Identification of polygonal barrel rifling characteristics in bullet wipe residue deposited on textiles

  • Katherine A. RobertsEmail author
  • Galyn Fischer
  • Amanda R. Davis
Original Article


This study examines the potential formation of land and groove rifling characteristics in bullet wipe residue deposited on textile fabrics. Textile fabrics comprised of natural, synthetic, semi-synthetic, and blended fibers were damaged either individually or as triplicate layers using two different ammunition types: Winchester WinClean 115 grain 9 mm Luger BEB and Speer 115 grain 9 mm Luger TMJ. Each ammunition type was fired in triplicate using a 9 mm Luger caliber Glock 17 at a distance of approximately 6 feet at normal incidence to the target. The bullet hole was first observed under a stereomicroscope, photographed under tungsten and infrared illumination to observe chemical residues, and subsequently tested for the presence of copper and lead residues. The preliminary chemical results show that land and groove rifling class characteristics can form in bullet wipe residue deposited on textile fabrics. The composition of the fabric, cleanliness of the interior surface of the firearm barrel, presence of intervening layers of fabric, and the bullet type are all potential contributing factors to the detection of rifling characteristics.


Forensic science Textile fabrics Bullet wipe DTO Sodium rhodizonate Land and groove rifling characteristics 



  1. 1.
    Carr D, Kieser J, Mabbott A, Mott C, Champion S, Girvan E (2014) Damage to apparel layers and underlying tissue due to hand-gun bullets. Int J Legal Med 128(1):83–93Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Dalby O, Butler D, Birkett JW (2010) Analysis of gunshot residue and associated materials—a review. J Forensic Sci 55(4):924–943Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Haag LC (1989) A microchemical test for copper-containing bullet wiping. AFTE 21(2):298–303Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Rijnders M, Stamouli A, Bolck A (2010) Comparison of GSR composition occurring at different location around the firing position. J Forensic Sci 55(3):616–623Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Haberda A, Eduard R (1919) Hoffmanns lehrbusch der gerichlichen medizin. Urban & Schwarzenberg, Berlin, pp 326–357Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Heard BJ (2008) Firearms and ballistics: examining and interpreting forensic evidence. Wiley-Blackwell, ChichesterGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Dockery CR, Rosenberg MB, Kammerdiener K, McAdams LE, Brutto NA, Turner J et al (2011) The occurrence of false positive tests for gunshot residue based on simulations of the suspect’s occupation. J Undergrad Chem Res 10(3):107–110Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Strassmann F (1885) Lehrbuch der gerichtlichen medicin. Enke, Stuttgart, pp 376–385Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Zeichner A (2003) Recent developments in methods of chemical analysis in investigation of firearm-related events. Anal Bioannal Chem 376:1178–1191Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Haag LC (2001) The sources of lead in gunshot residue. AFTE 33(3):212–218Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Kemp SE, Carr DJ, Kieser J, Niven BE, Taylor MC (2009) Forensic evidence in apparel fabrics due to stab events. Forensic Sci Int 191(1–3):86–96Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Houck M, Siegel J (2010) Fundamentals of forensic science, 2nd edn. Elsevier, BostonGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Bailey J (2005) Analysis of bullet wipe patterns on cloth targets. J Forensic Identification 55(4):448–461Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Krishnan SS (1974) Firing distance determination by atomic absorption spectrophotometry. J Forensic Sci 19:351–356Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Bergman P, Agron N, Springer E (1987) Estimation of a bullet diameter using the bullet hole identification kit (BTK). J Forensic Sci 32(4):866–879Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Weiss R, Giverts P, Bokobza L, Volkov N, Vinokurov A (2016) Determination of bullet type, sequence of firing, and time between discharges by examination of bullet wipe residues. AFTE 48(1):38–42Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Thompson E, Haag LC (2009) Comet tail/vortex effect. AFTE 41(3):257–267Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Criminal Justice and CriminalisticsCalifornia State University, Los AngelesLos AngelesUSA
  2. 2.California Forensic Science InstituteCalifornia State University, Los AngelesLos AngelesUSA
  3. 3.Los Angeles Sheriff’s DepartmentScientific Services BureauLos AngelesUSA

Personalised recommendations