Monday, March 14, 2011

Glow Ammo

This weekend was a long training class Saturday. We ran Basic Pistol 2, Defensive Pistol Skills 1 and Low Light Skills 1A. Hsoi posted on his FB page on it being a long day. What people may or may not understand is that we instructors were out there Early to get things setup then after the night shoot finishes at 10PM we still have to tear down and clean up. Makes for a long day.

Anyway, at the end of night shooting, I broke out a box of tracers I had loaded using Glow Ammo dots from Glow Ammo. I had gotten a sample from my neighbor and friend who runs Brass Valley Shooters range. I loaded up 50 rounds with my practice load for 9mm and had them waiting for this class. The idea is that you place this stickers that weigh about 1 grain on the base of your own bullet and reload with you standard mix so they shoot to the same point of aim as your regular load. They are also a non incendiary load so no danger of starting a grass fire from them. Also, they start to glow as soon as the charge in the case fires so you get a trace from the barrel all the way instead of needing some time or distance to get the trace charge lit and burning.

Impressions, I'll let Hsoi chime in as he got to see them as well but between the instructors we pretty much agreed that while you can see the trace yourself as the shooter, they are much better as seen from an observers position. Much better to diagnose where shots are going in the dark. They shot to the same place as standard loads and are just downright kinda fun to shoot. I will likely pick some more up to play with and use at some of the future night classes and may even let some of the students shoot some. I will reserve doing that a lot mainly because these are my handloads. They are not commercially loaded ammo. I do not load for anyone other than myself or my wife and I don't sell my ammo. I really don't want the liability of someone else using my ammo.

Overall, I would say I like the Glow Ammo and as a training aide found that it could in fact have a use in training.

FTC DISCLAIMER: I got the sample as a gift from a friend who has no financial interest in Glow Ammo and have received no compensation from Glow Ammo or anyone else for my time trouble or expense in testing.


  1. First, I'll say that I still haven't had time to figure out how to fix my OpenID issue since I switch over my blog domain to (I'm sure this will post as being from "blog", not hsoiblog or hsoi or anything useful like that). With that out of the way....

    I was so tired, I forgot to have someone (you) shoot some after classes were over so I could stand on the side to see them. I'm sure that, just like with muzzle flash, it would have been more impressive for an observer than the shooter.

    You actually touched on something: seeing where the shots went. Since I ran the "shoot scenario" course that night, of course it was new for most of the students to shoot that way. They're shooting one-handed, they're shooting with a flashlight, it's dark... all things to make shooting more difficult. While I'm standing close behind them to try to help them see where their shots are going, since there'd be a lot of missing of the steel, I struggled to give them corrections... I would where I could, but if there wasn't enough light downrange to see dirt flying up on the berm, I couldn't help. Of course, these little "tracers" would have made diagnosing their "misses" a snap!

    I wouldn't mind playing around with these myself. I'll wait tho... trying to find time to get the reloading press set up for .223, so pistol ammo will have to wait for a long time. :-)

  2. Well, not to separate you form students but to do just that. As a reloader yourself, you understand the liabilities of reloaded ammo. If you wanted to and trusted my ammo, I would let you shoot some of my reloads with the tracers loaded up. I just don't want to be an ammo manufacturer or give them to any / all of the students. I could easily see the benefit for the students and instructors to run the course with tracers for diagnostic purposes. Maybe need to talk to a commercial reloader about making a custom batch for us. That there is a thought.

  3. Oh I totally understand the reload situation. I was just talking that the concept would be useful, there's a good practical application of the technology. But to actually do it? No, I'm not interested due to the reasons you mention. But yeah, if a commercial place wanted to do it, that would be really cool.