Collection and activation analysis of airborne gunshot residues
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It appears that the technique developed is sufficient to detect the firing of the major brands of U.S. ammunition through the antimony and barium particles that a revolver firing expels into the air. The sensitivity of the detection in a still room has been shown to be at leats 72 hrs after firing with common Western ammunition. The results of tests made with other types of ammunition suggest that this sensitivity or better exists with the other major brands of ammunition.
The airborne gunshort residue, as seen in Figs 2 and 3, did not behave in a characteristic way which could enable precise determination of the time of firing, but gross estimates should be possible. From the data using Western ammunition, the airborne gunshot residue falls off roughly exponentially with time for the first 48 hrs, then changes to a slower rate of decrease.
This technique is now ready to be tested under varying degrees of ventilation and larger calibers of ammunitions.
KeywordsAntimony Neutron Activation Analysis Test Room Electrostatic Precipitator Large Caliber
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