Volume 40, Issue 1 (January 1995)
Analysis of Primer Residue from CCI Blazer® Lead Free Ammunition by Scanning Electron Microscopy/Energy Dispersive X-Ray
Traditional gunshot residue analysis is based on the detection of lead (Pb), barium (Ba) and antimony (Sb). CCI's recent development of a lead free centerfire primer for their Blazer® Lead Free ammunition presents a new challenge for forensic scientists since it does not contain lead, barium or antimony. Research presented here is the result of the analysis of this new primer by scanning electron microscopy/energy dispersive X-ray which involved analyzing CCI's lead free primer directly as well as the gunshot residue obtained by test firing a series of firearms using CCI's Blazer® Lead Free ammunition. Analysis of the residue from a fired primer determined that the only metal present was strontium; however, when the lead free ammunition is discharged in firearms previously fired using traditional primer ammunition, particles containing lead, barium and antimony were detected. These findings hold true for older firearms cleaned prior to testing as well as a “new” firearm that had only been test fired by the manufacturer.