattered satellite pellet holes are present around the main entrance (Fig.4). By 6–7 ft (182-213cm), there is a definite cuff of satellite pellet holes around a slightly irregular wound of entrance (Figs.5-6). Beyond 10 ft (305cm), there is a great variation in the size of the pellet pattern depending on the ammunition used, the choke of the gun and, most important, the range (Figs.7-8).

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Fig.4 Scattered satellite pellet holes around the main entrance. From 4 ft (121cm).

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Fig.5 Cuff of satellite pellet holes around irregular wound of entrance. From 6-7 ft (182-213cm).

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Fig.6 Cuff of satellite pellet holes around irregular wound of entrance. From 6-7 ft (182-213cm).

At close range, the shotgun is the most formidable and destructive of all small arms. The severity of the injuries in contact wounds is due to two factors: the charge of shot and the gas from combustion of the propellant (also termed “blast effect”). Most contact shotgun wounds are suicidal in origin. Intermediate-range and close-range shotgun wounds are almost as mutilating as contact wounds because the pellets are still traveling in a single mass.

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Fig.7 Large spread of individual pellet defects. From +10 ft (305cm).

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Fig.8 Spread of buckshot pellets. From +10 ft (305cm).

At the same range, the pattern of different guns and brands of ammunition may vary from a central irregular perforation with numerous satellite wounds to a pattern of multiple individual pellet wounds. In all deaths from shotgun wounds, the size of the shot pattern on the body should be measured so that the range can be determined accurately. The range determinations by size and appearance of pattern given should be used only as a rough guide in estimating range. The only reliable method of determining range is to obtain the actual weapon and the same brand of ammunition used and then conduct a series of test shots so as to reproduce on paper the pattern of the fatal wound on the body.

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This post is for educational purposes only and is nonprofit. Under Section 107 of the US Copyright Act of 1976; Allowance is made for "Fair Use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. OP is not a medical expert. No copyright infringement intended. This post does not encourage or glorify violence/harassment. Images might have been upscaled and enhanced. Text might have been shortened and simplified/reorganized for online view.

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Old 01-04-2022, 05:00 PM
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Re: The Spread of Pellets After Shotgun Discharge

If somebody were to read all your posts they would be a forensic pathologist or something! :P

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Old 01-04-2022, 05:32 PM
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Re: The Spread of Pellets After Shotgun Discharge

Fucking OUCH!

Thanks for peppering my nightmares, Herm. You're a rock star around these parts, bruh.

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Old 01-04-2022, 08:06 PM
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Re: The Spread of Pellets After Shotgun Discharge

Awesome post. Most people don't realize just how little the pellet spread is.

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Old 01-05-2022, 12:28 AM
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Re: The Spread of Pellets After Shotgun Discharge

DR has now become an excellent site for crime investigators and detectives, especially if they live in a city or town that doesn't have big time resources like New York or Los Angeles. I have learned a HUGE amount from Herman's posts!

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Old 01-05-2022, 01:44 AM
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Re: The Spread of Pellets After Shotgun Discharge

This is really interesting, no wonder shotguns are so devestating.

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Old 01-05-2022, 09:30 AM
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Re: The Spread of Pellets After Shotgun Discharge

Quote:
Originally Posted by Faust View Post
If somebody were to read all your posts they would be a forensic pathologist or something! :P
Yes my thoughts exactly I've learned so much from Herman's posts

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Old 01-08-2022, 10:41 PM
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Re: The Spread of Pellets After Shotgun Discharge

As a future mortician, I LOVE your posts. Thanks again and again, H.

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Old 01-09-2022, 11:51 PM
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Re: The Spread of Pellets After Shotgun Discharge

This DR member creates threads that enrich my life.

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Old 01-11-2022, 01:29 AM
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Re: The Spread of Pellets After Shotgun Discharge

shotgun, the only weapon that gives you thanatophobia and trypophobia at the same time

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