.50 BMG tracer/incendiary storage safety


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ranger7
January 28, 2003, 11:08 PM
I have a growing collection (less than 100) of various types of .50 BMG rounds. Some are "live" with powder and live primers and most are dummy rounds with no powder and spent primers. Most of the various bullet types are represented. I got them to display on a shelf or hang on the wall, when linked. (There are no children in the house to "play" with them.)

It has been suggested to me that the various flavors of incendiary and tracer bullets are not safe to store and handle, even in dummy rounds.

I'd appreciate it if those knowledgeable about these rounds would advise me about this.

Alan

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50 Shooter
January 28, 2003, 11:19 PM
The only .50 round that I would be concerned about is the .50 spotter/tracer. It has a primer type firing device in the tip, I don't think it would be a good idea to drop one on it's nose.

As for the other stuff, I can't see why it would be dangerous. Unless you get some chuckle head that decides he wants to throw it down on the ground.

50 Shooter
January 28, 2003, 11:31 PM
Here's a couple good links for the .50 spotter/tracer.

http://home.houston.rr.com/visual/50spotter.jpg

http://www.ammoman.com/spotter_tracer.htm

ranger7
January 29, 2003, 12:08 AM
50 Shooter,

From the links you provided, only the early (A1) version of the Spotter/Tracer had primer in the tip. The later (A2) variety doesn't.

Of course, I don't know which I have. :-(

The single Spotter/tracer round I have is in a normal 50 BMG case and the OAL of the round is 5.5 inches. According to your references, the Spotter/Tracers were in a special shorter case which gave it an OAL of 4.5 inches. (Maybe mine's a reload??)

Here's the advice I got from somone else on incendiaries and tracers:
(I'm probably violating netiquette by posting it here. I'm not sure whether keeping it annonymous makes it better or worse. Sorry.)

(Quote) Any Incendiary bullet should be treated as a higher-risk fire hazard AS IT SITS. These have a substantial filler which is supposed to start fires on exposure to air. When they hit a target, they rupture and "explode" with a brilliant flash and lots of hot sparks. Also, they do not age well.... This is one bullet I personally would snap into an GI ammo can and store in a cool, dry place outside --until I found a .50 BMG shooter to buy them.

The Tracers are not so hazardous in terms of handling, but of course they also were designed to start fires as well as trace their paths. -snip-(End Quote)

I'm not trying to generate controversy on this but I am interested in getting a reasonably safe conclusion.

Alan

50 Shooter
January 29, 2003, 12:20 AM
The easiest way to tell the A1 from the A2 is the tip. If it's open like a hollow point, it's an A1. If it's closed, you have an A2.

I would assume that if they are kept in a cool dry place they should be fine for years. I'm sure alot of the surplus stuff that's being sold is at least 20+ years old or more.

The S/T round that you have has been reloaded, as you can see in the links, the S/T rounds were loaded in a shorter case. People load them at reduced charges to shoot them in full size cases, thus allowing them to shoot them in bolt guns or semi's.:D

ranger7
January 29, 2003, 09:02 AM
My Spotter/Tracer is closed at the tip, so it's an A2. That should mean it's safer, right?

Alan

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