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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 152067 Find in a Library
Title: Inappropriate Use of .38 Special Ammunition in .30-30 Rifles
Journal: Journal of Forensic Sciences  Volume:39  Issue:5  Dated:(September 1994)  Pages:1175-1181
Author(s): M E Ward; S Conradi; C H Lawrence; K B Nolte
Date Published: 1994
Page Count: 7
Type: Report (Technical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This report presents the methodology and results from testing in two cases that involved the inappropriate use of .38 Special ammunition in .30-30 rifles.
Abstract: Although modern firearms are designed to fire ammunition of a specific caliber, this article reports on two gunshot fatalities where .38 Special handgun ammunition was used inappropriately in .30-30 Winchester lever-action rifles. In both cases, the recovered wad-cutter bullets were abnormally elongated and unusually striated. In one instance, the cartridge case was expanded and split. Test firing was conducted using the following ammunition: Winchester .38 Special and Winchester .38 Special + P, 158 grain semi-wad cutter; Winchester .357 magnum, 158 grain semi-wad cutter; Winchester .357 magnum, 110 grain semi-jacketed hollow point; Winchester .357 magnum, 158 grain full-jacketed roundnose; Remington-Peters .38 Special, 158 grain lead roundnose; Remington-Peters .38 Special + P, 110 grain semi- jacketed hollow point; and Federal .38 Special 158 grain Nyclad bullets. Several rounds of each ammunition were remotely fired into a vertical water tank through a Winchester Model 94, .30-30 rifle. The tests created deformed bullets similar to those recovered from the body. The test fired cartridge cases expanded and jammed in the chamber. Although the .30-30 rifle chamber configuration accepts .38 Special wad-cutter ammunition, its narrower barrel squeezes larger caliber lead bullets out like toothpaste. These findings show that forensic pathologists should not make hasty determinations of the caliber and weapon type based on a casual inspection of the recovered bullet. 7 figures, 1 table, and 7 references
Main Term(s): Science and Technology
Index Term(s): Ballistics; Firearms identification; Police specialized training
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