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In this Instructable I will show you different methods on how to make tracer bullets!!

Real Tracer Bullet - A tracer bullet is a shot that has a pyrotechnic charge at the base of the bullet to make the trajectory visible. These shots are not very accurate because as the charge burns off the mass of the bullet changes causing changes in the trajectory. For that reason and the fact that the enemy can easily see where the bullets are coming from they are used for training exercises.

My Tracer Bullet - My tracer bullets are made from Glow-In-The-Dark oven bake clay. The advantages of my bullets are that the mass stays the same allowing more accuracy and the light stays lit for a long period of time. They also are reusable unlike real tracers. Using oven bake clay allows me to make the bullets the size I need and I can make quite a few at one time. 

Methods -  My tracer bullets can built many different ways, but there are two main ways I am going to show you in the Instructable. One way is to hand mold the bullet to the size you need and the second way is to make a mold of a pre-made projectile and fill the mold with the clay and bake. Both methods are very good but I prefer hand molding the bullets because if you mess up the mold you have to make it again. But hand molding the bullets are not as perfect as making a replica of a real bullet and with a mold you can cast other thing in the mold. For instance I can fill the mold I made for my airgun with plaster of paris.

Final Notes - I am not responsible if the bullet jams or breaks any gun or other firing device. Play safe and don`t aim or shoot any gun at a person these bullets are rock hard and can really hurt or cause injury to someone. These bullets are not designed to be used in real guns. USE COMMON SENSE!!!!!!

Step 1: Materials

Necessary Materials -
- Glow-In-The-Dark Clay
I used Sculpey Pluffy Clay you can try other brands as-well 
- Oven to bake the clay in
- Cookie sheet or similar oven proof platform
- Something to compare the bullet too to make an accurate sized bullet
- Charge light, any light that you can put the bullet in front of to make it glow in the dark (best if light is portable like a flashlight for easy on the go bullets) 

Optional items -
- Silicone Mold compound able to withstand the baking temperature of the clay you use (I used Amazing Mold Putty you can find it at local Craft stores)
- Ammo you wish to replicate into a tracer bullet
- Baby Powder or Corn Starch
- Sand Paper (Grit between 200-600 work best)


Step 2: Silicone Mold Tracer Bullet

In order to use this version of the tracer bullet you need a mold compound, baby powder, and bullet to replicate.

Start by finding the bullet you wish to copy. If you are making these bullets for an airsoft gun I would recommend using the hand molded bullets at step 5.

Mix the Mold compound according to its instructions and make a mold of the bullet you want.

Step 3: Filling the Silicone Mold

Once you have the mold made you can now fill the mold with the Glow-In-The-Dark clay of your choice. But before you fill the mold up spread baby powder or corn starch in the mold to make it easier to remove the clay after baking. Make sure you have no air bubbles or layers by packing the clay very tightly in the mold. 

Step 4: Baking in the Mold

Place the mold with the clay on a cookie sheet and bake the clay according to its package. Make sure the mold compound you use is able to withstand the heat of the oven. When the bullet is done take it out of  the oven and let it cool. When cool push the bullet out of the mold and let the bullet continue to cool. If baked right the bullet should be rock hard and the mold should be good-as-new.

Step 5: Hand Molded Tracer Bullets

Hand molded Bullets are simple and faster to make and require less materials. 

Just like the Silicone molds the first thing you should do is find a bullet to replicate. I also get the barrel the bullet will be in to make sure it fits. You can roll the clay into a ball or make your own shaped bullets.

Step 6: Tips on Getting the Bullet to Fit

When making the bullet you want to make it round and symmetrical as you can. When you make it a general size drop it into the barrel to see if it fits, adjust accordingly until it has little to no resistance. If you have baked your clay bullet and it is to big to fit in the barrel use sand paper and file away. 

Step 7: Baking Hand Molded Clay

Gently place the clay bullet on a cookie sheet and bake according to its instructions. When fully baked remove it from the oven and let it cool. When it is done it should be rock hard and fit in your barrel nicely. 

Step 8: Firing Tracer Bullets

Before you load the bullet charge it in front of the light constantly moving it to allow even coverage of light. Load the bullet and fire! Have fun and if you have any questions post your comments below.

Thanks for Reading my Instructable and I hope you enjoy your reusable Tracer Bullets!!
Purple laser pointers charge glow-in-the-dark really well. Wonder how you could add that to the gun.
Wouldn't another solution be to just spray the bullets with glow in the dark paint? This would drastically cut down on the size differences. :)
You should make the flasher at the end of the barrel so you dont need to use a flash light
To make the bullet glow even brighter use a black light instead of a flashlight! Works great!
why dont you just buy glow in the dark bullets
yeah, I was thinking the same thing. Maybe they're unavailable in the author's area or they just had a boatload of GITD clay to use up or something.
good work but please note:<br>DO NOT USE on any decent airsoft gun,a good softair gun has a precision of .08mm in the barrel,some hi precision barrels have 0,01 to 0,03mm of precision.<br><br>Using low quality or &quot;home made&quot; bbs may break or at least decrease the precision of your gun.
actually a UV flashlight (i have one powered by LED's) can charge a glow-in-the-dark substance right up.
Actually, they don't use just tracers for training exercise. A few tracers are interspersed in with the normal rounds in combat to help machine gunners see where their fire is going.
Yea its a great idea I have seen video of it
Hello everybody I myself had a very high quality 200+ dollar air soft gun and to be completely honest I would have never used anything except for factory made ammunition simply because I did not want to break my gun although however I suppose this might be able to work on the lower end weapons <br> <br>cheers. <br>Fidgety2
I totaly agree I was aiming it more for homemade pvc air guns and I had an old airsoft pistol and it worked so I added it to the instructable <br> <br>Thanks for the comment
a black light would work better for charging<br>
Yes it would i actually built an attachment for an airsoft pistol with pvc pipe and a high powered UV LED. It worked but it was difficult to see because the single led did not have enough charge time. I could build another one with more leds and make an instructable.

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