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Old 03-16-2009, 07:38 PM   #1
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Since I was a little kid I was told that tracers were FMJ rounds with phosphorous paint on the tip that burns as the round goes downrange. Am I right? Also, since my dad was in the national guard he said they loaded their mags every third round being a tracer. Am I right?

Got into an argument with some idiot on youtube that says tracers are completely hollow and filled with a filling that burns and comes out a tiny hole in the bottom of the round as it goes downrange. He says that tracers are lighter because during night fire excercises some of them richocet off the ground and that tracers aren't loaded every third round.

Of course, I looked at his youtube channel and it is full of nothing but video games. What a noob!

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Old 03-16-2009, 09:17 PM   #2
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I wanted to shoot tracer rounds at our club, the only problem is that our berms are old tires covered with dirt. I guess old tires and tracer round aren't compatible. It be like the eternal flame and they probably yank my membership.

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Old 03-16-2009, 09:40 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by dragunovsks View Post
Since I was a little kid I was told that tracers were FMJ rounds with phosphorous paint on the tip that burns as the round goes downrange. Am I right? Also, since my dad was in the national guard he said they loaded their mags every third round being a tracer. Am I right?

Got into an argument with some idiot on youtube that says tracers are completely hollow and filled with a filling that burns and comes out a tiny hole in the bottom of the round as it goes downrange. He says that tracers are lighter because during night fire excercises some of them richocet off the ground and that tracers aren't loaded every third round.

Of course, I looked at his youtube channel and it is full of nothing but video games. What a noob!
The other dude is right, sort of. A tracer is half filled with an incendiary material that burns. They do frequently go sailing back into the air when the hit the ground or anything else.

On linked MG ammo, every 5th round is tracer. There is no set SOP for tracer distribution in hand loaded mags. I loaded zero tracers per magazine, as they work both ways. Some guys would load one tracer at 25-28 rounds, as notification that their mag is almost empty. Others would load a tracer every 5th round. I knew one guy that would hoard tracers until he had a few mags worth, then he would fire nothing but tracer.
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Old 03-16-2009, 11:57 PM   #4
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Most Military tracers are designed to only light up at about 100-150 yards after firing. The reasoning is that you don't want to give up your position, but you do want to see what your going to hit. All Military tracers burn at the back of the projectile. This is so the shooter can see where its going. But the problem is if the projectile burns to quickly, the enemy can see your position. Tracers are filled with a phosphors material that is ignited from the burn of the power in the round that your shooting.

DONOT shoot tracers in the National Forest (Its against the Law) nor should you shoot them on BLM land. Fires can be started in an instant. Only shoot them in approved areas (and there aren't many).

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Old 03-17-2009, 01:06 AM   #5
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I guess the noob wasn't entirely wrong, was he????



Usually it's a 1 to 4 ratio in my military circles, but I don't use them. If I am firing night fire, I will have my NVGs on and my infrared on as well.

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Old 03-17-2009, 01:21 AM   #6
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Some guys would load one tracer at 25-28 rounds, as notification that their mag is almost empty.
That is what I did, I also had a tracer as my third round that way if I needed to shift fire I'd have a clue which way to go.

Luckily, except for the rounds I fired zeroing, I never used it.
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Old 03-17-2009, 01:48 AM   #7
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Most Military tracers are designed to only light up at about 100-150 yards after firing. The reasoning is that you don't want to give up your position, but you do want to see what your going to hit. All Military tracers burn at the back of the projectile. This is so the shooter can see where its going. But the problem is if the projectile burns to quickly, the enemy can see your position. Tracers are filled with a phosphors material that is ignited from the burn of the power in the round that your shooting.

DONOT shoot tracers in the National Forest (Its against the Law) nor should you shoot them on BLM land. Fires can be started in an instant. Only shoot them in approved areas (and there aren't many).
All of ours lit at about 20 feet out.
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Old 03-17-2009, 01:48 AM   #8
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I guess the noob wasn't entirely wrong, was he????



Usually it's a 1 to 4 ratio in my military circles, but I don't use them. If I am firing night fire, I will have my NVGs on and my infrared on as well.
You leave the illuminator on? That's worse than tracers.
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Old 03-17-2009, 01:59 AM   #9
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I just gotta get an opinion, what's worse:

muzzle flash or tracers in low light conditions?

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Old 03-17-2009, 02:06 AM   #10
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Used to keep one mag of tracer only (bottom inch painted red as reminder to my Mom's slow witted and only son) Only used if I needed to direct fire of team onto a particular point. Have been known to load NEXT to last round in a 45 magazine with tracer- when tracer goes downrange, mag is empty, pistol is not- drop mag, replace, continue to march.

Have set more military ranges on fire with tracer than I like to think about. Now that I am a civilian of sorts, do not want Smokey the Bear coming after me with a bill for putting out the forest fire, so no tracers on the firing range.

Recall lsitening to recording of radio conversation between patrol leader needing extraction, and helicopter pilot- who was asking for his position. "Do you see those GREEN tracers? "Roger" "Do you see where they CONVERGE? THAT'S ME !"

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