You live and learn... orange tip M856 tracers


#1

The idea that the bullet tip paint in tracer bullets is what make the bullet visible along its trajectory is not uncommon amongst naive grunts.

I just didn’t know that some factories endorsed this concept in their literature:

The 5.56mm M856 has an orange bullet tip, which permits observation
of the round’s trajectory to the point of impact
. Because
tracers use a burning compound to produce a visual trace, they
have an incendiary effect. The 5.56mm M856 Tracer is efficient in
signaling. Much like aerial flares, the rounds are effective in conveying
pre-arranged signals between units and individuals, and
can also be used to designate targets. The 5.56mm M856 is ideal
for use in rifle M16A2, M4, and machine gun M249.

I can’t help but wonder who is the intended target for this kind of publicity.

atk.com/ammo_PDFs/smallcaliber.pdf

Cheers,

Schneider.


#2

My grandad who was a Royal Marines commando in the 1950s believed that. He thought the white tips on the .303 tracers he used to fire burned to produce the trace. I had to show him a sectioned .303 tracer bullet to convince him otherwise.


#3

If that’s the case, the green tip on the M855 should be seen as green for observation. One of the things I know about tracers is that they work both ways.