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View Full Version : Tracer rounds, a strategic mistake?



arcadeace
12-31-2003, 12:59 PM
I gathered this info from another site. I don't know how much is true. It was a common practice on fighter planes to load every 5th round with a tracer round to aid in aiming. This was a mistake. Tracers had different ballistics so (at long range) if your tracers were hitting the target, 80% of the rounds could be missing. Worse yet tracers instantly told your enemy he was under fire and from which direction. Worst of all was the practice of loading a string of tracers at the end of the belt to tell you that you were out of ammo. This was definitely not something you wanted to tell the enemy. Units that stopped using tracers saw their success rate nearly double and their loss rate go down.

arcadeace
12-31-2003, 12:59 PM
I gathered this info from another site. I don't know how much is true. It was a common practice on fighter planes to load every 5th round with a tracer round to aid in aiming. This was a mistake. Tracers had different ballistics so (at long range) if your tracers were hitting the target, 80% of the rounds could be missing. Worse yet tracers instantly told your enemy he was under fire and from which direction. Worst of all was the practice of loading a string of tracers at the end of the belt to tell you that you were out of ammo. This was definitely not something you wanted to tell the enemy. Units that stopped using tracers saw their success rate nearly double and their loss rate go down.

georgeo76
12-31-2003, 01:10 PM
That's interesting, post a link to the other site.

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Urist
12-31-2003, 01:13 PM
I read in some chain letter I got in email years ago that summed it up quite nicely..

"Tracers work both ways"

I think that in some situations tracers are a big plus.. Like defensive guns on bombers and on escort fighters. Here it might be to your advantage to give whoever it is your shooting at some incentive to go somewhere else.

noshens
12-31-2003, 01:16 PM
Hehe, it explains why I don't know that I am being shot at until I see my wing come off when fighting planes with .50 guns. http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif


<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by arcadeace:
I gathered this info from another site. I don't know how much is true. It was a common practice on fighter planes to load every 5th round with a tracer round to aid in aiming. This was a mistake. Tracers had different ballistics so (at long range) if your tracers were hitting the target, 80% of the rounds could be missing. Worse yet tracers instantly told your enemy he was under fire and from which direction. Worst of all was the practice of loading a string of tracers at the end of the belt to tell you that you were out of ammo. This was definitely not something you wanted to tell the enemy. Units that stopped using tracers saw their success rate nearly double and their loss rate go down.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

http://www.img.net/cliff-m/vvn/me262.jpg

SKULLS_LZ
12-31-2003, 01:17 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by arcadeace:
...Tracers had different ballistics so (at long range) if your tracers were hitting the target, 80% of the rounds could be missing....<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Hmm. I wonder how far "long range" is. I don't think the different ballistics are modelled in FB tho.

.... <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Units that stopped using tracers saw their success rate nearly double and their loss rate go down.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Agreed. I would love to have the option to change ammo load to "no tracers". I don't think my opponents would like it tho.

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scootertgm
12-31-2003, 01:40 PM
I had read in a book (I don't remember which one...) that some squads removed the tracers and their kills went up as they wee not giving away their element of surprise as fast.

eeeg
12-31-2003, 02:04 PM
Robert Shaw discusses this in his book "Fighter Combat". Basically, he says the trajectories of tracer rounds vary only slightly from the non-tracer rounds. This problem is agravated at longer distances but the bigger problem becomes depth perception.

He quotes Col Charles W. King (ww2 pilot):

"[The commanding officer] ordered the tracer ammo removed... I'll never forget the spectacular results we got. Our kill rate went up from 50 to 100 percent."

Basically, Shaw recommends tracers for training only.

p1ngu666
12-31-2003, 02:11 PM
if you need a deflection shot u a bit stuck tho?

essemm
12-31-2003, 02:19 PM
Interesting. I used to be in the Army, and was trained to fire .50 Caliber machines guns. We used tracers...especially at night. When I asked the experts about different trajectories of the Phosphorous rounds, I was told that the variation was only 1 cm over 100 meters. Not too shabby, if you ask me.

Now, that being said, the weapon was a lot more modern than the ones being used in IL2FB

http://server3.uploadit.org/files/141103-warloch_small.jpg

FI-Aflak
12-31-2003, 03:04 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by p1ngu666:
if you need a deflection shot u a bit stuck tho?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

as a Jug pilot, I disagree. For deflection shots, you just pull your crosshair (or, in the jug, the circle-dot thing)in front of your target and pull the trigger. Tracers make it harder, you know you are scoring hits when you see flashes of light and bits and peices falling off.

p1ngu666
12-31-2003, 07:30 PM
true, but tracers help me
i rofled at my really bad aim earlier today, couple of bursts close to this sitting duck p51, above and below
balls that up XD

DONB3397
12-31-2003, 08:23 PM
Don't know much about ballistics, but this makes sense. The difference in trajectory is probably correct in actual air combat with the range, deflections and plane (gun platform) speed. But I doubt that this kind of precision is modeled in FB.

I fired a lot of .50 cal ammo in training, but I don't remember a noticeable difference in the shot pattern, even at 300 yards. In my case, I didn't do that much damage to the target anyway.

