Shotgun Injuries

Unlike handguns and rifles which have lands-and-grooves cut on the inside of their barrels, shotguns have a smooth bore. Lands-and-grooves cause specific identifying features (rifling) on projectiles as they pass along the barrel. These markings allow examiners to test-fire weapons and compare test-fired bullets to those discovered in bodies. Since shotguns have no lands-and-grooves, their projectiles cannot be positively matched to those found at the scene or inside a body.

A shotgun cartridge contains pellets, gunpowder, and a wad that separates the pellets from the gunpowder. Some ammunition have plastic shot containers that hold the pellets and also act as the wad. The recovery of the wad or plastic shot container is important because they may be specific for certain types of ammunition. Shotguns usually fire pellets; however, slugs can also be used as ammunition.

The range (distance) of fire can usually be more easily determined in shotguns than in handguns or rifles. In addition to the presence or absence of gunpowder, the presence or absence of pellet spread aids in the distance determination. However, it is still important to test-fire the same gun and ammunition that was used in the shooting to determine an accurate comparison with the distance in question.

Injuries Gunshot
figure 8.1 A shotgun blast can be very destructive. This man stuck the gun in his mouth.
Gunshot Wound The Left Upper Chest
figure 8.2 Tight contact shotgun wound of the chest. All of the gunpowder is inside the wound. The wound edges are abraded and there is a thin linear abrasion on the upper right from the muzzle.
Gun Shot Wounds
figure 8.3 Loose contact shotgun wound and a larger, more ragged exit wound.
Pictures Gun Shot Wounds
figure 8.5 This loose contact suicide wound to the neck is larger than expected because the neck was bent over the barrel. Most of the decedent's face was blown out.
Gunshot Wounds Suicide
figure 8.7 Pellet spread may be used to aid in distance determination when there is no more gunpowder. In this case, the pellets are beginning to spread. Once again, the distance may be determined with accuracy only if the same ammunition and weapon are test-fired.
Contact Distance Wound
figure 8.4 Loose contact shotgun wound to the back of the head and neck. The decedent was essentially executed during a robbery.
Loosecontact Shotgun
figure 8.6 This "cookie cutter" type wound shows a few separate pellet injuries forming as the distance increases. This is not a suicide.
Central Defect Gunshot
figure 8.8 The central defect may be small as the weapon is moved further away from the body when fired. The wad was discovered in the body.
Gunshot Injury

figure 8.9 The spread of pellets indicates a considerable distance; however, the distance is affected by the choke of the weapon. Adjacent to the corner of the mouth is an abrasion from the wad.

Mouth Abrasion
figure 8.11 This woman was shot with a shotgun. The wound does not appear like a typical shotgun wound. Many of the ragged defects were not caused by pellets. See next photo.
Gunshot Abrassion RingGunshot Wounds
figure 8.12 An X-ray revealed multiple pellets and other odd-shaped metallic objects. These other objects were keys and the ring they were on. The woman was wearing a ring of keys around her neck. The white arrow points to a zipper. She was X-rayed in a body bag.
Shotgunpellet Xray
figure 8.13 This man had two shotgun wounds. The lower one in the abdomen reveals a pellet direction up to the decedent's left. The neck blast was from a closer distance. The wound on the left side of the neck is the exit wound.
Gunshot Wounds
figure 8.14 The gray marks on this bone are lead markings from shotgun pellet impacts. No pellets were remaining in the body; however, this finding proved the person was killed with a shotgun.
Shotgun Pellets
figure 8.15 A relatively small external wound can be accompanied by a larger defect in the body. The external entrance wound in this case was half the size of the defect in the chest plate, as seen here.
Gunshot Wounds

figure 8.16 This is another defect in a chest wall. This one is approximately the same size as the external wound.

Entrance Wound
figure 8.17 This is the scene of a woman shot twice by her estranged husband She was killed with shotgun slugs and not pellets. See next photo.

figure 8.16 This is another defect in a chest wall. This one is approximately the same size as the external wound.

Shotgun Injuries

figure 8.18 Scene close-up revealing powder on the shirt and abundant blood. See next photo.

Women With Gunshot Wounds

figure 8.19 The woman was shot first in the right knee. There is a slight amount of gunpowder on the inferior aspect of the wound. See next photo.

figure 8.18 Scene close-up revealing powder on the shirt and abundant blood. See next photo.

figure 8.19 The woman was shot first in the right knee. There is a slight amount of gunpowder on the inferior aspect of the wound. See next photo.

Gunshot Wounds
figure 8.20 Fragments of bone caused damage to the right upper arm. See next photo.
Gunshot Wounds Face
figure 8.21 Fragments of bone from her knee were imbedded in her face (arrow). This gives an indication of her defensive posturing at the time of the shot. See next photo.
Gunshot Wound
figure 8.22 This is her right arm where the second shot began. This wound is superficial. There is gunpowder on the inferior aspect (to the right). See next photo.
Shotgun Wounds
figure 8.23 The main charge from the second shot entered the left side of the chest, creating this huge defect. There were a few small exit wounds on the left back. Metal fragments from the slug were located in the muscle and tissue of the back.

figure 8.24 This man and his best friend were arguing over his daughter. The assailant said he shot at this man from about 10' away as the decedent was rising out of his sofa and coming after him with a knife. See next photo.

