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Stubs versus swabs? A comparison of gunshot residue collection techniques

By Lisa Reid, Kal Chana, John W. Bond, Matthew J Almond and Stuart Black


The collection efficiency of two widely used gunshot residue (GSR) collection techniques—carbon-coated adhesive stubs and alcohol swabs—has been compared by counting the number of characteristic GSR particles collected from the firing hand of a shooter after firing one round. Samples were analyzed with both scanning electron microscopy and energy dispersive X-rays by an experienced GSR analyst, and the number of particles on each sample containing Pb, Ba, and Sb counted. The adhesive stubs showed a greater collection efficiency as all 24 samples gave positive results for GSR particles whereas the swabs gave only positive results for half of the 24 samples. Results showed a statistically significant collection efficiency for the stub collection method and likely reasons for this are considered.\u

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
Year: 2010
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