XM959 SLAP tracer

Here’s a carton you won’t see very often (never). I wish it was mine, but it belongs to a friend. :-(



How comes they have no red tips?

Good question. I don’t know why. The bullet was the standard M196. I have seen some XM959 Tracers with a red base and some with a small red ring where the sabot meets the case mouth but most look just like the one in the photo with no indication that it’s a tracer.

The 221 IMP Tracer used the same bullet, I think, and it did not have a red tip either.

Maybe the experts can shed some light on this??

Chip - is this the correct designation, XM948???


The ‘normal’ tungsten-alloy SLAP projectile is grey in colour so the tracer is readily identifiable by it’s copper colouring.
Ray, I think the designation XM948 actually relates to the normal SLAP loading and not the tracer. I think the round you’ve pictured is designated XM959.

That’s how I have mine cataloged - XM948 for SLAP and XM959 for SLAP-T.

Thanks guys. I’ve corrected the subject line.


In the book “Blackhawk Down” it is mentioned that the M-60 machinegunners were using belted SLAP dring the initial raid. Would this have been linked at the factory in the typical 4:1 ball (SLAP) to (SLAP) tracer ratio? As I recall, it is mentioned that when used against personnel, the SLAP rounds were not very effective, which would be expected I guess…


I’m surprised to hear that because I didn’t think that the 7.62mm SLAP achieved service status.

I’ll have to find a copy of the book and look at it again. Perhaps because the troops in the raid were Special Forces they had access to non-standard issue ammunition?


The carton that I showed, with the standard military Lot Number and other markings, would seem to indicate something other than an Experimental status. What exactly, I do not know. Maybe someone can interpret the label for us?

The lot number means:

Western Cartridge Co.
August 1988
Interfix 010
Lot 002