Glass-containing Gunshot Residue Particles: A New Type of Highly Characteristic Particle?

Peter Collins, John Coumbaros, Graham Horsley, Bernard Lynch, K. Paul Kirkbride, William Skinner, Gunter Klass

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


In 0.22 caliber rimfire ammunition, the primer often contains lead or lead and barium compounds. As residues from these primers do not contain lead, barium, and antimony, they cannot be uniquely classified as gunshot residue (GSR) under ASTM designation E 1588-95. In many types of 0.22 caliber rimfire ammunition, the cartridge contains a primer sensitized with glass. In this paper we describe a previously unreported type of GSR particle consisting of glass fused with other primer components. As there appear to be few potential environmental or occupational sources of particles composed of lead and barium compounds fused to glass, particularly borosilicate glass, these particles may have high evidential value. Scanning electron microscopy with energy dispersive X-ray detection (SEM-EDX) and time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (TOF-SIMS) were evaluated for the characterization of glass-containing GSR particles. The occurrence of glass-containing GSR particles was established in the residue from various brands of 0.22 caliber ammunition, and several sub-types were identified.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)538-553
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Forensic Sciences
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • 0.22 caliber ammunition
  • Borosilicate glass
  • Forensic science
  • Frictionator
  • Glass
  • Gunshot residue
  • Scanning electron microscopy
  • Time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry


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