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Old March 25, 2007, 10:08 AM   #1
Keenan Goss
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Tracers for .223

I have a box of tracers that I was going to use for the .223 rem, but I also have a .223 wssm, and I was wondering if the bullets would work for both?
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Old March 25, 2007, 12:01 PM   #2
layusn1
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Im wondering if you can buy some of the tracers that say only 20% light and steel wool off the tracer compound just to be sure. The range officer is not a big fan of tracers.
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Old March 27, 2007, 11:55 AM   #3
Johnny Guest
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" . . . steel wool off the tracer compound . . . . "

layusn1 - -
Correct me if I'm wrong, but it appears you have a misperception of the way most tracer bullets work. The trace compound in INSIDE the base of the bullet, not some coating applied to the exterior. It is my understanding that the trace ignites by a combination of barrel friction and heat of the expanding gasses against the bullet base.

I'm not at all sure you CAN remove all the trace compound, short of drilling our and wire brushing the base cavity. Apparently loose tracer bullets may be handled safely, but I don't think I'd want to engage in any activity that created any significant heat of the bases.

Keenan Goss --
CAN it be done? Yes. Bullet diameter of the twocartridges is the same. SHOULD you do it? Depends on your goal. If the tracer bullets are "good," then they should light up at or before 75 yards from the muzzle, and show a burning trace out to at least 500 yards.

As to accuracy, this is more problematic. Military standards of accuracy for 5.56mm ball, M193 (56 gr.) and M855A1 ball (62 gr.) are both: 2.00" mean radius avg. at 200 yards. This means about 2 minutes of angle.

On the other hand, Tracer M196 (54 gr.) and Tracer M856A1 (63.8 gr) both have an accuracy standard of 5.0" mean radius max. avg. at 200 yards, or about 5 MOA.

Attribution: Above milspec ammo standards taken from Cartridges of the World, 11th edition.

All of the above standards are for miltary contract LOADED AMMUNITION. I have no idea how much this accuracy might vary if one carefully handloaded any of the four bullets. I'd bet you couldn't trim it by a half-inch at 100 yards. None of these are truly high precision projectiles, compared to commercial match bullets.

For comparison, commercial varmnt and match .223 bullets aren't considered particularly accurate if they won't shoot into 1/2 MOA, with good handloading technique, in a good rifle.

As can be seen, military tracer bullet weights are only close to the weight of nearest ball bullets. Additionally, as the trace compound (lead styphnate) burns off in flight, so the bullet drops up to four grains weight. Military tracer ammo has two basic purposes. It can allow the user to direct what is essentially area fire -- not precise shot placement. Second, it is used for target designation for other arms, such as artillery. In neither case is pinpoint accuracy truly required.

In civilian lfe, tracer ammo is mainly for entertainment purposes.

Best,
Johnny
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Old March 27, 2007, 12:27 PM   #4
Keenan Goss
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Thanks Johnny. It would be for entertainment only. Its to get rid of the bulk of the tracers that I currently have. I sold my bushmaster, but still have a winchester M70 in .223 wssm. I wanted to shoot them off instead of giving them away, I just didn't want to harm my rifle, or myself, and also wanted them to light. I didn't know if the difference in speed would matter.
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Old March 27, 2007, 12:31 PM   #5
rwilson452
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Noa

As to accuracy, this is more problematic. Military standards of accuracy for 5.56mm ball, M193 (56 gr.) and M855A1 ball (62 gr.) are both: 2.00" mean radius avg. at 200 yards. This means about 2 minutes of angle.

No, this is about 1 MOA 2" at 100 yds would be 2 MOA

On the other hand, Tracer M196 (54 gr.) and Tracer M856A1 (63.8 gr) both have an accuracy standard of 5.0" mean radius max. avg. at 200 yards, or about 5 MOA.

Again halve your value 1 MOA is just about 1.04" at 100 yards
We just use 1:1 at 100 as good enough. Do you have a calculator with sin/cos/tan ability?

1 min is 1/60 of a degree.
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Old March 27, 2007, 01:00 PM   #6
DaveInGA
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Tracers can be hard on your barrel. Were I you, I don't think I'm shoot them in that Model 70, as it's likely to reduce your barrel life a good bit.

Regards,

Dave
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Old March 27, 2007, 11:52 PM   #7
Johnny Guest
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Specifications: RADIUS vs. DIAMETER

rwilson452 - -

I think I can see the source of the confusion there. Please read again: The ball ammo - -
Quote:
2.00" mean radius avg. at 200 yards. This means about 2 minutes of angle.
and the tracer ammo --
Quote:
an accuracy standard of 5.0" mean radius max. avg. at 200 yards, or about 5 MOA.
Emphasis added. Please note: Radius is one-half of the diameter of a circle. Therefore, 2" radius at 200 yards would equal a 4" diameter circle, or, presumably, 2" at 100. And, I agree, we can round off one MOA to 1" at 100 yards.

Same with the tracer ammo - - 5" radius at 200 yards is about 5" diameter at 100.

Why the military specifications are so written, I don't know. Perhaps it simply indicates that, at the specified 200 yard range, no single bullet strike is apt to be more than 2" from the point of aim. This is really what counts, I suppose. It is certainly why I'm not bothered hunting larger game with a rifle that will "only" shoot a 2" group at 100 yards.

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Old March 28, 2007, 03:15 PM   #8
layusn1
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Johnny Guest:
"layusn1 - -
Correct me if I'm wrong, but it appears you have a misperception of the way most tracer bullets work. The trace compound in INSIDE the base of the bullet, not some coating applied to the exterior. It is my understanding that the trace ignites by a combination of barrel friction and heat of the expanding gasses against the bullet base.

I'm not at all sure you CAN remove all the trace compound, short of drilling our and wire brushing the base cavity. Apparently loose tracer bullets may be handled safely, but I don't think I'd want to engage in any activity that created any significant heat of the bases."

Yes, your right. I have no concept of how tracers work. I assumed, and we all know what that means, that the tip was coated with something like tungsten and an igniting compound. I didnt know it was actually inside the case. Thank you for the clarification. You really can learn something new everyday.
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