5.56x45 FN Tracer

Forgive me this may be a simple question but my lack of knowledge on modern military ammunition is almost endless.

I assume this is an FN Red tip tracer. Is there any significance to the second cannelure on this bullet?



I think one is for the case-mouth crimp and the other is for night ID…but I could be wrong. It is late and my bourbon glass is empty.

In tracers with an internal metal capsule to hold the trace compound, it is pressed into the jacket after the lead core, and held in place by the upper cannelure crimp serrations. Prevents the
Capsule falling out of the jacket when fed through vibratory collating machines prior to Bullet Seating.
Nothing to do with “Night Use”.
Doc AV

Hi Paul, this is the 3.32 g (51.2 gr) L95 Tracer load for 1:12 twist rate barrels.

Top cannelure is cosmetic and has nothing to do a manufacturing requirement. It is used by FN and others manufacturers for bullet identification. There are four basic identifying cannelures that look more or less like this:

///////// = AP
ı’ı’ı’ı’ı’ı = API
XXXX = Incendiary




Ah, so I did partially nail it!

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On UK production an extra cannelure is often added to non-ball ammunition, but not usually as sophisticated as the system operated by FN as explained by Fede above. The British system I believe is just intended to let the user be aware that it is a ‘special’ load in case the tip colour has been rubbed off or accidentally not applied. On bigger calibre’s (where there is more room!) sometimes a number of rings will be applied to indicate a specific load. The images below show a 7.62 NATO L5A3 that I sliced open and a close up of the sectioned bullet to show how the additional cannelure is above the inserted trace canister and has no physical impact upon it. The other image is a number of .50 MG to show the use of multiple identification cannelure’s, in this image 0,1, 2, 3 & 4, to indicate varying loads.