Irrtümer in der Wundballistik

Translated title of the contribution: Misconceptions in wound ballistics

M. A. Rothschild, B. P. Kneubuehl

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


In ballistics, especially wound ballistics, a large number of misconceptions and false conclusions concerning findings and their causes exist. On the other hand these misconceptions can be easily corrected by using objective scientific methods and tools. For performing experiments in wound ballistics glycerine soap and gelatine should be used when human soft tissue has to be simulated. Gunshots into the air can be dangerous to life as the falling bullets have enough energy to penetrate skin and bones; exceptions are air gun and shotgun pellets which do not have enough energy to penetrate skin when descending. When a bullet hits bone the bone fragments will not receive enough energy to act as secondary projectiles themselves. Shots from handguns are not able to produce enough power to stop a person or throw a person backwards. Blank shots from alarm pistols are dangerous to life when fired at point blank range: the gas jet exiting the muzzle has such a high velocity that a high energy density will result which gives the jet the character of a solid projectile. The effect of a gunshot is an individual event which depends on a number of factors (e.g. localization of the entrance wound and wound canal, psychological state, intoxication and pathological state of organs). Effectiveness means the wounding potential and is dependent on the energy of the bullet and its ability to transfer the energy along the wound canal.

Translated title of the contributionMisconceptions in wound ballistics
Original languageGerman
Pages (from-to)85-90
Number of pages6
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Effectiveness
  • False conclusion
  • Gunshot
  • Misconception
  • Wound ballistics


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