Differentiation of two main ammunition brands in Chile by RDA of metals in gunshot residues

R. Saavedra, Cesar Soto and Jorge Yañez S.


Conventionally, chemical patterns of gunshot residues (GSR) can be used for identification of a suspect involved in criminal fire arm incidents. Furthermore, metals composition in GSR is well related with the ammunition brand. In Chile the two main ammunition brands used are FAMAE and CBC. Metals, such as Pb, Ba, Sb, Cu, Zn and Ca are common elements detected in both brands. This work describes the application of both conventional and chemometric analysis of data (Regularized Discriminant Analysis, RDA) for differentiation of ammunition brands according to the metal patterns of GSR collected from shooter individuals. Real samples of GSR were collected from hands (dorsal region) of both shooters and non-shooters. Metals were analyzed using the techniques Atomic Absorption Spectrometry (AAS) and Inductively Coupled Plasma Atomic Emission Spectrometry (ICP-OES). By means of conventional plotting techniques for differentiation, such as binary and ternary plots, differences between the two brands are observed although without quantitative certainty. For the first time, applying chemometric analysis, such as regularized discriminant analysis (RDA), the investigated ammunition brands can be classified and differentiated correctly with 100% certainty.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.microc.2011.10.003