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  1. #1
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    Ballistics, firearms and firearm paraphernalia

    link

    In details obtained from the South African Police Service’s National Firearms Center and given over the telephone, Pistorius applied for licenses for a Smith & Wesson model 500 revolver, a .38-caliber Smith & Wesson revolver, a Vector .223-caliber rifle and three shotguns: A Mossberg shotgun, a Maverick shotgun and a Winchester shotgun.
    http://nypost.com/2013/02/20/blade-r...rsenal-report/


    link

    Defence lawyers have not yet explained why Mr. Pistorius had the hollow-point bullets in his gun, although he is known to be a passionate gun collector. The expanding bullets, manufactured by U.S. company Winchester, under the “Ranger” brand name, were of the type previously known as “Black Talons” because of their six razor-sharp claws that unfold on impact.
    They are not illegal in South Africa, but are far from common here, although U.S. police forces often use them. Expanding bullets, sometimes known as “dum-dum” bullets, were banned from use in international warfare under the Hague Convention of 1899.
    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/...ticle17391312/



    link

    Reeva Steenkamp was killed by 'Ranger' bullets which tear in to human tissue in a way designed to inflict maximum damage, the trial of Oscar Pistorius was told.
    Professor Gert Saayman said the 29-year-old model was hit three times by bullets which are designed to "open up, flatten out and mushroom when striking human tissue."
    http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/oscar-pisto...ullets-1439680

    The former police boss said of the gun, which lies on top of the bathmat: “It is still cocked, the hammer is pulled back.”
    On the side of the Parabellu pistol is stamped: ‘PT917 CS CAL 9mm PARA.
    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-n...#ixzz2vzO9xfvO

    Van Rensburg described a picture of a silver handgun found lying on a grey towel, with a cellphone underneath it and blood.
    "The safety clip had been removed. That firearm as it is lying there, it is ready to fire," said Van Rensburg, the first policeman at the scene on the morning of Valentine's Day 2013.
    http://www.timeslive.co.za/local/201...er-trial-day-9

    Prosecutor Gerrie Nel introduced photographs of Mr Pistorius’s main bedroom door, damaged around its lock and with a suspected projectile hole through it, and of an air rifle fitted with a silencer leaning next to it.
    http://www.bdlive.co.za/national/201...istorius-trial

    There were also spent bullet casings, cellphones and a blood-soaked towel on the bathroom floor, along with the cricket bat Pistorius says he used to break down the toilet door to get to Miss Steenkamp.
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/oth...#ixzz2w3IiubjJ

    The Oscar Pistorius murder trial has heard that a ballistics expert at the crime scene handled the gun found there without wearing gloves.
    The trial will eventually come around to the ballistics. Discuss the ballistics, firearms and firearm paraphernalia such as holsters, cartridges, bullets, trajectories, etc. here on this thread...

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-26579299

  2. #2
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    Thanks for this thread. Oscar applied for permits for another SIX weapons in January, just weeks before the shooting. Yikes!

    Poor Reeva - it appears she hooked up with a controlling, reckless gun nut.

  3. #3
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    Gun safer class for license to carry in SA?

    In the US, most states require you to take a Gun Safety Course before getting a License to Carry. Does SA require this? Just curious because as I mentioned before, he seems to have ignored the top 4 rules. I have a hard time believing he wouldn't know them.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by wishIknewmore View Post
    In the US, most states require you to take a Gun Safety Course before getting a License to Carry. Does SA require this? Just curious because as I mentioned before, he seems to have ignored the top 4 rules. I have a hard time believing he wouldn't know them.


    South Africa has stringent laws regulating the use of lethal force for self-protection. In order to get a permit to own a firearm, applicants must not only know those rules but must demonstrate proficiency with the weapon and knowledge of its safe handling, making it far tougher to legally own a gun in South Africa than many other countries where a mere background check suffices.

    Pistorius took such a competency test for his 9 mm pistol and passed it, according to the South African Police Service's National Firearms Center.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/0...n_2766376.html

  5. #5
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    I hate guns but was curious about the air rifle with silencer by the master bedroom door. I wondered if it could have made the hole in the master bedroom door. It appears from the information below that the projectile hole in the door could not have been made with the air rifle since it says that pellets or BBs are used.

    An air gun ( airgun / pellet gun) is a gun that propels projectiles by means of compressed air or other gas, in contrast to firearms which use a propellant charge. Both air rifles and air pistols typically fire metallic projectiles, either pellets or BBs.
    Air gun - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Last edited by KateB; 05-15-2015 at 09:35 PM. Reason: repair url tag.

