ArticlesCenterfire Frangible Ammunition: Wounding Potential and Other Forensic ConcernsKaplan, James M.D.; Klose, Roger; Fossum, Roger M.D.*; Di Maio, Vincent J. M. M.D. Author Information State of West Virginia, South Charleston, West Virginia (J.K.); New Hampshire Police Forensic Laboratory, Concord, New Hampshire (R.K.); Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, Concord, New Hampshire (R.F.) and Bexar County Medical Examiner's Office, San Antonio, Texas (V.J.M.D.), U.S.A. *Deceased. Manuscript received May 4, 1998; accepted May 4, 1998. Address correspondence and reprint requests to James Kaplan, State of West Virginia, 701 Jefferson Road, South Charleston, WV 25309, U.S.A. The American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology 19(4):p 299-302, December 1998. Buy Abstract Recently developed frangible ammunition of copper particulate construction in .38 Special, 9 mm, and .223 calibers was evaluated for wounding performance by firing into pigs' heads. The ability to match fired bullets with the corresponding gun was also examined. Results showed that wounds caused by 9-mm and .38 Special frangible bullets were comparable in severity to those caused by regular service ammunition of the same caliber. The recovered 9-mm and .38 Special bullets demonstrated class characteristics but not the individual rifling marks necessary for bullet-to-gun matching. High-velocity .223-caliber rifle bullets fragmented extensively within target tissues, causing severe wounding. Radiologic examination of resulting wounds showed images strikingly similar to the lead "snowstorm" picture caused by high-velocity hunting ammunition. © 1998 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.