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Forensic Sci Int. 2009 Nov 20;192(1-3):e17-20. doi: 10.1016/j.forsciint.2009.07.018. Epub 2009 Sep 4.

Estimating the shooting distance of a 9-mm Parabellum bullet via ballistic experiment.

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INPS, Laboratoire de Police Scientifique, 7 boulevard Vauban, Lille, France.


We demonstrate here how the shooting distance of a 9-mm Parabellum FMJ bullet (115gr) has been estimated via shooting experiments. Such a bullet was found by investigators near a concrete wall, fairly distorted at its tip. The bullet carries no evidence of multiple impact and no evidence of ballistic impact on the wall has been reported. We estimated the impact velocity by comparing the questioned bullet with a set of comparison bullets hitting a wall (rigid target) with different velocities. The shooting distance was recovered from the impact velocity by studying the typical behavior of a manufactured 9 mm bullet weighting 115g (7.45g), shot in pistol or a sub-machine gun. The results demonstrated that the questioned bullet was a lost bullet. The shooting distance also helped the investigators, narrowing the range of the estimated positions of the shooter.

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