Date of Degree

10-2014

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Program

Criminal Justice

Advisor

Thomas A. Kubic

Subject Categories

Criminology | Criminology and Criminal Justice

Keywords

ballistics, bullets, firearms, ricochet, trace evidence

Abstract

Determining the angle at which a bullet will successfully ricochet is essential information when a shooting investigation involves indirect fire. In this research, determining the critical angle and its variance was measured for six substrates, two calibers and two bullet types. This information provides the forensic scientist with fundamental data required for the scientific reconstruction and assessment of a shooting scene. Depending upon the bullet's design, the substrate, and the angle of impact, a bullet may fail to ricochet upon impact, or the bullet will ricochet. Knowledge of bullet behavior with common substrates provides valuable information for scientific investigation of shooting scenes where bullets (i.e. the projectiles) have impacted intermediate surfaces. A timely and accurate scene reconstruction is imperative in both the investigative and the adjudicative stages of a shooting incident.

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