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Old May 4, 2019, 06:51 PM   #1
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Range Fire - Tracer Round

It appears that a Saturday Morning range fire in suburban Atlanta was caused by a tracer round. Bullseye Range and Gun Shop is located in the old town area of Lawrenceville, GA.

While I have visited the gun store once I have never shot there, but I assume the prohibit tracer rounds like most places. It seems strange that someone could forget they were firing them, but if people forget the gun in their carryon at the air port I guess anything is possible.
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Old May 4, 2019, 07:09 PM   #2
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Virtually the same story for the Sandy Springs Gun Club
and Range, Ga. Fire and a lot of smoke. Never reopened.

Firemen chopped big hole in roof. Retail area basically
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Old May 4, 2019, 08:00 PM   #3
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"I assume the (sic) prohibit tracer rounds like most places"

Nowhere I've ever shot, and not in all areas of the US.
In addition, I doubt that all shooters have a clue about identifying tracer rounds, especially when any tip, neck, or primer markings have been cleaned or worn off.
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Old May 4, 2019, 09:53 PM   #4
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Some years ago, a shooter burned down an indoor range in the DFW area with a tracer round. The range in question used a chipped rubber (ballistic mulch) backstop and the tracer set the rubber on fire. Pretty hard to put that out once it gets going. The place burned to the ground. It took years to rebuild and reopen.
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Old May 4, 2019, 11:25 PM   #5
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A tracer can start a fire, but an incendiary round is a near guaranteed fire into dry flammable materials.
And I’d wager most can’t tell the difference.
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Old May 4, 2019, 11:28 PM   #6
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Local ranges, both indoor and outdoor, ban tracers. Never saw the need for them, myself.
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Old May 5, 2019, 02:00 AM   #7
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It's not about the "need", its about shooting a round that's cool to watch fly down range.

The problem is the person that's shooting them where they're not supposed to be. Then when they start a fire, grab their stuff and leave like they dont know anything about it!

Same with incendiary rounds, all they need is a little dry grass or something else that will catch on fire easy and BOOM, you better have a fire truck close by.

Seen plenty of things catch on fire when I was in the Army and we were shooting tracers and incendiary rounds. People need to shoot them where it's safe or at least make sure that it's safe before shooting them in that area.
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Old May 5, 2019, 11:10 AM   #8
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Absolutely 50 Shooter!

There's some education with tracers also. Note how all 3 bullets change direction to the right when they hit the water. This is due to the spin on the bullet. The third bullet is an Incendiary, which you can tell from the charge going off when it hits the water.

2 Tracers and an Incendiary into water
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Old May 6, 2019, 03:15 PM   #9
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It happened at a range near me a couple of years ago. A guy had purchased ammo in a baggie at a gun show, and didn't realize tracers were mixed in. The guys at the range told me that he was apologetic. I don't know if any money changed hands, either personal funds or insurance company funds. And I'm not clear on whether the first round lit the fire or if he fired multiple tracer rounds not realizing what he was seeing. The fire was pretty quickly contained, though, and they were back in business in something like 2 or 3 weeks.
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Old May 9, 2019, 11:26 AM   #10
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Happened close to an outdoor range above Lyons started by somebody shooting tracers, large fire and this range along with 2-3 other outdoor, uncontrolled ranges , closed until fire danger lifted.

I think a lot of users of these National Forest, uncontrolled ranges don't realize how easily the State could close these..the other Sat, a guy there with a (now illegal) bump would not be a stretch to have the authorities not only arrest that guy but also close these ranges, 'just because'.

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Old May 9, 2019, 01:28 PM   #11
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Trace does not start fires unless the range grass, etc. is really, really dry. An indoor range can have gun powder residue and tiny powder particles all over the floor and in the back stop. A trace alone isn't likely to light that.
At the Second Chance Night Tracer Festival, years ago, the targets at 600ish yards were full gas cans, full 25 and 100 pound propane tanks, fireworks, a car and a refrigerator. A dozen or more rifle and MG shooters including Dickie Davis and his .50 BMG. All rifles and MG's firing tracers. Absolutely nothing happened other than the propane creating a lovely white cloud wafting gently over the ground. Then Dickie fired the .50 with APTI. This created a great, big, ball of flame and black smoke that rose several hundred feet. The tracers did nothing at all. Even when fired into the cloud of propane.
"...markings have been cleaned or worn off...." Only marks on a trace is a painted bullet tip. Orange for NATO ammo.
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Old May 9, 2019, 01:35 PM   #12
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An indoor range can have gun powder residue and tiny powder particles all over the floor and in the back stop. A trace alone isn't likely to light that.
And yet several people in this thread have reported fires at ranges they frequent. Shall I tell my friends at the local range that it didn't really happen?
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Old May 10, 2019, 09:04 PM   #13
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I've helped put out several small range fires between Camp Pendleton and Darwin Australia due to tracers (you are supposed to call the fire department but that means that training stops, the unwritten rule is that if it is small enough to put out with e-tools and canteens without risking injury you go ahead and do that). When the fire danger is too high you can shoot but no tracers (de-linking thousands of tracers is one of those times when you question if the training really is worth it.....). Even with the tracer ban in effect, Camp Pen will typically get a huge fire once every 3-4 years that is started on a range.

That is my story for outdoor ranges. If you shoot tracers on an indoor range you probably should not be allowed to shoot ever again.

I was coaching the Boulder NROTC rifle team at a police range in Longmont CO (long story short, the university had a rifle range but we were not allowed to shoot any lead ammo on it. Try finding match grade non-lead .22 for a reasonable price). The police let us use the range for free and most of us non-students would use the last half hour while the students were cleaning to use the range for our own firearms. An unnamed SSgt was shooting his AR and it was throwing up huge amounts of sparks from the steel backstop. After calling a cease fire it became apparent that he was shooting M855 (closer examination being me saying "Hey dip****, are you shooting greentip?). If anyone from Longmont PD is reading this, I apologize on his behalf.

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