Detecting Organic Constituents of Gunshot Residue

Analysis of Organic Gunshot Residue (OGSR for shot) may improve how reliable we can tell whether a suspect discharged his weapon or not, as this type if residue are less likely to be contaminated by the environment.

A new In Brief from NIJ’s Forensic Technology Center of Excellence takes a look as how ion spectrometry and mass spectometry can be used to detect OGSR materials. Portable x-ray fluorescence devices have promise as a rapid and efficient screening method for inorganic constituents.

The evaluation, conducted by West Virginia University, found that performance of any instrument was more likely to be affected by the hand swabbing technique used rather than instrument limitations. All three instruments showed promise for detecting OGSR, but significant work remains to fine tune these approaches.

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