Time since last discharge of firearms and spent ammunition elements: state of the art and perspectives

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature review



External departments

  • University of Lausanne


Original languageEnglish
Article number110290
JournalForensic Science International
Early online date18 Apr 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2020
Publication type

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature review


The estimation of the time since last discharge of firearms or spent ammunition elements (e.g., casings) may provide crucial information in the investigation of a shooting incident and, eventually, the following trial. Herein, an exhaustive review of the methods described in the literature is reported, with the aim to evaluate their potential and limitations from a forensic perspective. This work, in particular, highlighted the fact that a number of investigations have been carried out in the field during the last century (with an especially high rate in the last 30 years), but the implementation of related procedures in forensic laboratories is still rare. The situation has been discussed and a series of propositions have been forwarded, in order to overcome challenges and facilitate the implementation of dating approaches in real casework.