Variation of the chemical contents and morphology of gunshot residue in the surroundings of the shooting pistol as a potential contribution to a shooting incidence reconstruction.

Institute of Forensic Research, Westerplatte St. 9, 31-033 Krakow, Poland; Jagiellonian University, Faculty of Chemistry, Ingardena St. 3, 30-060 Krakow, Poland.
Forensic Science International (Impact Factor: 2.12). 02/2011; 210(1-3):31-41. DOI: 10.1016/j.forsciint.2011.01.031
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT A study of the chemical contents and sizes of gunshot residue originating from 9×18mm PM ammunition, depositing in the vicinity of the shooting person was performed by means of scanning electron microscopy and energy dispersive X-ray spectrometry. Samples of the residue were collected from targets placed at various distances in the range 0-100cm as well as from hands and clothing of the shooting person. Targets were covered by fragments of white cotton fabric or black bovine leather. In the case of cotton targets microtraces were collected from circles of 5 and 10cm in radius. Results of the examinations in the form of numbers of particles, proportions of their chemical classes and dimensions revealed a dependence on the distance from the gun muzzle, both in the direction of shooting and in the opposite one, i.e., on the shooting person. The parameters describing gunshot residue differed also depending on the kind of the target substrate. The kind of obtained information gives rise to understanding the general rules of the dispersion of gunshot residue in the surroundings of the shooting gun. Thus, it may be utilised in the reconstruction of shooting incidences, especially in establishing the mutual positions of the shooter and other participants of the incident.

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    ABSTRACT: Chosen aspects of examinations of inorganic gunshot particles by means of scanning electron microscopy and energy dispersive X-ray spectrometry technique are presented. The research methodology of particles was worked out, which included a precise and repeatable procedure of the automatic detection and identification of particles as well as the representation of the obtained analytical data in the form of the frequencies of occurrence of particles of certain chemical or morphological class within the whole population of particles revealed in a specimen. On this basis, there were established relationships between the chemical and morphological properties of populations of particles and factors, such as the type of ammunition, the distance from the gun muzzle to the target, the type of a substrate the particles sediment on, and the time between shooting and collecting the specimens. Each of these aspects of examinations of particles revealed a great potential of being utilised in casework, while establishing various circumstances of shooting incidents leads to the reconstruction of the course of the studied incident.
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    ABSTRACT: In recent years, forensic scientists have become increasingly interested in the detection and interpretation of organic gunshot residues (OGSR) due to the increasing use of lead- and heavy metal-free ammunition. This has also been prompted by the identification of gunshot residue- (GSR-) like particles in environmental and occupational samples. Various techniques have been investigated for their ability to detect OGSR. Mass spectrometry (MS) coupled to a chromatographic system is a powerful tool due to its high selectivity and sensitivity. Further, modern MS instruments can detect and identify a number of explosives and additives which may require different ionization techniques. Finally, MS has been applied to the analysis of both OGSR and inorganic gunshot residue (IGSR), although the “gold standard” for analysis is scanning electron microscopy with energy dispersive X-ray microscopy (SEM-EDX). This review presents an overview of the technical attributes of currently available MS and ionization techniques and their reported applications to GSR analysis.
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    ABSTRACT: Gunshot residues (GSR) from a total of nine different caliber ammunitions produced in Brazil were analyzed and characterized by transmission (TEM) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). GSR particles are composed of spherical particles of several micrometers of diameter containing distinct amounts of lead, barium and antimony, along with other organic and inorganic elements arising from the primer, gunpowder, the gun and the bullet itself. This study was carried out to obtain additional information on the properties of GSR nanoparticles originated from different types of regular ammunition produced in Brazil by CBC. Besides the SEM, we have used a TEM, exploring its high magnification capability and ability to explore internal structure and chemical composition of submicron particles. We observed that CBC ammunition generated smaller particles than usually reported for other ammunitions and that the three component particles are not a majority. TEM analysis revealed that GSR are partially composed of sub-micron particles as well. The electron diffraction pattern from these particles confirmed them to be mainly composed of lead oxides crystalline nanoparticles that may be agglomerated into larger particles. Energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy revealed that most of them were composed of two elements, especially PbSb. Ba was not a common element found in the nanoparticles.
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May 22, 2014