Bullet Wipe

Bullet holes of entrance in the skin may have a gray coloration to the abrasion ring. This gray rim around the entrance is very common, and more prominent, in clothing, where it is called "bullet wipe" (see Chapter 12). Bullet wipe consists principally of soot, deposited on the surface of the bullet as it moves down the barrel, which is rubbed off the bullet by the skin or clothing as it penetrates the body. In the case of revolver bullets, some of this material may be lubricant as well. Bullet wipe should not be confused with the soot and searing found in contact wounds. While bullet wipe has been said to be characteristic of lead revolver bullets, this is incorrect as it is also seen in association with full metal-jacketed bullets as well.

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