Journal of Radioanalytical Chemistry

, Volume 31, Issue 2, pp 451–459 | Cite as

Variability in the chemical contamination effects of gun shot

  • J. P. Kelsall
  • R. Burton
Physical Methods Section


This is a contribution to a larger study aimed at development of a technique to determine the origins of waterfowl from their feather chemistry, using automated X-ray fluorescence spectrometry. Since feather samples commonly come from shot birds, an effort was made to measure the contamination effects of shot using cotton cloth to simulate feathers. At pointblank ranges contamination can include the elements Ba, Sb, Pb, Cu, S and likely others depending on the exact composition of both gun powder and shot. At greater ranges (12.5 to 50 yards – 14.4 to 45 m) significant contamination resulting from 12 gauge No. 2 shot came only from lead, with some zinc contamination probable at the extreme range used. Lead contamination increased with increasing range, and apparently has a curvelinear relationship with pellet velocity. This knowledge might permit prediction, after the fact, of ranges from which shot has been fired.


Cotton Cloth Lead Contamination Blank Cloth Canadian Wildlife Primary Feather 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. P. Kelsall
    • 1
  • R. Burton
    • 2
  1. 1.Canadian Wildlife Service(Canada)
  2. 2.Vancouver(Canada)

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