Volume 27, Issue 1 (January 1982)
Analysis of Long-Range Bullet Entrance Holes Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometry and Scanning Electron Microscopy
Bullet residue and primer particles were analyzed by scanning electron microscopy with energy dispersive analysis (SEM-EDA) and by flame and flameless atomic absorption spectrophotometry (AAS). The residue and particles were on cloth targets around entrance holes produced by bullets fired at distances of 10 to 200 m. Primer particles and their chemical constituents were almost always detected by SEM-EDA around the holes produced by rifles and pistols fired at long ranges, and in many cases the barium and antimony associated with primer particles were detected by flameless AAS. Particles were also detected by SEM-EDA on the rear of bullets fired into and recovered from wooden blocks. Usually a hole caused by a bullet jacketed with gilding metal could be distinguished from one caused by a bullet jacketed with yellow brass alloy. Paint from bullet tips of military tracers was also detected. Analysis of the various residues around entrance holes provides a means for identifying the type of ammunition used.