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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Gentlemen.

As long as I've been shooting firearms I have sworn that I would never reload. My imbalance of time to money has always meant that it was more cost effective to just buy ammo because I don't have the time or patience to reload. It seems that the 1919's appetite will end my resistance to reloading and in that regard I have started buying up components. (sign...) Believe it or not: shooting an entire weekend at the Big Sandy is actually a "bucket list" item of mine (I'm a simple man with simple goals :D) and I want to shoot lots and lots of tracer there. I'm planning on shooting in Fall 2016 or Spring 2017 so I have time to stock up on components and learn, so I'm in the stocking up phase right now.

I recently purchased a good amount of M25 30-06 orange tip tracer projectiles. I'm reading lots of information on reloading in general but my question to the reloaders here is:


Q: What powder should I be buying that will light tracer?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Gary, I appreciate you using the Search function for me, but it was four hours of that and also browsing backwards in this sub-forum last night (I got to page 50) before I posted. I don't want to sound ungrateful but I'm really looking for replies from people that are doing this in the past few years.

I am looking for advice that is applicable in today's powder market. WC846T doesn't exist nor do several other powders mentioned in threads predating 2012 which is why I was hoping for more recent experience.


I see that ArizonaBeagle has posted a few times of success with Hodgdon H-335
There has been mention of
IMR4895

Does anyone have experience with IMR4064?

I'm looking for powder I can buy retail, in large enough quantity to load enough tracer to last me a weekend at Big Sandy (5,000-7,000 rounds?).

HALP!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
BLC-2 lit all my M25

then i switched to varget and nothin.
Thank you. I have heard that this powder is extremely dirty. Is that true?

Are you a full-auto or semi-auto shooter? I've been told that some slower burning powders might be problematic in full-auto. (is that even true?)
 

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I use BL-C2 to load 223 for my son's AR's with Lightning Link, 308 for everything including a 19019a4 and a MG-42, and 7.7x58 for my T99 LMg.
I have not found BL-C2 to be dirty burning.
Chamber pressure is the key to get complete thus clean burning powder.
No, I'm not talking "Hot" loads, just load to the middle of the suggested loads in the books, and you will be fine.
Reduced loads will often burn very dirty.
Gregg
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I use BL-C2 to load 223 for my son's AR's with Lightning Link, 308 for everything including a 19019a4 and a MG-42, and 7.7x58 for my T99 LMg.
I have not found BL-C2 to be dirty burning.
Chamber pressure is the key to get complete thus clean burning powder.
No, I'm not talking "Hot" loads, just load to the middle of the suggested loads in the books, and you will be fine.
Reduced loads will often burn very dirty.
Gregg
Gregg, do you do tracer in any of those MGs and does BLC-2 light them consistently?
 

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Yes, I have loaded pulled orange tipped 30-06 tracers in 308, and about 50% light no matter what they are shot out of.
I have no idea as to if it is the powder or the age of the tracer projectiles.
Gregg
 

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HXP brass + CCI military primers + M-25s + IMR4895 = Great times at the Big Sandy.

Remember, all M-25s are not created equal. My experience is that the older WWII M-25s are too old to light consistently now (40-50%). The post war newer M-25s will light 90%+. It was explained to me by a prominent commercial tracer loader at the Big Sandy to look at the tracer cover on the back side of the projo, if it is rounded it is older and if it is a flat cover it is newer. I am not talking about M-62s at all.

Also keep your headspace on the tight side and wax your brass to get the most reloads out of your brass.
 

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I too have had great success and reliable ignition with the orange tip tracers with IMR4895. I have very few that don't light with IMR4895.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Okay, I think I have enough suggestions to shop for some quantity now. Thank you everyone. :D

Below is a random sampling of some of the tracer. All the bottoms are intact. I'd say about 50% of the projos have pull marks, but otherwise they've been stored well and I don't find any corrosion or popped tracer covers.

I've been told that these pulldowns processed by Talon Manufacturing. The .50 ammo can pictured has "3-63" written on the inside lid in pencil and I was told that Talon often marked cans when they filled them with projos or brass.




 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
HXP brass + CCI military primers + M-25s + IMR4895 = Great times at the Big Sandy.

