Gunshot Residue

Discharging Revolver
A discharging revolver showing gunshot residue components

Gunshot residue kits are analyzed in an effort to determine if an individual was involved in the discharge of a firearm. Analysis is performed on a scanning electron microscope with x-ray detector (SEM/EDX). The gunshot residue kit contains two SEM stubs with carbon tape adhesive that are used to tape lift the palm and back surfaces of the hands. The GSR stubs are analyzed for constituents of gunshot residue, namely the elements lead (Pb), antimony (Sb) and barium (Ba). These three elements originate from the primer of most firearm cartridges.

SEM image of a GSR particle
A SEM image of a GSR particle