Questions on .50 BMG ammunition?


Hi from Andy Gordon

I have these WW2 .50 BMG rounds in links. I got it from a veteran many years ago.
Can anyone tell me exactly what designations the colored tips mean?
There are 2 red tracer types, one orange/red tracer, an unknown yellow tip, a blue tip, [incendiary?], which has a crease about 1/2 way up the round, as if it was pulled out, There is a black AP round too, plus a ball. The blue tip has red paint around the primer.
Can anyone ID the maker of the links?




Try these


Andy - you should either post the pictures on the Forum, or format these links so that clicking on them opens them. Typing all those links in one by one is a daunting task for some of us.

Welcome to the Forum though. I am sure someone will be able to answer your questions. We have a lot of guys who are really expert on the .50 cal cartridge.


The pics should be visable, in the 2nd box, with one link…Andy


The blue tipped incendiary round has that crease because the bullet has 2 cannelures.The black tip is an AP bullet.Not sure about the other ones as I don’t collect 50 BMG ammo



What is the Head stamp on the Yellow tipped round? Also one of those color tips looks pink???



Here Andy I will upload some pics for you.

That should help



Yellow TW43 Twin Cities
Pinkish/orange SL43 St. Louis


Thankyou for opening!, Andy


No problem Andy


Andy - I knew this group of guys would come through like champs for you. They always do!

Again, welcome to the IAA Forum.


As mentioned, Black tip is AP, Blue tip, in this example is Incendiary (but after WW2, blue tip has a different meaning). Red tips are M1 Tracer, so is the Pink tip (just a funky variant of paint mix). Yellow tip is lithographic ink placed on cartridges so that several machine gunners could shoot at the same target in training and the resulting marks on the target would indicate who was hitting and who was not. No other signif to the yellow beyond that.


Does anyone know what company made the links? Theyre marked,
CSA in a Z or N