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I ordered a while back some 62 orange tip mil surplus "tracer" rounds for reloading. About half of them have a nice solid orange tip on it while the other half it was barely showing if anything at all. My question is for the ones that doesnt have the orange tips will they still have the "tracer" effect or will they just act as plain FMJ?
 

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Look at the base of the bullet. Most tracers have a copper foil in the base instead of plain lead. If you see copper foil, they're probably tracers.
 

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Several different color schemes are used to identify tracers, armor piercing, etc. rounds.
The color is just paint; has nothing to do with the action of the bullet itself.
 

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Mine had a white base. Be careful loading them. The 55 grain tracers I had were quite a bit longer than a 55 grain FMJBT. You will want to adjust the powder charge to allow for the bullet seating deeper.



This is the best picture I have that showes the white base.

 

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Where do you plan to shoot tracers?
As far as I know, all state and federal lands are closed to the firing of incendiary and tracer bullets, unless it's on an approved range and you're military or law enforcement.
Tracer bullets are terrible for starting range and forest fires. If you start a fire, you could find yourself handed a bill for millions of dollars in firefighting costs.
States and Uncle Sam are cracking down on those who create range and forest fires, through negligence or old fashioned stupidity.
Last summer, despite a large media campaign to warn shooters of the danger, at least two dozen range fires were started by shooters. We had one of the driest summers on record. The whole state was like tinder, and still people were standing over dry grass as tall as their thighs and shooting.
Some of these folks got handed big bills and fines.
I saw grass fires started with 5.56 and 7.62 tracers, when I was a Security Policeman in the U.S. Air Force. When you shoot tracers, it's like throwing a lit sparkler onto the field.
Please be careful.
 

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Paint is off because they tumble them after pulling-need a 1/7 barrel to shoot accurately-I loaded some and shot through a friends 1/9 barrel-keyholed 3" groups at 100yds--great self defense...think about the effects of a bullet hitting sideways..
 

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It is possible, all be it a PIA, to render tracers inactive. A dab of hot glue in the indentation then cut off clean keeps them from igniting. Load as per your requirements.
 

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i've seen both red and orange tips. IMHO.. the orange are milsurp.. and the red are aftermarket. but I don't know that for sure. just guessing..
 

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Red tip is M196 tracer, 55 gr bullet, designed for 1:9 to 1:12 twist barrels and lights at about 80 yards.
Orange tip is M856 tracer, 64 gr bullet, designed for 1:7 twist barrels and lights at about 150 yards.
Both will start fires so be very careful where you shoot them.
 

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if you purchased them for cheap reloads you should you should try to fix them so that they dont ignite, they are far too dangerous. as gatafeo said its a chance you may not want to take.
 
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