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AlGroover
12-31-2003, 09:14 PM
Makes sense to me. I know if I come under fire, I move away from the line of tracers.

ElAurens
12-31-2003, 09:23 PM
I've always found tracers to be a very helpful locating beacon when I'm hunting AAA guns in the Jug or IL2...

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Dolemite-
12-31-2003, 10:21 PM
I've never heard of a fighter pilot saying he didnt like tracers. Not 1 of the books I've read by WW2 pilots has them saying anything bad about tracers, they all liked them.

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ElfunkoI
01-01-2004, 02:51 AM
Custom loadout would be great. Definatly make the ratio of tracers to other rounds very low, maybe 1:40 for mg's and 1:15 for cannon. Low enough so by the time a tracer round comes up and target sees it, you've already been pulling the trigger a bit and hopefully scored some hits (and if they aren't paying attention they might miss the single tracer).

Gibbage1
01-01-2004, 03:01 AM
From what I remember, most vet pilots removed tracers. They felt it was sort of a "trainign wheels" for pilots gunnery. Once they got the feel for leading the target, they had no need for them! But in the Pacific, it was far differant. They WANTED the tracers. They loaded 1/2 (every other) or 1/3 (every 3rd) because it was so easy for a tracer to light fuel tanks, and it just scared the hell out of the targets. The Jap pilots late in war would typically freak when they saw a load of tracers fly by there canopy and do a instant snap stall into the ocian. Meanwile the enemy was well out of senseable range http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

It all depends on what your fighting against. In the sky's of FB, I would do without tracer. Over the Pacific, load me up with tracer and API so I can burn a Betty!

Choctaw111
01-07-2004, 08:32 PM
I would love to see someone come out with a utility that you could custom load your bullet and cannon rounds with whatever spacing in the tracers you want and even if you want any at all.

pinche_bolillo
01-07-2004, 09:47 PM
I believe that in the pto maguire co of the 475th fg made his men remove tracer ammo for the reasons described above, if you shot and missed the supprised enemy instantly knew he was being shot at, where as with api, ap, ball, and he (20mm) if you missed, the enemy didnt see the fire and you could re-adjust. the kills of this squad went up over night when the switched and stopped using tracer ammo.

this would work fine in this game if there were no icons. a large arror is a dead give away that somebody is very close by, a quick external view and you can see where they are. not using tracer ammo in this game would be effective only in a game with no external views and icons are off.

VonShlagnoff
01-08-2004, 04:10 AM
Is there a difference between tracer and incendiary?

Friendly_flyer
01-08-2004, 07:26 AM
Norwegian pilots, flying Gladiators against He 111s and Bf 110s did not have tracers. The attack on Norway came as a surprise (Norway really hoped to get away with being neutral as they did in WWI) and the Gladiators was loaded with what was at hand. This was to the Norwegian pilots great dismay. As long as your target is not lined up neatly, air combat without tracers is hopeless. As one pilot stated in his memoires:

"Fireing at a moving plane requires eigther training or tracers, non of which we had"

Fly friendly!

Petter Bøckman
Norway

p1ngu666
01-08-2004, 08:51 AM
without tracers u gonna haveto hose around to a certain extent.
i can see the advantage, but the disadvantage are pretty big too.
ud be less trigger happy i bet, going for more sure shots

olaleier
01-08-2004, 10:18 AM
It's not just a WW2 problem, ballistics I mean. The A-10 usually has a mix of (IIRC) 1 high explosive to 5 armor piercing, which have different ballistics.

The new upgrade has two gun pippers, so the pilot can choose whether he wants to concentrate HE or AP on the target.

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Sternjager
01-08-2004, 10:42 AM
Leonard "Kit" Carson said that the 375th guys didnt load the tracer bullets because they gave a false sense of distance, he was a close shot supporter and said that when u hit the target u could easily see the flashes anyway.

SJ

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Cardinal25
01-08-2004, 11:12 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by essemm:
Interesting. I used to be in the Army, and was trained to fire .50 Caliber machines guns. We used tracers...especially at night. When I asked the experts about different trajectories of the Phosphorous rounds, I was told that the variation was only 1 cm over 100 meters. Not too shabby, if you ask me.

Now, that being said, the weapon was a lot more modern than the ones being used in IL2FB

http://server3.uploadit.org/files/141103-warloch_small.jpg <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

You never fired a .50 in your life. The M2 HMG has not changed at all in the last 50 years.

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commie1
01-08-2004, 11:16 AM
Hey Card.

What's up with CWoS?

Can't get in there.

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Sternjager
01-08-2004, 01:09 PM
cardinal is right, it has never changed: a simple and reliable weapon like the .50 had just minor changes on the hand grips and mounting adapters. There might be different muzzle fire suppressors, but the internal machanism is always the same.
And btw 1cm for 100 metres is a lot (under a ballistics point of view) if u consider that the .50 has a range of over 1.5 km...

SJ

visita il sito italiano di IL-2 Sturmovik!!!
www.il2sturmovik.it (http://www.il2sturmovik.it)