Technical Note Date

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.

Technical Note Summary


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).

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