Gone Without A Trace? by Robert Farago | Jan 13, 2012 | 25 comments facebook twitter linkedin email [HTML1] [h/t to olegvolk.net for the link] comments matt says: January 13, 2012 at 12:03 Is tracer ammo new? Did anyone else notice the 3rd tracer round ricocheted in to the air, isnt that dangerous and something you would not want to see in a advertisement? Reply Robert Farago says: January 13, 2012 at 12:19 Well spotted Reply Henry Bowman says: January 13, 2012 at 12:30 Was likely not an actual richchet. Often the burning-chemical-tracer-portion separates from the round upon impact and deformation. Reply matt says: January 13, 2012 at 13:03 thanks for the info, i’ve never shot tracers before, didnt know that. Reply jer says: January 13, 2012 at 12:41 HB’s right, you’ll see that a lot with tracer rounds. Reply IdahoPete says: January 13, 2012 at 12:04 Note to users in dry country (especially west of the 100th Meridian): Be prepared to pay fire suppression costs if you use these and start a wildfire. Not sure if these tracers are the kind that result in ignition of dry grasses, but it would be a good idea to check on that. Fire suppression agencies will bill you for starting a fire with steel-cored ammo (striking a spark), so they will certainly come after anyone who does it with a tracer. Use only when the vegetation is wet or covered in snow. Reply IdahoPete says: January 13, 2012 at 12:13 If you live in dry country (especially west of the 100th Meridian), you may want to check the fire-starting potential of these tracers. Fire suppression agencies WILL bill you for the multi-million dollar suppression costs if you fire up the countryside through negligence. They have done it to people who fired steel-core ammo into rocks, striking a spark and igniting the grasses/brush. Reply Henry Bowman says: January 13, 2012 at 12:33 If one is trying to spot his rounds (especially with tracers), he’s likely not focused on the fundmentals, including follow-through and trigger reset. “Only when you reach that zen level of not wondering where your rounds are going, will they finally go where you want them to.” Tracers are good for the last couple rounds of a mag to indicate an impending reload. Reply DrewR55 says: January 13, 2012 at 12:51 Tracers are good for the last couple rounds of a mag to indicate an impending reload. That never crossed my mind but that is a great idea! One green round then one red round. Reply Mike OFWG says: January 13, 2012 at 13:07 The commies always used green tracers for some reason. Reply Oleg Volk says: January 13, 2012 at 14:46 Tracers are not very useful if firing with sights up close because the gun in recoil blocks the view. They are very useful at extended ranges due to the flight time being sufficient for spotting. Usually, a second person spots for the shooter. Being able to call the shots is very helpful. Reply Mike Settles says: January 15, 2012 at 12:02 Using tracers to signal a magazine change is akin to the M1 clip “ping”: It telegraphs to the bad guy that you will be out of the fight during reloading. 1-4/1-5 mix in a magazine is more useful, but also telegraphs your location to the bad guys. Other than spotting fall-of-shot during range firing, the best use (IMHO) for tracers is to signal/spot targets as a fire control measure. I carry one magazine of tracer, switch to that to designate a target for others, then switch back to ball ammo to continue the fight. Cheers! Reply Joe Grine says: January 13, 2012 at 12:49 I’ll bet those are very economical. Reply Oleg Volk says: January 13, 2012 at 14:49 They are more expensive than ball, but one round you can observe is a lot more useful than a dozen that went someplace unknown. Reply Ken says: January 13, 2012 at 13:11 That’s why I like shooting steel. Instant feedback on whether and where I hit the target. Reply Mike Settles says: January 15, 2012 at 12:22 Where I shoot “Practical Rifle”, they don’t allow steel-core (armor-piercing) ammo in order to save their targets. Steel plates and silhouettes get holes in them, and are expensive to replace. None-steel bullets make the appropriate “ding” without target damage. Spray-painting the steel targets also helps with hit-counting: On bullet impact, the paint puffs like dust off the metal. Reply Hammertime says: January 13, 2012 at 13:39 Do these tracers gunk up the gun more so then regular usage? Reply Mike Settles says: January 15, 2012 at 12:09 It is the powder, or the metal jacketing of the bullet (copper specifically), which “gunks up the barrel”. The cheap Russian stuff (Wolf, TulAmmo) shoots dirty. Remington, American Eagle, Federal, all shoot cleaner. The Russian ammo is much cheaper, but is less accurate, dirtier, and steel-cased – the lacquer coating gunks up chambers. But it does work, if you want to spend less up front and more effort cleaning your weapons. Cheers! Reply huck says: January 13, 2012 at 17:08 Another fine product that’s not available in California. Reply Brandon says: January 13, 2012 at 17:55 Learn to call your shots and you won’t have to wonder where they went. Reply Caleb says: January 13, 2012 at 20:38 This comment is spot on – tracers are great for machine gunners who are walking fire in to the target, but for handgun and rifle shooting they’re a poor substitute for learning the fundamentals of pistol marksmanship and how to read your sights correctly. SBR makes some excellent non-gimmick ammo, they sponsor BJ Norris, one of the top pro shooters in the world and produce several types of ammo to his specifications. I shot several thousand rounds of their frangible ammo at Steel Challenge and was really impressed with the performance. So leave the tracers on the shelf, but definitely pick up some of the SBR ammo. Reply Aaron says: January 14, 2012 at 06:14 I like how the vid screenshot says, “trace them.” – I thought it was yet another reference to the ATF… Reply revjen45 says: January 14, 2012 at 11:28 “They are very useful at extended ranges due to the flight time being sufficient for spotting.” My limited experience with tracers is that they don’t follow the same trajectory at long range, probably due to the change in weight and balance as the tracer material burns out. It has been demonstrated with aerial gunnery that the tracers don’t have the same POI as the rest of the ammo, therefore putting your tracers on target means the rest are missing. Deleting tracers resulted in increased hits, as well as no longer making the enemy aware that he was under fire. Reply Oleg Volk says: January 14, 2012 at 12:47 With MG at 300-400m, yes. With pistol at 75, the difference in trajectory is insignificant by comparison with the sight offset from true caused by ignorance of the trajectory. The sample shooter I filmed was off by a couple of feet before observing his own shots, then got on target with both tracers and ball. Reply Mike Settles says: January 15, 2012 at 12:29 Tracer burnout for 7.62mm is 900 meters; 600 for 5.56mm/55 grain, 900 for 5.56mm/62 grain. The smaller tracers are very hard to follow in bright daylight. Military ball (FMJ) ammo is boat-tailed, tracers have a flat base, and are longer. The difference is enough to change ballistics, but shouldn’t be more than one or two MOA. I bought some 5.56mm tracer 62 grain “pulled” bullets at a gun show recently ($11/100 bullets). I checked them with a magnet: They turned out to be steel cored. Reply Write a Comment Cancel reply Your email address will not be published. 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