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Posted: 12/15/2010 4:48:36 AM EDT
I am looking at some .308 tracer ammo, as it is so damned inexpensive.  Equally cheap as me casting myself.

1)  I know that shooting tracer rounds is potentially damaging to the barrel, but can someone elaborate?  I am not going to shoot full auto or mag dumps with all tracers.  I am intending to shoot 3 matches with a 20 round magazine and aimed but quick shooting.  Is it the heat of rapid firing of tracers that damage the barrel, or the chemical compound that does so?  Does this sound harmful at this rate of fire?

2)  Can I remove the ignitable component at the base of the boolit by some means and thus have a damned cheap 142 grain boolit?

3)  Any other concerns or thoughts?  I can only buy these by the 1000 so I don't want to experiment.  I have no experience with tracers and have seen no info on them to learn.

Thanks...my friends
Link Posted: 12/15/2010 5:33:43 AM EDT
[#1]
I have loaded and shot 556 tracers.



I do not see how it can hurt a barrel.



You might be able to scrap the compound out, Mine were tumbled in corncob. I picked the packed in corncob out. It sucked, scraping the compound out would suck 100 fold.



Try drilling it out, or filling it with epoxy?
Link Posted: 12/15/2010 6:40:05 AM EDT
[#2]
Where are they that cheap?   I don't consider $180 for 1200 all that cheap. FYI; If you try to scrape the compound out you run the risk of igniting it one spark is all it takes. Just fill base with epoxy and they won't light. P.S., accuracy sucks. The M-25's I got from Weidners  a few years ago won't ignite more than 10% of the time, unless I CAREFULLY poke holes in the copper disc in the bottom.
Link Posted: 12/15/2010 6:48:17 AM EDT
[#3]
As for damaging the barrel I only use them occasionally in my bolt guns and my SKS. the magnesium compound only harms the barrel if it ignites in the barrel. there is a time delay at the base that usually won't ignite the burn till the bullet is clear of the barrel.
Link Posted: 12/15/2010 7:16:25 AM EDT
[#4]
Link Posted: 12/15/2010 8:06:08 AM EDT
[#5]
Quoted:
Just as a side note, you mentioned an intent to shoot 3 matches with these - I have a hard time envisioning any kind of match or competition where tracers would be permitted.  

They won't hurt your barrel, the tracer element doesn't light until it's well clear of the barrel.


Not to mention I can almost promise a last place finish.  These are not highly accurate rounds.
Link Posted: 12/16/2010 1:09:37 PM EDT
[#6]
Quoted:
As for damaging the barrel I only use them occasionally in my bolt guns and my SKS. the magnesium compound only harms the barrel if it ignites in the barrel. there is a time delay at the base that usually won't ignite the burn till the bullet is clear of the barrel.


How are they time delayed?  I might load them in 300BLK... will they ignite subsonic?
Link Posted: 12/16/2010 3:27:35 PM EDT
[#7]
Time delay??  They simply take time to start burning & do so about 75 to 100 yards from the muzzle.  Figure the approx. muzzle speed & then consider
it does take a bit of distance & time for the mixture to begin burning.  Not good for accuracy!  As the mixture burns, the projectile gets lighter.
The mixture burns a bit unevenly & there are some areas in the projectile that retain little pieces of burnt mixture.  That imbalances the projectile.
Shoot a few at night & see the unpredictable flight path many of them take.  Then you too be be convinced that they surely are not good for  "match"
ammo.  I suppose if all you competitors & you shoot the same stuff, some one will win the match.  Buy first, call the fire department & have them standing by ready
for the several fires, assuming the match is not done in a driving rain storm.  Will they ignite subsonic?  Depends on heat & pressure.  To further complicate matters for you, ignition of the projectile depends at least in part on which powder you use.  Stick verses ball also matters, so I read here & in other forums.
Ignition of the compound is delayed be a thin copper disk in the rear of the projectile base.  It burns through during powder ignition.
Link Posted: 12/16/2010 5:02:22 PM EDT
[#8]
Sorry, I meant 3 GUN matches.  I would only use them for the short range shooting.  I would shoot other stuff for longer shots.

It sounds like this is too good to be true, pricewise I mean.

