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Author Topic: Unusual (to me at least) impressions on a bullet  (Read 14992 times)

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Offline Brandon Bertolli

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Unusual (to me at least) impressions on a bullet
« on: April 17, 2017, 04:26:13 PM »
I hope someone can set me on the right path here.


This is a bullet that was recovered from a patient in my PTLGC research (I've posted links to that research elsewhere):

















I suspect it is from a .32ACP cartridge. It was recovered from the patient's chest, whilst I observed the procedure. The surgeon was careful not to mark this bullet.


I have no weight or any measurements, all I did was photograph it.


To me, the marks on the bearing surface are unusual. They aren't the traditional land impressions I would expect to see.
I've seen marks like this on other bullets fired from guns with polygonal rifling, but even in those cases the striations have a left or right twist to them. This looks straight to me, no left or right twist.


Am I right?


If so, could this be from a home-made or improvised weapon?
Brandon Bertolli, Radiographer, bbertolli(at)yahoo.com

Offline Bob Kennington

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Re: Unusual (to me at least) impressions on a bullet
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2017, 07:14:18 AM »
Not much to go on.  :-\ Normally, I'd hold the base of this bullet to the base of a known 6- or 8-grooved bullet. 'Course, that can't be done remotely.

Are others here seeing a slight twist to the right, and L&G impressions that are relatively narrow?  ???

The bright (brassy) areas are suggestive of "bore misalignment", which in turn, is suggestive of having been fired in a revolver. (Or fired in a smoothbore—who knows for sure?)  ::)

My mentor and AFTE Member Emeritus , John Sojat, would say the above "observations" were "horseback-opinions".  ^-^

Offline Matthew Kurimsky

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Re: Unusual (to me at least) impressions on a bullet
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2017, 07:57:48 AM »
Brandon,
Occasionally in our lab we will see bullets from test fires or evidence that look like your photos. Most of the time its a result of very shallow/ poor quality rifling. Having said that a couple of years ago we had an older 32ACP CZ pistol come in that had no discernible rifling in the BBL at all. It left very, very few marks, in fact you really would have struggled to even say the bullet was fired as opposed to a new or pulled bullet. The interesting thing about that pistol was despite having no visible rifling, it actually shot pretty well (at least out to 25yds).
the .223/5.56 round has such little wounding potential, it actually causes negative damage.

it has been shown in laboratory tests to heal bruises, small scrapes and cuts, and in one instance, it unhurt someone's feelings.

Offline Brandon Bertolli

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Re: Unusual (to me at least) impressions on a bullet
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2017, 01:26:44 PM »
Thanks all, makes sense now (as a possible explanation of the appearances)
Brandon Bertolli, Radiographer, bbertolli(at)yahoo.com

Offline Robert Thompson

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Re: Unusual (to me at least) impressions on a bullet
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2017, 01:32:17 PM »
In Europe and former Soviet countries there are many converted gas guns that are able to fire cartridges from a smooth bore.  I'm not sure of the incidence of them in this caliber, but the bullet sure looks like some of the specimens I have seen in proficiency tests.  :-0
/Robert T.

Offline Brandon Bertolli

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Re: Unusual (to me at least) impressions on a bullet
« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2017, 02:25:57 AM »
It's a possibility, although this case was from Johannesburg, South Africa.
The bullet struck the man in the region of the left armpit and then moved posteriorly to a palpable position where it could be removed.
I'll post some sneak previews here before I put the case on LinkedIn.

Brandon Bertolli, Radiographer, bbertolli(at)yahoo.com

Offline Aaron Brudenell

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Re: Unusual (to me at least) impressions on a bullet
« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2017, 02:32:57 PM »
I've seen a number of examples of ordinary conventionally rifled firearms with old and well corroded/worn bores to leave these sorts of fine striated marks over both land and groove impressions alike.  In some cases, the original rifling appears rounded or shallow (both in the gun or on the bullet exterior),  and often those guns will still give the bullet a proper spin and shoot accurately.  The key thing to notice in my experience is evidence of twist and if possible counting/characterizing the original GRC.  If you find neither, then a smooth bore or unrifled gun (possibly home made) is a possibility.   
Aaron Brudenell
Firearm Examiner
Arizona Dept. of Public Safety
520-746-4644

