Fatalities Caused by Spherical Bullets Fired from Blank Cartridge Guns in Istanbul, Turkey

ÜZÜN İ., Buyuk Y., Erkol Z., Agritmis H., Kir Z.

JOURNAL OF FORENSIC SCIENCES, vol.54, no.5, pp.1127-1130, 2009 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 54 Issue: 5
  • Publication Date: 2009
  • Doi Number: 10.1111/j.1556-4029.2009.01097.x
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.1127-1130
  • Keywords: forensic science, gunshot, blank cartridge, spherical bullets, range of fire, autopsy, HEAD-INJURY, PISTOLS, WOUNDS, NECK
  • Gazi University Affiliated: Yes


Blank cartridge guns are generally regarded as being harmless and are not considered to be firearms in the legal sense in most countries. To show the danger of these guns upon simple modifications, we report 59 fatalities resulting from these simply modified blank cartridge guns in Istanbul, Turkey. The great majority of the victims were males and the age of those ranged from 11 to 61 years. In 55.9% of these cases, homicide was the origin followed by suicide (39%). The right temporal region was detected to be the preferred region in suicidal shots by blank cartridge guns with a frequency of 56.5%. In trial shots, all these guns were detected to discharge steel or lead spherical objects, generally 4 or 5 mm in diameter, successfully. Our findings strongly suggest that these guns should also be considered as handguns in the legal sense.