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Posted: 3/13/2005 1:32:03 PM EST
I need help, I have some questions about the AK47.  Only answer if you have  experiance with this weapon.
You will find these questions strange I imagine, please keep an open mind.  I am asking because my son supposedly killed himself with an AK47.
I understand your answers are only your opinion.
I know some about the weapon, but not enough .

Is it possible (how possible) that if the AK was placed close to the forhead it would cause enough back pressure to explode the cartrage?

If not what would it take to explode the cartrage?

Is it possible in the same situation that the bullet would not exit the head?

If not in your opinion what would have to happen in order for the bullet to NOT exit the head?

IF the barrel was close to or touching the forhead would there be a flash burn??  Or no since the back pressure would prevent it?

I will explain a bit......
My son had only one wound, it was aprox. 3 1/2 inches in diameter.  Roughly oval, but more round in shape.   It was on the left side of his forhead from eyebrow to hairline.  There is a slight dip in the bottom edge of the wound, the dip is about finger sized.  There were NO OTHER Wounds.  He had no powder, or flash burns at all anywhere.  He did not put the barrel in his mouth.

I am trying to understand how this could happen.
 The wound appeared to me to be a glancing type of blow.  Like the bullet struck just above the eyebrow and the resulting pressure etc. is what made the larger part of the wound.  One of my other sons and I have examined a similar weapon trying to determine where it would have to be in order to cause the wound I discribed.  It seems the "dip" is where the bullet struck, the large hole was sort of popped off as the bullet passed behind his forhead.
  My biggest questions are about the exploded cartrage.
   Keep in mind they never recovered any rounds.  One went completely through the cealing, upper floor into the attic and exited through the roof.  This round is accounted for according to witness statements he fired the gun into the ceailing right before he died.
NO other rounds were ever even found to have been fired, although they recovered three spent shells, one of which was exploded.
Any opinions??  Idias of what may have happend??  Questions you would like answered??  Questions you think I should be asking the police or coroner??
Thank You For Your Help
Karen
 Do Not be put off by me being a woman, I am not squemish, or faint hearted. this is massivly important to me, so even brutal honesty will not upset me.  Believe me I have asked for alot worse things from the police.
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 1:55:25 PM EST
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 1:55:43 PM EST

Quoted:

Is it possible (how possible) that if the AK was placed close to the forhead it would cause enough back pressure to explode the cartrage?  Don't follow you here?  are you implying that since the muzzle was contacting the skin, that the bullet would explode?  Physically, I don't see how...

If not what would it take to explode the cartrage? Depend on the bullet composition and loading, too many variables to attempt explination

Is it possible in the same situation that the bullet would not exit the head? Again a bunch of variables here...  could be a misfire/dud/squib/shortload..  Anything is possible..  I have seen a near point blank skull hit on a deer that didn't exit..  No idea why..

If not in your opinion what would have to happen in order for the bullet to NOT exit the head? See above

IF the barrel was close to or touching the forhead would there be a flash burn??  Or no since the back pressure would prevent it? I am lost at the backpressure thing..  if a squib or shortload..  there should still be powder residue, but as we don't have all the details I can't say for certain of anything..

I will explain a bit......
My son had only one wound, it was aprox. 3 1/2 inches in diameter.  Roughly oval, but more round in shape.   It was on the left side of his forhead from eyebrow to hairline.  There is a slight dip in the bottom edge of the wound, the dip is about finger sized.   Could the dip be due to the angular bone change at the eye orbit?  There were NO OTHER Wounds.  He had no powder, or flash burns at all anywhere.  He did not put the barrel in his mouth. Doesn't really mean anything..  I have seen more than my share of suicides by firearm and have noted less actually put the barrel in their mouth..  just against the side of their head..  a glancing shot typical of a last minute hesitation..

I am trying to understand how this could happen.
 The wound appeared to me to be a glancing type of blow.  Like the bullet struck just above the eyebrow and the resulting pressure etc. is what made the larger part of the wound.  One of my other sons and I have examined a similar weapon trying to determine where it would have to be in order to cause the wound I discribed.  It seems the "dip" is where the bullet struck, the large hole was sort of popped off as the bullet passed behind his forhead.
  My biggest questions are about the exploded cartrage.
   Keep in mind they never recovered any rounds.  One went completely through the cealing, upper floor into the attic and exited through the roof.  This round is accounted for according to witness statements he fired the gun into the ceailing right before he died.
NO other rounds were ever even found to have been fired, although they recovered three spent shells, one of which was exploded. by exploded do you mean that the casing was exploded or the bullet?  please explain.