  6. #6
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    When I heard Col Van Rensburg testify that the gun was found on the bathmat with the hammer in a cocked position, my first thought was "OMGoodness - that's dangerous!" I was thinking it could have easily been accidentally discharged during the crime scene investigation and could have seriously hurt someone. But then Van Rensburg explained that no one touched the gun except the firearms/ballistics expert, who disarmed it. So I said "Phew!"

    I then wondered why OP would have left it on the floor with the hammer cocked.

    If I take my personal bias out of the equation and just allow that particular piece of evidence to speak to me, here's what it suggests to me:

    The gun was ready to be fired again, but was put down on the floor in a hurry.

    From OP's BH affidavit (text in red added by me):

    When I reached the bed, I realised that Reeva was not in bed. That is when it dawned on me that it could have been Reeva who was in the toilet. I returned to the bathroom calling her name. [This could have been when he put the gun down on the bathmat, hammer still cocked.] I tried to open the toilet door but it was locked. I rushed back into the bedroom and opened the sliding door exiting onto the balcony and screamed for help.

    http://gretawire.foxnewsinsider.com/...click-to-read/

    If he put the cocked gun down in a hurry, I can envision two scenarios:

    1. He's telling the truth in his BH hearing affidavit (he shot & killed Reeva in a panic, mistaking her for a dangerous burglar), and when he realized it was her in the toilet room, he dropped the gun instantly without uncocking it because he was horrified that he had shot her.

    2. He's lying in his BH affidavit (he didn't mistake Reeva for a dangerous burglar). He killed her after a heated argument that escalated (on his part) into a murderous rage. He had been ready to fire another round (the hammer was cocked), but the emotional impetus (rage) had dissipated with the four rounds he had already fired, and he dropped the gun onto the bathmat (again, without uncocking it).

    I think it could go either way.
    To understand the soul of a horse is the closest we humans can come to knowing perfection.

  7. #7
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    According to testimony by Van Rensburg on Trial Day 10, the gun holster was found on the bedside table on the left-hand side of the bed (left-hand side if one is standing at the foot of the bed, facing the bed).

    Archived trial videos can be found at this link:

    http://www.wildabouttrial.com/one_of...trial-archive/

    In OP's bail hearing affidavit, OP stated:

    16.8 I felt a sense of terror rushing over me. There are no burglar bars across the bathroom window and I knew that contractors who worked at my house had left the ladders outside. Although I did not have my prosthetic legs on I have mobility on my stumps.

    16.9 I believed that someone had entered my house. I was too scared to switch a light on.

    16.10 I grabbed my 9mm pistol from underneath my bed. On my way to the bathroom I screamed words to the effect for him/them to get out of my house and for Reeva to phone the police. It was pitch dark in the bedroom and I thought Reeva was in bed.


    http://gretawire.foxnewsinsider.com/...click-to-read/

    My question is this: If OP was in the state of terror he claims to have been in when he "grabbed" his gun from beneath the bed in the "pitch dark bedroom", how did he have the wherewithal & why did he take the time to place the gun holster on the bedside table where it was later found by the crime scene investigators?

    If in a state of terror in a pitch dark bedroom (too scared to switch a light on), I would find it more plausible that he would have dropped the gun holster on the floor.
    To understand the soul of a horse is the closest we humans can come to knowing perfection.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by sorrell skye View Post
    According to testimony by Van Rensburg on Trial Day 10, the gun holster was found on the bedside table on the left-hand side of the bed (left-hand side if one is standing at the foot of the bed, facing the bed).

    Archived trial videos can be found at this link:

    http://www.wildabouttrial.com/one_of...trial-archive/

    In OP's bail hearing affidavit, OP stated:

    16.8 I felt a sense of terror rushing over me. There are no burglar bars across the bathroom window and I knew that contractors who worked at my house had left the ladders outside. Although I did not have my prosthetic legs on I have mobility on my stumps.

    16.9 I believed that someone had entered my house. I was too scared to switch a light on.

    16.10 I grabbed my 9mm pistol from underneath my bed. On my way to the bathroom I screamed words to the effect for him/them to get out of my house and for Reeva to phone the police. It was pitch dark in the bedroom and I thought Reeva was in bed.


    http://gretawire.foxnewsinsider.com/...click-to-read/

    My question is this: If OP was in the state of terror he claims to have been in when he "grabbed" his gun from beneath the bed in the "pitch dark bedroom", how did he have the wherewithal & why did he take the time to place the gun holster on the bedside table where it was later found by the crime scene investigators?

    If in a state of terror in a pitch dark bedroom (too scared to switch a light on), I would find it more plausible that he would have dropped the gun holster on the floor.
    There's nothing to suggest that he put the holster on the bedside table - VR's testimony was unclear, but there is no evidence that that is where the holster was when it was actually found (it wasn't VR who found it), and no evidence that the gun was in the holster when Oscar retrieved it. I actually thought VR's testimony about it, he first said the holster and magazine were in the drawer of the bedside table.

