EXCLUSIVE – Firearms experts dismisses Bain claims

Few of you Kiwis will know me or my blog. I run TFB, a popular US-based gun blog. I frequently correspond with New Zealand’s top blogger, who like me is also a gun enthusiast. When Cameron asked me to weigh in on the controversial Bain-Magazine debate, I was happy to offer my opinion. I have read the details surrounding the case and examined the photos published in the NZ Herald.



I have not seen the TV show where this photo was first displayed. Cam did send me the New Zealand Police press release published after the TV show was broadcasted.

The marks on Mr. Bain’s fingers look like cuts to me, but I am no more qualified to definitively say what they are, or are not, anymore than any other member of the public. It is possible a dirty magazine would leave marks on his thumb. I have shot just about every type of gun known to mankind, and have never noticed marks like that.
The hand used to reload the magazine would also be the hand most likely used to hold the rifle’s grip. The hand would be wrapped around the grip. The only instance where the other hand would be used would be if Mr. Bain was truly ambidextrous, not favoring either the left or right side. If the magazine did leave such marks, I would expect them to be rubbed away quickly.
It appears that similar marks (or cuts) are on his index finger. I cannot conceive of a scenario where a .22 magazine would leave marks on the index finder. If he had used his thumb to load the magazine, the index finger would be either be flat against the magazine or tucked up against his palm, depending on how he had used his thumb. This fact makes me suspect these marks were not made by the magazine.
If the marks on his thumb are cuts I would say it is very unlikely they were caused by the magazine for the simple reason that a gun owner would either replace the magazine or use a fine file or sandpaper to chamfer (round off) the edge. Also, I would expect the cuts to be far deeper and there to be signs of blood. When gun steel slices into flesh you bleed.
I asked my Senior Writer, Phil While, a retired police officer and a gun expert what he thought of the photo. I only told him the most basic information about the case and asked him for him opinion on the magazine without Googling for additional case information.
Phil noted the lines on his thumb appeared to be about the same distance apart from the magazine, but that there was not enough information to go on from just that photo. Phil also said “… in all the suicides I’ve worked, I have never seen a magazine removed before the person shot themselves. That makes no sense nor does the upright mag[azine].”. [WO: There were two magazines, but they weren;t briefed on that. Irrespective of the two magazines, there were no fingerprints on them despite Joe Karam now claiming that Robin Bain loaded the magazine…how do you do that without fingerprints, and leaving grease marks on your thumb?]
He further commented “I’ve worked more homicides and suicides than I can even remember… That rifle is too long without removing the shoes and using a toe to pull the trigger”. A court pathologist reported that Robin Bain was shot at a 45 degree angle into the side of his head. It seems incredible to belive someone would attempt to shoot themselves in such a difficult way, with a suppressor still attached to the rifle.

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.