Shotgun Wounds
figure 8.25 The main wound was just below the chin on the left side. The charge went into the neck and ended in the right upper chest area. See next photo.
Imagenes Heridas Bala
figure 8.26 There were drops of blood on the tops of the boots. They appear to have fallen straight down onto the boots. See next photo.
Shotgun Gunshot Wound The Shoulder
figure 8.27 The wound is an irregular defect. The abrasions around the mouth were caused by the plastic pellet container. Both the angle of the shot and the blood spatters suggest the shooter was telling the truth.
Gunshot Wounds The Shoulder

he was in bed. See next photo. FIGURE 8.29 There were wounds to his shoulder, top of head, and side of the head (arrows). See next photo.

he was in bed. See next photo. FIGURE 8.29 There were wounds to his shoulder, top of head, and side of the head (arrows). See next photo.

Shotgun Injuries
figure 8.30 This wound caused death. The pellet spread is greater than expected because the pellets grazed the arm. See next photo.
Gunshot Wounds The Shoulder
figure 8.31 The wound on the right shoulder matched up with the blast to the right side of the head when the arm was raised up and to the left in front of his body. These facts give evidence as to the decedent's position at the time of his death.
Shotgun Gunshot Wound
figure 8.34 Dispersed pellet marks were left on the wall after the charge passed through the headboard.
Gunshot Shotgun Wounds The Head
figure 8.35 This man has a "distant" shotgun wound to the back. He was shot with a slug. See next photo.
Buckshot Shotgun Wound

figure 8.37 The slug went through the heart (arrow). See next photo.

Gunshot Wounds
figure 8.36 The shotgun slug. See next photo.
Gunshot Wounds

figure 8.38 A close-up of the hole in the heart.

figure 8.37 The slug went through the heart (arrow). See next photo.

figure 8.38 A close-up of the hole in the heart.

Was this article helpful?

+4 -2
Essentials of Human Physiology

Essentials of Human Physiology

This ebook provides an introductory explanation of the workings of the human body, with an effort to draw connections between the body systems and explain their interdependencies. A framework for the book is homeostasis and how the body maintains balance within each system. This is intended as a first introduction to physiology for a college-level course.

