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.30 Carbine Bullet Tip Colors


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Just picked this up at a show. It appears to have all tracer ammo in it and a bit unusual to be wrapped in the GI wrap as it is. I stripped a few out to see if they were all tracers and it looks like they probably are. The top was peeled back a little when I got it which exposed the top two cartridges which now have a slight patina but the ones under are still new looking as is the Magazine under the wrap from what I can see. The rounds are L C. 52. I was wondering if it's possibly that they could have been loaded and shipped in the magazine from the factory that way. I know they shipped ammo in the ten rd stripper clips that way. Or maybe loaded that way by the company/Regt. armourer and wrapped up that way. It would make sense to have a magazine already loaded with the tracers as you could just insert the mag when you needed to fire a tracer or two to locate/pin point a target instead of handing just loose rounds. Ray

 

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Just picked this up at a show. It appears to have all tracer ammo in it and a bit unusual to be wrapped in the GI wrap as it is. I stripped a few out to see if they were all tracers and it looks like they probably are. The top was peeled back a little when I got it which exposed the top two cartridges which now have a slight patina but the ones under are still new looking as is the Magazine under the wrap from what I can see. The rounds are L C. 52. I was wondering if it's possibly that they could have been loaded and shipped in the magazine from the factory that way. I know they shipped ammo in the ten rd stripper clips that way. Or maybe loaded that way by the company/Regt. armourer and wrapped up that way. It would make sense to have a magazine already loaded with the tracers as you could just insert the mag when you needed to fire a tracer or two to locate/pin point a target instead of handing just loose rounds. Ray

 

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I had a thought that I'm going to throw out. I haven't gone back to check any manuals to see if this works properly though. Do you think they might have been loaded this way to be used with the Carbine that had the Infrared Night Scope on it? If so then it would be a nice addirion to a collector that has one of those Carbines.

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Do you think they might have been loaded this way to be used with the Carbine that had the Infrared Night Scope on it?

 

Craig:

 

I am no expert on IR technology, although I did once own a complete M3 set-up except for the battery. (Took up way too much room with the chest, so I sold it.) I think I recall that tracer ammo was not advisable on IR equipment as it would compromise the position of the shooter who had the advantage of being able to illuminate the target with the IR without being detected. On the other hand, I don't have a good reason for having fully loaded magazines with tracer in the wrapper.

 

Charlie

 

 

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I had a thought that I'm going to throw out. I haven't gone back to check any manuals to see if this works properly though. Do you think they might have been loaded this way to be used with the Carbine that had the Infrared Night Scope on it? If so then it would be a nice addirion to a collector that has one of those Carbines.

 

Hi Sgt Bilko, in reference to your comment on the Infra-red Carbines, here is an end of war publicity poster for the infra-red Carbines. it's a War department release stating that it was produced by ' Electronic Laboratories, Indianapolis, and credited with killing 30 % of enemy troops on Okinawa. Cheers ( Lewis ) p.s. sorry the quality of the photo is not so good, the poster has been covered some years back with cellophane which has aged.

.

Young enough to care and enjoy militaria - Old enough to remember as surplus

 

" Life's too short for reproductions "

 

 

Life is like a tank of gas, the closer you get to a quarter tank, the faster it goes 

 

.

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I did a bit of reading on this and tracer rounds are not mentioned, either pro or con, as far as the infrared scope is concerned. I think I have the carbine manual that covers this version. I'm going to try and find that. I was thinking that with the infrared light that a beam could be seen if you looked directly at the scope. If you are at an angle it isn't visible.

 

There were goggles with red lenses made for gunners on aircraft so they could see tracers during the day. I think these same goggles could be used to spot the infrared beam at night.

 

Is it possible that tracers were used to zero the scope?

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Out of curiosity, have you fired one of these rounds to see if, in fact, they are tracers? I've seen red tip .30 cal. tracers and orange tip 7.62 tracers, but yellow is a new one for me. From my monitor, they do look yellow and not orange? Maybe a use for these that we haven't thought of yet? I know that both white and blue tips were incendiary and we removed those from our .50 cal. belts, but what is a yellow tip?

 

Since these are headstamped to Lake City in 1951, does anyone have the US color code chart for Korean War era ammo?

 

Gary

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Since these are headstamped to Lake City in 1951, does anyone have the US color code chart for Korean War era ammo? Gary

 

Gary:

 

I checked my copies of TM9-1900 Ammunition, General for both 1945 and 1956. Both had only orange and red tips for tracer. There was no yellow tipped Carbine ammo listed.

 

Charlie.

 

 

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I haven't fired one so am not sure if they are tracers. I'm not sure if the color in fact is yellow I would almost lean a little more to it being a orangie color. The color that shows in the photo I posted is pretty close to the original color. however it could pass for some yellow type colors also. Maybe if someone has an orange color tiped tracer round they could post a photo of to compare. Any US mfg caliber 1950's period US mgf round might do just to see what the orange color might look like, Ray

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In my excellent monitor they appear orange tips. It's possible the guy with this magazine full of tracers would act as "spotter" indicating riflemen where they had to direct squad fire.

