Tracer rounds are pretty to look at and fun to shoot, but did you know that the bullets could be ignited manually? Tracer bullets are generally longer than their conventional counterparts and feature a hollow base filled with pyrotechnic material such as magnesium. When the material is ignited, it burns brightly enough for the shooter to see the bullet’s trajectory. Some Russian and Chinese tracers incorporate barium salts, which generates a green light when fired.

In the below video, DemolitionRanch gives quick rundown on how tracers work and how they can become impromptu road flares.

Please do not try this at home. Even in the best of conditions, you will be dealing with a lot of flammable material.

Image screenshot of video by DemolitionRanch on YouTube

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3 thoughts on “Video: What Happens When You Ignite a Tracer Round

  1. They have a very long bearing surface, which can cause more fouling and slightly more wear. The pyrotechnics have little effect on the barrel.

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