Discharge Analysis of the Struggle over a Firearm

Bruce E. Krell, PhD

Abstract


 

Cases often involve a struggle with a firearm. An important issue is the determination whether an unintended discharge could have occurred. This report defines the elements of a struggle that could lead to an unintended discharge during a struggle. A simple controlled experiment is defined and performed that evaluates some of these elements of a struggle for a specific firearm in evidence for a specific incident. The results of this experiment are presented probabilistically and confirmed that the potential for an unintended discharge during a struggle is greater if the firearm is in single action mode. Furthermore, the experiment confirmed that the potential for an unintended discharge during a struggle is less if the firearm is pointed upward. Of the two factors -- trigger mode and gun angle, the single action mode appears to be the more dominant factor.

 

 

 


Keywords


struggle over firearm; accidental discharge; unintended discharge; controlled experiment; hypothesis testing.

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ISSN 1942-7794