Fatal injury by an unmodified blank pistol: A case report and review of the literature

Demirci S., Dogan K. H. , Koc S.

JOURNAL OF FORENSIC AND LEGAL MEDICINE, vol.18, no.6, pp.237-241, 2011 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Review
  • Volume: 18 Issue: 6
  • Publication Date: 2011
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.jflm.2011.05.005
  • Page Numbers: pp.237-241


In this paper, we report a fatal neck injury of suicidal origin of a 29-year-old man. A 9-mm blank pistol and several blank cartridges in a plastic bag were discovered near the victim. There was an irregular and contuse oval contact-entrance wound of 25 mm x 20 mm with a muzzle imprint on its upper medial part on the right side of the neck. The cause of death was exsanguination due to injuries to the right external carotid artery and the right jugular vein. This case confirms that blank pistols, contrary to public opinion, are dangerous and may inflict potentially fatal injuries when fired at close or contact range. In addition, previously reported 18 fatal injuries by blank cartridges caused by unmodified blank pistols between 1990 and 2009 are reviewed and summarized. It is concluded that as blank pistols may cause fatal injuries even without any modification, it is necessary to develop new standards for their production. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd and Faculty of Forensic and Legal Medicine. All rights reserved.