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Discussion Starter #1
I just bought an artillery shell from gunbroker and I have NO idea what it is. Is there a sight that has good pictures of various large caliber cannon rounds?

Here's what Ive uncovered so far:

1)It appears to be painted powder blue, with very little white stencil left on it. All unreadable. (Training blue, I assume)

2) About 5" in diameter

3) There is NO forcing ring, and the bottom of the shell screws off (Almost seems to be a shipping cap) to reveal a smaller plate with spanner wrench holes. It reads "FOR INE**** LOADED HEADS ONLY" (** is obscured by pitting)

4) Top is threaded for a fuse, and the damn thing is filled with concrete. Weighs about 50 lbs.

5) Only markings are some types of serial number and LANSCO

Anybody help to tell me what this thing is?
 

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it's a training round.....that "FOR INE**** LOADED HEADS ONLY" is , FOR INERT LOADED HEADS ONLY. as to the caliber, you can't go by inches.....you have to measure the diameter in mm to get the correct caliber of the shell, but a guess would be it is a 120mm round as that is pretty close to 5 inches. my guess it's a tank round......but who's is the question, NATO most likely, seeing it's written in english, and all NATO tank rounds are 120mm
 

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Discussion Starter #4
You might be right about it being 120mm, but Ive never seen a tank round that isnt a 'contained' round. (like a bullet, casing and projectile), nor have I ever seen a tank projectile with a screw off bottom. Ill try and post some pics tommorow.
 

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A few years ago while in the an NCO in the Army Reserve I made up a handy conversion chart to determine caliber of various weapons that might be helpful. A partial Example:

Millimeter Inches
175 6.88
155 6.10
120 4.72
110 4.33
107 4.2
105 4.13
100 3.93
90 3.54
88 3.46

To Find Multiply by
Inches MM 0.03937

To find Divide by
MM Inches .03937
 

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Unfortunately the system distorted my first reply which was nicely spaced and easier to read (it was not the way I wrote it) however I hope it is understandable.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Its 5 inches...

Well, using a super calibrated high tech ruler, I measured it and it was more than 120mm (127 I think, cant remember), but it was exactly 5 inches in diameter. The onlt 5" guns I know of are Naval artillery, and I cant find any good reference photos online.
 

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You are correct as to the caliber as 127mm is 4.99 inch.
A warning to ordnance collectors. You can't always go by the color as the standard colors have changed over the years.
Example: Today, Blue =Practice, Black Armor Piercing, Olive Green=High Explosive, Gray =Chemical and smoke etc.
I just checked with "Gunner's Mate 3 training manual" from 1951 and found a completely different system. The following is for 3 inch projectiles and larger: Armor Piercing=Black, Common=Slate gray, High capacity=Green, Illuminating= Light Blue, Incendiary, Smoke,Gas=Ocean Gray, Traget=Red. The back part of the projectile was painted the color of the type of projectile, the forward part the color representing the filler. By the way "Common" was a compromise between AP and HC (High Capacity). Projectiles smaller than 3 inch had different color codes for each caliber (too many to list). The Army also used different codes in WWII such as Red-low explosive, Black=drill round, Yellow=High explosive (prior to 1942 then it went to Olive Green with yellow marking).
 

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Hmmm, could it possibly be a dummy/training warhead for the Navy HVAR...the 5" rockets slung under the wing? Or possibly a dummy warhead for a hedgehog ASW rocket....

It would make sense especially if it has no driving band, or is not cut for one...
 

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38/55...

Might it be a naval 38/55 projectile? Don't know if they had a driving band or not. Have a caseing sitting in the shop that I use for a door stop....38/55,all steel about 33" tall..... just a thought....
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Navy HVAR, what, hmm??

Wow, Ive NEVER heard of that. What is the HVAR? Like I said earlier, this thing is old, has no driving band and looks as if it screws into something. The nose IS threaded to take a fuse. (And the bottom screws off, like a shipping cap) Ive put off posting a photo because its such a PITA, but you might be on to something. Are there any photos of this warhead?
 

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Armorer said:
To find Divide by
MM Inches .03937
You can also get mm by multipling inches x 24.5 5" x 25.4 = 127mm try it. That is because there are 25.4mm to the inch.
 

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ScottD said:
Wow, Ive NEVER heard of that. What is the HVAR? Like I said earlier, this thing is old, has no driving band and looks as if it screws into something. The nose IS threaded to take a fuse. (And the bottom screws off, like a shipping cap) Ive put off posting a photo because its such a PITA, but you might be on to something. Are there any photos of this warhead?
High Velocity Aerial Rocket....remember those movies of Navy and Marine Corps Corsairs firing rockets into Jap positions....or WWII or Korea pics of navy aircraft with rockets slung under the wings? Those are HVAR's...5" diameter warheads...thats why they said when one of thos planes let lose a full salvo of 8 rockets, it was more firepower than a destroyer....

Anyway, a 5" 38cal projectile definitely has a driving band, one is sitting on my credenza across from my desk as I type this....

Like I said, my call, if there is no driving band, and no groove for a driving band, and the base is threaded....it sounds like a rocket warhead to me....

I don't have any pics, but try googling 5" rocket or HVAR....
 

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first thing i thought of when you mentioned this

There is NO forcing ring, and the bottom of the shell screws off (Almost seems to be a shipping cap) to reveal a smaller plate with spanner wrench holes. It reads "FOR INE**** LOADED HEADS ONLY" (** is obscured by pitting)
was this round from a gyrojet pistol - of course not 5 inches round, but this is immediately what i thought of when you said that - pretty cool reading reguardless

http://www.thedonovan.com/archives/002580.html

http://www.thedonovan.com/archives/002590.html

it has the same "spanner wrench holes" you mention, but that is rocket exhaust ports on the gyrojet bullet
 

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The British used a 5.5" field piece.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Ive concluded its a HVAR head.

There arent many pictures on the net, but the 'shell' seems to be about the same size and shaqe as the nose of a HVAR. I stripped the rust down and found OD paint under the training blue paint. I sprayed it OD green and soon it will sit along side my 40mm, Navy 3" trainer, US 3" and 155mm projo. Damn, my gunroom floor is gonna cave in any day now.....
 
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