Experimental wound ballistics of ricochet projectiles: report of continuing studies

MUDr. Norbert Moravanský, PhD.
Norbert Moravanský, Ludvík Juříček, Viktor Rekeň, Petr Dohnal, Peter Kováč, Anežka Zummerová
Institute of Forensic Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovak rep.
Institute of safety management of Karel Englis College Inc., Brno, Czech Republic
forensic.sk Institute of Forensic Medical Analyses, LLC, Bratislava, Slovak rep.
University of Technology, UVEE FEEC, Brno, Czech rep. 
Thanks to: 
forensic.sk research foundation

Tender Media Group, s.r.o.,

3D - S.C.V. s.r.o.

23rd Congress of the International
Academy of Legal Medicine
19 - 21 January 2015 | Sheikh Maktoum Hall
Dubai International Convention & Exhibition Centre



The question of handgun use in a city or densely populated agglomerations requires a highly practical level of solution to this issue, though with the knowledge of theoretical presumptions of wound ballistics of ricochet projectiles. The daily practice of the officers of the Police Corps of the Slovak and Czech Republic essentially enhances the necessity of being informed about the behavior of parametrically designated ricochet projectiles in a ballistic experiment with the use of a model of a built-up area in
a town, with typical materials and surfaces of objects in between and a model of a human limb part as a potential target of an uncontrolled ricochet projectile. The proposed design of the situation is undoubtedly of an enormous significance, even when forensically evaluating the morphological consequences of ricochet projectiles.


Materials and Methods

The paper study of ricochet gunshot wounds is based on experimental ballistic analysis using biophysical model of pig´s tight. Continuing experimental action and our recent experiment from May 2014 focused on documentation of the experimental action using 3D laser scanner imaging of the experimental field, high speed camera and high resolution photography of ricochet entrance gunshot wounds morphology. The authors are using different types of projectiles (9 mm Makarov or similar types of 9 mm bullets, e.g. FMJ Luger and .38 special LRN). Prior to the experiment the mathematical model of the ballistic system and its predictable effects has been realized.


The main aim of our work is to point out the potential of the wounding effect of ricochet bullets of a particular calibre cartridge with focus on injuries of the femurs of the lower limbs using biophysical model of pig´s tight. By the application of results of such experiments and their final comparison, when are used, it is also possible to contribute to the experts´ groundwork in the process of rearmament of the official armed forces.


The application of wound ballistics into the practice of a forensic pathologist, as well as a surgeon enables a good understanding of the dynamics of projectile penetration through anatomic structures of human body. In forensic assessment, gunshot wounds of limbs are relatively frequent cases. By the integration of wound ballistics principles into the research of gunshot wounds, it is also possible to establish whether the projectile entered into the anatomic structures under direct trajectory steadily or whether through the course of its trajectory, before reaching the human body, it firstly contacted a particular object in the space, i. e. whether the injury could have been caused by a ricochet projectile. In connection with unclear gunshot wounds and their morphological image, it is necessary to consider the possibility of the effects of a ricochet projectile, especially when persons are injured accidentally. The experimental work in this field and imaging the ballistic action could solve some problems and reveal the wounding process.