Volume 34, Issue 4 (July 1989)
The Form of Gunshot Residue Is Modified by Target Impact
In the examination by scanning electron microscopy of hair and polyester fabric that had been shot with a 9-mm pistol at muzzle-to-target distances from 10 to 70 cm, it was discovered that part of the gunshot residue (GSR) deposited on the target is molten at impact. Impact of these molten GSR particles results in flattening, splattering, or some modification of the otherwise spherical form. In the case of hair, microtopography and the probable rapid movement of the hair in the muzzle blast influence the form of GSR. A sample of hair shot within 30 cm often results in GSR finding its way under hair scales. The detection of these form-modified GSR particles on fabric or on (and under) scales of hair indicates a close-proximity shot.