Cadaver Trials

by K-Dean

Over 100 years ago the US Army tested out the power of Springfield rifles on dead bodies.

Cadavers have come to be quite handy working as crash test dummies but it turns out back in 1892 they were already being used by the army.

In July of 1892, Army Captain Louis LaGarde was ordered to test a new .30-caliber Springfield rifle. It was the first time the Army experimented with testing on dead bodies. LaGarde suspended naked cadavers from the ceiling and shot each of them a dozen times. The Army began to use the cadaver testings to determine the stopping power by measuring how far back the cadaver would swing when shot. By the 1920s this type of experimentation was abandoned because it was thought to be scientifically unsound.

The military however uses cadavers to test military equipment. In 1999 researchers suspended corpses in full battle uniform above simulated minefields to find out which footwear would be best for minesweepers. In 2002, an Army doctor used cadavers to test new bulletproof vests. He dressed the cadavers in the vests and fired at them with an air cannon, which uses compressed air to fire bullets. The results showed the cadavers suffered from rib fractures but no skin was broken with the impact. Non lethal weapons such as rubber bullets are also tested on cadavers by university researchers.

Read more:

How Many Uses Are There For A Dead Body? | Slate Magazine

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