Wound Ballistics: Analysis of Blunt and Penetrating Trauma Mechanisms
Christina–Athanasia Alexandropoulou1, Elias Panagiotopoulos2
In the first 12 cm of a soft tissue wound path (the average thickness of an adult human thigh), there often is little or no difference between the wounding effect of low- and high- velocity bullets if the high- velocity bullet is of the military full-metal- jacket type14. This is particularly true of the relatively heavier military rifle bullets such as those fired by the AK-47 and NATO 7.62 mm rifles. A wound of an extremity caused by an AK-47 bullet, which does not hit bone, is often similar to a handgun bullet wound15. If a high-velocity, heavy bullet does not deform, fragment or hit a bone it may exit an extremity with much of its wounding potential unspent. These same bullets are often lethal in chest or abdominal wounds, because the trunk is thicker than an extremity and allows the bullet a sufficiently long path through tissue to yaw10, 13. Maximal temporary cavitation induced by the full- metal-jacket AK-47 bullet usually occurs at a tissue depth around 28 cm, much greater than the diameter of a human extremity. In fact, this depth is even greater than the diameter of the human torso from most projections. This is why most torso wounds made by the AK-47, when firing the common nondeforming military bullet, resemble wounds made by much lower-velocity handgun bullets. Civilian soft-point or hollow-point rifle bullets deform soon after entering tissue and usually produce a much more severe extremity wound than do low- velocity handgun bullets15.
Also note this video. Pay particular attention to 5:30-6:30
Dr. Grabinsky talks about rifle wounding mechanisms and effects. Incidence through torsos, especially longitudinally are usually very lethal. The reason being a longitudinal injury has more tissue for the bullet to begin yawing. If there is no yaw, then the major wounding effect (aside from striking bone) is going to be the wound cavity, permanent and temporary.
So, a larger bullet means larger wound cavity, temporary and permanent aka crush injury and stretch injury.
Once again, this does not answer my queries. No one is debating that through-and-through injuries from rifle rounds are of low effectiveness.
Smaller caliber projectiles yaw more quickly in tissue. If anything, they have the advantage in this respect, as they will tumble more readily than large caliber projectiles.
Edited by BabyOlifant, 01 December 2013 - 0558 AM.