Chemical Analysis of Firearms, Ammunition, and Gunshot Residue  book cover
2nd Edition

Chemical Analysis of Firearms, Ammunition, and Gunshot Residue

ISBN 9780367778354
Published March 31, 2021 by CRC Press
355 Pages

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Book Description

Chemical Analysis of Firearms, Ammunition, and Gunshot Residue, Second Edition continues in the tradition of the popular first edition, filling the void in forensic texts on the subject. While most books on firearms focus solely on the physical aspects of firearms, this book addresses forensic issues relating to the chemical aspects of firearms and ammunition. It draws on the latest published literature including books, scientific papers, technical reports, manufacturer’s literature, newspaper articles, and personal observations and research conducted by the author.

This edition is fully updated, introducing the history and development of firearms and ammunition including advances in the chemical analysis of them. Several changes in primer compositions and the particle classification system are addressed with new techniques added on evidence collection and testing methods. Coverage details chemical aspects of forensic firearms casework with particular emphasis on the detection of gunshot residues (GSR), firearm discharge residues (FDR), and cartridge discharge residues (CDR) on a suspect’s skin and clothing surfaces. Two new chapters have been added. One deals with unusual firearms case while the other summarizes a controversial, high-profile Australian case involving inorganic and organic gunshot residue, highlighting the dangers of incorrect forensic evidence and the increased need for careful training of forensic scientists.

  • Fully updated to reflect the latest techniques and tests for particle and chemical classification

  • Provides a complete history of firearms and ammunition development as well as advances in the chemical analysis involved in forensic firearm casework

  • Features a one-of-a-kind chapter on processing suspects, a crucial component in many firearms and explosives residue cases

The book will serves as a useful to forensic chemists, investigators, ballistics experts, among other professionals serving in a variety of forensic disciplines.

Table of Contents

Part I. Introduction  1. Definitions  Part II. Historical Aspects of Firearms and Ammunition  2. History of Gunpowder  3. History of Ignition Systems  4. History of Bullets  5. History of Ammunition  6. History of Firearms  Part III. Chemical Aspects of Firearms and Ammunition  7. Cartridge Cases  8. Primer Cups (Caps)  9. Priming Compositions  10. Propellants  11. Projectiles  12. Complementary Ammunition Components  13. Caseless Ammunition  14. Blank Ammunition  15. Firearm Construction Materials  Part IV. Firearm Discharge Residue  Chapter 16. Firearm Discharge Residue Techniques  17. Properties of Firearm Discharge Residue  Part V. Experimental  18. Scenes of Crime Experiences  19. Objectives, Sampling Procedures, Instrumentation, and Conditions  20. Particle Classification Scheme  21. Casework Related Tests  22. Analysis of Ammunition  23. Ammunition Containing Mercury  24. Lead Free Ammunition  Part VI. Suspect Processing Procedures  25. Firearm Discharge Residue Sampling  26. Sampling of Skin and Clothing Surfaces for Firearm Discharge Residue  27. Development of a Method for Organic Firearm Discharge Residue Detection  28. Consequences of Incorrect GSR Evidence  29. Conclusion

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Dr. James Smyth Wallace is a retired forensic scientist who worked in the firearms section of the Northern Ireland Forensic Science Laboratory for nearly 25 years. He worked numerous complex and controversial cases including a number of terrorist-related incidents. Previously a member of the Forensic Science Service, he is interested in quality assurance, crime scene examination, and all aspects of research in the development of chemical examinations relating to firearms casework.