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Old June 10, 2013, 08:56 PM   #1
tahunua001
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Join Date: July 21, 2011
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30-06 expirimentation day.

hello all.
yesterday I took a buddy out that is about to move out of state for one last hurrah of squirrel hunting and frog gigging. we took my ruger M77 MKII and a bunch of old tracers that I wanted to get rid of(it's still green on the mountain, no fire danger).
well the tracers seemed way too hot for being US surplus and none of them ignited and accuracy was horrible. not that I was expecting MOA in the first place. well we came back in off the mountain and I gave him a tutorial on reloading and developed a cast bullet load using 170 GC cast bullets and 12gr of trail boss. took them outside and decided to test penetration/expansion.

lined up a 32oz plastic bottle full of water in front of a 12 inch firewood round; a favorite testing media for those of us that can't afford ballistics gel. believe it or not we've found that the results are pretty close to actual bullets recovered from game animals.

the cast bullet barely made a pop, nice and quite, somewhere between a 22LR and 9mm carbine. recoil was comparable to a 223. the bullet made it through the water and about 3 inches into the block of wood and got a decent(though not great) mushroom about the size of a nickel. then for poops and giggles I lined up another water bottle and took a shot with a tracer. this one made it through the water bottle, completely punched through the firewood round behind it and THEN ignited as it was tumbling in a slow arc for the next 20 feet only to get lost in tall grass. luckily it didn't start a fire but I was unable to recover the bullet. however both entrance holes and both exits are all the exact same size. there was no expansion whatsoever.


so there you go, for anyone that has ever wondered about what kind of penetration and expansion that a 30-06 tracer is capable of... the answer is a heck of a lot and none at all.
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Old June 15, 2013, 05:24 PM   #2
tahunua001
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hmmm... apparently not as interesting as I thought.
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Old June 15, 2013, 09:46 PM   #3
Unclenick
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How were the tips of the tracers painted? The fact they wouldn't light until after striking something suggests they might actually be incendiary rounds.
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Old June 16, 2013, 06:11 AM   #4
PawPaw
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unclenick
How were the tips of the tracers painted? The fact they wouldn't light until after striking something suggests they might actually be incendiary rounds.
Good point. However, he might have also been shooting old stock. When I was a misquided youth, rumbling around in tanks for my Uncle, we shot a lot of belted ammunition. If we got old-stock ammo, sometimes the tracers would fail to ignite, often at a 50% rate. It doesn't surprise me when tracers fail to ignite.

But, he might have gotten hold of some incendiary rounds as well.
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Old June 16, 2013, 06:51 PM   #5
tahunua001
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it's orange tip, it was in garand clips mixed with black tips so I saved the black tips and just kindof try to get rid of the tracers while there's no fire danger. some of them are tarnished where they used to be belted so it's probably changed hands a few times before it got to me.

head stamps range from 54-71 with some 69 mixed in... all lake city. a few years back my brother in law took some pre pulled orange tips(unknown year) and put them in 303 brit brass, only had about 1/3 fail to ignite. I've shot probably 40 or so of these tracers and that was the only one that actually ignited to date, I figured they were just past shelf life and though I never expected any of them to ignite, at least I have been smart enough to not shoot them during high fire danger.
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Old June 17, 2013, 09:02 AM   #6
Unclenick
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Orange tip should be the M25 tracer. Red was used on the M1 tracer.
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