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By AaronBurns
A bullet shot from an automatic machine gun has tracers but, no way to know when they have hit or miss their target. If we apply a flint tip to the bullets then we know when they are hitting the target and when they are not. They have exploding tips but those do not give off a spark or report to visually see the hits and misses on metal targets. The exploding tips are to fragment and become shrapnel inside enemy bodies to do more damage. My bullets show hits and misses on any target that will spark and explode into seeable reports like tanks, planes, or metal type flak jackets and protection. A much better bullet.

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By virole
I'm a former Marine with 2 combat tours in Iraq. You idea while it would be vaulable in marksmanship training. In reallife situtation small sparks or even a noticable flash or explosion would go almost unnoticed in a firefight. Plus in urban enviroments that consist primarly of metal and concrete you would be flashing or sparking ever thing you hit not just actual target :P
By RustyStrings
I, on the other hand, have no combat experience. On the other hand, I enjoy shooting, and have noticed an effect that others have...when you can see what you hit, you seem to shoot better. Soda cans, empty shotgun hulls, clay pigeons, and knockdown targets seem to greatly increase the mental reward for putting steel on target. At many civilian shoots, such as the Knob Creek MG shoot, they use a binary chemical explosive called Tannerite. In most of the 'free' US, it's possible to have it shipped, as it's only explosive when the components are mixed, and then struck with lots of oomph. I've never used it, but it's supposed to be way cool to watch. On one hand, I've heard that the 5.56x45 round sometimes lacks the raw force to detonate it at it's safe range, but that might be fixable. I would like to think somewhere someone in the mil works it into training.

One old maxim is 'tracers work both ways' as in that an individual firing tracers can be located at the other end of the line of light. They're supposed to ignite XX ft downrange, but I've read that's not always happening. There are also 'dim tracers' that only burn bright enough to be seen in night vision, so they don't flash-blind us. Either way, an on-target effect would eliminate this. I do see that it might be an issue. Plus, in this case, if it sparks, then it's probably not a rifleman's target, being either a tank or a building or something.

Also, it is a stipulation of the Hague Accords (not the Geneva Convention, as commonly assumed) that bullets used in war not cause superfluous injury. Insane, yes. A bullet that mushrooms is a war crime, but dropping a cluster bomb on somebody is OK. The US is not actually a party to this IIRC, and in the event a non-signing nation joins a fight, the rules are supposedly out anyway. I think our use of primarily FMJ 'ball' ammo is one of simplicity. As it is, the mil-issue M855 and M193 5.56 rounds have been known to exhibit fragmenting in flesh at certain ranges and velocities. That can start arguements, though, over if it happens often and why it does.

As for working such a projectile into training, would these flint rounds spark consistently on falling-plate targets? Either that, or one would have to make heavy steel targets (perhaps out of scrap from armored vehicles, like applique plates that have been compromised in combat) that slant in at the top, to cause hits to glance down into the dirt of the berm, rather than straight back at the shooter. Perhaps it would perform acceptably on some kind of spinner target? The nice part is, if you used carbide as the 'flint' as I believe you suggested for the 'cold spark entertainment device' then the fire-starting potential goes down too, so brushfire states out west might like it as opposed to a 'hot' incendiary tip.

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