Detecting the Organic Constituents of Gunshot Residue

Organic gunshot residue (OGSR) analysis may improve the reliability of determining whether a suspect has discharged a firearm because OGSR materials are less likely to be contaminated by the environment. A new In Brief from NIJ’s Forensic Technology Center of Excellence examines how ion mobility spectrometry and mass spectrometry can be used to detect OGSR. Portable x-ray fluorescence has promise as a rapid screening method for detecting 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.

Read Organic Gunshot Residue Analysis for Potential Shooter Determination.

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Six interchangeable LED lamps

highlight the features of the OPTIMAX Multi-Lite Forensic Inspection Kit from Spectronics Corporation. This portable kit is designed for crime-scene investigation, gathering evidence, and work in the forensic laboratory. The LEDs provide six single-wavelength light sources, each useful for specific applications, from bodily fluids to fingerprints. The wavelengths are: UV-A (365 nm), blue (450 nm), green (525 nm), amber (590 nm), red (630 nm), and white light (400-700 nm). The cordless flashlight weighs only 15 oz. To learn more, go to: