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Prior research focusing on mass shootings in the US has established the significant role of weapons in these events. Despite the extensive literature on the topic, minimal consideration has been given to the specific muzzle energy and caliber of ammunition used in these events and whether these factors influence the outcome of these shooting incidents. The current study examined the effect of muzzle energy and caliber of ammunition on the number of victims killed and injured in mass shootings. Analysis of The Violence Project (Version 6) mass shooting dataset indicated that the muzzle energy of the ammunition used in a mass shooting was positively associated with the number of people killed and total victims while the caliber of the ammunition was negatively associated with those outcomes. However, these findings were largely accounted for by the use of an assault weapon with high-capacity magazines.

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This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Criminal Justice Studies on March 2024, available online:

Available for download on Thursday, July 17, 2025