The traumatic potential of a projectile shot from a sling

Igor Borovsky, Zvi Lankovsky, Leonid Kalichman, Victor Belkin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Herein, we analyze the energy parameters of stones of various weights and shapes shot from a sling and based on this data evaluate its traumatic potential. Four police officers proficient in the use of a sling participated in the trials. The following projectile types, shot using an overhead technique at a target 100 m away were: round steel balls of different sizes and weights (24 mm, 57 g; 32 mm, 135 g; 38 mm, 227 g); different shaped stones weighing 100–150 g and 150–200 g and a golf ball (47 g). Our data indicated that projectiles shot from unconventional weapons such as a sling, have serious traumatic potential for unprotected individuals and can cause blunt trauma of moderate to critical severity such as fractures of the trunk, limb, and facial skull bone, depending on the weight and shape of the projectile and the distance from the source of danger. Asymmetrically shaped projectiles weighing more than 100 g were the most dangerous. Projectiles weighing more than 100 g can cause bone fractures of the trunk and limbs at distances of up to 60 m from the target and may cause serious head injuries to an unprotected person (Abbreviated Injury Scale 4–5) at distances up to 200 m from the target. Due to the traumatic potential of projectiles shot from a sling, the police must wear full riot gear and keep at a distance of at least 60 m from the source of danger in order to avoid serious injury. Furthermore, given the potential for serious head injuries, wearing a helmet with a visor is mandatory at distances up to 200 m from the source of danger.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10-15
Number of pages6
JournalForensic Science International
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2017


  • Blunt trauma
  • Energy parameters
  • Injury criteria
  • Police protection
  • Sling stone
  • Traumatic potential

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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