Post by Hank Sienzant (AKA Joe Zircon) Post by Grizzlie Antagonist Post by Anthony Marsh Post by claviger
Xrays - Gunshot Wounds - Bev Fitchett's Guns Magazine
https://www.bevfitchett.us › Gunshot Wounds
Last Updated on Mon, 22 Oct 2012 | Gunshot Wounds
X-rays of individuals shot with hunting ammunition usually show a
characteristic radiologic picture that is seen almost exclusively with
this form of rifle ammunition—the so-called "lead snowstorm." As
the expanding hunting bullet moves through the body, fragments of lead
break off the lead core and are hurled out into the surrounding tissues.
An x-ray shows scores, if not hundreds, of small radiopaque bullet
fragments scattered along the wound track (the lead snowstorm) (Figure
7.16; see also Figure 11.4). These fragments vary from dust-like to large
irregular pieces of metal. Occasional pieces of jacket may be seen. A
rifle bullet does not have to hit bone for this phenomena to occur. This
picture is not seen with handgun bullets, nor, with rare exception, with
full metal-jacketed rifle bullets. Virtually, the sole exception with
military bullets are the M-193 and M-885 5.56 X 45 mm cartridges with
their 55- and 62-gr. bullets, whose propensity to fragment has been
previously discussed (see Figure 7.6). Although the snowstorm appearance
of an x-ray almost always indicates that the individual was shot with
centerfire hunting ammunition, absence of such a picture does not
absolutely rule out the possibility. The lead snowstorm from hunting
ammunition is dependent on the velocity of the bullet. If a rifle bullet
is traveling at a low velocity, either because of extreme range or having
been slowed by passing through various other targets before striking an
individual, x-rays will not show a lead snow-storm. It must be stressed
that a rifle bullet does not have to hit bone for a lead snowstorm to
A gunshot wound of the head from a high-velocity handgun bullet —
typically the .357 Magnum — can produce an x-ray picture
superficially resembling the lead snowstorm of hunting bullets. Breakup of
the handgun bullet, however, requires perforation of bone which is not
necessary with a rifle bullet. The fragments produced by the handgun
bullet are fewer in number and larger. Lead dust is also not present (see
Can you show us? Do you think the .357 Magnum uses jacketed bullets?
THAT is critical difference.
Post by claviger
An x-ray of an individual shot with a full metal-jacketed rifle bullet,
with the exception of the M-16 cartridge, usually fails to reveal any
bullet fragments at all even if the bullet has perforated bone such as the
skull or spine. If any fragments are seen, they are very sparse in number,
very fine and located at the point the bullet perforated bone.
This may not be very clear to a Warren Commission supporter such as
yourself, but I imagine that claviger's point from this article is that
Oswald's MC round is unlikely to have left the lead snowstorm found inside
Except test performed by Dr. Olivier established Oswald's bullet would
break up, some large fragments would exit the skull, exactly as happened
in the assassination, and the copper core would leave small fragments
behind in the test, in the gelatin. That's what we saw in the
assassination as well.
Anyone claiming Oswald's bullets couldn't do that is quite simply wrong.
Tests establish they could and did.
In the spring of 1969, Donahue made a phone call to Edgewood. Luckily,
Olivier was still employed there. Donahue got Olivier on the line and,
without going into detail, explained that he was a weapons expert
who’d been investigating the assassination. He said he’d
be very interested in seeing the results of Olivier’s head-shot
test firings firsthand. Would it be possible to come and visit him?
Olivier said he didn’t see why not, and the two set an appointment
for the following week.
Edgewood Arsenal is located an hour or so north of Baltimore on the shores
of the Chesapeake Bay. The compound is part of the Army’s Aberdeen
Proving Grounds, a sprawling facility where in the 1960s the instruments
of war —everything from artillery rounds to napalm — were
tested and refined. Olivier was a veterinarian by training and responsible
for studying the effects of gunshots on animals in the arsenal’s
wound ballistics lab. 3 Donahue found Olivier to be a friendly man with
graying hair and wire-rimmed glasses. The men exchanged pleasantries.
Donahue asked about the doctor’s attempts to duplicate the
President’s head wound. Olivier explained he had test-fired
Carcano rounds into ten human skulls filled with gelatin. The gelatin
simulated the human brain.*
“Did the bullets break up?” Donahue asked.
“Yes, they did,” Olivier replied.
“How big were the fragments? I mean . . . How many were there?”
“Well, in each case, I could find only two or three large fragments,
but together they seemed to account for the bulk of the bullet’s
“So, the bullets didn’t disintegrate or explode, as far as you could
see?” Donahue asked.
“No,” Olivier replied, “they did not.”
Donahue asked if any of these fragments had somehow been deposited on the outside table of the skull.
“No,” Olivier said. “Actually, I have the skulls here. I brought them out in anticipation of your visit. Would you like to see them?”
Olivier began pulling human skulls out of two plastic bags. Donahue quickly made a mental note. Olivier had obviously fired his shots into the skulls slightly above and to the right of the occipital protuberance—the spot Humes had misidentified as the entrance wound in Kennedy’s skull.
Predictably, the resulting exit wounds were nowhere close to where Kennedy’s exit wound was located. Most were in the face of the skull; shattering the bones in the forehead area. Olivier went on to state that of the ten test skulls only one had fallen off the podium he’d placed them on when he fired. Donahue quickly thought back to the violent movement of Kennedy’s head on the Zapruder film.
After Olivier finished speaking, Donahue looked at him. “Dr. Olivier, I recently had the opportunity to speak with Dr. Russell Fisher, the Maryland state medical examiner. Do you know him?
Fisher was on a panel put together last February by Attorney General
Clark to examine the X rays and photographs from the Kennedy
“No, I don’t know him,” Olivier said. “I think I heard about that panel, though. Had something to do with the Garrison case, didn’t it?”
“Yes, I believe it did,” Donahue said. “At any rate, Fisher’s group uncovered some rather interesting information. It seems Humes misplaced the location of the entrance wound. Actually, it was one hundred millimeters above the occipital protuberance. They also found a fragment on the exterior of the skull which they concluded could have only come from a ricochet.”
“Really?” Olivier said. His friendly manner began to fade like sunlight on a winter afternoon.
Donahue continued: “I’ve extrapolated the trajectory of the bullet based on Fisher’s locations of the wounds, and ... ah, I know this sounds incredible, but I believe there is a distinct possibility the headshot may have been fired accidentally by a Secret Service agent in the left-rear seat of the follow-up car. The trajectory leads right to that point.”
Olivier stared at Donahue for a moment. Then he spoke.
‘‘Did you discuss this possibility with Dr. Fisher?”
‘‘Yes, I did,” Donahue replied. “And you know what he said? He said, ‘That would certainly explain the strange antics of the government.’ ”
Olivier remained expressionless. He said nothing.
As far as Donahue was concerned, there was nothing left to say. Or nothing left to learn from Olivier. He thanked the doctor for his time, feigned a pressing commitment in Baltimore, and departed.
The meeting with Olivier had been revealing, Donahue thought as he drove home. Just as he’d suspected, the Carcano bullet would not have disintegrated or sheared a fragment onto the outer table of the skull. And the bit about only one skull falling off the podium was equally telling. Olivier had fired from the same distance Oswald supposedly had. Yet clearly the Carcano round did not transmit as much energy to the skull as the shot that had hit Kennedy. Otherwise, Olivier’s skulls would have gone flying.
*The following conversation has been reconstructed from the recollections of Howard Donahue.
- "Mortal Error: The Shot That Killed JFK", Bonar Menninger, (St. Martin's Press 1992)