Evaluation of Existing Technologies for Novel Analysis and Probabilistic Interpretation of Organic Gunshot Residue

Evaluation of Existing Technologies for Novel Analysis and Probabilistic Interpretation of Organic Gunshot Residue


July 2017


Firearms exposure has traditionally been monitored by screening for the presence of inorganic particles prevalent in gunshot residue (GSR). These inorganic compounds are associated with the primer in ammunition. Recent research efforts have explored alternative approaches for monitoring firearms exposure that screen for the presence of organic GSR (OGSR) components, which come from propellants and stabilizers.

Through the National Institute of Justice Forensic Technology Center of Excellence (FTCOE), scientists at West Virginia University (WVU) evaluated novel adaptations to two existing technologies for their suitability as screening methods for OGSR. This report is a continuation of the OGSR evaluation, “Organic Gunshot Residue Analysis for Potential Shooter Determination,” by WVU, first reported by the FTCOE in May 2015. The methods evaluated herein include ion mobility spectrometry (IMS) and inlet thermal desorption gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC-MS).

Funding for this Forensic Technology Center of Excellence report was provided by the National Institute of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice.

The opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this report are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Department of Justice.

Contact us at with any questions and subscribe to our newsletter for notifications.

Related Content

FITS—Functional Implementation of Thorough and Systematic Approaches for Fracture Examinations

Tuesday, June 4, 2024 | 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM Eastern Duration: 1 hour Overview The separation of materials such as tape, plastics, and textiles from their original source frequently occurs during violent activities, leaving distinct patterns along the fractured…

Validation of a Confirmatory Proteomic Mass Spectrometry Body Fluid Assay

← Back to Webinar Series Page This webinar originally occurred on December 7, 2023Duration: 1 hour Overview With increasingly sensitive forensic methods for DNA detection, the source from which a DNA profile is obtained becomes increasingly important. Was an individual’s…