People outside of the military generally had not had the opportunity to shoot tracer bullets until engineers at Hallam Inc., Hunstville, Tex., developed Glow Ammo. It consists of a small “dot” of chemicals applied to the back of a bullet by reloaders, i.e., shooters who, in essence, construct their own bullets. When the bullet is fired, the chemicals capture energy from the expanding gases and convert it into light, according to the company. This lets the shooter track the round and see where it hits. When used properly, the tracer lets shooters adjust their next shot and get closer to the target.
Unlike conventional tracer rounds, which are almost exclusively used by the military, Glow Ammo is a cold tracer. There is no potentially dangerous fire or flame.
Hallam invested over three years to make sure the tracer dots are safe and effective. Then it worked with Fabrico, Kennesaw, Ga., a company with expertise in die cutting, adhesives, and liner materials, to make Glow Ammo easy for reloaders to use.
Fabrico devised an adhesive that would affix the dot to the bottom of a bullet prior to it being seated in a casing. The adhesive keeps the tracer on the bullet for at least 18 months, if stored at room temperature. For packaging, Fabrico came up with a liner material that worked well with Hallam’s manufacturing processes.