Any opinions??  Just a guess, but it sounds like he hesitated prior to the shot or flinched?  That explains the glancing shot.   Idias of what may have happend??  With three spent casings, were there three shots or one..  you mentioned witness statements, did someone watch him shoot himself?
Questions you would like answered??  Questions you think I should be asking the police or coroner??
Thank You For Your Help
Karen
 Do Not be put off by me being a woman, I am not squemish, or faint hearted. this is massivly important to me, so even brutal honesty will not upset me.  Believe me I have asked for alot worse things from the police.



ETA as Templar..  my condolences
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 2:39:00 PM EST
trying to understand what you are trying to describe.. about the round exploding?
was any of the spent casings look like this...

this is a exploded round as i call it.. when this one went off the bullet stuck in the barrel
i cant see this happning on a AK.. at least the blown case like this dew to it being a locked bolt
when the round fires..

I commend you for the courage to come to a gun forum to ask serious questions... hopefully we can be of help

Im sorry for your loss ,
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 2:55:43 PM EST
Are you asking about the cartidge (the part that holds the powder) exploding, or the actual projectile itself framenting on impact?

As previously stated, there would be powder burns if the muzzle was placed against skin and fired.

I am sorry for your loss.

Link Posted: 3/13/2005 2:57:38 PM EST
I can not add anything else that hasn't already been said. But Im very sorry for your loss. My prayers are with you and your son. My condolences too you..  WarDawg
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 4:00:18 PM EST
Karen, I am sorry for your loss.

I personally feel that if one were to shoot themself with an AK, it would almost assuredly leave powder burns on the skin. Most AK's have a 16" barrel and you couldn't get the barrel very far away from your self to pull the trigger.
The human skull is not  that strong, not nearly as strong as a deer's skull.  I see the power of the (probably 7.62x39) round making a very large exit wound.
It sounds to me like there was something placed between the muzzle and his forehead, like a book or something rather thick to slow it down enough to not exit the skull, that also may explain the larger entrance hole. (the bullet was fragmented and had expanded)
The exploded cartridge would look like the image already posted. (maybe longer) IF it did it would have had to be outside the gun for it to expand. Possibly if it was heated to a point of explosion and the resulting loss of velocity might make the bullet impact the skull sideways and not exit.
The muzzle 'back pressure' thought is very, very unlikely. (I have never heard or seen of anything like that)
A trained medical examiner could determine if the bullet was fired thru the gun or it exploded into him. It wouldn't leave any rifleing on the bullet if it weren't actually fired.

I again appologize for your loss and hope that you find the true story.

Link Posted: 3/13/2005 6:02:49 PM EST
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 7:29:08 PM EST
Sorry for your loss.

Is it possible in the same situation that the bullet would not exit the head?

If not in your opinion what would have to happen in order for the bullet to NOT exit the head?




Keep in mind they never recovered any rounds. One went completely through the cealing, upper floor into the attic and exited through the roof. This round is accounted for according to witness statements he fired the gun into the ceailing right before he died.
NO other rounds were ever even found to have been fired, although they recovered three spent shells, one of which was exploded.


If no round was recovered than why the question about the round not exiting the head?

It sounds to me like you have the glancing impact part pretty well figured out. If the barrel wasnt striaght on it could have entered at the eyebrow and exited somewhere between there and the hairline. If it was against the head, damage could have destroyed or hidden any powder burns (but this is just my uneducated opinion, someone in forensics could tell you for sure). I would think this round would still have enough energy to go through a ceiling, etc, so the holes could actually be from the round that did the head trauma.

As for the witnesses saying he fired into the ceiling, did they actually SEE him do this? Did they then leave?

They found three spent cases. Is it possible spent cases could have been in the room already? I know there are spent cases in my room from when i was trying to figure out some extraction problems. This could also explain the ruptured case. It could have happened previously and he kept the case. Although, if they were spread over the floor this would be very unlikely. If they were sitting on a desk, who knows. Did witnesses hear three shots?

Again, very sorry for your loss.
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 7:34:06 PM EST
I think the idea here is to change a coroners report from suicide to foul play related.

If that is the case, then perhaps something was used to cover the flash, like a pillow that may have been erroneously overlooked as evidence.

There are websites that show the effects of self-inflicted gunshot wounds, and all that I have seen had massive purple/red bruising where the powder burned the persons face from close contact.

You may not want to see the pictures, but it might help answer your question for you.
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 7:47:10 PM EST
Quoted:
I need help, I have some questions about the AK47.  Only answer if you have  experiance with this weapon.
You will find these questions strange I imagine, please keep an open mind.  I am asking because my son supposedly killed himself with an AK47.
I understand your answers are only your opinion.
I know some about the weapon, but not enough .

