Originally Posted by troy2000
Makes it easier to identify whether you're shooting light ball or heavy ball.
Also, it helps identify "specialty" ammo, such as Raufoss (HEI), Incendieary, AP, API, Tracer, APIT, etc.
modern bullet tips, I've seen the following color codes:
Black = Armor Piercing (AP)
Black Tip/Red Band = Armor Piercing Incendiary (API)
Magenta Tip/Red Band = Armor Piercing Incendiary Tracer (APIT)
Sea-Green = Raufoss/High Explosive Incendiary (HEI)
Red/Orange Tip = Red Tracer or Incendiary
Green Tip = Green Tracer
I knew most of this, but for reference I double-checked myself with this site: Headstamps, Color Codes, Markings
Now, please realize that any of the above are just a general guide; you will almost definitely find one or more of the specialty ammo's with a different or without a painted tip, possibly due to being worn off or just not being painted at all. For instance, I have personally seen .308 AP without any black tip at all and they were never painted.
If you're looking for the specifics on the 7.62x54R that we shoot through our Mosins, then go check out the 7.62x54r Ammunition Evaluations
as the table down the page has the color tips and all the info of bullet weight, case material/coating and core material all right there. If you want to know if a certain bullet is magnetic, just click on the link in the table and the description (along with great pictures and ballistics info) will tell you all you needed to know about the round.