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4 days of relic hunting - May 2010 - WW2 gunnery ranges

Article about: Yes mate, nice one

  1. #1

    Default 4 days of relic hunting - May 2010 - WW2 gunnery ranges

    Hi guys

    So here is the result of my latest relic hunting trip.

    This was a three night, four day hunt, with my son and his girlfriend staying at my mothers holiday place in Norfolk. This is conveniently placed very close some of the gunnery ranges used solely during WW2, and hence a BIG attraction for me !

    The first day started at about 12.30pm with a visit to a range I had not been to before. We trekked up the beach to one end, searched for 30 minutes and found nothing but modern junk. So we trekked back to where we had parked the car and then down the beach the other way in an attempt to reach another location I had heard about. We were stopped by a bloody big river coming out of the marsh and across the beach !

    In then started to rain. HARD ! We got well and truly soaked and arrived back at the holiday cottage at about 3.30pm with nothing but wet pants and socks for all our trouble.

    Undeterred we got changed, dried out and headed to a spot I already knew contained finds.

    I’ll show my sons finds further on in this post as I kinda got lost as to when he found what so I ended up taking one massive group shot

    So, after 2 hours digging we returned to the cottage with the following.

    Firstly before any cleaning.



    And now after cleaning



    The normal amount of 303s for this site, all dated between 1941 and 1944.



    One solitary 9mm cartridge and the top filler nut from a British grenade.



    A very nice 20mm and a 50cal. Both not unexpected as I now know the USAAF and RAF had strafing targets set up at one end of the range. Both WW2 dated.



    And lastly, whilst I know they are not from WW2, I had to post them because somebody lost quite a lot of money all in one go ! Both of these were found on top of one another.



    There’s at least 14 pints of beer in those two coins ! (or so my grandad tells me )

    more to follow.....
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture 9mm grenade nut.JPG   20mm 50 cal.JPG  

    303s.JPG   After cleaning.jpg  

    before cleaning.JPG   half crowns.JPG  


  2. #2

    Default Re: 4 days of relic hunting - May 2010 - WW2 gunnery ranges

    DAY 2

    This day was, yet again, rainy and cold so I decided to stick to a gunnery range within a forested area to try and keep us a little bit dry. Even so, we didn’t get a full days detecting in because of the weather.

    However, we still made some nice finds, one of which I was particularly pleased with.

    Firstly, before any cleaning.



    And now after cleaning. You will not that I haven’t said my usual ‘after disposal of hunks of crap’. This is because we didn’t really find any…..hardly any modern stuff at all to hamper our search for relics.



    The usual haul of 303’s, both cartridges (all dated between 1941 and 1944), and spent rounds.



    Three 9mm spent rounds and a 9mm cartridge. Also a piece from inside a nose fuse from an artillery round. We found masses of hunks of artillery round but didn’t keep any as they are basically big jagged bits of rusty metal 



    Part of a nose fuse, a piece of drive band from an artillery shell, the base of a 2 inch mortar and, curiously, a spent .50cal bullet. First one I have ever found at this site. Wonder if one of the USAAF strafing runs had gone a bit off course ?



    Lots of bits of British grenade on this trip. Mainly they are bits of the striker/fuse column. However, I also found three very nice base nuts and one filler nut. The best find of the day though was a striker arm !



    A close up of the nuts.



    And a close up of the arm.



    This is an unusual find as they normally corrode very quickly away to nothing. This one was found in a relatively dry spot and had survived enough to be identifiable. I love it

    Bring on day 3 !
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture 9 mm.JPG   303s.JPG  

    after cleaning.JPG   before cleaning.JPG  

    bits.JPG   grenade arm.JPG  

    grenade group.JPG   Grenade nuts.JPG  


  3. #3

    Default Re: 4 days of relic hunting - May 2010 - WW2 gunnery ranges

    DAY 3

    This day was the best of the whole trip.

    We went back to the USAAF gunnery school range that I had visited earlier in the year. This time, however, I had identified on google earth a possible path to the end I couldn’t reach on my last visit. Also, with two detectors running, our finds should be quite good.

    They were !

    Firstly before any cleaning.



    And now after cleaning.



    Firstly the spent rounds. With this being a USAAF gunnery school, it is not surprising to see that the 50cals came out firmly on top ! We found a spot that yielded a large number of spent yet relatively undamaged rounds and dug there for an hour or so. We eventually didn’t even bother standing up to use the detector…..just shuffled along a bit on our bums and redetected in front of ourselves.



    Also found a lot of 30cal rounds on this visit as well. Unusual because I hadn’t found any on my previous visits.



    Now this is a little strange and I need help IDing it. It’s a metal fin of some description (see the group shot above to get an idea of size), that was found during my ‘bum shuffling’ search of one little area. It was at the same depth as the spent rounds so I am fairly certain it’s WW2. It also appears to be missing two of its ‘wings’. Quite a bit of paint left on it to. What’s it off ? Strange how it was on a gunnery range….



    Now, with the insistence of my son we went and searched around the mountings for the single 50cal MGs. I was reluctant because the ground was full of stones and one area had a concrete path or road beneath it and it sent my detector NUTS !