They are advertised at $60 for 1000 and $150 for 3000 at Pat's Reloading.  5 pennies a boolit.

Oh well.

Thanks...my friends
Link Posted: 12/16/2010 9:30:32 PM EDT
[#9]
Tracers won't do you a lick of good till they light off about 100M away from the barrel.
Link Posted: 12/16/2010 9:32:02 PM EDT
[#10]
Quoted:
Sorry, I meant 3 GUN matches.  I would only use them for the short range shooting.  I would shoot other stuff for longer shots.

It sounds like this is too good to be true, pricewise I mean.

They are advertised at $60 for 1000 and $150 for 3000 at Pat's Reloading.  5 pennies a boolit.

Oh well.

Thanks...my friends


Those might be 10% may light tracers left in a wet rusted container
Link Posted: 12/17/2010 3:06:43 AM EDT
[#11]
Poly Gun Bag has them for $50 per 1000. I add a small amount of hot glue to the base to keep them from lighting. Work great for blasting ammo.
Link Posted: 12/17/2010 4:43:55 AM EDT
[#12]
That was my only intent; blasting.  The tracer effect was a detriment really.  I can see no use for it on a non full auto gun.  I can't even shoot at night at my gun club outside.

It would seem that esp if the tracers are a lighter grain boolit, there would be a vast difference in POI from the non-tracer rounds in a belt of ammo.
Link Posted: 12/17/2010 5:26:52 AM EDT
[#13]
Quoted:
Time delay??  They simply take time to start burning & do so about 75 to 100 yards from the muzzle.  Figure the approx. muzzle speed & then consider
it does take a bit of distance & time for the mixture to begin burning.  Not good for accuracy!  As the mixture burns, the projectile gets lighter.
The mixture burns a bit unevenly & there are some areas in the projectile that retain little pieces of burnt mixture.  That imbalances the projectile.
Shoot a few at night & see the unpredictable flight path many of them take.  Then you too be be convinced that they surely are not good for  "match"
ammo.  I suppose if all you competitors & you shoot the same stuff, some one will win the match.  Buy first, call the fire department & have them standing by ready
for the several fires, assuming the match is not done in a driving rain storm.  Will they ignite subsonic?  Depends on heat & pressure.  To further complicate matters for you, ignition of the projectile depends at least in part on which powder you use.  Stick verses ball also matters, so I read here & in other forums.
Ignition of the compound is delayed be a thin copper disk in the rear of the projectile base.  It burns through during powder ignition.


Does stick or ball set them off faster / more reliably? Remove the copper disk for instant burn?  I might consider removing or puncturing the copper disk on some for fast burn and gluing over others as someone else suggested to keep others from burning / maintain consistent weight.
Link Posted: 12/17/2010 7:34:49 AM EDT
[#14]
Sorry to hijack but this thread brought one question to mind.

Will tracers damage AR500 steel?
Link Posted: 12/17/2010 7:46:48 AM EDT
[#15]
My experience is only with 62 gr. .224 tracer from Polybag.  About 60% ignited of about 40 I fired with out having pierced the base.
Of those that I pierced the copper base with an x pattern, about 80% ignited.  Seems I got a little better ignition with IMR 4198, a stick powder,
than Accurate 2460, a ball powder, the only powders I used, regardless of an x in the base or not.  My 2nd cousin, while in Iraq as a Marine,
was often on a 5.56x45 SAW.  He said tracer ignition was typically about 80% of what he fired.  I hope this helps you.
Link Posted: 12/17/2010 7:50:58 AM EDT
[#16]
Is AR500 steel the barrel's metal or something you intend to shoot with a tracer?
Link Posted: 12/17/2010 8:13:22 AM EDT
[#17]
Link Posted: 12/19/2010 7:58:33 AM EDT
[#18]
Tracer load report for 7.62x39, cases NNY (yugo. mil.) with RWS5620 bredan primers, starting load of X-Terminator for 150 gr. bullets  (look it up on Ramshot's latest load data sheet) M25 145gr .308 tracers with three pinholes punched in the copper disc. I seat to chamber with out effort; this gives a compressed load.  Cycling fuction in my Yugo 59/66 is  flawless and 100% ignition of the tracers. Shoot them at a sloping hillside and see how bullets ricochet. great reminder for having a safe impact area
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