Just prior to WW II the British Army began experimenting with the use of 9mm
Para tracers for night fighting to include the use of 100% tracer loads in Suomi
submachine guns. These early loads were made by Kynoch are reportedly had
108gr bullets with a red tip and were loaded in commercial Kynoch cases. The
night fighting trials were not particularly successful, but Army continued to
experiment with tracers during the war. Quite a few different types of tracers were
tested but none appear to have entered full production.
The series of pointed-bullet tracers evolved as companion rounds to the series of
pointed-bullet ball cartridges which were under development in the 1942 time frame
in an attempt to improve the penetration of British 9mm Mk 1Z ammunition. The
pointed-bullet ball cartridges will be treated elsewhere on the website. The
pointed-bullet ball cartridges are relatively rare, but the tracers are extremely rare
with only a single loaded round and a single bullet cutaway known to the author.
In parallel with the development of the pointed bullet tracers in mid-1942, the
British were developing tracers of similar design using the standard ball ogive.
This development continued into 1943.
DD(L) 14022A Tracer. Loaded round weighing 139gr and cutaway.
This is a specimen of the DD(L) 14021 bullet. The bullet weighs 89gr and is loaded in a
commercial Kynoch case headstamped KYNOCH 9mm.P which is a common pre-WWII
commercial headstamp. This cartridge was originally identified as the round used in the 1939
night fighting trials with the Suomi submachine guns using 100% tracer ammunitions but more
recent data indicates the 1939 tracers used 108gr bullets. No specimens of the 1939 test
rounds have been identified. There is a specimen on a card which may be from these trials
Photo courtesy of Tony Edwards