Tracers work both ways... true or false?


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Eyesac
February 25, 2009, 07:46 PM
I always hear people say "tracers work both ways" but I'm wondering if they really do. Can you see them if someone is shooting directly at you? Sure you can see them from a more perpendicular angle, but direct? I guess a better question is, has anyone ever been shot at w/ tracers? What did you see?

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dave from mesa
February 25, 2009, 08:05 PM
I saw them coming at us. Not sure if they were straight at us or at an angle. Kinda wasn't paying real attention at the time.

scythefwd
February 25, 2009, 08:08 PM
Did a live fire exercise in basic where they fired tracers over our heads.

YES, you can see em comming. Look just like blaster fire from star wars when they go over your head.

phenomenomm
February 25, 2009, 08:18 PM
-Yes

mm1ut1
February 25, 2009, 08:25 PM
We were told before I went to Iraq to load a tracer every 5th round and three at the end. I was attached to a unit when I got there and these guys told me to take all the tracers out. Difference between training and reality mode......

Elm Creek Smith
February 25, 2009, 10:29 PM
Tracers do work both ways. The problem is do you stay up to return fire as they come towards you? If you're under armor, you can do that. OTOH, ATGMs leave a hell of a launch signature which gives you a great place to lay down suppressive fire because they are relatively slow compared to tank rounds and Cal. 50.

ECS

browningguy
February 25, 2009, 10:49 PM
Yes indeed they do.

wrc376
February 25, 2009, 10:55 PM
yup yup - what they said

crazy-mp
February 25, 2009, 11:36 PM
If they say no tell em to walk out in a dark field at night and see if they see it comming:D

rondog
February 26, 2009, 12:52 AM
Ah, tracers....I prefer to be behind them, thank you. In this video you can definitely see how much faster the .50's are than the others.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DoQTFbPbg_g&feature=related

andcam
February 26, 2009, 04:32 AM
yes. i hate them.

1911Tuner
February 26, 2009, 07:27 AM
Tracers don't normally light off until they're some distance from the gun.
It varies with the caliber and a given ammo lot, but it's generally somewhere between 100 and 300 yards. So, you can determine the direction, but not the exact point of origin.

Double Naught Spy
February 26, 2009, 07:37 AM
Ah, tracers....I prefer to be behind them, thank you. In this video you can definitely see how much faster the .50's are than the others.

.50 BMG doesn't travel at a greater velocity than .223 or .308. It may be comparable in some cases, such as with those calibers using carbines, but otherwise .50 BMG is often slower than the other two.

1911Tuner
February 26, 2009, 08:40 AM
.50 BMG doesn't travel at a greater velocity than .223 or .308. It may be comparable in some cases, such as with those calibers using carbines, but otherwise .50 BMG is often slower than the other two.

Which is true at the beginning, but the .50's bullet being of larger mass than the other two, loses a much smaller percentage of its initial velocity as the distance increases. Conservation of momentum.

Study some ballistics tables for .30-caliber bullets of similar BC at .308 velocities. Compare a 150/2800 and a 165/2600. At about 400 yards, the two are pretty even. At 500, the heavier bullet passes the lighter one. And that's with only a 15 grain difference...

eye5600
February 26, 2009, 08:59 AM
I can see the use of tracers for suppressive fire. There is nothing like a crisscross of tracers to make field look like a bad place to take a walk. And they can light fires in dry grass, just for extra amusement value.

Acera
February 26, 2009, 06:48 PM
Does anyone know where that video was taken?

I sure hope there were miles and miles of land in that impact area, with all the folks that just shot them into the air, and not at the targets or backstop.

Boba Fett
February 26, 2009, 07:28 PM
I sure hope there were miles and miles of land in that impact area, with all the folks that just shot them into the air, and not at the targets or backstop.

Yeah no kidding. I was thinking the same thing.

Apparently it was done in Cheyenne Wells, Colorado, but where I didn't see in the video comments.

Double Naught Spy
February 26, 2009, 07:30 PM
Study some ballistics tables for .30-caliber bullets of similar BC at .308 velocities. Compare a 150/2800 and a 165/2600. At about 400 yards, the two are pretty even. At 500, the heavier bullet passes the lighter one. And that's with only a 15 grain difference...

So you can tell from the video the caliber of the bullet being fired and when it is going faster than another bullet several hundred yards away and moving away from you?

Scarface
February 26, 2009, 07:52 PM
Many years ago and far far away, our beloved Corps used to let me fly Cobras. In an enclosed cockpit, we couldn't hear anything from the ground, except a heavy caliber (.50, .51, 12.7, etc.) fired directly at us. It made the skin of the aircraft resonate with a thump, thump. The tracers, for most of their flight, looked like they were coming straight at us. If they missed, they appeared to move sideways at the last possible moment. When they moved sideways, it exposed more of the tracer flare, so it looked like it flared up, as well. They looked like flaming beer cans as they went by. Our tracers, from the mni gun, fired at either 2,000 or 4,000 rpm, so they showed up really well.

The net effect was to slam shut our sphincter muscles, with the result that we extracted rivets right out of the steel seats with the ensuing slam. Our metal shop stocked plenty of replacement rivets.

Anyway, you could see the tracers coming.

