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Investigations of gunshot residue and environmental particles through use of focused ion beam and other characterisation techniques

By Richard (R17216) Wuhrer, Ivan Sarvas, Len Green, Rylee (R18267) Lam, Val (R16980) Spikmans and Hilton Kobus


Firearms are prevalent in our society and many countries are involved in the production of firearms and munitions. It is said that approximately 8,000,000 small arms are manufactured annually. Forensic science plays an important role in the investigation of firearm related crimes and can establish an association between firearms and assailant by detecting and identifying gunshot residue particles (GSR), which are solid microscopic particles ejected from the openings, gaps and clefts of firearms. These particles are condensed from the high temperature and high pressure gases produced by the deflagration of the primer and propellant in the cartridge case. These particles are frozen by rapid cooling and are deposited on the body and clothing of the shooter and on nearby surfaces. If the rate of cooling is sufficiently high, the solid particle should retain the structural disorder of the liquid, which is a feature anticipated in GSR morphology. GSR particles are identified by two features, composition and morphology. The presence of Pb, Sb and Ba in a particle is considered characteristic of firearms origin. The ASTM standard describes the elemental composition of GSR and classifies these elemental compositions as characteristic or consistent with GSR but the guide’s description of morphology is not extensive

Topics: 039902 - Forensic Chemistry, forensic sciences, firearms, crime
Publisher: Czech Republic, Czechoslovak Microscopy Society
Year: 2014
OAI identifier: oai:nuws:uws_30618
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