Winchester 12g Ranger Mark 5 tracer

Is this made for the military?

I do not think so. Or say I haven’t seen mil spec packaging. Stay tuned for the expert’s ruling

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Vlad, I agree with Pepper. I have only seen this tracer load packed in commercial Winchester-Western boxes with product code WT12PT.



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This was made and sold as a commercial load to help people learn to shoot better by having an idea where the shot load was going in relation to the target. Somewhere around here I have old gun magazines with ads for these and promoting them as a learning tool for trapshooters. I don’t believe it was a success as the seemed to disappear after a short time. The idea is still popular as Winchester is marketing a similar load in their AA line with a tracer element, the local wal-mart even carries it.

First saw these for sale at a trap/skeet range when I was shooting on a trap team. I was told that some folks liked to use tracers in the night shoots, for both trap and skeet. Seems reasonable, though I never saw it in action.

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The current production “tracer” shot shells are not tracers at all, but are a bright orange plastic wad with petals that are designed to spread out to a large “X” shape so as to be more visible. Also made with a black wad. They are called “TrAAkers” They are not easy to see, and they are (and neither are conventional wads) an accurate indicator of where you are shooting. The wad loses velocity so fast that to judge whether you are behind or ahead of the target is not realistic. (they don’t work as intended) I have a box of the Win Tracers in question here. I will take a pic of the box and post.

The box is slightly larger than a usual box of 12 bore shells. There is a corrugated kraft paper lining. The liner apparently is acidic as the bases of the cases are heavily tarnished/corroded, where the bases of the cases contacted the paper. These were an over the counter retail item. They were really good at starting fires. I did try a couple of them many years ago when I acquired them and the tracer element was not very visible in daylight and faintly at night. The residue left in the bore was corrosive and required immediate cleaning.

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There are actually two variations of this box. The one which Sportclay mentions with the corrugated paper insert to take up the extra space and another without it as it is smaller in width and the shells fit nicely in it.