Be Well,

Scarface

jcwit
February 26, 2009, 08:21 PM
The ones they shot over my head in basic training I deffiently could see. Course I knew from the start where they were coming from.

bthest86
February 26, 2009, 08:28 PM
Well if they're coming straight at me I will probably be too dead to do anything about it much less see them!:eek:

ShadyScott999
February 26, 2009, 09:16 PM
Oh yeah.

Sig 226 .40
February 26, 2009, 09:24 PM
Oh damn...I just had a thought....I would love to see a tracer round made for the MK-19. (that's a 40mm machine gun for the uninitiated, same round as the M203 grenade launcher, just belt fed) At 6 rounds per second...a big ass glowing golf ball coming at ya!!!!! HE HE HEEEE!!!!! Back to my lab!!!

dave from mesa
February 26, 2009, 09:25 PM
Our tracers, from the mni gun, fired at either 2,000 or 4,000 rpm, so they showed up really well.
Scarface
Thanks for you're service.
They do show up real well and are a welcome site but it sure ain't fun being below a mini gun at 4,000 rpm. :eek:

Jim K
February 26, 2009, 09:54 PM
1911Tuner is correct. Some tracers light right off (in fact, ignited in the barrel) and some won't fire for some distance. AFAIK, only the standard trace is issued in 5.56mm and 7.62 NATO.

U.S. .30 rifle and .30 carbine ammunition have a red tip for standard tracer, orange for a dim or delay tracer. AFAIK, only the standard tracer is issued for 5.56mm and 7.62 NATO.

Here is the description of the Cal. 30 M25: "The tracer bullet M25 differs principally from the tracer buller M1 in containing a dim trace as well as a standard tracer composition. Dim trace begins at 35 to 50 yards from the muzzle and continues to 150+/- 75 yards where the bright trace begins and continues to 1,000 yards."

Cal .50 ammunition has several tracers, including a very bright (headlight) trace used in aerial combat; that is the trace that stands out in aerial combat photos.

Jim

Scarface
February 26, 2009, 09:58 PM
Dave,

Thank you for your kindness. Do you also remember the green tracers?

As an aside, on my first missions, we combined my area orientation with a recon insert. The team got immediate contact and as we started fire support, I commented to the HAC that all the birds coming up from the jungle were amazing. He commented on my parentage and probability of continued life and pointed out that the "birds" I thought were so remarkable were tracers. Yes, you can see them coming. These were most .30 cal at the foot of Elephant Valley near DaNang.

Semper Fi and thank you for your service,

Scarface

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
February 27, 2009, 10:11 AM
Well it's pretty danged difficult to film them from the other side. :eek: You're not going to see them *as well*, since the incendiary portion is at the rear of the round, but I don't doubt that you CAN see them from the front.

dave from mesa
February 27, 2009, 10:29 AM
Do you also remember the green tracers?
Scarface
Actually those are the kind that were coming at us. Other than during basic, where they shot way over our heard, never had red tracers fired in my direction.

chuckusaret
February 27, 2009, 10:40 AM
I only saw them as they passed by my chopper and did not reveal the shooters exact position, just the general area. Returning by chopper to Hue from DaNang just north of the Hi Van pass we would always draw green tracer fire that appeared to be larger than basket balls. You talk about a pucker factor.

Jubjub
February 27, 2009, 03:43 PM
In WWII, we developed an extra bright tracer designed to be more visible from the front, the Cartridge, Caliber .50, Tracer, Headlight, M21. It was believed that there was a deterrent effect on attacking fighters when this was fired from bomber defensive guns. It also made it easier for other planes in the formation to see where defensive fire was going, enabling them to spot fighters sooner.

rondog
February 27, 2009, 04:55 PM
Yeah, that video was from the Cheyenne Wells, CO, machine gun shoot last spring (coming up again soon!). There's miles of wide-open-nothingness in the background, I hear the owner of the range property owns all the pasture land from there to the Kansas border. It's a charity event for the Cheyenne Wells volunteer fire department, and they had several trucks there. Put out several grass fires too. A great time, I hope to go this year too.

And you can quote all the stats you want, all I know is when somebody fired off an M2, those tracers sure seemed to go a LOT faster than most of the others.

Didn't take very far for some of them to light off either, from what I could see. This is #7 of a series I cut from one of my videos, they all lit up within a foot or two.

http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b150/rinselman/guns/50tracer07JPG.jpg

jbkebert
February 27, 2009, 05:42 PM
You can see them almost to clear. When loading wounded taking of supplies at night. The birds would come in black. You can see them plain as day through night vision especialy using IR. Even though you can see enemy fire you dont dare shoot back until the birds are off the ground. To much chance of being zeroed in on by muzzle flash and tracers. Blackhawks are hard to see in a field at night. The sounds of the motor and blades echoes. You can hear it but its very hard with out nightvision to pinpoint.

d2wing
February 27, 2009, 09:34 PM
Yup! they do.

Tom S.
February 28, 2009, 10:38 AM
Yes, which is why I don't use laser sights.

Floppy_D
February 28, 2009, 11:31 AM
Oh damn...I just had a thought....I would love to see a tracer round made for the MK-19.
We overheated and split a Mk19 barrel without tracers, no need to add them. :D

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