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tracer ammo- damage to bore? Need quick answer!

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by 45Badger, Dec 28, 2008.

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  1. 45Badger

    45Badger Member

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    I have a chance to buy a boatload of .308 projectiles that were/are tracer ammo.

    Owner says he has fired a ton of this with no damage, and that tracer compound does not light.

    I do not want to ruin the barrels of my M1As. Is this an issue, or old wive"s tail? If I tumble bullets, will it remove tracer compaound?

    Thanks!
     
  2. evan price

    evan price Member

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    Tumbling won't remove the tracer compound reliably. Pat's Reloading is selling tumbled .308 tracer for $69 a thousand.

    Tracers won't actually hurt the barrel, the hot powder needed to light the tracer burns the barrel.

    One thing to remember- even if not lighting- they still are tracers and MIGHT light. Most ranges ban tracer PERIOD. Our ODNR range up by my house wound up with a two-alarm brushfire when somebody shooting tracers (illegal at ODNR ranges) set the backstop and the woods behind the backstop on fire. Those tracers can fragment and burning bits can go anywhere, in that case they set the brush on fire behind the backstop and wind blew it out of control.
     
  3. 45Badger

    45Badger Member

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    So my friendly BLC-2 load will not cause barrel wear problems?
     
  4. 1858rem

    1858rem Member

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    i thought that it was the air friction that ignites tracers, so do you think it may actually be that the compound works on the barrel like a very fine grit?
     
  5. evan price

    evan price Member

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    Does it now? :)
     
  6. ar10

    ar10 Member

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    Tracer's are designed to activate AFTER leaving the barrel. It's usually 100~150 ft.
     
  7. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Yes, but it's still the burning powder gas that lights them. The delay element is burning but is not visable until it reaches the trace element.

    Air friction doesn't have anything to do with lighting it.

    rcmodel
     
  8. ar10

    ar10 Member

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    I don't have any idea of the how part. I just know they don't light up until after they leave the barrel. I've also seen some of the them light up further out.
     
  9. BeltfedMG

    BeltfedMG member

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    Buy em all they are fun and dont hurt the barrel.
     
  10. rfwobbly

    rfwobbly Member

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    Trial by Tracer

    Funny story...

    One time in high school my group of buddies grabbed each of our dad's military rifles and headed out to the woods to shoot the big rifles. We stopped at the local Army surplus store for cheap ammo, but the only ammo they had for my pal's 303 was tracer.

    The first tracer round set the woods on fire, and wouldn't you know... at the top of a hill. We popped the hubcaps off the car and the 4 of us spent the next 2 hours running up and down the hill carrying water in the hubcaps to put out the fire.

    We never wanted to see, use, or hear about any tracer after that.
     
  11. qajaq59

    qajaq59 Member

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    Not sure if tracers will hurt your barrel but they certainly will light fires Plus they're about as accurate as a slingshot.
     
  12. Remo-99

    Remo-99 Member

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    Tracers
    Well they look great being shot from an electric gatlin gun, but other than that, maybe they could serve as an improvised distress signal flare at night.

    Cheap milsurp FMJ's make better blasting ammo. IMO.

    Just my thoughts.
     
  13. jjohnson

    jjohnson Member

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    No Damage

    No, they won't damage the barrel.

    The hot gases created by igniting powder is way hotter than the itty bitty bit of trace element.

    The deal with 'not lighting' tracers is twofold: First, old surplus pulled bullets don't really do anything quite as well as when they were young; Second, with modern ammo, US made in particular, that stuff requires a pretty hot light to get going -the powder behind the tracer is formulated to burn hotter than other powders. Other powders will ingnite the element - sometimes - but the modern powders behind trace element is different from what most of us use today. Check patsreloading.com - he sells powder that's been pulled from tracers if you want to see more pretty results.
     
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