Skip to main content

An empirical study on the close-range post-ricochet orientation of AK bullets (7.62 mm × 39 mm)

Nishshanka, Bandula, Shepherd, Chris, Koene, L, Punyasena, M A, Ariyarathna, Randika (2022) An empirical study on the close-range post-ricochet orientation of AK bullets (7.62 mm × 39 mm). Science & justice : journal of the Forensic Science Society, 62 (5). pp. 569-581. ISSN 1876-4452. (doi:10.1016/j.scijus.2022.08.004) (Access to this publication is currently restricted. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:98197)

PDF Author's Accepted Manuscript
Language: English

Restricted to Repository staff only until 1 September 2023.

Contact us about this Publication
[thumbnail of Post-richochet Orientation - C. Shepherd.pdf]
Official URL:


Most of the injuries and deaths from ricocheting bullets in shooting incidents are usually reported due to misaimed shots that had ricocheted close to the victims. Although the destabilisation of ricocheted bullets during their ricochet flights is a generally known phenomenon, no significant quantitative-based scientific studies have attempted to understand bullets' post-ricochet orientations at close distances. This empirical study explores close-range post-ricochet orientations of AK bullets (7.62 mm × 39 mm) on a range of domestic surface types typically encountered during bullet ricochet incidents. This study has revealed that ricocheting AK bullets off of various wood types and tile samples produce side-on impacts into closely located targets following a rightwards yaw action. It has also been shown that AK bullets ricocheting off concrete and cement samples at 5-degree incident angles produced nose-forward impacts on paper witness screens, similar to an orthogonal impact of a direct-fired shot. The findings present important new information on the post-ricochet yawing behaviour of AK bullets, which has the potential to aid future shooting reconstructions in which victims are hit by closely ricocheted bullets. [Abstract copyright: Copyright © 2022 The Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences. All rights reserved.]

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1016/j.scijus.2022.08.004
Additional information: ** From PubMed via Jisc Publications Router ** History: received 06-05-2022; revised 19-08-2022; accepted 28-08-2022.
Uncontrolled keywords: Ricochet analysis, Empirical Research, Weapons, Humans, Post-ricochet analysis: AK bullets (7.62 mm x 39 mm), Wounds, Gunshot, Firearms, Shooting incident reconstruction, Post-ricochet behavior of bullets
Subjects: Q Science
Q Science > QD Chemistry
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Natural Sciences > Chemistry and Forensics
Funders: University of Kent (
SWORD Depositor: JISC Publications Router
Depositing User: JISC Publications Router
Date Deposited: 23 Nov 2022 14:52 UTC
Last Modified: 28 Nov 2022 15:24 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Nishshanka, Bandula:
Shepherd, Chris:
  • Depositors only (login required):


Downloads per month over past year