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Moog42
09-07-2004, 12:58 PM
How exactly do tracers work?

Also, in a lot of gun camera footage of ground attacks there appear to be 'sparks' that move very slowly around the picture, sometimes even when the gun does not appear to be firing - is this tracer fire rebounding? I have a wartime documentary about fighting in the Pacific and it explains this phenomenon to be AA fire but it's travelling much too slowly to be closing. When the tracer fire IS coming from the gun, most of the tracer rounds appear to bounce off and upwards away from whatever they hit. Is this intentional? I have noticed this even in recent nighttime combat footage of heavy MGs in the Middle East...

Play It Cool

-Moog

Moog42
09-07-2004, 12:58 PM
How exactly do tracers work?

Also, in a lot of gun camera footage of ground attacks there appear to be 'sparks' that move very slowly around the picture, sometimes even when the gun does not appear to be firing - is this tracer fire rebounding? I have a wartime documentary about fighting in the Pacific and it explains this phenomenon to be AA fire but it's travelling much too slowly to be closing. When the tracer fire IS coming from the gun, most of the tracer rounds appear to bounce off and upwards away from whatever they hit. Is this intentional? I have noticed this even in recent nighttime combat footage of heavy MGs in the Middle East...

Play It Cool

-Moog

SlickStick
09-07-2004, 01:11 PM
Some will give you more technical information shortly, but this should get you started:

"Tracer rounds have some material in the base of the projectile, which burns during flight and indicates the trajectory. For use at night "glowing" ammunition, which gives a fainter light, was developed. The disadvantage, especially in rifle-calibre ammunition, is that the tracer rounds have a different trajectory from the rest. In addition, the high visibility of tracer alerts the target, but it may also have a deterrent effect."

I clipped that from this much-used link on these boards:

http://www.geocities.com/CapeCanaveral/Hangar/8217/fgun/fgun-am.html

The color is dependent on which chemical is used. There is also a few threads explaining this around, but I couldn't readily find one.

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Sarpedon688
09-07-2004, 07:17 PM
I don't know exactly what you mean by sparks if you colud post a link to some of this footage? but in regards to the question on tracer fire appearing to bounce of an object yes this is the rounds ricocheting due to them not penetrating the object. Its not intentional but due to shooting at either an armored target or rounds hitting the object or the ground at shallow angles and bouncing

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v260/Sarpedon688/lookback.jpg

WTE_Galway
09-07-2004, 07:54 PM
tracer generally is less effective than a normal incendiary or AP round and also warns the target someone is shooting at them

for this reason many WWII combat pilots apparently preferred no tracer if they were given the option