Abstract An extraordinary case of a young woman with a gunshot wound to her left hand is presented. A typical near-contact entrance wound at the palm of the hand, extensive soft tissue destruction including nerve and vessel injury and a large stellate exit wound at the back of the hand were diagnosed and surgically treated. The woman initially stated that she had tried to repulse the pistol when a man shot her from close-range, which is consistent with the injury findings. After questioned thoroughly, however, she confessed self-infliction using a 8 mm blank pistol. This case demonstrates that a self-inflicted injury simulating a criminal offence can be present even if very atypical features such as the use of a firearm and mutilating or defence-like injuries clearly speak against it.