Offline Brandon Bertolli

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Re: Unusual (to me at least) impressions on a bullet
« Reply #7 on: April 20, 2017, 02:18:25 AM »
Is it safe to say then, that it is not possible to say whether the barrel was rifled or not, without having the actual bullet available to inspect it?
Brandon Bertolli, Radiographer, bbertolli(at)yahoo.com

Offline Brandon Bertolli

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Re: Unusual (to me at least) impressions on a bullet
« Reply #8 on: April 20, 2017, 02:27:44 AM »
As promised, some preview images from PTLGC Case 7...


The wound was in the vicinity of the left armpit:





Here is the bullet being retrieved via a surgical incision:





And a repeat of a previous image, this time including a rule (in mm). That rule was attached to my camera:


Brandon Bertolli, Radiographer, bbertolli(at)yahoo.com

Offline Aaron Brudenell

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Re: Unusual (to me at least) impressions on a bullet
« Reply #9 on: April 20, 2017, 03:07:41 AM »
Is it safe to say then, that it is not possible to say whether the barrel was rifled or not, without having the actual bullet available to inspect it?


Sometimes the photo and bullet condition make it obvious, this time, while the photos are very good, I would reserve making an opinion until I got to look at the bullet under a stereo scope.
Aaron Brudenell
Firearm Examiner
Arizona Dept. of Public Safety
520-746-4644

Offline Bob Kennington

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Re: Unusual (to me at least) impressions on a bullet
« Reply #10 on: April 20, 2017, 03:52:20 AM »
Is it safe to say then, that it is not possible to say whether the barrel was rifled or not, without having the actual bullet available to inspect it?
I don't think you'll find anyone at AFTE who would give their opinion from photographs.  :-X 

A barrel's factory rifling can be affected by wear, corrosion, intentional damage, or misadventure. Barrels have left the factory with no rifling at all!

A case for rifling would be improved by photographing the evidence bullet base-down on a countertop, turning it 180°, and photographing it again. If there was rifling present, it should appear consistent with the same "leaning"—right or left. (Be sure to hang that apparent tab on the base off the counter ???).

------------------

My "palpable" moment:
While waiting outside a Florida courtroom on a different case, I was approached by an Assistant State Attorney, who was pushing a wheelchair containing a shooting victim.  I was asked in the hallway if a palpable bullet was consistent with 38 caliber.  :o 

.

Offline Brandon Bertolli

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Re: Unusual (to me at least) impressions on a bullet
« Reply #11 on: April 20, 2017, 01:45:47 PM »
Thanks all, that is very helpful! I will let you know when I put the whole case online.
Credit will be given to AFTE members for pointing out all the possible causes of these appearances (given the limits of not having access to the bullet).
Brandon Bertolli, Radiographer, bbertolli(at)yahoo.com

Offline Qendrim

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Re: Unusual (to me at least) impressions on a bullet
« Reply #12 on: April 24, 2017, 05:43:16 PM »
Actually in our Lab I saw and examine a lot of bullets with the similar marks like the bullet in your photo.
Usually we find those kind of bullets (marks on bullet) to the gas or blank pistols made be EKOL who are converted from 9mm gas to .32 (7.65x17mm). So there are not any rifling, but it works to cause a death injury.

Offline Brandon Bertolli

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Re: Unusual (to me at least) impressions on a bullet
« Reply #13 on: April 28, 2017, 01:40:03 PM »
That sounds interesting, Qendrim. Are they putting some kind of sleeve in the barrel, or are they only adapting the chamber side to accept .32ACP?


Or do they put some kind of home made sabot around the .32ACP bullet?
Brandon Bertolli, Radiographer, bbertolli(at)yahoo.com

Offline Brandon Bertolli

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Re: Unusual (to me at least) impressions on a bullet
« Reply #14 on: May 07, 2017, 04:36:40 PM »
Brandon Bertolli, Radiographer, bbertolli(at)yahoo.com

 

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