Is it possible (how possible) that if the AK was placed close to the forhead it would cause enough back pressure to explode the cartrage?  Doubt it.

If not what would it take to explode the cartrage?  The round was probably out of the gun (?), and either heat or a hit on the primer could cause it to go off.  I say probably, cause usually if a Kb happens on a rifle round; IF the chamber of the weapon contains the blast, then most of the case gets stuck inside the chamber.

Is it possible in the same situation that the bullet would not exit the head?  If the round went off outside the gun, I suppose it possible for the bullet to gain enough velocity to enter the cranium but not exit.

If not in your opinion what would have to happen in order for the bullet to NOT exit the head?  See above theory on a round detonation outside of the rifle.

IF the barrel was close to or touching the forhead would there be a flash burn??  Or no since the back pressure would prevent it?  I think there would most definately be powder burns in/around the entrance wound, if the muzzle was close to the head.  If the round exploded elsewhere, the blast would have sperad out equally in just about every direction.

I will explain a bit......
My son had only one wound, it was aprox. 3 1/2 inches in diameter.  Roughly oval, but more round in shape.   It was on the left side of his forhead from eyebrow to hairline.  There is a slight dip in the bottom edge of the wound, the dip is about finger sized.  There were NO OTHER Wounds.  He had no powder, or flash burns at all anywhere.  He did not put the barrel in his mouth.

I am trying to understand how this could happen.
 The wound appeared to me to be a glancing type of blow.  Like the bullet struck just above the eyebrow and the resulting pressure etc. is what made the larger part of the wound.  One of my other sons and I have examined a similar weapon trying to determine where it would have to be in order to cause the wound I discribed.  It seems the "dip" is where the bullet struck, the large hole was sort of popped off as the bullet passed behind his forhead.
  My biggest questions are about the exploded cartrage.
   Keep in mind they never recovered any rounds.  One went completely through the cealing, upper floor into the attic and exited through the roof.  This round is accounted for according to witness statements he fired the gun into the ceailing right before he died.
NO other rounds were ever even found to have been fired, although they recovered three spent shells, one of which was exploded.
Any opinions??  Idias of what may have happend??  Questions you would like answered??  Questions you think I should be asking the police or coroner??
Thank You For Your Help
Karen
 Do Not be put off by me being a woman, I am not squemish, or faint hearted. this is massivly important to me, so even brutal honesty will not upset me.  Believe me I have asked for alot worse things from the police.

Get the forensic results on the bullet from the head, see if it has rifling marks at all.  That more than anything else should shed light on what happened.

3 cases recovered, and one bullet hole through the ceiling/attic/roof.  1 case in fragmented condition.  The hole in the roof seems it could only come from a round fired through the rifle, to give the bullet sufficient velocity to penetrate and exit.   The fragmented case, lack of powder burns on the entrance wound and no exit wound makes me think the round went off outside the rifle, but the bullet still had enough velocity to enter the cranium.  What do the marks on the 3rd casing look like, as compared with the other?  See if the scratches from the magazine feed lips match, or the shape of the striker primer indentation.  On that note, what the primer indentation look like on the fragmented case?

My condolences on your loss, I hope you are able to learn what really happened.
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 7:58:52 PM EST

Quoted:
Get the forensic results on the bullet from the head, see if it has rifling marks at all.  That more than anything else should shed light on what happened.

3 cases recovered, and one bullet hole through the ceiling/attic/roof.  1 case in fragmented condition.  The hole in the roof seems it could only come from a round fired through the rifle, to give the bullet sufficient velocity to penetrate and exit.   The fragmented case, lack of powder burns on the entrance wound and no exit wound makes me think the round went off outside the rifle, but the bullet still had enough velocity to enter the cranium.  What do the marks on the 3rd casing look like, as compared with the other?  See if the scratches from the magazine feed lips match, or the shape of the striker primer indentation.  On that note, what the primer indentation look like on the fragmented case?

My condolences on your loss, I hope you are able to learn what really happened.


Remember though, she said " Keep in mind they never recovered any rounds."

If this means what it would appear to mean, and no round was found in the head, then only one round could have been fired in the room, the one that left evidence of leaving the room. The other two would have to be in the room since there is no evidence that they left (holes in walls, etc), but they didnt find the rounds. Either they didnt look hard enough and the rounds are still in the room, or they were never fired.
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 10:14:12 PM EST
I would like to hear what YOU think happened. Wound in left side of head, was he left handed?
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