We devised a simple and rapid method for detection of gunshot residue (GSR) particles, using scanning electron microscopy/wavelength dispersive X-ray (SEM/WDX) analysis. Experiments were done on samples containing GSR particles obtained from hands, hair, face, and clothing, using double-sided adhesive coated aluminum stubs (tape-lift method). SEM/WDX analyses for GSR were carried out in three steps; the first step was map analysis for barium (Ba) to search for GSR particles from lead styphnate primed ammunition, or tin (Sn) to search for GSR particles from mercury fulminate primed ammunition. The second step was determination of the location of GSR particles by X-ray imaging of Ba or Sn at a magnification of ×1000–2000 in the SEM, using data of map analysis, and the third step was identification of GSR particles, using WDX spectrometers. Analysis of samples from each primer of a stub took about 3 h. Practical applications were shown for utility of this method.
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