  9. #9
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    Magazine=found in drawer
    Holster=found where shown in picture on bedside stand up against wall (Prosecutor had to prompt witness with English words for "bedside stand" at this point in his testimony)

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by minor4th View Post
    There's nothing to suggest that he put the holster on the bedside table - VR's testimony was unclear, but there is no evidence that that is where the holster was when it was actually found (it wasn't VR who found it), and no evidence that the gun was in the holster when Oscar retrieved it. I actually thought VR's testimony about it, he first said the holster and magazine were in the drawer of the bedside table.
    VR testified that the ammunition magazine and the holster pouch for the ammo were located in the bedside table drawer on the right-hand side of the bed.

    He was quite specific that the gun holster was found on top of the bedside table on the left-hand side of the bed.

    During his testimony on Friday, I rewound the feed on WAT to make sure I had this info accurate as Zwiebel and I were transcribing it for the thread.
    To understand the soul of a horse is the closest we humans can come to knowing perfection.


  11. #11
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    Horse play with air rifle?

    I could not help to think about what horse play could have been had with the air rifle. Air rifles can expell air from their muzzles at velocities op up to and even exceeding 1000ft/second. It does not need to be loaded with amunition and can 'fire' anything that can fit in the muzzle. It is fairly common knowledge that a grain or seed expelled from the muzzle can draw blood or seriously bruise skin. The inside muzzle diameter is 0.17 inches so there is lots of option for projectiles. I tested it again today by discharging an unloaded air rifle 1/2 a feet from a match box and have it propelled some distance. I will not expell the air from the rifle against my skin...

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by sorrell skye View Post
    When I heard Col Van Rensburg testify that the gun was found on the bathmat with the hammer in a cocked position, my first thought was "OMGoodness - that's dangerous!" I was thinking it could have easily been accidentally discharged during the crime scene investigation and could have seriously hurt someone. But then Van Rensburg explained that no one touched the gun except the firearms/ballistics expert, who disarmed it. So I said "Phew!"

    I then wondered why OP would have left it on the floor with the hammer cocked.

    If I take my personal bias out of the equation and just allow that particular piece of evidence to speak to me, here's what it suggests to me:

    The gun was ready to be fired again, but was put down on the floor in a hurry.

    From OP's BH affidavit (text in red added by me):

    When I reached the bed, I realised that Reeva was not in bed. That is when it dawned on me that it could have been Reeva who was in the toilet. I returned to the bathroom calling her name. [This could have been when he put the gun down on the bathmat, hammer still cocked.] I tried to open the toilet door but it was locked. I rushed back into the bedroom and opened the sliding door exiting onto the balcony and screamed for help.

    http://gretawire.foxnewsinsider.com/...click-to-read/

    If he put the cocked gun down in a hurry, I can envision two scenarios:

    1. He's telling the truth in his BH hearing affidavit (he shot & killed Reeva in a panic, mistaking her for a dangerous burglar), and when he realized it was her in the toilet room, he dropped the gun instantly without uncocking it because he was horrified that he had shot her.

    2. He's lying in his BH affidavit (he didn't mistake Reeva for a dangerous burglar). He killed her after a heated argument that escalated (on his part) into a murderous rage. He had been ready to fire another round (the hammer was cocked), but the emotional impetus (rage) had dissipated with the four rounds he had already fired, and he dropped the gun onto the bathmat (again, without uncocking it).

    I think it could go either way.
    I couldn't believe he left the hammer cocked either! Could he really be this reckless? He had to have out of his mind to do this or her is insanely reckless. You got a good point with your 2 scenerios.

  13. #13
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    Capt. Christiaan Mangena said Pistorius shot at a slightly downward angle into the cubicle where Reeva Steenkamp was, with the bullet holes around a meter (3 feet) high in the wood door. Pistorius was about 2.2 meters (7 feet) away from the door when he shot, Mangena said.

    http://www.twcc.com/articles/2014/03...ts-after-delay

  14. #14
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    Chris Mangena testified on day 13 of the Paralympian's trial, saying Steenkamp was first hit in the hip and was in a defensive position in the toilet stall of Pistorius's flat when the last shot hit her head.

    "The best probable explanation is the deceased was initially upright behind the closed door, she sustained a penetrating wound in the right side of the hip," Mr Mangena said.

    The 29-year-old model and law graduate then fell onto a magazine rack where another bullet hit her right elbow, he said.
    more at link:

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-03-1...-death/5332750

  15. #15
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    screenshots from ballistics expert's testimony





    Oscar Pistorius Trial: Wednesday 19 March 2014, Session 1 - YouTube

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