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Machine Washing or Brushing of Clothing and Its Influence on Shooting Distance Estimation

NCJ Number
Journal of Forensic Sciences Volume: 46 Issue: 4 Dated: July 2001 Pages: 928-933
Asya Vinokurov M.Sc.; Arie Zeichner Ph.D.; Baruch Glattstein M.Sc.; Avi Koffman B.Sc.; Nadav Levin M.Sc.; Avner Rosengarten M.Sc.
Michael A. Peat Ph.D.
Date Published
July 2001
6 pages
This technical note examined the influence on shooting distance estimation of very vigorous treatments that clothing underwent after shooting. The treatments were machine washing and brushing of the area around the bullet entrance holes. The gunshot residue (GSR) patterns tested were: total nitrate, lead, and copper deposits.
Shooting distance estimation is based on the examination of gunshot residue (GSR) patterns around the bullet entrance holes. In this study experiments were conducted to determine the effect of machine washing or brushing of clothing items on GSR patterns, such as gunpowder residue, lead, and copper deposits around the bullet entrance holes. Results indicated that even very vigorous treatments did not remove all the GSR type deposits around the entrance holes for close shooting ranges. However, machine washing was significantly more effective in removing the GSR than brushing. In conclusion, this study showed that the absence of GSR patterns around the bullet entrance hole was a clear indication that shooting was not at close range.