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In my excellent monitor they appear orange tips. It's possible the guy with this magazine full of tracers would act as "spotter" indicating riflemen where they had to direct squad fire.

 

IMHO, anyone who would use a carbine and it's limited range to "spot" for any purpose would have been either very brave or very foolish. I don't think I would have wanted to give away my position with tracers having only a carbine as defense, but then that's just my opinion.

 

Here's a Lake City 1964 headstamped 7.62 tracer for comparison.

 

A good friend's dad carried an M1 and M2 in Korea. I'll call him tomorrow and see if his dad knows what they were used for? The colors don't appear to be very far off from the carbine rounds and 7.62, so they very well could be tracers.

 

Gary

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You're certianly right on the limited range of the carbine at least as opposed to a M1 Garand but with tracers it still it could spot out to 200-300 hundred yrs or better, I shoot my carbine at 200 yrs and hit the steel plate targets quite often. I'm sure it could spot a bit further and/or at least identify the direction of a target at longer ranges for a MG or 60 mm mortar crew. Keeping in mind, the carbine was generally the only shoulder weapon a gun grew would have. Now I'm not saying that intent of the tracers in my magazine was for spotting but only that a carbine could be conceivably used to spot, at least at reasonable distances. I agree that tracers could give away a position under some combat situations but tracers were commonily used for target spotting under certian circumstances like identifing tagets for gun crews for laying out fields of fire before or after combat situations etc. Just some of my thoughts, Ray

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You're certianly right on the limited range of the carbine at least as opposed to a M1 Garand but with tracers it still it could spot out to 200-300 hundred yrs or better, I shoot my carbine at 200 yrs and hit the steel plate targets quite often. I'm sure it could spot a bit further and/or at least identify the direction of a target at longer ranges for a MG or 60 mm mortar crew. Keeping in mind, the carbine was generally the only shoulder weapon a gun grew would have. Now I'm not saying that intent of the tracers in my magazine was for spotting but only that a carbine could be conceivably used to spot, at least at reasonable distances. I agree that tracers could give away a position under some combat situations but tracers were commonily used for target spotting under certian circumstances like identifing tagets for gun crews for laying out fields of fire before or after combat situations etc. Just some of my thoughts, Ray

 

Just for info. Some decades ago I did a lot of serious competitive shooting and among the various kind of competition there was "Ordnance rifle" three positions at 330 yds. The rifle was the M1 Garand in .308W and ammo for practice and competition were offered to our club directly by the Army. These competitions were open also to military personnel who used as practice rounds, God knows why, exclusively AP type, possibly being unuseful in peacetime. Well, sometime these military men got even a lot of tracer and everyone can have an handful for fun shots. Our range, well conceived in a closed throat was 550 yds long and at this end there is still today a big pole with a big red flag when shooting people is present. This is not a communist range, the flag is just for warning woodsmen around. The iron pole has a diameter about 12" and wasn't infrequently see tracer deflect after an hit. I dont wanna point out our skill but the fact the .308 tracer was effective over 500 yds.

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Hello

 

There are some very nice and very rare accessories here. This forum is off to a great start.

 

they do look yellow

I saw this and could hardly was to respond. I have been looking for a round of the yellow tipped T103E1 observer round for over 30 years. Very few people have even heard of it and I have never been able to find one. I don't know how they were shipped and wondred if it was in magazines. When I saw the carbine magazine they looked orange but it can be hard to tell. The T103E1 rounds were designed to be used with the IR scopes to spot vehicles and for use in the 30 carb adaptors for the recoilless rifles. As a spotter the carbine was to "pop" the tank and the big guns could see it and take it out. I don't know if it was ever used.

 

Any chance they could be yellow?

 

copdoc

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In my opinion, the color is not the same as the Orange tiped 30-06 rd shown by GLM. They do look more yellowish then that color but I don't don't know what color to call them.. I showed them to a buddy of mine and he insisted they were yellow. For sure they are not a bright yellow but possibly they could pass for a deeper yellowish shade. Ray

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That is interesting. I am not a serious ctg collector but those have to be pretty rare. I have one of the M3 scopes and I think the manual talks about using them. Ill look tomorrow.

 

Do you have a way to radiograph one of them beside a tracer round?

 

copdoc

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While going through my old collection of US military bullets, looking for an orange tipped tracer to compare with the carbine ammo posted earlier, I came up with some of the more interesting rounds I collected years ago. Does anybody know if there is any interest in collecting US ammo today? I've had these in an old Army footlocker in the garage for 30 years and haven't really messed with them, so was wondering if they're tradeable or sellable? Man, I've got a bunch! What are the laws concerning mailing bullets and such?

 

If I remember correctly, this Lake City 45 headstamped round was referred to as a "flangible" round? Is that what they were? I understand they were made from porcelain or clay or something or other and were for practice only. When the bullet hit something hard, it would "poof" into a small gray cloud of dust, so the shooter could see where he was hitting? Am I close?

