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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just bought a hundred pulled 147 gr tracers. Can these be loaded using load data for 150 gr in load books such as Sierra and Hornady? Also, they have the asphalt sealant on them and I was wondering what is the best way to clean it off. Is a tumbler safe/ok?
 

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If you have a standard 147 FMJ bullet handy, like a LC or Winchester, compare it side-by-side with the 147gr tracers. You'll see that the tracer bullets are much longer than an FMJ, because there's a big chunk of that bullet that is not filled with lead but with tracer compound, so to make the same weight the bullet ends up being longer.

What this means is that if you load to standard OAL there will be a lot more bullet base stuck down inside the cartridge case. This changes the volume, and therefore the chamber pressure (higher)...

Just be careful, use the standard rule of starting low and working up on powder charges. A tracer bullet loaded with the same powder charge and same OAL as an FMJ or other jacketed lead 150gr class bullet will give a higher chamber pressure because of the long bullet base shoved down inside the case.

Regarding the asphalt, you would probably have to tumble those bullets for quite a while to clean the asphalt off. I would be concerned about tumbling for that long affecting the ignition compound on the tracer element, i.e. grinding some of it off. You would probably be better off using a paper towel or a rag with some solvent to carefully wipe the asphalt off the bullets, trying not to get solvent on the tracer element in the base of the bullet. You don't want the tracer lighting off inside the barrel, it's not supposed to start burning until the bullet is 15 meters or so out of the muzzle.
 

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Army load data show ball and tracer both loaded the same 46gr of WC 846, with a pressure of 50,000 psi. I have pulled several 100 ball from LC and replaced with tracers with no signs of higher pressures. As for the creosote, just shoot it, to much trouble to clean it off. If it fouled barrels that bad machine guns wouldn't fire long.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Late response....

To your reply! You said you had no issues with switching out 147 gr bullets for the tracer bullets. When I looked at the two side by side, the tracer round has a lot more bearing surface than the 147 grain pill. Should the extended bearing surface of the tracer round be of any concern even though they both weigh the same? (roughly!)
 

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No issues with just swapping out the bullets. They are loaded the same at LC, not sure how much the longer bearing surface affects them. But the TM shows them both with the same MV and pressures. Also every reloading manual I have seen does not differ between flat base and boat tails (different bearing surfaces) for the same bullet weight. They do have a wider cone of fire, guess do to each bullet burning off weight a little differently. Not match grade by any means.
 
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