Volume 27, Issue 2 (April 1982)
Application of Proton-Induced X-Ray Emission Technique to Gunshot Residue Analyses
The proton-induced X-ray emission (PIXE) technique was applied to the identification and analysis of gunshot residues. Studies were made of the type of bullet and bullet hole identification, firearm discharge element profiles, the effect of various target backings, and hand swabbings. The discussion of the results reviews the sensitivity of the PIXE technique, its nondestructive nature, and its role in determining the distance from the gun to the victim and identifying the type of bullet used and whether a wound was made by a bullet or not. The high sensitivity of the PIXE technique, which is able to analyze samples as small as 0.1 to 1 ng, and its usefulness for detecting a variety of elements should make it particularly useful in firearms residue investigations.