Self-inflicted Firearm Discharge from Heating Using a Gas Burner

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Abstract

A male in his 70s was found lying dead in the living room of his house. A gunshot entrance wound was observed in the left orbit, with a lead slug and wadding left in the skull, which exhibited fatal cranio-cerebral trauma. A cartridge had been discharged from a handmade launcher, or zip gun, that had been fixed to a spare gun barrel on a pipe chair, by heating the launcher from the side using a gas burner. The deceased had owned guns for hunting in the past and had returned the license, but he had retained a spare barrel and live cartridges at home. In this unique case of suicide, a zip gun was discharged by heating with a gas burner.

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