Characterisation of gunshot residues from non-toxic ammunition and their persistence on the shooter's hands.

Fabio De Giorgio, Carlo D’Onofrio, Luciano Gravina, Sergio Abate, Francesco Saverio Romolo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this work was to characterise three non-toxic ammunition (NTA) from the GECO and Fiocchi brands, which are available in the Italian market. Characterisation was carried out by considering both the elemental chemical composition and morphology, using scanning electron microscopy coupled with energy-dispersive X-ray analysis (SEM-EDS). Particles were collected from both the cartridge cases and the shooters' hands after shooting tests. Six volunteers fired two shots for each ammunition. Several elements, such as aluminium, potassium, silicon, sulphur, titanium and zinc were found in gunshot residue (GSR) particles from different ammunition. We also studied the persistence of these types of GSR on the hands of the shooters in a range between 1 and 6 h after shooting. The GSR particles from the three NTA tested were found on the hands of shooters until 6 h after the shots. The characterisations undertaken in this work will be useful for specialists in forensic science and legal medicine to evaluate trace evidence from these new NTA in casework, as such formulations are in growth.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1083-1094
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Legal Medicine
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • gunshot residues


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