7.62x51 Tracer Purple Tip

I have seen references to this cartridge but never an explanation of exactly what it was.

Purple or Violet tip. LC 95 (+).

Dim tracer or what?

Can’t take a photo. Would you believe it’s snowing!!!


Guessing, but it could be the special IR tracer…the one you can only see with NVG’s…


Yeah, that’s my guess too. But I can’t find an M or XM number on it. Or is it still called an M276 ?



The purple tip designates the M276 dim tracer. The marking material is water-based and readily fades to a pinkisk color.

Dave S


Yeah I noticed that the color is very much like the old XM276 with the pink tip.

Looking at TM 43-001-27, April 1994, it describes the M276 Dim Tracer :

The combat cartridge is to be used by soldiers equipped with night vision equipment.

It shows the ID as green tip over pink.


I have 8 different M276 cartridges and I don’t even collect them. It seems odd that they would all be M276. Years before, a cartridge was given a new designation and a new tip color for very minor changes.


Minor change in the topic… I have a purple tip 7.62x51 round also with a h/s of HP 14 70 and since I lost all of my cartridge inventory with a pc crash I dont remember what this round was.


[quote=“stevef”]Minor change in the topic… I have a purple tip 7.62x51 round also with a h/s of HP 14 70 and since I lost all of my cartridge inventory with a pc crash I dont remember what this round was.


It’s M70 sniper cartridge.

I seem to remember that code being used by LC in the 90’s as the tip color for the 7.62x51 Green Tracer they were loading at the time. Just a guess. JH

LC’s (I have @ LC 91) green tracer was a brown tip marking

I also have one of the green trace FC 91 cartridges with the brown tip. I think everybody has at least one. I catalog mine as an M62 since I have not seen anyting to indicate that it was any different than the standard trace, except for color. Am I right or wrong???

So, back to my Q. How many M276 cartridges are there?


Snow.What IS snow?

Here is a picture of a M62 Green Tracer Box.

Hard to argue with that isn’t it?

Thanks Phil.

Anybody got a box of the M276?

major - snow is that white crap that falls from the sky. Except in CA where the white stuff really is crap. ;)


The Dim Tracer XM276 traces its lineage back to the Viet Nam war. It’s had several different tip color codes. Green/Pink the most well known. It was eventually “adopted” and become the M276 around the Desert Storm time frame and became the violet or pinkish tip color. That violet is the official designation for Dim tracer now. There was, in fact, a 5.56 as well as a .50 BMG dim tracer, all with violet tips (some appear pinkish though). There is also a Dim Tracer Armor Piercing Incendiary Tracer in .50 BMG. It is Violet over White, but the color violet there is almost red, so tough to tell apart from the regular APIT color code of Red/White.


My notes indicate official adoption well before Desert Storm. The XM276 cartridges (White/Orange and Pink) are only found with an FA headstamp. The first M276 (White/Pink) was made at LC and has an LC69 headstamp. All subsequent M276 was made at LC and can be found with Green/Pink, Green/White, and Violet or Purple.

The Green/White are found with both GMCS and GM bullets and I have yet to find an explanation for the color, which is the same found on the M160 Frangible.

I still do not know what differentiates the Purple tip from the others.

I admit that I’m not a NATO guy so my notes could be waaaaay off.


Hope I am not to far off topic here but this thread caught my attention after finding a similar round in the mass of ammo I’m going thru.

I have a 7.62X51 with a slightly rounded bullet, toped with purple (more violet) tip over a red band. The headstamp is L5A1 (9 o-clock) K (12 o-clock) and 61 (3 o-clock). I assume this is Kynoch but I’m pretty much in the dark. Why the 2 colored markings?

An edit, I went back and searched, finding older threads on this subject and more info… but my PC took a pwr crash! Got most of it. Never figured what color this tracer was though or exactly what the bands mean.


My info about the M276 adoption came from a discussion with LCAAP personnel. I say “about” Desert Storm as I don’t know how close to that it ocurred. I am very sure that the color change to violet occurred when the XM276 became M276. There was a movement to a whole series of dim tracers at that point and violet was standardized as the color code for all of the calibers.


There must be somebody out there who has TMs that would pin down the date of adoption. The only two complete ones that I have are dated 1965 and 1994 and that’s a big gap.

If the M276 was adopted around Desert Storm that would certainly explain all those different color tips. They would be experimentals (XM).

Anybody got TMs ???


The L5A1 was one of the first tracers adopted and is usually seen with a red tip. Brit collectors should be able to explain the violet/red color code. The K is Kynoch, also known as Kynock. ;) ;)


The “Dash 27” manual of 1981 shows XM276 Green/Pink as the tip color code. The manuals post 60’s don’t provide much detail like the 40’s and 50’s manuals did. They are mostly for ID, packing, and shipping info which is the extent that DoD feels guys in the field would need to know. So things like adoption date aren’t in there. The 1994 version of the Dash-27 still lists the same tip color code, but shows it as M276.

Every little bit of information helps. I also have the 1994 TM that lists the M276 and green/pink tip. My Violet tipped cartridges are headstamped LC95. If the 1981 manual lists them as XM276 I suppose we could safely say that any headstamps before that date are also XM.