U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Organic Gunshot Residue: Detection, Identification, and Characterization for Forensic Purposes

NCJ Number
Shelby R. Khandasammy
Date Published

This document provides an investigation of four major projects aimed at detection, identification, and characterization of organic gunshot residues for forensic purposes.


In this thesis, the authors explore methods for the detection, identification, and characterization of organic gunshot residues (OGSRs) for forensic purposes using various spectroscopic techniques. The paper is divided into four main sections, in which the authors discuss four major projects: the first project details the development of a novel-two step method for the detection and identification of organic gunshot residues using fluorescence spectroscopy for detection and Raman spectroscopy as a confirmatory step; second chapter builds upon the study conducted in the first chapter by applying the novel-two step method covered in the first chapter to OGSRs directly fired into cloth substrates, this study also further explored the usage of 3-D Raman terrain mapping techniques in order to attain spectra of OGSR particles embedded in cloth substrates; the third chapter analyzes the usage of Raman spectroscopy and Laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) to differentiate between OGSRs stemming from closely related types of ammunition stemming from the same caliber and ammunition types; and the final chapter details a study in which smokeless powders (the major precursor to OGSRs) were analyzed via Raman spectroscopy and differentiated by ammunition manufacturer and caliber using a “hierarchical” modelling system involving advanced chemometric techniques.