Comments for Gun Powder Residue

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Oct 21, 2009
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GSR
by: J from KY

First let me state that I too am investigating the shooting death of my uncle who supposedly shot himself in 1984. There was a test that coroners and police used to dectect trace ammounts of the 3 chemicals found in the primers of modern (1900>< to now) ammunition. These chemicals are antimony barium and lead.

The test is called a Harrison Gilroy test. This test was not considered to very accurate. In fact, in the mid to late 80's, most police departments stopped using this test because it was all to commonly producing false positives and false negatives. So in other words, the test doesn't mean anything. Also .22 cal. round (unless federal brand) do not contain any of the three chemicals listed above, so the Harrison Gilroy test does not detect the types of rimfire primers. I do recomend that you try to find out if this was the test used in your uncles case. Also GSR (gun shot residue) refers mostly to unburnt gunpowder, not necessarily the primer residues.

Any time a gun is fired, GSR deposits on almost all surronging surfaces such as fabric,furniture, carpet etc. Also, being a blackpowder weapon as you stated, I would think that unless your uncle kept it loaded, he would of had to have done so. and so there for would have come in contact with gunpowder. From what you have stated, I would be more than convinced that if he had fired the gun, he would have tested positive for GSR. I hope this helps and best of luck to you in you investigation.

May 20, 2009
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residue
by: Anonymous

GSR doesn't show up on dead people. I'm surprised the ME would even test for it.

Mar 30, 2009
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GSW primer.
by: The Official Taster

The tests used for GSR detect gunshot primer; lead, antimony and barium. These elements are released from the bullet when the firing pin strikes the "cap" on the bottom of the bullet. I am not sure of the kind of "cap" a blackpowder firearm uses.

Jan 04, 2009
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by: Anonymous

Yes of course.. GSRs will or should have been present around his body after death and also his handwash should have been examined for the GSR.. Moreover other corroborative evidences should be gathered to solve this case..

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