Volume 43, Issue 1 (January 1998)
The Contribution of Trace Elements from Smokeless Powder to Post Firing Residues
The smokeless powders in 22 kinds of ammunitions seized from one of the Japanese gang groups were analyzed by scanning electron microscopy/energy dispersive X-ray microanalysis (SEM/EDX). Copper(Cu), sulfur(S), potassium(K), silicon(Si), aluminum(Al), calcium(Ca), iron(Fe), chlorine(Cl), and barium(Ba) were detected. Cu was found in all samples. One sample contained a high amount of Ba. One part of the burnt smokeless powder was found to contain Cu, K, Ca, Fe and S, the other part contained Cu, Fe, and zinc(Zn). It has been reported that the elements in gunshot residues originate from a bullet and/or a primer. However, this demonstrates that smokeless powder could be the source of some of the elements detected.