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Abstract

Nondestructive analysis of lead shotgun pellets by X-ray fluorescence (XRF) shows considerable promise in assignment of the identity of the ammunition source. X-ray fluorescence spectra of various shotgun pellets and of standard alloys were obtained using an energy-dispersive instrument and an Am-241 source. The correlation obtained between the precent antimony in the standard alloys and the intensity of the Ka fluorescence peak from antimony was excellent. Peak areas from antimony in shotgun pellets were measured and compared to calibration plots from the standard alloys. The method was capable of distinguishing among lead-based alloys, such as ammunition, with antimony content as high as 10%.

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