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Chapter: Forensic Medicine: Firearm injuries

Blank cartridge injuries

A blank cartridge consists of primer, gunpowder or smokeless powder and wadding but no bullet.

Blank cartridge injuries

A blank cartridge consists of primer, gunpowder or smokeless powder and wadding but no bullet. Its function is to produce a loud noise like that of an actual gunshot. Clinically and experimentally two types of injury are produced. The first occurs where gunpowder is present in the cartridge and consists of a penetration wound with the wadding and powder granules acting as missiles. The second type of injury is a blast injury produced by expanding combustion gases. This is seen when smokeless blank cartridges, which are more combustible and have greater wounding power than ordinary gunpowder, are used. Severe soft tissue and visceral injuries result. Although shots fired from a distance with blank cartridges are harmless, skin contact shots from 0,38 and 0,45 calibre blanks can produce severe and even fatal wounds.

 

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