Replacement for tracers

Via Mitchel M. on the gun email list at work:

The interesting part starts at 1:46.

This may mean that the new “tracers” could be safely used when the fire risk from normal tracers is too great. I’m a skeptical they can match the brightness of the pyrotechnic based tracers. But they probably would work for many applications.

And of course there are application where incendiary rounds will be needed when tracers might have worked.


4 thoughts on “Replacement for tracers

  1. It seems to me that several years ago I read a patent for a tracer bullet that used a tiny capacitor to light an LED for a few seconds. By recessing the LED it could be made to be visible only from within a certain angle.

    So it seems to me that the research and development has already been done here.

    And that makes me wonder where the money is REALLY going. But I’m suspicious like that.

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  3. There was also talk, years ago, about a retro-reflector in the base of a bullet. An infrared laser at the firing position would then provide the illumination. that’s stillan active system though– the power source having been shifted off-bullet.

    Ultimately, if you could have a sensitive enough thermal imager to see the bullet based on its elevated temperature, and/or that of the shockwave, that would be a totally passive system. Leave it up to our government though, to turn a 2 cent feature into a two million dollar one.

    Maybe much better yet would be to know your target’s range and trajectory, and that of your bullets, and then there’d be no need to see the bullets. You’d KNOW where they’re going and you’d KNOW where the target is– One plus one equals two. So if you’re going to invest in gizmos, invest in something that tells you the range and vetor of the target, and already knows your bullets’ trajectory. A + B = C; no need to see D.

    • Some allied fighter pilots in WW2 specifically ordered their ordnance people to NOT load tracers for the aircraft machineguns.

      They were good enough with their sighting systems and deflection shooting to know where the bullets were going.
      And they understood that the tracers worked not just ‘both ways’ and would alert their target, but that the tracer bullets had enough of a different trajectory that they weren’t going the same place the non-tracer bullets were.

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