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Discussion Starter #1
A few months ago, my friends and I went shooting at night. We have our own range behind our cabin in the middle of nowhere. We simply strapped a headlamp to a tree pointing at the metal gongs and, going back to the line, we could see the outline of the sights against the illuminated targets. It was quite fun. I was thinking of doing it again the next time we are up there, but I wanted to add some variety. I was thinking maybe some tracer rounds mixed in would be fun. My first question is are they legal? IDK and its best to ask before I start ordering things online and have The Man pounding down my door. If they are legal, where can I get my hands on some, either bullets or ammo? I have done a cursory search and did not find anything.
 

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I can't tell you if they are legal where you are, as I am clueless about WI state law...

You don't mention caliber, so there is no way to tell you whether they are available or not...
 

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They are legal here and I have shot quite a few old military tracers. No fires yet but I may have gotten lucky. They are a lot of fun in that you won't believe what bullets do after they hit. They head off in all kinds of directions.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
As far as calibers go, anything in 38/357, 380, 9mm, or 22. Those are the handgun calibers I currently have. About the fire extinguisher, the snow is coming soon, so I shouldn't need one until spring, but it is a good idea. I will have to look into whether or not it is legal in WI. I am not sure where to look, other than Google.

Edit: They are legal in WI. Now I just need to find some. I would prefer to find just the bullets so I can load them up to my liking, but I doubt they are sold that way.
 

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GONRA sez one used to be able to purchase pulled ORANGE TIP .224 and .308 inch diameter RIFLE tracers.
Make sure there is a brass seal in bullet base.

These might still verk and will NOT screwup the bore.
(Trace is delayed due to "gasless delay mix" behind the brass disk.)

Pulled .30 Carbine ORANGE tip tracers used to be available.
4 out of 5 will ignite in relatively high pressure rounds like 7.62mm Tokarev pistol.
CZ M52's will hit at point of aim at 110 yards making 'em practical to have phun shootin' from THESE pistols.

Pretty sure most, if not all, pistol caliber TRACER ammo you will find is small manufacture stuff.
Could be corrosive, or leave Barium Oxide or Barum Carbonate
(or worse!) lining the bore to lap the bore on suceeding shots.
Won't RUST bore, just LAP bore.

In the the 1950's olde arsenal fella claimed (better double check) that
shootin' 100 US WW II era RED TIP tracers (instant ignite!)
one after another lapped the bore from .308 to .311 inch diameter.
Red tip tracer bullets do NOT have the brass disk seal in tracer bullet base.
 

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Tracers, Incendiary, and Tracer/Incendiary loaded ammo and loose bullets for reloading are available from this guy, Doug Haig out of Phoenix, or at least they were a few months ago when I bought some.
SMA: About Us
He makes his own tracer and incendiary bullets, from pulled USGI and Russian bullets, using his own burn compound. I first used them about 15 years ago when I had an AKM, I was amazed how bright the green tracers burned in bright sunlight, and some blue tipped Incendiary, while not showing a trace on the way to the target, struck the target with a large blue fireball and sounded like a cannon shot out at the target.
I found his website and ordered some .310 tracer bullets to load in the 7.62 x 39. These look like a standard 123 grain FMJ, but only weigh 92 grains, as some of the lead core has to be removed to make room for the trace compound. I also ordered some .308 tracers and incendiary, these look like a .308 150 grain FMJ, but weigh 125 grains.
Doug recommends loading these bullets at whatever charge you have been using with the full weight bullets, as his are a good 25 grains lighter.
I loaded some of each and tested them in a valley about an hours drive from me, as there is a long ridge made entirely of a clay like dirt that has no vegetation whatsoever on it. You WILL start a fire if you shoot these into any vegetation.
The tracers won't start to burn until about 80 yards form the muzzle ( the "gasless delay" mix that GONRA was talking about ) so if you try to shoot them into a 100 yard backstop, you won't see much of a burn before impact. The Incendiary rounds out of my GSR didn't seem to go off at impact, but that could be due to not enough resistance from the clay like ridge I was shooting into.
He will make tracers in green, yellow, red and white. I believe he said he will do custom colors for an extra charge.
The ones I bough years ago had the tips painted for identification, but the loose ones I bought to reload were not painted, so I painted them with Testor's enamel, green for my 7.62x 39 tracers, and blue for the incendiary.
 

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Cheaper Than Dirt (one of those catalog sale places) used to carry .22 LR tracers at about $15 a box of 50, before Sandy Hook. They light up nicely, best at dusk, I think. I bought one box just for grins, and have used about half so far. Excellent for illustrating bullet drop.
 

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Unless you live in a desert, they're a bad idea. Here in Colorado, where it gets so dry in the summer, even if they aren't illegal they might get you tarred and feathered.
 

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I made some once using potassium nitrate dissolved in denatured alcohol. I used a popsickle stick to fill the base of 148 grain HBWC's, and when dry, loaded them in 38 special cases. They made a nice red streak when fired.......robin
 

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I have never heard of bore lapping done by tracers. Corrosion yes lapping no. Seems to me that if that were the case the military would have long since done something about that as a tracer every 5-7 rounds in full auto would smoothbore a barrel in short order.
 
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