Part of the Oxford Instruments Group


Gunshot Residue (GSR) is a key piece of forensic evidence that is often critical to ensuring justice in some of the most serious crimes. AZtecGSR provides fast, accurate, and easy to use SEM-based GSR analysis for the forensic analyst.

AZtecGSR provides analysts with:

  • Particle analysis optimised for GSR
  • Accurate element identification with AZtec’s Tru-Q® algorithms
  • Automatic data collection and particle classification according to ASTM-E1588 16, 17 & 20
  • Manual and automated particle reacquisition workflows

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GSR Interface

AZtecGSR is a dedicated tool for the detection and analysis of gunshot residue (GSR) particles in the SEM. AZtecGSR is a tailored version of the AZtecFeature particle analysis platform, sitting within the AZtecLive NanoAnalysis suite, and which is fully optimised for GSR analysis including classification and reporting to the 2016, 2017 and 2020 versions of ASTM-E1588 standard.

Designed for analysis according to industry best practice guidelines, AZtecGSR uses a workflow-based approach to guide both expert and novice users through GSR analysis, with in-interface instructions to provide additional guidance. It also includes a series of advanced functionalities designed to assist in dealing with the very small particles that are often found in GSR analysis, as well as approaches for improving throughput and efficiently running a large number of samples.

AZtecGSR uses Oxford Instruments’ Ultim Max or Xplore EDS detectors in combination with AZtecLive’s Tru-Q algorithms to ensure accurate element identification and quantification, even at the highest levels of throughput.

Customised for GSR

  • Optimised analytical recipe for GSR analysis
  • Classify to ASTM-E1588 16, 17 & 20
  • Includes a classification scheme that indicates which brand of ammunition may have been used
  • Manual and automatic reacquisition modes
  • Confirmation routine for reacquired particles


  • Add new classifications for new ammunitions
  • Option to automatically acquire additional data from particles containing key elements
  • Terminate analyses automatically when sufficient evidence has been acquired
  • Works with a wide range of SEMs
  • Use the same software platform to analyse with other techniques (e.g., WDS, EBSD).


  • Analysis rates > 120,000 particles per hour (dependent on hardware configuration)
  • Combine up to 4 Ultim Max detectors for the ultimate in throughput
  • Simultaneously manage multiple analysis runs


  • 2-pass imaging for small particle accuracy without compromising speed
  • Routinely used globally to detect 100% of particles on PLANO and ENFSI test samples
  • Image calibration sample and software ensure particles are detected the same way every run
  • Automatically compensate for changes to image contrast/brightness in-run
GSR Run Process
*Run progress over multiple fields in an automated GSR analysis (video speed increased).



AZtecGSR automates the analysis of Gunshot Residue Analysis in the SEM to provide fast, accurate and reproducible results to ASTM E1588 - 16 & 17.

AZtec Gunshot Residue Analysis

This four page application note illustrates how Gunshot Residue Analysis is performed in AZtec.

Light Element Particle Analysis - GSR from heavy metal free primers

The combination of Ultim® Extreme and AZtecGSR enables the automated detection of particles containing light elements such as boron at very short acquisition times.


AZtecGSR Training Video

This video shows the ease of use of AZtecGSR, explaining the workflow that is followed from initial setup to a complete large area analysis


SEM-based Analysis in Forensics - GSR and Beyond
In this webinar we will discuss how a broad range of forensic trace evidence analyses can be performed in a scanning electron microscope (SEM) equipped with analytical systems.
Watch on demand

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