Volume 37, Issue 4 (July 1992)
Characterization of Smokeless Powder Flakes from Fired Cartridge Cases and from Discharge Patterns on Clothing
Shooting experiments over short distances (30 to 50 cm) deposited apparently non-burnt and partially burned flakes of smokeless powder propellants on clothing around the bullet holes. An approach was made to compare the propellant particles recovered from the clothing with those from a particular cartridge. Evidence of this kind may help the police to identify a shooter in cases when weapon or bullet or both are not found. Gas chromatography and high-pressure liquid chromatography were the analytical techniques used.
A series of shooting tests with various types of ammunition produced by different manufacturers was performed. The analyses were expected to reveal which of the shootings used the same kind of ammunition. Predictions were correct in all these experiments.
The analyses of propellant particles collected from clothing or from fired cartridges could also distinguish between a number of different production lots from the same manufacturer.