Get My Free Ebook


Responses

  • aimone
    How many gunshot injuries were there in 2012?
    7 years ago
  • Jenni
    Are shotgun wounds fatal?
    7 years ago
  • tuuli
    What is the fatality of a shotgun wound to the chest?
    6 years ago
  • gabriel yemane
    What type of wounds are caused from a shotgun?
    6 years ago
  • Gorbulas
    What injury does shotgun slug to chest cause?
    5 years ago
  • heli
    What is more fatal shotgun blast to heart or mouth?
    5 years ago
  • carola lucchese
    What do buckshot wounds look like on a dawg?
    4 years ago
  • Kevin
    Which gun mouth upper side?
    4 years ago
  • jai
    When riefl shot into mouth appearance of the marks and injuries?
    4 years ago
  • Rita
    What does a close gunshot wound look like in the throat?
    4 years ago
  • Ulrich
    Can a 12 gauge not leave an exit wound in a suicide attempt?
    4 years ago
  • tyko
    How shotgun wounds may lead to death?
    4 years ago
  • Kaj M
    What injuries does shotgun cause?
    4 years ago
  • jared
    What damage can a shot gun blast to the upper chest cause?
    3 years ago
  • luwam
    What type of damage suicide with 12 gauge shotgun?
    3 years ago
  • yvonne
    Does the shotgun bullet spread when fired?
    3 years ago
  • Ross
    What kink of exit wound does a gun shot to head leave at pt point blank range?
    3 years ago
  • Anne
    What does a 4 10 shotgun shot through the mouth look like?
    3 years ago
  • MANU
    What problems do people have that have shotgun pellets in the mouth head chest and face?
    3 years ago
  • Jasmin
    How to cure shot gun injured?
    3 years ago
  • lena
    How to treat a gunshot wound on the mouth?
    3 years ago
  • LIBERA MARIA
    What does a 12 gauge shotgun injury look like?
    3 years ago
  • Negassi
    How a shotgun bullet exits the gun?
    3 years ago
  • simone
    How do shotgun bullet injured man?
    3 years ago
  • settimo
    What does a shotgun slug wound look like?
    3 years ago
  • silke
    What does a shotgun blast to chest?
    3 years ago
  • brigitte
    What size wound does a 16 guage shotgun leave?
    3 years ago
  • mhret haile
    Can a shotgun leave exit wounds?
    3 years ago
  • vera
    How does a wounded body with a gun looks like?
    2 years ago
  • Habte
    What are the type of injuries when your shot with a gun in the back?
    2 years ago
  • mehret goytiom
    How much damage is done by shot gun blast to the head?
    2 years ago
  • gebre
    What % is a 12ga 00 buckshot wound worse than a 9mm wound ?
    2 years ago
  • idris
    What does a 12 gauge slug look like?
    2 years ago
  • matti pietik
    What does a shotgun do to a person?
    2 years ago
  • christian m
    How to point a shotgun in mouth for death?
    2 years ago
  • Tiina Karjalainen
    What damage does a shotgun do to a body?
    2 years ago
  • kevin
    How much damage can a 4gague shot gun do?
    2 years ago
  • cornelia fiorentini
    Do shotguns leave bigger exit wounds than .223?
    2 years ago
  • Gemma
    Why exit wound absent in shot gun?
    2 years ago
  • fiori
    How much damage can a shot gun do to my thigh?
    2 years ago
  • anniina
    What doese a 12 gage shot gun blast look like in the back of the head?
    2 years ago
  • Eino
    What does a self inflicted 9mm chest wound look like?
    2 years ago
  • ralph
    What happens when you get shot with a shotgun in the neck?
    2 years ago
  • antonia macdonald
    What is the mark of a gunshot look like on the chest?
    2 years ago
  • mallory
    What are damages done with a shotgun pellets?
    2 years ago
  • destiny
    How fatal is shotgun to the chest?
    1 year ago
  • Yohannes
    What does ashotgun blast to the head look like?
    1 year ago
  • rio
    What foes a gunshot wound lok like?
    1 year ago
  • Kalle
    What injuries can occur is one is shot at point blank range?
    1 year ago
  • COURTNEY MILNE
    How to identify a gun shot wound?
    1 year ago
  • falco
    What damage doesa 12 gauge shotgun do to a human skull?
    1 year ago
  • Hana
    What disinfects gun shot wounds?
    1 year ago
  • latoya
    What would a shot gun slug do to a person?
    1 year ago
  • Nasih
    Does a gunshot wound cause powder like spray?
    12 months ago
  • chris
    How to describe gunshot wound to face?
    12 months ago
  • nunzio
    What does a head look like after shotgun blast infliced?
    11 months ago
  • Michelle
    What does buck shot do to the human body?
    11 months ago
  • morgan
    How long can someone survie 12 guage shot gun wound?
    11 months ago
  • William Blackwell
    What damage does 9mm gunshot to the head cause?
    11 months ago
  • Robert
    How much damage does a shotgun wound do?
    10 months ago
  • codi
    How to describe gunshot wounds?
    10 months ago
  • Konsta
    Which kind of injuries is caused by gun?
    10 months ago
  • paul
    What does a shot gun wound in a bird look like?
    9 months ago
  • caragh sutherland
    Do all shotguns make the same injury?
    8 months ago
  • winta
    What damage would sawed off shotgun cause to human head?
    8 months ago
  • eetu
    What does a bullet wound to the back of the head look like?
    8 months ago
  • petros
    How gunshot wounds affect the body?
    8 months ago
  • sandra
    What wounds are caused by shotguns?
    8 months ago
  • callan
    What a 12 gauge 00 buckshot wound really looks like?
    8 months ago
  • riitta
    How to identify gun shot wounds?
    8 months ago
  • LYLE
    What is a badly wound from a shotgun?
    8 months ago
  • mathias muller
    What kind of damage shotgun?
    8 months ago
  • grimalda
    How to describe the size of a gunshot?
    7 months ago
  • michael
    How does the caliber of a gun used affect suspected injuries in gun shot wound?
    7 months ago
  • helj
    What happens to a body shotgun to the head suicide?
    7 months ago
  • conner
    How would a gunshot wound affect the body?
    7 months ago
  • selamawit abaalom
    How to describe a shotgun hole on a victim?
    7 months ago
  • aulis
    What kind of damge can guns have on the human bady?
    6 months ago
  • nebyat
    How serious is shotgun wound to the shoulder?
    6 months ago
  • michelle
    Can a shotgun injury the shooter?
    6 months ago
  • nora
    How close to shotgun blast to have pellets fully lodged in body?
    6 months ago
  • alexander
    Why cefazolin for gun shot wounds?
    5 months ago
  • May
    How large is a shotgun blast?
    5 months ago
  • thomas
    Is a shotgun blast blunt or penetrating?
    3 months ago
  • Umberto
    What does a body look like after a shot gun blast?
    3 months ago
  • antti
    How to reverse a shotgun wound?
    3 months ago
  • Brigida
    How much the chest show picture?
    3 months ago
  • facino
    What damages would a shotgun do to a human?
    3 months ago
  • Milton
    What does a face look like after a head shot?
    2 months ago
  • jukka-pekk
    What happens when you shoot a shotgun in your mouth?
    2 months ago
  • thomas
    What woud a gsw crime scene look like?
    2 months ago
  • Philipp Braun
    How fatal are gunshots into the mouth?
    2 months ago
  • teija
    What does a 20 gauge blast to the chest look like?
    2 months ago
  • Ugo
    What type of injury decribes a hole in the body?
    23 days ago
  • maunu
    Do shotguns leave exit wounds on body?
    16 days ago
  • Birgit
    Does a shotgun wound cause arteritis?
    6 days ago

Post a comment