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Figure 10.9 Sabot with open "petals" and rifling marks.

Tests in which the .30-06 cartridge was fired in a Model 1903 Springfield rifle revealed muzzle velocities of 3861 to 3950 ft/sec. Test firings were carried out at 3, 5, and 10 ft on paper targets. At 3 ft, the sabot entered the bullet hole. At 5 ft, the sabot impacted 2 cm to the right of the bullet hole of entrance; at 10 ft, 8.9 cm to the right in one test and 16.5 cm to the right in a second. In all tests, the sabot impacted to the right of the bullet hole. This trait possibly has to do with the right-handed twist of the rifle. The sabot traveled approximately 50 ft.

Tests on anesthetized pigs, using .30-06 Accelerator® ammunition, were conducted at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology. At 3 and 6 ft. of range the bullet and sabot entered together with creation of a star-shaped (petal-shaped) entrance wound.13 At 6 ft, there was an entrance with the deployed sabot embedded in the adjacent skin. At 12 feet, there was an entrance wound and a star-shaped abrasion from the sabot.

The most significant facet of sabot ammunition to the forensic pathologist is that, if a bullet is recovered from an individual shot with this cartridge, the bullet will not show any rifling; rather, the rifling will be on the plastic sabot. A ballistic comparison can be made between the markings on the sabot and a test round fired through a weapon, though this is difficult.

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