No discourse on suicides would be complete without discussing "Russian roulette." Obviously, all such cases involve a revolver. In the author's opinion, the majority of such deaths are suicides. When an individual puts a weapon to his head that he knows to be loaded, and pulls the trigger, the ensuing death is a suicide until proven otherwise. Virtually, the only exceptions to this, i.e., when such a death might be ruled an accident are: when it occurs in a situation in which there are multiple participants in the "game" and the weapon is being passed around among the participants; when it is done to impress a friend, a family member or a member of the opposite sex of how "macho" the shooter is. Usually in these cases, a high blood alcohol or drug level will be found in the deceased.
Rarely, an individual will shoot themselves in the head with an autoloading pistol under circumstances such that the author feels that the death is accidental. These individuals are usually young, and/or intoxicated and are "showing-off" in front of friends or relatives. In virtually all instances, the individual was apparently not knowledgeable about pistols. They thought that removing the magazine from a pistol unloaded it. They were not aware of the possibility of a residual round in the chamber. Some pistols have magazine disconnectors such that when the magazine is removed the gun will not fire. It is possible to remove this disconnector in some pistols and this is occasionally done.
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