Accession Number:



Bullet Retarding Forces in Ballistic Gelatin by Analysis of High Speed Video

Descriptive Note:

Technical Report

Corporate Author:

U. S. Air Force Academy USAF Academy United States

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Though three distinct wounding mechanisms permanent cavity, temporary cavity, and ballistic pressure wave are described in the wound ballistics literature they all have their physical origin in the retarding force between bullet and tissue as the bullet penetrates. If the bullet path is the same, larger retarding forces produce larger wounding effects and a greater probability of rapid incapacitation. By Newtons third law, the force of the bullet on the tissue is equal in magnitude and opposite in direction to the force of the tissue on the bullet. For bullets penetrating with constant mass, the retarding force on the bullet can be determined using frame by frame analysis of high speed video of the bullet penetrating a suitable tissue simulant such as calibrated 10 ballistic gelatin. Here the technique is demonstrated with 9mm NATO bullets, 32 cm long blocks of gelatin, and a high speed video camera operating at 20,000 frames per second. It is found that different 9mm NATO bullets have a wide variety of potential for wounding and rapid incapacitation. This technique also determines the energy transfer in the first 15 cm andor first 30 cm of tissue, which are important parameters in estimating the probability of rapid incapacitation in some of the ARLBRL models. This method predicts that some 9mm bullets have a much higher probability of rapid incapacitation than others and the rank ordering of bullet effectiveness is in agreement with other studies.

Subject Categories:

  • Weapons Effects (Biological)
  • Recording and Playback Devices

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