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What Is This Artillery Projectile?


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Does anyone know what this artillery shell is? It measures 2 7/8” wide (at the base) x 10 3/8” long (not including the plug threaded into the top of the shell). The top was painted red at one point, the center section is black, and the bottom is yellow.


I don’t see any markings on the rotating band or anywhere else. There is some kind of plug threaded into the top. I’m not sure what that is, but it was painted yellow at one time. Anyhow, does anyone know what kind of artillery shell this is? Any help is appreciated!




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21 hours ago, jawasinger said:

75mm HE


Agreed, WW1 era. The three basic were Shrapnel, Shot ( with base fuze), and HE. Shrapnel lost favor with the US mid war for HE as Shrapnel was low velocity lead balls in a direction downward forward. HE was high explosive which spread sharp metal fragments at super velocities 360 degrees. The single driving band and course lathe turn marks was the best technology at the time.

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  • 1 month later...

Thanks for the identification. Since I can’t remove the plug and see inside, as the plug is jammed in there, is there any way to know if this is still a live shell? What kind of explosive was inside?

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It is with most certainty never loaded. Live WW1 shells were shipped with the fuze installed and a brass cap soldered/waxed to the fuze. It is un fired, has a manufacturer shipping plug , is not in original colors ( they were ink stamped when filled), has no load filling inking identifying lot, manufacturers, date, etc on it. The 110 percent way to check is unscrew the nose plug (soak the nose plug with Kroil, or thin penetrating oil and soak for a week) then ruin the nose plug when removing. If a worry wort, soak the shell immersed in light penetrating oil for a few days- the oil soaks into the shell cavity and destroys the energetic material. Cartridge collectors ( and ordnance collectors) have done this for decades. It is a GI souvenir, bring back, millions of GI’s brought them home. Do you think they were stupid? If you are really a nervous Nellie, you can ship it to me, I will pay the postage.

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No, I don’t think they were stupid, nor am I a “nervous Nellie”. I don’t really collect ordnance, but I find pieces from

time to time. This one was different from the other ones that I have come across and I just wanted to know exactly what I have here.  






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On 12/29/2021 at 3:27 PM, 917601 said:

Do you think they were stupid?


There have been plenty of stupid GIs who brought home dangerous souvenirs over the years.  It never hurts to seek expert advice when you run across something you don't know about.  Just don't report it to the bomb squad if you want to see it again - their response is to blow it up just to be sure.

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Stupid is as stupid does.  But also unknowing mistakes.  MANY people have been killed by live ordnance found from the Civil War, WWI, WWII and onwards.  Happened in my town at a scrap dealer, who accidentally received a live 500lb bomb, and blew himself up just working through the "scrap metal".  

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I found a vet in PA that had a case of live grenades.


And how smart was I to empty them all.



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