British Experimental 7.62 Trajectory Matching Tracer Trials


Does anyone have anyone have any information on these experimental British 7.62mm cartridges. All are h/s K 61 L5A1 with red primer annulus.
If the photo isnt clear enough, the tip colours are as follows
1/ purple tip over red band, rounded tip
2/ red tip over green band, rounded tip
3/ pink tip over green band, rounded tip
4/ light blue tip over pink band
5/ green tip with cannulure on proj
6/ light blue tip


I believe these are all from the trajectory matching tracer trials.

The trajectory of the L5A3 tracer was higher than L2A2 ball at longer ranges and it was thought that a degraded ogive would help to match the ballistics. There were two types tried, the 4 CRH and 5 CRH bullets but nothing became of them in British service. The Australians however introduced the F3 tracer bullet which followed on from this work.

There were also some 4CRH incendiary tracer bullets but these are usually found on 1957 to 1959 dated cases.



Got a bit more info in the form of photocopies of the packet labels that some of the cartridges came out of.

The purple tip/red band cotains 39.2 grains of propellant, came from batch
P36665, and the bullet is called “item no.5”

The red tip/green band also contains 39.2 grains of propellant, also came from batch P36665, but the bullet is called “item no.12”

Does anybody else have any further info?


I have some additional color combinations not mentioned and I just acquired a couple of new ones and 8 boxes (empty) from this series at SLICS. I’ll post photos once I get these home.
Dave S


I don’t have information on the loads, but based on an old sales list from Jim Tillinghast your light blue/pink tip is “item 15” and your light blue tip is “item 9”.

Jim Tillinghast’s list #21 from July 1987 includes these British experimental tracers,all headstamped K 61 L5A1:

Item #5, purple/red tip
Item #7, yellow tip
Item #9, blue tip
Item #10, brown tip
Item #12, red/dark green tip
Item #15, pale blue/pink tip
Item #16, pink/dark blue tip
Item #17, orange/light blue tip
Item #18, dark blue/light blue tip


Pictures of the 13 variations I have in my collection plus the standard tracer with the K 61 L5A1 hs.

From left to right (top)
Red - standard tracer
Dark Blue
Dark blue over pale blue
Pale blue - item #9
Grey - Item # 14
From left to right (bottom)
Pink over dark blue - item #16
Red over dark green - item #12
Purple over red - item #5
Yellow - item #7
Pale blue over pink - item #15
Red over light blue

Also 8 of the original boxes

Based on the labels, I think the color combinations in the last posting are reversed ie item #17 reads orange tip and light blue ring


Some of the most colourful 7.62x51s I have ever seen.