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17.11.2018 | Images in Forensics | Ausgabe 2/2019

Forensic Science, Medicine and Pathology 2/2019

Suicide with an unusual home-manufactured firearm

Forensic Science, Medicine and Pathology > Ausgabe 2/2019
Igor Veselinović, Sonja Žigić, Dušan Vapa


A 22-year-old male with a medical history of depression was found lying on his right side with a pool of blood around his head. A pistol-shaped metal device was found next to the right hand of the deceased. Examination of the body revealed the presence of a gunshot wound to the head. The entrance wound was located in the right temporal area and was partially surrounded by a semicircular muzzle imprint. Analysis of the firearm revealed a home-manufactured device constructed from the posterior part of a captive bolt gun chamber containing a firing pin. The front part of an original captive bolt’s cylinder was replaced with a conical iron tube, which could be detached from the chamber by an unscrewing action. The tube was unrifled and drilled in order to accept standard 9 mm ammunition. A hollow rectangular piece of metal was welded to the posterior part of the chamber perpendicularly and used as a grip. Cases of injuries caused by different types of captive bolt guns are well documented in the forensic literature. However, conversions of captive bolts in projectile-discharging devices or their use in the construction of zip guns, as well as the injuries produced by such types of firearms, are extremely rare in forensic and medico-legal practice.

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