Reconstructing the scene can help determine the distance from the firearm muzzle to the target. Gunshot wounds that are point blank or extremely close leave distinctive patterns on the body. But at distances between a few inches and a few feet, there may still be gunshot residue patterns on the body or the clothing. This pattern can be used to estimate how far away the gun was from the target. There is no formula, so it has to be done experimentally. The same firearm and ammunition is used to fire shots at measured distances from a clean, white target. The gunshot residue pat- terns are then compared with the pattern seen in the case to provide a distance estimate. Since gunshot residue doesn’t travel very far, at a certain distance there won’t be any pattern since the residue all falls to the ground before reaching the target.
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