    However, I was soon glad he insisted. He was using my old MD which didn’t go as deep as mine. Hence he was able to search the area where the concrete path/road was and he found some excellent stuff !

    This is what I found in front of the mounts.

    4 .30cal M1 carbine cartridges and one ‘bit’ of a 30cal. Probably cracked clean through in the breach.



    8….yes EIGHT brass wing nuts off ammo crates



    We then moved off to find the path I had ID’d to get us to the other, bigger, mounts at the other side of the range. After 15 minutes of fighting back brambles and nettles we got to the area.

    My son and I had had a bet on who would find the first 50 cal cartridge, (a pint of beer ). Within 5 minutes I was cackling away as I pulled one out the ground
    He soon caught up though and then got very excited with the button he found :d (see next post).

    Please note the cartridge on the far left. It has been fired but some joker has got a 50cal round and jammed it in BACKWARDS. A joke to play on his buddies ?



    That was it for day 3. A long day with an early start and late finish. We enjoyed our beer in the evening that’s for sure


    DAY 4

    We got up late, got lost, then it started raining heavily. As a result we wasted about 2 hours in the morning and ended up back where we were on the afternoon of day one. I haven’t taken any photos yet but will post them when I do. Mind you, all I found was one 50cal cartridge, 30 odd 303s, 3 45cals and one 9mm. Nothing else….just cartridges
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture 30 cal bullets.JPG   30 cals.JPG  

    50 cal carts.JPG   50 cals.JPG  

    after cleaning.JPG   before cleaning.JPG  

    fin.JPG   wing nuts.JPG  


  4. #4

    Default Re: 4 days of relic hunting - May 2010 - WW2 gunnery ranges

    My sons finds.

    He found quite a lot really given he isn’t used to metal detecting, especially with his girlfriend ! (a lot of wasted time sitting and having a chat, arsing around, having fag breaks, arguing over who's turn it was with the MD etc etc… )

    I was very proud of what he found though, and even prouder that he wanted to keep the lot ! I shall make a relic collector of him yet

    After cleaning…



    A nice haul of 303s, all dated 1941 to 1944.



    A couple of 30cals and a 45cal from the area where the 50cal MGs were sited.



    Lots of spent 30cal and 303 rounds



    A piece of grenade, some 50cal spent rounds and what could be an American tent peg ??? We kept it because it was in amongst some very thick trees/bushes so couldn’t be too modern, and because the colour is right for it being an army tent peg. Can anyone help ?



    He found as many brass wing nuts as me…..and ALL of them in an area I couldn’t search due to the reinforced concrete path/road 4-6 inches down. Good lad !



    A couple of nice 50cal cartridges and he found something I didn’t ! Some broken 50cal rounds. These aren’t straight cuts at all so are probably cartridges that broke apart in the breach and had to be extracted. They were then chucked to one side, only for my son to find them 70 years later



    And lastly, his favourite find of the trip.

    A button. USAAF. I was jealous



    And that’s it for the mega trip this year.

    Hope you like the finds.

    Cheers

    Steve T
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture 30cal carts.JPG   50 cal carts.JPG  

    303s.JPG   303s and 30cals.JPG  

    after cleaning.JPG   button.JPG  

    odds.JPG   wing nuts.JPG  


  5. #5

    Default Re: 4 days of relic hunting - May 2010 - WW2 gunnery ranges

    You are the King Steve!!! I am certain we will find more at my site but cant imagine as much as this! That Button is Cracking!!!
    I just showed Benjamin & his chin hit the floor haha

  6. #6

    Default Re: 4 days of relic hunting - May 2010 - WW2 gunnery ranges

    Hi Steve, great stuff The button is either from the HBT jacket or shirt or trousers. US Army and USAAF issue.

    Cheers, Ade.

  7. #7
    ?

    Default Re: 4 days of relic hunting - May 2010 - WW2 gunnery ranges

    Great stuff Steve,

    Your mystery alloy fin thing is the back end of a No.68 Anti-Tank grenade.
    The cranked piece of wire/rod looks to be what the brass wing-nuts screw onto on the wooden ammo crates.

    TTFN,
    PB

  8. #8

    Default Re: 4 days of relic hunting - May 2010 - WW2 gunnery ranges

    Awesome finds as usual Steve , are you going to put any videos of the digging on youtube?

    Thanks for showing

    Danny

  9. #9

    Default Re: 4 days of relic hunting - May 2010 - WW2 gunnery ranges

    Quote by Paul B View Post
    Great stuff Steve,

    Your mystery alloy fin thing is the back end of a No.68 Anti-Tank grenade.
    The cranked piece of wire/rod looks to be what the brass wing-nuts screw onto on the wooden ammo crates.

    TTFN,
    PB
    Good work Paul, is it one of these?
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture at_grenade-for-EY.jpg  

  10. #10
    ?

    Default Re: 4 days of relic hunting - May 2010 - WW2 gunnery ranges

    Yup, that's the one.
    Note the sloping bit of the casting right at the bottom of the fins.

    TTFN,
    PB

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