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Shooting through windscreens: ballistic injury assessment using a surrogate head model—two case reports


A synthetic head model developed to reproduce military injuries was assessed in two different scenarios involving shooting through intermediate targets (a laminated vehicle windscreen in scenario 1 and a military helicopter windscreen in scenario 2) with 7.62 × 39-mm mild steel core (MSC) ammunition. The injury patterns resulting from the two scenarios were assessed by a military radiologist and a forensic pathologist with combat injury experience and found to be clinically realistic.

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1. Cranfield University and Defence Academy of the United Kingdom, Shrivenham, SN6 8LA

David Miller, Alan Peare, Ian Morton, Liz Nelson

2. Centre for Defence Radiology, Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham, Mindelsohn Way, Birmingham B15 2TH.

Catherine Bean

Lauren Potts

Military CT Specialist Radiographers

3. Nottingham Trent University, Flexural Composites Research Laboratory, 107 Bonington Building, Dryden Street, Nottingham, NG1 4GG, UK

Richard Arm, Research Fellow

4. Boeing UK for providing the helicopter windscreen.

5. This case report formed part of the work for a doctoral thesis. The full thesis is available at:


Funding was provided by the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine

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Corresponding author

Correspondence to Peter F. Mahoney.

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Ethical approval was granted by Cranfield University for this work and the previous experiments leading up to this work.

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The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

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Informed consent is not applicable as the work does not involve human subjects and the targets are inanimate objects.

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Mahoney, P.F., Carr, D.J., Delaney, R.J. et al. Shooting through windscreens: ballistic injury assessment using a surrogate head model—two case reports. Int J Legal Med 134, 1409–1417 (2020).

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  • Window shooting
  • 7.62 × 39 mm MSC ammunition
  • Aviation helmet
  • Ballistic head injury