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WW1 75mm Shrapnel Shell w/ lead balls.


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Pulled this one out to examine the lead shrapnel balls. While most of these examples are quite common ( fired and reassembled with expended parts) this one is unfired and has the pusher tube. The lead balls are correct diameter but modern manufactured. The story goes the shell was designed around the huge surplus of lead round ball the military  had when they discarded the cap and ball revolvers.8306FE84-7B95-4505-B1DD-57F8139F519C.jpeg.12a558ea8a3d2b2d0f34aa10a776a559.jpeg9DCDF32F-60D9-4194-B029-85A3A794D04E.jpeg.a31ae3035a2b4038f4b225def61a56f8.jpegE9B159C2-E503-42EE-8BDE-86F246B214A0.jpeg.3c2a134bb301f73d7d85e173c43b5a98.jpeg

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The shell is like a flying shotgun shell, directional forward. The timed fuze ignites a powder train which burns through the center of the plunger. The powder charge at the base explodes pushing out the balls- ( about 1200 FPS) the fuze is fine threaded with an adapter coarse threaded and gives way easily. All the “ bring back” fired ones you see are the parts found on the ground, the fuze, the plunger( usually deformed badly), the shell case then “put together “. The plunger and shell casing falling to the ground were lethal by themselves., millions covered the fields. Unfired specimens very hard to find , I have two acquired from a retired artillery officers estate, years ago.C88B9ED3-039A-4785-80F7-CCF288DA3C0E.jpeg.1cca46d7bfad78ea320a0f09aed92563.jpeg

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I understand how they work. But looking at your column of balls, compared to the inside diameter, it SEEMS like the shot column is quite a bit smaller than ID. So what can we not see from your original set of pics?


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Lucas Sparks

MAJ, FA

FT Sill, OK

 

www.homesteadersfinest.com

 

http://forums.g503.com/viewtopic.php?f=95&t=102532

 

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Interesting to note in later war HE shells were developed as the shrapnel shells were only directional, the lead balls propelled forward and downwards rather slowly due to the blackpowder propelling charge. HE shells used the steel shell casing itself exploding into extremely fast moving steel fragments traveling in every direction. Shrapnel had it’s benefits. Fuzes were set so advancing troops could follow closely ( 50 yards) the forward bursting shrapnel shells, not possible with HE shells. As a note, the shrapnel rounds lead balls were mixed in a smoke “ matrix” so the gunners could see where the rounds were bursting. Short or improperly set times on the fuzes resulted in hitting their own advancing troops.Historical accounts state the infantry were instructed to follow as close as 50 yards behind the forward spewing shrapnel balls and smoke.

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17 minutes ago, Lsparks said:

I understand how they work. But looking at your column of balls, compared to the inside diameter, it SEEMS like the shot column is quite a bit smaller than ID. So what can we not see from your original set of pics?


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There would be another row of balls increasing the diameter. I reduced the ball stack up diameter so they could be removed easily with just unscrewing the fuze. The fuze screws into an adapter on the shell body. When discharged, the adapter blew off, a much larger diameter. I was not able to unscrew the adapter, it could be done but I did not want to nick and score it up. 

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There would be another row of balls increasing the diameter. I reduced the ball stack up diameter so they could be removed easily with just unscrewing the fuze. The fuze screws into an adapter on the shell body. When discharged, the adapter blew off, a much larger diameter. I was not able to unscrew the adapter, it could be done but I did not want to nick and score it up. 

Thanks. From what I’ve seen with expended rounds, the whole “hat” assembly containing the Fuze & adapter, seems to remain intact when the Fuze functions.

I’ve not found a center tube.


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Lucas Sparks

MAJ, FA

FT Sill, OK

 

www.homesteadersfinest.com

 

http://forums.g503.com/viewtopic.php?f=95&t=102532

 

http://forums.g503.com/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=268384

 

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Here are a few pics of another identical 75mm of mine, but A0144627-4622-415B-8909-7C8AFB16FF7C.jpeg.5c813145dda5b587786e8f905895018c.jpeg710EF4C3-5860-44E0-B5D5-7C903525CA5F.jpeg.2d856b5b7ec92cd26c9f9b2afde2f217.jpegADD32BE6-5486-4911-B29C-F24CC49D2A07.jpeg.9a1e82734e069751cce80c0225cd6703.jpegin untouched, as issued original colors. The adapter and plunger intact. Notice the brass “ cone” that was attached to protect the fuze during transit. The US 75mm shrapnel round was shipped assembled with fuze in place.I consider this round the rarest in my collection. 

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The faint ink markings “75G-H”on the faded red are still visible. I suspect that denotes 75mm Howitzer and Gun interchangeability but have not been able to find any period TM or manual references. Can anyone confirm?

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The CW cap & ball revolvers were rifled and the bullets were therefore pointed, unsuitable as case shot.

illinigander  

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