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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Deer hunting is an interesting thing that reminds you of those golden old ages of 19th centuries, where a handsome hunk well equipped with all hunting material rides on horse searching for his target animal either for the purpose of displaying his masculine powers or for enticing and wooing his lady love.