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5.56 tracers? help I cant get them to work

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by straitnate14, Mar 7, 2010.

  1. straitnate14

    straitnate14 Well-Known Member

    Anyone load the .223/5.56 tracers that wideners sells? There a 55gr bullet and the bag they come in say m196 http://www.wideners.com/itemdetail.cfm?item_id=1196&dir=278|281|296

    I have tried several loads and have had little if any succes on getting them to light down range. I started off with a light load of BLC2 at 25.5 gr, no go. Then I tried 26.5 and got nothing. Then I tried the MAX load of 27.5 with a tighter crimp and had 1 light out of 10. I then switched to accurate 2230 and stared with light load of 24.5, 25.5, 26.5 and still no dice my next load is the max at 27.3 but I havent loaded them yet because they pretty much fill the case all the way to the neck and the 55gr tracer bullets are pretty long when compared to a regular 55gr and I was woundering if it would be safe to load and shoot them? Oh and the primers I'm useing are wolf small rifle, the brass is mostly remington and pmc .223 brass that I got from http://capefearammo.com/
  2. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Could be the reason the tracers were pulled and sold as surplus scrap was because they didn't all light off as planned.

    If they were not pulls, they didn't pass acceptance standards during testing.

    Had they been 100%, they would be shooting them in Iraq.

  3. straitnate14

    straitnate14 Well-Known Member

    Any ideas on how to get them to light? My buddy bought some factory made tracer rounds and they light great out of his mini 14 but not out of my AR 15? could the barrel twist have somthing to do with it? My AR has 1/8 twist and 16 inch barrel.
  4. madd0c

    madd0c Well-Known Member

    Well, I would suggest with that info, try shooting some of your reloads out of his mini-14 and see if they light. That could be helpful if they worked out of his gun.

  5. Exposure

    Exposure Well-Known Member

    I bought a big bag of those tracers from Wideners. I have had great luck with this recipe:

    LC Cases
    CCI # 450 SR magnum primers
    25.5 Grains Hodgdon benchmark powder
    2.25" OAL
    STRONG crimp with a Lee Factory Crimp Die

    I get probably 9 out of 10 to light with this recipe. Works great and boy are they bright! I would advise to be careful with them, they burn HOT, and for a long time.
  6. NCsmitty

    NCsmitty Well-Known Member

    There was another thread dealing with loading tracers here today. I brought up the fact that usually the milsurp loads were originally loaded with a hotter tracer powder to light the bullet base loads more consistently.
    Using a magnum primer may help light them up with canister powder.

  7. straitnate14

    straitnate14 Well-Known Member

    The primers I use are wolf small rifle magnum primers.
  8. medalguy

    medalguy Well-Known Member

    Pat's Reloading sells WC844T powder which is designed for 5.56 tracers. They state that they are getting low so I wouldn't wait very long to get an order in.
  9. Slim Pickens

    Slim Pickens Well-Known Member

    For those that have had success with the Wideners tracers - how far out from the muzzle do they light? I thought most tracers were designed to light at least 150 yds out so they don't pinpoint the shooter's position.
  10. 627PCFan

    627PCFan Well-Known Member

    Stick with ball powder and solid crimps. How far are you shooting? Some tracers can take the better part of 200 yards to get glowin. Also Im thinking a slow twist barrel could hinder things.
  11. dp..recon

    dp..recon New Member

    ya slim and jr are right at the eailiest with the military 5.56 nato the light at 75 m somtimes but usually 100-150m however a real hot barrel could change that if your shooting 100m and in you might not see much
  12. rg1

    rg1 Well-Known Member

    It's the condition of the tracer compound that makes them light or not. I've seen some 54 red tipped tracers advertised as "20% will light". I've got reliable ignition with the 54gr red tipped tracer and the 62 M856 orange tipped tracers using H335 powder which is similiar in burn rate to military 844 powder. I don't think a maximum powder charge will help ignite tracers any better than a mild load. I have seen recommended that ignition can be improved by taking a pin or needle and poking a pin-hole in the cup closure in the bullet base. I haven't tried this myself but reports suggest it may help light the tracer compound. Careful because they will easily start grass and forest fires. Red tipped 54 tracers are supposed to stay lit out to about 800 yards and the 62 orange tipped will stay lit to 1000 or more yards. They richochet easily just as all bullets do and will hit the base of a hill and ricochet over the top of the hill.
  13. medalguy

    medalguy Well-Known Member

    I use the W844T powder and they lite about 75% of the time within 100 yards. A hot load is not necessary.

    I also load 7.62 pulldown tracers using W846T powder. The military load is 46 gr but I get them to lite 100% of the time with 42.5 gr of the 846T and a good crimp with a Lee collet crimper. These usually lite within 100 yards. My range is 300 yards so I see every one that lites.

    As stated, be careful as they will burn quite a long time and can very easily start fires. Best shooting is into soft clay or sandbanks to minimize ricochets.
  14. GMFWoodchuck

    GMFWoodchuck member

    Hold a match near the end of the barrel.

    And if you actually do this, leave my name out of it because it's just a joke.
  15. straitnate14

    straitnate14 Well-Known Member

    I bumped up the crimp and got about 40% to light so I think that if I keep working on the crimp I will get it figured out, only can shoot the tracers at one place so it's a slow proccess.
  16. straitnate14

    straitnate14 Well-Known Member

    Oh theres nothing to burn down here in IL yet... but we dont have much other than grass corn or beans, no real wooded areas around here to worry about but once the corn is up I loose my range anyway

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