Ballistics Questions (spawned from Peltier thread)


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Skunkabilly
June 21, 2005, 10:45 AM
Scenario.

Me, Twoblink, 45R and Duke of Lawnchair have .308 rifles.

Let's say we open fire on blue helmeted bears. The UN wants to fry me and my defense is that I shot *AT* the bears, but wasn't the one who shot them. (anyone who has seen me try to shoot a rifle will agree).

From lookin' at my gun and shell casings, how can one tell the bullets downrange that ventilated the bears were mine and not from the other guys' rifles?

Will my defense fly? "I was there and I was shooting at them, but I wasn't the one who shot them."

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scubie02
June 21, 2005, 11:10 AM
if the person who killed the bears walked up to them and shot them at point blank range, those casings would be on the ground there, as opposed to where you were all shooting from originally. They could look at the casings, examining fring pin strikes and scratch marks, and probably tell which of your rifles fired those rounds.

auschip
June 21, 2005, 11:24 AM
if the person who killed the bears walked up to them and shot them at point blank range, those casings would be on the ground there, as opposed to where you were all shooting from originally. They could look at the casings, examining fring pin strikes and scratch marks, and probably tell which of your rifles fired those rounds.

Not really, that just proves that one person walked up to an area and shot them. It still doesn't show any proof as to who actually killed them (unless it can be shown that the bear was alive before the close-in shot). Even if it can be proven that you didn't kill the bears, when you admit you shot *at* the Bears, couldn't they get you for attempted bearacide?

taliv
June 21, 2005, 11:26 AM
attempted murder of blue helmeted bears is still a pretty serious offense

Mr. James
June 21, 2005, 11:30 AM
auschip,

The proper legal term is "ursicide." :p

auschip
June 21, 2005, 12:00 PM
The proper legal term is "ursicide."

But what if the bears are mutant zombie blue hatted bears? Pseudo-Necra-Ursiside? :neener:

Infidel
June 21, 2005, 01:32 PM
From lookin' at my gun and shell casings, how can one tell the bullets downrange that ventilated the bears were mine and not from the other guys' rifles?
One can't tell from the shell casings, assuming all the rifles use the same ammo. But if one has one of the bullets that ventilated one of the bears, then one can tell if that bullet were fired from your rifle or from one of the other guys' rifles. If one has the rifles.

scubie02
June 21, 2005, 01:32 PM
Not really, that just proves that one person walked up to an area and shot them. It still doesn't show any proof as to who actually killed them

true, you still couldn't prove who shot the bear at close range technically, just what gun of that bunch was used.

Zundfolge
June 21, 2005, 01:49 PM
From lookin' at my gun and shell casings, how can one tell the bullets downrange that ventilated the bears were mine and not from the other guys' rifles?

Doesn't matter ... you and your buddies will fry together.

Much like if you robbed a bank and it was clear that YOU shot the teller and killed her, your buddy out in the get away car gets charged with her murder as well.

rbernie
June 21, 2005, 01:49 PM
One can't tell from the shell casings, assuming all the rifles use the same ammo. But if one has one of the bullets that ventilated one of the bears, then one can tell if that bullet were fired from your rifle or from one of the other guys' rifles. If one has the rifles.In order to connect the dots, you have to have the weapon and the majority of the bullet at a minimum. The casing is helpful, but (as been pointed out) circumstantial in nature.

The key here is that there's gotta be enough of the bullet left to examine for bore markings. If y'all are using VMAX or other fragmenting bullets, that might be a wee bit hard. But I hear that VMAXs don't work well on Pseudo-Necra-Ursus, so be careful.

pbhome71
June 21, 2005, 02:22 PM
I think that they will try to recreate the scene and look at trajectory of the projectile that hit and kill the bear.

From there, they will see your relative position related to the projectile's path and see if you are the one that hit it.

I don't think they will use the bullet, unless they can recover it.

-Pat.

Skunkabilly
June 21, 2005, 02:28 PM
So what good will Peltier's defense of claiming to shoot AT them but not actually killing the Agents do?

pbhome71
June 21, 2005, 02:48 PM
I assume that they used the following conclusion (from:http://minneapolis.fbi.gov/peltier.htm)


Examination of the Agents' weapons showed that one round had been fired from Agent Coler's handgun, two rounds from Agent Williams' handgun, one round from Agent Coler's .308 rifle, and one round from Agent Coler's shotgun. The Agents' weapons had fired a total of five rounds during the incident. The Agents' vehicles contained a total of 125 bullet holes. This total does not include the rounds that hit the Agents, the windows, or were misses. Testimony indicated that other persons from a tent encampment near the Jumping Bull Compound arrived after hearing the firing and began shooting at the Agents. According to witnesses, at least seven persons were believed to have shot at the Agents.

Physical evidence examined by the pathologist indicated that at least three bullets consistent with .223 caliber were fired at close range at the Agents. However, only a single .223 caliber shell casing was recovered from the open trunk of Agent Coler's car. This indicates that the persons who were present at the Agents' bodies attempted to remove all of the shell casings from the scene of the murders and inadvertently overlooked the .223 casing in Agent Coler's trunk. Testimony established Peltier was the only person carrying an AR-15 rifle at the time of the murders. The AR-15 was the only weapon present which was capable of firing a .223 round. One hundred fourteen .223 shell casings were found in the general crime scene area, away from the Agents bodies. All had been fired by the same AR-15. These 114 shell casings matched the one shell casing found in the trunk of Agent Coler's car.



The pathology reports also showed there were three additional wounds delivered to the Agents at close range. An eyewitness testified that Peltier, Robert Eugene Robideau, and Darrelle Dean Butler walked down to the Agents' cars. Robideau and Butler had come from the tent encampment to join the shooting after it had started.

There is no eyewitness testimony of what happened at the Agents' cars. However, the physical evidence showed that Agent Williams had received a defensive wound through his right hand. The same bullet then traveled through his head killing him instantly. Agent Coler was lying on the ground, unconscious or near unconscious, when he was shot once in the top of his head, but the wound was not fatal. Agent Coler was then shot a second time near the jaw. This wound was fatal.

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