Remember, all M-25s are not created equal. My experience is that the older WWII M-25s are too old to light consistently now (40-50%). The post war newer M-25s will light 90%+. It was explained to me by a prominent commercial tracer loader at the Big Sandy to look at the tracer cover on the back side of the projo, if it is rounded it is older and if it is a flat cover it is newer. I am not talking about M-62s at all.

Also keep your headspace on the tight side and wax your brass to get the most reloads out of your brass.
EXCELLENT POST! Thank you very much! All noted in a spreadsheet I have been running to track suggestions.
 

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I to have used 4895 in 30-06 with CCI magnum primers with M-25's pulled down by Talon. I still have about 9k left. I also have tried H-335 and the samples I tested also worked. Also have used RAD78L with excellent results. However this is a compressed load (you have to fill the cartridge to the neck). I bought the RAD78L from CDVS.

I've also experimented with punching a small hole in the base of the projectile. Since most tracers when they light do so at 100+ yards. If you want to get them to light quicker, put a small hole in that cap.
 

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I've also experimented with punching a small hole in the base of the projectile. Since most tracers when they light do so at 100+ yards. If you want to get them to light quicker, put a small hole in that cap.
That never worked for me. Even took a dozen rounds and Dremeled a 1/32 hole in the bottom... still lit at 80-100 yards out if they lit at all. I was using the dual cannalure 308/30-06 schtuff. There was a reason it was on sale. So I stocked up considering it as just cheap ball ammo. If it lights, it lights.

IMR-4198, IMR-3031, H-335, BLC-2, Winchester 748 worked for me. Got some lights. W-844T and 846T worked a lot better, but that was all pull down powder from the Talon days and is mostly unobtanium now.

Have you seen this page?

http://www.223reloads.com/home/223-5-56-info/223-5-56-reloading/wc-846-loads
 

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I've heard from a long time shooter that it seems to light the tracer better once you get the barrel hot. Our theories don't match.

I was under the impression that tracers need a good barrel to light up, a worn out barrel lets too much gas pressure escape too fast while the promo is going down the barrel. Take a barrel with little riffling left and try it, bet it won't light as good if any. Now try it with a short barrel and no trace at all. Powders play a big part but there are other factors involved. I like that idea about headspace possible giving you fractions of a second more lock up and chamber pressure dwell.

I've seen good tracer heads not light out of a maxim with a worn barrel, several seasons earlier they sort of lit. The same heads lit much better out of a DP28 but not the Lewis. Using 308 M65 tracer heads. The Russian guns use a 311 bullet but it works but won't lite until about 200-300 yards. The Lewis is a 3006 with a smaller bore using stick powder but unsure what type . I'm a relatively newer shooter than many of the people I shoot with so take my observations with a grain of salt. I'll be in the same seat as you are in about three years from now hoping to go to Sandy but I need to build up some brass before I start getting into reloading.

There is some very good 308 current production tracer that is bright bore, pulled those heads and seated them for the DP and Lewis and they both lit much better but not as good coming out of a Izzy 1919. Again the the 54r used the same factory stick power and the Lewis I'm unsure. The DP is starting to lose some riffling and loosening up a bit but the better heads made a definite difference.

Aaron
 

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Heh. Anyone see the Mythbusters episode on tracers? They definitely concluded it was the PAINT on the tip of the bullet that produced the trace.

Remember one thing. When you are dead, you don't know you are dead. Works the same way with stupid.:D
 

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Iaw,tm 43-0001-27...

Folks may use other means...but I'm a stickler on looking up the original specs,especially on military ammo. IAW...(in-accordance-with) the June 1981 TM...(technical manual) TM 43-0001-27,the load for the "Cartridge,caliber .30,tracer,M25" is 50 grains of WC852 with the 145.5 grains projectile. This gives 2665 fps. with a chamber pressure of 50,000 psi.,78' from the muzzle of an M-1 Garand rifle.
The red M1 tracer used 50 grains of IMR 4895 and gave approximatly the same stats. Only major difference was the increase to 52,000 psi. I've used both projo's with IMR 4895 and the majority of these lit up OK. I'd suggest the practice of puncturing the foil end to assure having the tracer element light up.
 
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