7.62x51 Tracer

I don’t normally collect the 7.62x51 NATO cartridges but try to keep a representative sample, especially the color tips.

It seems that the Tracer bullets all have GMCS jackets. However, I recently came across one, an M62, that is non-magnetic. hs is TW 69.

What’s up with that??


Ray, I once bought a large lot of surplus pull-down 7.62x51mm M-62 tracer projectiles and about half were copper jacketed. The other were GMCS. Since this was a mixed batch, I have no idea of the make (presumably U.S.) or age of these projectiles. I can only guess that both types of jacket materials were extensively used. I’ve not seen anything to lead me to beleive that there was any nomenclature difference between the two types.


I’ve just taken a quick look at my NATO tracers (M62’s). I have 43 examples in my collection of which 13 have gilded metal jackets ie they’re not that uncommon. I don’t have a definitive answer as to why some have gm jackets while other have gmcs jackets, however it may relate to the relative availability of gm and gmcs cups at the time of production. Perhaps someone can shed light on this.

While we’re on the subject of NATO tracer’s, what headstanps are known for M62 overhead fire tracers (red tip)?


I have two in the collection, red tipped (OHF):-

  • RA 59

L C 7 6

Don’t they have to drill the side of the bullet when making a tracer? Copper based alloys drill a lot cleaner and easier. Just a theory (?)

I can add LC + 69 to your list of Overhead Fire headstamps.

I have + LC 87, and Scranton shows both + LC 67 and + FA 62 in “Small Arms Ammunition Identification Codes”. The FA round is listed as XM179.