 

Gary

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Gary

The green over white and white over green are frangable rds. I don't know what the sell for and laws vary from state to state. Maybe there is a dealer here. I think the purpose of the frangable rds was so that armored vehicles could shoot at each other and not hurt anyone. I understand that did not work. I have read several conflicting things about about what the bullet is made of. There were at least 2 different models. I think it is bakelite (a phenolic polymer) and powdered iron.

 

I am too sleeply to read all of your post but you have a good start on a collection. Here is a refernce to look up headstamps. If you can't find one let me know.

 

http://harringtonmuseum.org.uk/USACartHeadstamps.htm

 

I would like to have one of those artillery primers. That is neat. I like to make noise.

 

copdoc

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The discussion about orange or yellow colour of Ray's .30 carbine tips bring to my mind an old topic on CSP forum about .45ACP found in a magazine belonged to an USAF pilot. I think Charlie Flick too would remember that topic. Those WCC 41 marked rounds had the tip of yellow/orange colour and someone said pilots did use them as signal exactly like a mini flare gun round.

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I am no expert on IR technology, although I did once own a complete M3 set-up except for the battery. (Took up way too much room with the chest, so I sold it.)

 

Charlie,

 

I ran across one of these today (chest & everything), of all places, at an antique fair at the Fairgrounds in Tampa. The guy wanted $1,850 for it, or, would trade. Go figure!

 

GB

GB

 

 

 

 

 

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Hey GB

 

I did not know that they were getting priced in that range these days. Maybe I should have kept mine! At that level one would have to be a pretty dedicated Carbine collector to invest that much. They are interesting accoutrements certainly, but for my money I think I would rather spend the dough on something else.

 

Regards,

Charlie

 

 

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Gary

The green over white and white over green are frangable rds. I don't know what the sell for and laws vary from state to state. Maybe there is a dealer here. I think the purpose of the frangable rds was so that armored vehicles could shoot at each other and not hurt anyone. I understand that did not work. I have read several conflicting things about about what the bullet is made of. There were at least 2 different models. I think it is bakelite (a phenolic polymer) and powdered iron.

 

I am too sleeply to read all of your post but you have a good start on a collection. Here is a refernce to look up headstamps. If you can't find one let me know.

 

http://harringtonmuseum.org.uk/USACartHeadstamps.htm

 

I would like to have one of those artillery primers. That is neat. I like to make noise.

 

copdoc

 

Hey copdoc,

 

Thanks! I knew they were something like that, but haven't found much reference to them. My guess is they could "put an eye out", right?

 

Thanks for the website. Just what I was looking for!

 

Gary

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Thanks! I knew they were something like that, but haven't found much reference to them. My guess is they could "put an eye out", right?

 

Thanks for the website. Just what I was looking for

 

Put an eye out is right. I have not funtion fired any but had a partner that had to test fire some and said that they were very unpredictable. Some would go through steel plate and some would splatter on it, some broke up on firing in the bore. I had about forgotten about them. I only have one or 2 but will look for some at the shows and if I find any may shoot some.

 

I though the website would help you. It is a pretty good summary. I think it is close to being complete.

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  • 1 month later...

I researched Depertment of the Army Supply Manual SM-5-1305, Stock List of Current Issue Items, Ammunition and Explosives, Ammunition, through 30 Millimeter, April 1958.

 

Two tracers are listed:

 

M16 red marking

M27 orange marking

 

Caliber .30 tracers: M16 RA 44 and M27 LC 52

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Standard packing methods:

 

Cartridge, Caliber .30 Carbine: tracer M16 (T24)

Packed 50 per carton, 16 cartons per can M6, 2 cans per wood box M7.

 

Cartridge, Caliber .30 Carbine: tracer M27 (T43)

Packed 50 per carton, 16 cartons per can M6, 2 cans per wood box M7.

Packed 50 per carton, 18 cartons per can 20, 2 cans per wood box M22.

Packed 10 per clip, 12 clips per bandoleer, 5 bandoleers per can M20, 2 cans per wooden box M22.

Packed 10 per clip, 12 clips per bandoleer, 9 bandoleers per metal box M2A1, 2 cans per wire bound box.

 

I doubt that the ammunition was pre-packed in that 30 round magazine unless it was for some special operations that was not a standard item.

 

As for the use of tracers, at night the operator of the infrared scope could identify targets better than a spotter. Firing tracers at night totaly destroys night vision, I've tried it. On the other hand I doubt tracers would in any way degrade the image in an infrared scope.

 

Tracers were intended to be used in daylight to adjust fire on a target or sometimes to mark targets. In daylight the muzzle flash and tracer giving away a position is negligible. At normal infantry combat ranges the .30 caliber carbine has sufficient range to mark targets.

 

Tracers are not normally used to zero a weapon because the ballistics are usually different from a ball round, which is the type normally used in combat. Unlike ball ammunition, in flight tracer rounds get lighter as the tracer compound is expended.

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