red tipped 5.56?


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Slinger
August 30, 2007, 06:38 PM
Bought a bunch of what was called Lake City 5.56 at the local gun show. While going through and storing ammo last night I noticed that the ammo had red tips on the bullets.

Is there some significance to the red tips?

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Jorg Nysgerrig
August 30, 2007, 06:43 PM
Red tips usually indicate tracer ammo, although for 5.56 more of an orange color seems more common.

HorseSoldier
August 30, 2007, 06:47 PM
Red tipped 5.56mm is the tracer round that goes with the old M193 55 grain round (don't recall the tracer's M#). Orange denotes M856 (?) tracer that goes with M855 62 grain ammo.

Edited to add -- Assuming it is US military ammo. If foreign, I'd still guess tracer.

CWL
August 30, 2007, 06:56 PM
It may also be old stock of M16A1 tracer ammo. If it is indeed the old M196 tracer ammo for the M16A1, it will not be as accurate when fired out of the newer M16A2 rifles which has a different rifle twist rate.

Does the headstamp actually say "Lake City"?

Definitely tracer ammo regardless of where it came from.

The Deer Hunter
August 30, 2007, 07:33 PM
Sounds like some dark time shootins' in order :D

Float Pilot
August 30, 2007, 08:54 PM
If it is indeed the old M196 tracer ammo for the M16A1, it will not be as accurate when fired out of the newer M16A2 rifles which has a different rifle twist rate.

1. None of the tracer ammo is as accurate as the ball ammo.
Plus it trashes your barrel pretty fast.

2. The faster 1 in 7 twist barrels of the A2s, M-4s and M-249s, will still shoot the older lighter ammo (55 grain M-193 ball or the tracer variant) just fine. They are just spinning like crazy.

It is the older 1 in 12 guns that do not stabilize the longer and heavier 62 grain ammo and the ridiculusly long new tracer rounds. We had key-holes at 25 meters using the new green tip M855 ammo while still trying to use older M-16A1 rifles for non-combat tropps weapons quals.

We were ordered to expend huge amounts of old tracer rounds for training and qualification purposes for over two years. Firing them through our M-4s, M-16A2s and M-249s.
Other than setting the range on fire at regular intervals, the ammo was just about as accurate as it was when being fired from the old M-16s. Within the older range limitations of the older ammo and rifles...

We did note that the M-193 ball ammo would key-hole at 700 meters (about 50% of the impacting rounds) when fired through an M-249. The 62 grain M855 ammo still had a few key-holes at that range, but it was probably 5% or less.

Jeremy2171
August 31, 2007, 12:40 AM
Tracers are no more harmful to your barrel than ball ammo.

Float Pilot
August 31, 2007, 01:42 AM
By "trashing the barrel pretty fast", I was referring to how fast it gets dirty and fouled.
Chrome lined military contract barrels seem not to be bothered all that much as far as wear is concerned, but having extra burning compund running through your barrel can't be all that great for it... I'll bet that you could not talk any long range competitor or Marine Sniper into running 200 rounds of straight tracers through their rifles...
There is a reason that the 50 caliber tracer does not start burning until it is a ways down range..
I never cared with Uncle Sams barrels....I do with mine...

U.S.SFC_RET
August 31, 2007, 06:43 AM
Might I ask you what is burning behind the bullet in the first place? The military didn't always use chrome lined barrels but they used alot of tracers. If you are concerned about shooting tracers through a barrel just clean give it a good cleaning.

Omnivore
August 31, 2007, 06:54 PM
Just be careful shooting tracers. They are notorious fire starters. Some friends and I were out firing .50 BMG tracres in early spring, when we though things were plenty wet. We ended up having to slog through mud in a field to get to the fire and put it out-- 200 yards to the side and in front of the berm.

My new personal rule: Never shoot tracres unless the ground is covered in snow, or immediately after a long, soaking rain.

HorseSoldier
August 31, 2007, 07:04 PM
Yeah -- tracers can give you a real appreciation for what happens to bullets that strike rocks, vehicles, and whatnot down range. Usually you see a round headed towards orbit, but sometimes they'll stay closer to the ground and zip off at most any angle imaginable . . .

jpwilly
September 1, 2007, 02:15 AM
Here's a great way to get some bulk 223 Tracer ammo at Cabelas (http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/templates/links/link.jsp;jsessionid=G0DXP2VNYBNJ4CWQNWSSCOYK0BW0MIWE?id=0031367215739a&type=product&cmCat=froogle&cm_ven=data_feed&cm_cat=froogle&cm_pla=0350101&cm_ite=0031367215739a&_requestid=100424)

Bohica_arms
September 1, 2007, 02:34 AM
Tracer ammo uses a hotter powder to ignite the tracer pellet at the base of the bullet (I Think it's WC846T) Standard 855 ball uses WC846 - Tracer powder DOES affect your bore, but probably not enough to notice if you shoot a couple hundred rounds. (IMHO)

Chris R
Bohica Arms Corp.

Jeremy2171
September 1, 2007, 02:42 AM
Tracer ammo uses a hotter powder to ignite the tracer pellet at the base of the bullet (I Think it's WC846T) Standard 855 ball uses WC846 - Tracer powder DOES affect your bore, but probably not enough to notice if you shoot a couple hundred rounds. (IMHO)

Incorrect, the powder is the same. I use WC846 and or I4895 when loading tracers. Sometime I just swap the FMJs from 7.62x54 LB ammo with a US M25 tracer..no worries.

MisterPX
September 1, 2007, 04:28 AM
There are 2 different powders, one for tracers, one for ball. WC 844&846, and their counterparts.

Jeremy2171
September 1, 2007, 04:33 AM
There are 2 different powders, one for tracers, one for ball. WC 844&846, and their counterparts.

844 is primarily 5.56 while 846 is 7.62. Tracer or ball the same powder is used for both.

MisterPX
September 1, 2007, 10:11 PM
According tohttp://www.patsreloading.com/patsrel/prices.htm there's a difference in powders.

Jeremy2171
September 2, 2007, 02:54 AM
Pats doesn't load ammo for the Govt. Per Army specs there is only 844 or 846 type powder. Its likely Pats is selling powder from tracer ammo as "tracer powder".

When I load my 5.56 tracers I've used 844,846 and I4895 and they all have lit no problems.

TheDisturbed1
September 2, 2007, 03:53 AM
not to drift off topic or anything, but what about green tipped ammo? (5.56)

Jeremy2171
September 2, 2007, 05:08 AM
What about it? Green tip is M855 NATO ball..(62grn) vs M193 ball (55 grn).

Acera
September 2, 2007, 02:48 PM
The green tip has the steel penetrator inside, and is not tracer. This is the current "go to war stuff" that is being issued. It is based on the European SS109 round.

p.s. for you tracer shooters--- tracers work both ways :)

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