Earlier this year, we had a press release that at first had me saying, “Why?” I am speaking about Streak Visual Ammunition, of course. Fortunately, for once I asked questions instead of running on my assumptions. It turns out that Streak Ammunition is actually cool. In this case, literally and figuratively.
From just a glance, Streak looks like handgun caliber tracer ammo. That was not something I cared about. I have known about 9mm tracers ever since I was introduced to the SMAW rocket launcher decades ago. The USMC variant of that system uses a 9mm tracer/spotter to adjust before you shoot the rocket part. Anyway, not once after that did I go looking for tracers for my handgun. Because it turns out conventional tracer rounds have a lot of downsides. (Also, it turns out that the SMAW uses a 9 x 51mm round, which is a long way from 9mm Luger. Not that I tried or anything.)
Normal tracers have some upsides, but the negatives are pretty big too. One, they cut both ways. As in, you can see where your bullet goes, but whoever you are shooting at can see where it came from. Two, they have a nasty habit of setting things on fire. Sometimes you want that result, but not always. It sucks to have to stop training to put out a forest fire, for instance. Or be the FNG that burns down a $7 million dollar shoot house blessed off by the SecDef himself for construction. And believe it or not, that was not an isolated incident. Several shoot houses have gone the same way over the years. And three, they fly really strangely. A conventional tracer is actually burning up as it moves across the sky, losing mass and shape.
Streak has fixed all of this by creating a cold tracer. As in, not on fire, not even a little bit. Streak uses a special luminous coating on the back of the bullet, which drops the chance of accidental burning to nothing. The construction also has a side benefit: the tracer becomes unidirectional. As in, if it is coming at you, you can’t see it, which is pretty cool in a tactical sense.
I must also tell you, I was skeptical that a round built this way would work. And to be fair, there are limitations. For instance, normal tracers are daylight visible. You can’t see them as far, but the burning metal blob flying through the air is still obvious in the brightest sun. The Streak says right on the box, not visible in daylight. They work great at indoor ranges or past sunset, but not in the midday sun.
All in all, that is an acceptable limitation to me. It is doubtful you are using your hand cannon to direct the fire of your troops as you charge up San Juan Hill at noon. If it’s daylight, you should probably just use your sights. Novel, I know.
And what about the benefits of the Streak? They do retain all the other benefits of tracers. I can speak from experience on this one. If all else fails, you can walk tracers into a target in the dark. In fact, it is a pretty effective way to use a machine gun, as many terrorists in coffins will attest. If you have no other night use features on your handgun, this solves the problem. It is useful to direct the fire of other team members and I can see a real benefit for LE’s with this one.
All the tactical reasons aside, it is also just fun. Streak comes in green and red, perfect for the Christmas season. Or Star Wars style battles. Maybe we could drop cases of green off to Antifa, and all us can just use the red. I had a blast shooting mine up, though HH6 was less than impressed I used up a Friday night to do so.
The two best parts I saved for last. First, Streak makes a hollow point defensive round, not just FMJ. So those of us not from New Jersey can get all the benefits, plus an expanding round. And the price is right. A box of 20 in 45 ACP will set you back about $17.99 for FMJ, $20.99 for Hollow Points.
Available in a wide variety of calibers, this is a cool thing to have. And even if you don’t have a need right now, it’s worth stocking a couple of boxes. You never know what the future will bring.
For more information visit Streak Visual Ammunition.
A few years ago Hornady came out with a cool burning white tracer in 9MM, I still have some cause I don’t know if they still sell them or ever did, I was a an MG shoot and a buddy that worked there gave me a few boxes. I fired off a couple of the boxes and true to form they were cool in both sense of the word. Don’t now if they ever hit the market as I never look for them but still have some. These are the first I have seen since then, might be nice to give them a try.
Interesting novelty. I was issued .38 tracer rounds for my .38 Model 10 with a four inch barrel. They were to be used in a survival mode. 12 rounds. In the SRU-21 Survival vest as well as the pin flares. Fortunately I never had to use any of the stuff.
Not sure what he can actually see, but a tra er visible for 3….4 feet is useless to me
Tracer rounds are cool until your house and surrounding area goes up in flames.
Lake Christine shooting range Basalt, Co.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife, reopened the range Saturday after it had been closed since early July when two hapless shooters using tracer rounds (which emit pyrotechnics to create rays of light visible to the naked eye) sparked what is known as the Lake Christine Fire.
The fire, which continues to smolder in the upper reaches of Basalt Mountain, has destroyed three homes and scorched more than 12,000 acres of woodsy terrain by the time wildlands firefighters numbering around 600 managed to bring the blaze to about 90 percent containment.
The blaze caused an estimated $16.8 million in damages and accumulated firefighting costs, apart from the value of the homes lost to the flames, which all contributed to the filing of felony charges in the case.
I fired off a box of twenty 9mm FMJ through my Sig M11A1 at a local 200 yard outdoor range (I had to convince the range master that they weren’t incendiary rounds since he had a bad experience in the past with someone using actual tracers – set the woods beyond the berm on fire & had to shut down the range for hours until the local fire fighters doused the the flames. Ooops.). It wasn’t completely dark but dusky enough to see the red glowing tails of the bullets fly away from me. What’s nice is all 9mm, 40SW & 45ACP (FMJ & hollow nose) are subsonic (920 – 960 FPS muzzle velocity) except for the 9MM hollow nose who’s rated higher & almost supersonic (1124 FPS) – all tested through handguns barrels per their website. I can “see” the usefulness in low/no light, close quarters venues but I plan to run these guys through my Hi-Point carbines for distance (I have all the above calibers in these guns as well as the Streak ammo, too). Just for sheets & giggles.
If your from NJ you can’t have any fun shooting toys! Vote witj your feet and GTFO!
You ain’t kidding. Stuck here for 5 more years until my son turns 18YO, then I’m moving to a free state i.e. one that follows the US Constitution as written. As the Pope says, “Pray for me!”
Leaving NJ for a “free state?” Beware of Kalifornia. Don’t come here – everything except illegal aliens and welfare are prohibited and getting worse.
Clay, did you purchase the Streak ammo at a local Boise store? If so which one.