“Cold Tracer” Glow Ammunition

Kit Up! Still shot from a Glow Ammo video.Kit Up! Still shot from a Glow Ammo video.

Kit Up! Still shot from a Glow Ammo video.

“Trajectory Identification Technology”

That’s what they are calling  Glow Ammo, an innovative ammunition and ammunition modification material now available from the company of the same name. Glow Ammo provides a non-incendiary, tracer-like effect visible from the shooter’s perspective and not the target’s. The glow can still be seen from a wide angle to the rear of the bullet trajectory, but assuming this holds true then a shooter’s position is less likely to be identified by whomever he’s giving the good news (given the use of Glow Ammo vs. traditional tracers, that is).

Glow Ammo is a recent development patented back in January by Andy Hollerman, Ph.D. He says the idea came from watching triboluminescence, which is  non-incendiary method of producing light produced by breaking or rubbing crystals together (you know, simple stuff involving the storage of electrons which have been ejected by the penetrating gamma radiation of 40K decay in lattice defects and whatnot)…as opposed to the trail of burning phosphorous most of us are used to.

In addition to the ammunition, material utilizing the Trajectory Identification Technology (great acronym) is available to modify ammunition you may already have. I hesitate to use the word ‘decal’ but that does seem to be the easiest way to describe these kits. The kit ‘decals’ actually came first, before ammunition production began.

Current ammunition available includes 124 Grain RN 9mm,180 Grain FP .40 S&W and 230 Grain RN .45 ACP. I have a message in to the company for more information and I’ll be ordering some to shoot as well.

For more information you can look at the website: http://www.glowammo.com/.

About the Author

Kilgore & Call
Richard Kilgore and Jake Call have been writing on and off for Military.com for many years now. You can reach them at BreachBangClear.com or follow them on Instagram at @breachbangclear or Tumblr at http://the-mad-duo.tumblr.com/.
  • Lew

    When they make it work outdoors in full daylight I’ll be interested. Until then it seems more like a novelty item. I wish Dr Hollerman all the best in his endeavours but I don’t think I’d buy any yet.

  • Rapier975

    I’m curious as to whether the decal will affect chambering of the round. Looking forward to a test, just because it sounds interesting, novelty item or not.

    • Stormcharger

      No, because as seen in the video, the decal is placed on the base of the bullet then loaded into the case. As such, the decal would not interfere with cycling the round.

      Although I like this type of technology application, with the exception of proof of concept what is the benefit of using tracer ammunition on a semi or automatic arm that is not a machine gun? Maybe it’s just me, but the picture that forms in my head is a soldier whipping out his M9 and blasting away with 15 rounds and looking really cool but not actually able to hit anything. Even with an M4, a tracer will only tell the shooter what he probably already knows, he’s either aiming correctly or not.

      That being said, should the Glow Ammo be cost effective, having every round a tracer in an M249, M240, or M2 might be worthwhile and add flexibility regardless of the basic ammunition type.

      • Hm. Well if the circumstances allow for use of tracers, you definetly have decreased target aquisition time as a benefit. At least in mid/long range engagements. But short range, as in using your M9, I don’t know what tracer rounds would do for you either.

        I don’t “work” with guns, I’m a mediocre shooter (at best). Tracers enable me to hit sh** beyond 400 yards. It’s good feedback. I love em. To me it’s like cheating.

  • Matt

    Seems like a good start but I agree Lew, daylight might screw with your sighting.

    • Sam

      Why would it “screw” with your sighting?

      • straps

        Because when you drop your sights to see where the round hit (key to good follow-through), you’d totally be blinded.

        Doesn’t that make sense? ;^)

  • straps

    Lots of possibilities as an instructional tool.

    I’d buy a box just to take to a Fudd range. One of those rounds every 3 mags or so would drive those old dudes CRAAAZY!

  • Larry

    The key benefit I see is being able to see where your round went/
    hit so that you can adjust your point of aim.

  • Looks like a great 1st generation design. I’d be interested to know more about the visual properties like the visible angle and range for each round and if they’re compatible with night vision or IR systems (which I doubt matters much at the moment as they seem to be mainly intended for indoor range use). They should also seriously consider hiring a marketing team to bring their website out of 1992.

  • majrod

    Many ranges don’t allow tracers and tracers cause many an outdoor range fire.

    These might not be worth a crap in daylight or outdoors but they are worth checking out. Potential as an instructional tool, hunting in dry conditions where fire is a hazard, home defense for those that could use a tracer, cool factor or for those squeamish about putting tracers through their barrel for whatever reason.

  • Jameson

    Cool looking product, would definitely love to pick some up and do some night plinking. Reminds me of Star Wars. Minus the Storm Trooper accuracy.

  • MB

    Ok it’s cool from the shooters perspective,but I thought the main selling point was your enemy can’t see it giving away location. Show me some video of what the enemy sees from down range-

    • This is an old video shot with a poor camera, but it shows footage from the enemy’s point of view at around 1:18

  • Dan Thaler

    Why did you shoot the wild pi, *******?

  • The Identifier that goes on the back of bullet does not have any effect on chambering a round. Also, there is no residue left in barrel or excess stress on the weapon.

    Glow Ammo is a great training aid because it will immediately show the trajectory to a shooter and observer making it faster to realize what you are doing wrong and help you recognize the “feel” you have when you do it right. We teach that handguns should be fired 99% of the time with both eyes open and your focus on the target, allowing your sights to be in your vision but not focused on so hard as to the detriment of your tactical awareness. Basically, when you hit a golf ball you focus on the ball, not the club you are using it hit it with. Same philosophy applies to performing well in all environments with a handgun. While using this “target focused” technique Glow Ammo gives immediate feedback to the shooter regardless of muzzle rise, etc.

    Glow Ammo is only visible from the shooter’s perspective so it does not give your position away to the enemy like traditional tracers.
    There are more videos (hogs getting shot, etc) at http://www.youtube.com/user/GLOWAMMO

    Nice talking to you David.

    • majrod

      If it doesn’t give away your position that’s a BIG deal!

  • steelcobra

    One advantage of tracers in a firefight is to mark a target you’re seeing but but your buddies aren’t.

    But I could see this being used in long-range shooting to see live bullet performance.

  • coolhand77

    I can see this as an excellent tool for long range shooters just starting out. It would really give you a feel for bullet drop, and trajectory change over distance for a scoped rifle. How far till the decal “burns out” or goes dark? Can this be applied to 7.62×51, .338 Lapua, and 5.56 rounds for past 3 4 and 500 yard shooting?

  • Jon Ray

    Putting one in each of your mags in the 2nd to last position would be helpful (during a fire fight) – knowing a mag change is imminent one could utilize cover for a mag change.

  • Geodkyt

    GREAT POINT! I’d long ago discarded the “reload” tracer idea, because I do not want to make it obvious I’m nearly dry. . . but this might make it more viable.

    Of course, I got to the point where I figured tracer was for machinegunners and leaders, and damned little else. (Yes, it’s more effective when doing improvised small arms antiaircraft firing, but honestly, you gonna carry around a couple of mags of tracer JUST to shoot at incoming airstrikes?) And for leadership use, I would prefer standard tracer, because I might be directing fire for guys well off my gun-target axis.

  • Hey! Do you use Twitter? I’d like to follow you if that would be ok. I’m definitely enjoying

    your blog and look forward to new updates.

  • I read this article completely concerning the resemblance of most recent and preceding technologies, it’s amazing article.