Internal deformation of the AK-74; a possible cause for its erratic path in tissue

J Trauma. 1988 Jan;28(1 Suppl):S72-5. doi: 10.1097/00005373-198801001-00016.


A series of 20 shots with the AK-74 Russian Assault Rifle, in which the entire course of the bullet was captured in gelatin, showed a change in direction of the bullet track approximating a right angle in every case. Bullets were recovered from the gelatin for ten consecutive shots of this series and examined roentgenographically. In all cases an internal deformation was discovered to have taken place: lead from the bullet's core flowed into the air space inside the bullet's tip. The roentgenograms also showed that this flow of lead resulted in an asymmetrical bullet in every case. We suggest this resulting bullet imbalance as a possible cause of the unusually marked curve in this bullet's path through tissue.

MeSH terms

  • Firearms*
  • Gelatin
  • Humans
  • Models, Structural
  • Wounds, Gunshot*


  • Gelatin