7.62x51 blue over red - HP 83 7.62x51 headstamp

Sure looks like someone’s “gun show reload”. Some sort of incendiary-tracer judging by the color code. I’ve seen similar looking color code and spray paint appearance on 7.62x39mm gun show specials…


Found this plain blue tip with same head stamp on cartrology’s site. Maybe he knows:


The one below is listed as a dark-ignition-incendiary-tracer UK

Jestertoo - that is a nice photo of some British 7.62 x 51! A nice set of cartridges. Does the blue or red tip round have a British headstamp, or does it have the HP headstamp, and was simply made for England?

I found it here http://www.conjay.com/Ammunition%20for%20Armor%20Testing%20NATO%207.62mm%20x%2051.htm

I vote “gun show” load

Some of my British 7.62 x 51; the “Brit’s” were the most prolific “color markers” and have two dedicated drawers in my room…nice selections of 280; 280/20; 7.62 x 51; .30-06;…and no blue/red.

I vote “after-market” round…I will check that drawer later

The British round is red over blue…your round is blue over red.

What is the meaning of, “dark-ignition-incendiary-tracer”. This is new to me :-)


The blue-tipped round jestertoo posted is from my collection. Unfortunately I have no idea what the significance of the tip color is. I picked it up from one of the bulk bins at St. Louis a few years ago. Maybe NATO Dave will know?

Correct, and mine is Austrian headstamped. I was grasping straws looking for red/blue colored projectiles.

The guy had a bag of 7.62x51 rounds and I snagged the red/blue and white/green rounds from it.

The term ‘dark ignition’ means that the tracer element does not illuminate until the bullet has travelled some distance from the muzzle, generally this distance is about fifty metres. This delay is to reduce glare caused to the firer at night and to make it less easy for the enemy to locate the firing point. It is also referred to as ‘dim ignition’.
A tracer that doesn’t have any delay is a ‘bright ignition’.

Thanks so much for the explanation on this, Jim! Really appreciate the info a lot. Never stop learning :-)


I’m with Pepper - I think the blue over red tip with HP headstamp is an aftermarket reload. The same is probably true for Chip’s blue tipped cartridge. Besides the vast array of legit military color tips, there are numerous aftermarket reloads that are easy to identify when associated with their original packaging but not always so easy as a single. Then there are the obvious (and not so obvious) fakes … I suspect that I am not alone in having representative aftermarkets, gunshow specials and fakes in my collection :>)

With regard to variety in color markings, I think the numerous UK tracers trials take some beating. For example, for the degraded ogive tracer trails from the very early 60’s, there are 22 variations (color tip and bullet ogive). Add to this, trials evaluating dark ignition (multiple), propellant, length of trace, tracer brilliance etc and the variations soon mount up.

I’ve previously posted photos of some of the degraded ogive tracers http://iaaforum.org/forum3/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=1404&hilit=UK+experimental+tracer This was posted sometime ago and needs updating.


So it’s either a reload (of a real projectile) or a fake. Any clue the former?

Its a aftermarket? load by SMAMMO (www.smammo.com) out of Mesa AZ, a Raufoss Incendiary Tracer. They are being sold on gunbroker right now.

gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewIt … =369573262