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WW2 gunnery range - April 3rd 2010

Article about: Hi all Two posts in one day.......I have been twice this week My wife and I and little Aliya went over to my mothers holiday place for a long weekend. Very fortuitously, it happens to be 5 m

  1. #1

    Default WW2 gunnery range - April 3rd 2010

    Hi all

    Two posts in one day.......I have been twice this week

    My wife and I and little Aliya went over to my mothers holiday place for a long weekend. Very fortuitously, it happens to be 5 miles from an old WW2 gunnery range that I visit 4 or 5 times a year.

    On my last visit I was on the way back to the car when a man and wife stopped and chatted with me. Turns out the guy knows the range VERY well and has himself been searching it on and off for many years. Indeed, it also transpires that he has always lived in the area and begins to tell me things I never knew about the place. One thing he mentioned was that part of the range, (which is on the coast), was used by the RAF and USAAF as a ground strafing practice area. He very kindly told me where the targets were and from that I worked out where to search.

    So, normally I would visit this range and come back with 200+ 303 rounds and loads of bits of grenade etc...

    I was hoping for more on this visit. Perhaps the odd 50cal or 20mm wouldn't go amiss......

    Well I had been searching for 45 minutes and about to move back to my old area when I got an odd signal on the old MD. It was high pitched and quite big so, with trepidation I began to dig. I soon hit something metal and, putting my fingers into the sand, felt the familiar coolness of a brass cartridge, and realising it was bigger than a 303, pulled it out of the ground. A 20mm !!! The guy had been right and I had found the right spot !!!

    By the time I got back to the cottage I was so excited I cleaned the stuff without taking a 'before' shot !!!

    So my apologies.....

    After cleaning.



    I also found LOADS of these things. Data tags.



    They are from a form of barbed wire barricade. WoodyUK found a couple at one of his sites a few months back......I remembered what they were

    Improvements in barricades - Patent GB480082(A) - OTI.com

    The company folded in 1952 as per this article....

    http://www.london-gazette.co.uk/issu.../6373/page.pdf

    Interestingly I also found more of those Heckmondwike tags as well.....the ones nobody can ID what they're from ! Two different types this time, one with a date, the other with a WD mark.



    Now I know these next items are likely to be nothing to do with WW2 but I had not come across ones like this before. All metal shotgun shells, one a standard 12 bore, the other one a MONSTEROUS 8 bore ! Bet there was not much left of the rabbit when that thing went off !



    Some bits of British grenade, including a 1940 dated base nut.



    Some old coins. I also found in excess of 30 modern coins as well, some of which are still legal tender. In fact, two of the pound coins I found bought me a beer in the evening

    I like to think the soldiers dropped these



    The usual collection of spent bullets....



    And the usual pile (although smaller this time as I was at the far end of the range), of 303's.



    Now for the best finds of the day. Firstly 3 50cals.



    And now for these little beauties. 20mm cases, found just where I had predicted

    I am looking smug as I write this by the way



    So not a bad week all round

    Hope you like the finds.

    Steve T
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture after cleaning.jpg   large data tag.jpg  

    small data tag.jpg   shotgun.jpg  

    coins.jpg   bullets.jpg  

    20mm.jpg   50 cals.jpg  

    grenade bits.jpg   303s.jpg  


  2. #2

    Default Re: WW2 gunnery range - April 3rd 2010

    93 views and not even one 'nice finds' reply ???

    You rotten lot !


  3. #3

    Default Re: WW2 gunnery range - April 3rd 2010

    Well,

    Nice Finds! Long overdue response. Excitement must of occurred when the first cartridges were seen with your dig!

  4. #4

    Default Re: WW2 gunnery range - April 3rd 2010

    Thanks Buellmeister.

    Steve T

  5. #5

    Default Re: WW2 gunnery range - April 3rd 2010

    Steve.. They're nice finds particularly the 20mm, but in my books anything dated is a decent find. Most seem to be quite early 1940/41. I'm looking forward to your next trip, if you can locate the actual sites of the targets then you may be able to find the bullets/shells that fired from the 20mm cases. Hopefully you'll be able to reunite a few.
    LUCKYSTRIKE

  6. #6

    Default Re: WW2 gunnery range - April 3rd 2010

    How very rude of me. I actually looked at your finds a couple of times. Sorry I didn't mention how nice they are. I particularly like the 45 acp bullets, Made in the states sent overseas to be shot so that you could fine them and shoot me a picture of them back in the states 70 some years later, How's that for a plan falling together? I think it worked out perfectly. Thanks for sharing the pictures.

    Mike

  7. #7

    Default Re: WW2 gunnery range - April 3rd 2010

    Luckystrike - I know where the targets where and had a look around. I found two very badly corroded 20mm projectiles on the surface. I very carefully dug a hole next to them and buried them a good 12 inches down......I don't want any kids coming across them and losing a hand. I didn't use my detector there as, as you can tell, the chances of me setting a 20mm round off are quite high. Don't want to take the risk.

    Pompa - Thanks mate. Yes it is kind of strange how these things turn out. What goes around comes around !

    Steve T

  8. #8

    Default Re: WW2 gunnery range - April 3rd 2010

    Very cool stuff

  9. #9

    Default Re: WW2 gunnery range - April 3rd 2010

    All your posts are eagerly awaited by me., as you know I still would love to crack the Heckmondwyke labels. Now you have gone and found other, just as interesting labels. For my money the best finds of the lot.Keep on digging, John.

  10. #10

    Default Re: WW2 gunnery range - April 3rd 2010

    Blackpowder - Thanks mate I can assure you, one day I will determine what the hell those Heckmondwike tags are off. When I do, you'll be the first to know !



    Steve T

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