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Wincherter AA tracker shells are losers

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by Har3rdus, Aug 8, 2013.

  1. Har3rdus

    Har3rdus Member

    Apr 3, 2009
    I bought a box of Winchester AA tracker shells to try, and they are not worth the money. It was near dusk, and I asked my buddy to try a Tracker shell. Standing right behind him in a coaching capacity, I was eager to see a trail of light that would mark the way the shot was traveling, and nothing. For those old enough to remember the formation of dirt, someone made a tracer shell that would light up like a military tracer. I suspect that the light in the old tracers was a phosphorus pellet that would burn when it came in contact with the water vapor in the air. In my opinion these new Winchester AA tracer shells are not worth the $12.00 to $15.00 per box price tag.
    True Blue and Diamond Blue,
    Harry in PA
  2. skeet_man

    skeet_man Well-Known Member

    Jan 29, 1998
    Rochester, NY
    They aren't meant to be "tracers" that emit their own light. The wad is meant to stay with the shot charge, and allow you visual feedback. Not saying they work, just saying they were never intended to do what you thought they would.
  3. Oregunner

    Oregunner Well-Known Member

    Aug 15, 2006
    I have some of the old TruTracer wads with the pellet. The pellet is ignited by the powder burn and it is easy to see, especially at night, but creates a fire danger this time of year. Mark
  4. davidjayuden

    davidjayuden Well-Known Member

    Jul 9, 2009
    Use them on a bright day and misses will be explained by the location of the passing wad. That is all they were intended for.
  5. Avatar

    Avatar TS Member

    Apr 18, 2013
    Traacker shells (don't forget that extra "a") are not losers, exactly, just not as visible as one would hope. They use a large shot cup/wad with petals that unfold. The wad traps 1/8 of the pellets, to allow it to stay with the shot string. That part actually works. The wad does seem to track the shot path, although I'm sure that it must be trailing by time the string connects with the target. I shot a single shell at the pattern board, and at 30 yards, it was about 3" left of center. (If I buy more, I'll do more extensive pattern tests.)

    Shooting trap from the 16 yard line, I had mixed success. Shooting in bright light, I could see the black wads; and if I missed the clay pigeon, I could usually see on which side I had missed. When I hit, I could usually see the wad right on top of the exploding target. However, even in bright light, the orange shells did not work for me, as there just wasn't enough contrast with the orange pigeons.

    I came back another day near sunset and shot some more trap with Traacker shells and really could not see either the orange or black wads. While the overall level of light still seemed good to me, apparently my eyes didn't agree.

    Since the wad must be traveling at the end or lagging behind the shot string, I suppose there are misses on which the wad's position would not report that accurately. However, until real tracers come back, the Traacker is a lot better than nothing. The suggestion others have made to use a "spotter" is a good one, as the shooter should be focusing on the target. That raises the question of who would benefit from using Traacker shells. Mainly beginners, I suppose; although they might also be useful for figuring out what is off with certain types of shots with certain barrels. I suspect that most folks who already hit almost all their shots will not want to use the Traacker, as, aside from costing more, the Traacker's wad also traps 1/8 of the pellets, probably resulting in holes in the pattern--although the pattern from the single shell I shot at the pattern board didn't seem that bad.

    I'm saving my remaining Traackers to see how they work under lights at night...
  6. pdq

    pdq Member

    Aug 24, 2006
    Yes, big difference between being designed to be a 'tracker' and a 'tracer'.

    I'm hoping to buy some to use with first time shooters, where the person standing behind them can see where the wad goes. I don't care if it's off center by a couple of inches, as most misses for a new shooter is measured in feet.

  7. Schoolcop

    Schoolcop Active Member

    Jun 17, 2012
    Desha, Arkansas
    I shot a couple of boxes of these at the aim grand. As a shooter I couldn't see where the wads were going, maybe if you had a spotter they would be easier to see. These were free so the only complaint about them is they seemed leave the barrel really dirty.
  8. JH

    JH Well-Known Member

    Jan 29, 1998
    They also come in 1250 fps and 1150 fps....in orange and black for different light conditions....I used the 1250 fps in black on sporting clays tower shots and often cannot see the wad......
  9. Jim Veta

    Jim Veta Active Member

    Sep 10, 2007
    Reno. Nevada
    I shot two boxes and I could not really see anything.
    My shooting partner felt the same.
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