Locating exactly where trace explosive residue samples should be sought during sample collection at bomb scenes is not specified in the published literature or guidelines; in this area, it is generally acknowledged that forensic practices are based on tradition rather than evidence. This study investigated patterns in the spatial distribution of postblast 1,3,5-trinitro-1,3,5-triazocyclohexane residue from a series of unconfined detonations, over a range of sampling sites, and at two different detonation heights. The amount of residue recovered from the sites decreased as a function of distance from the center of the explosion. [Correction added after online publication 27 December 2012: In the preceding sentence, "increased" was corrected to "decreased" to agree with the conclusion of the article.] As the height of the detonations increased, more residues were found from all sampling sites. The findings of this empirical study have a number of important practical implications including determining where residue samples are best sought at crime scenes. Abstract published by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons.