This work presents two simple methods for estimating the firing distance from the gunshot residues (GSRs) on fabric targets. Four types of fabric targets, namely twill weave denim cotton-polyester (80/20), jersey knitting 100% cotton, plain weave cotton-polyester (80/20) and plain weave cotton-polyester (60/40), were employed. The firing tests were carried out using these white fabrics as targets at distances of 5–100 cm, respectively. In the first method, digital images of the black GSRs on fabric materials were recorded inside an illuminated box and the inverted gray intensity values were plotted against the firing distances. Since the plots of all fabrics are not significantly different, the estimation of firing distance employs the same exponential curve for all test fabrics. Although simple, the imaging method is not suitable for dark-colored materials. A chemical-based method was therefore developed as an alternative method. In the second method, a small disposable microfluidic paper-based analytical device (μPAD) was employed for detecting Pb(II) extracted from the GSRs. The μPAD method uses the measurement of the length of a narrow band of a pink color resulting from reaction between rhodizonate reagent and the Pb(II) extract. The plots indicated that the data of thick denim material are significantly different to other test fabrics which are much thinner. These three fabrics share the same estimation curve. However, it is recommended that the separate estimation curve for denim materials must be used. Both methods are suitable for short range firing distance, no further than 60 cm, since at greater distances the inverted gray intensity and the ‘band-length’ methods are unable to detect the GSRs.
Reference: Wongpakdee, T.; Buking, S.; Ratanawimarnwong, N.; Saetear, P.; Uraisin, K.; Wilairat, P.; Tiyapongpattana, W.; Nacapricha, D., Simple gunshot residue analyses for estimating firing distance: Investigation with four types of fabrics. Forensic Science International 2021, 329, 111084.