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WW2 gunnery range - Impromptu visit

Article about: Hi All Nothing terribly exciting here, but it has been a while since I last went out detecting, and I didn't want you all thinking I had jacked it in !!!! Just been very busy of late and not

  1. #1

    Default WW2 gunnery range - Impromptu visit

    Hi All

    Nothing terribly exciting here, but it has been a while since I last went out detecting, and I didn't want you all thinking I had jacked it in !!!! Just been very busy of late and not able to get out.

    Anyway, an unscheduled visit to my mothers holiday place over in Norfolk meant I could sneak in an early (5am), visit to a gunnery range I have visited before. This place has yielded thousands of cartridge cases, (mainly 303s), over the years I've been going. This time around I went for the bigger calibre small arms stuff, dropped by the aircraft that used the area for ground strafing practice. As soon as I reached the area I was pulling up 303s after every step and, after half an hour, had got used to the tone they gave. I then started to ignore the signals the 303s gave and only dug the higher tones. 303s were giving a mid tone signal, or sometimes a mid/high tone mix.......the bigger stuff was giving a purely high tone signal. This allowed me to concentrate on the spent cartridges from the strafing aircraft.

    Here is the result.

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    The cork handled knife appears relatively modern, and is marked 'Uddeholm', a Swedish knife manufacturer.

    Some nice 50cals, all of which are St Louis 1944. The two 20mms were a surprise as it has been a while since I last found any in the area. A good mix of finds and quite usual for this site. I could have brought 200+ 303s back with me but I didn't see much point as I already have 3000 !!!



    Everything is in the rock tumbler being cleaned.......I'll post up some photos later

    Steve T

  2. #2

    Default Re: WW2 gunnery range - Impromptu visit

    A quick thought. Could the knife have been a private purchase weapon ? It was at the same depth as the WW2 stuff so it's a possibility........

    Anyone have any views on this?

  3. #3

    Default Re: WW2 gunnery range - Impromptu visit

    Headstamp time

    Nearly all the fifties are St Louis, with the exception of one....

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    ....which is Twin Cities. Always very feint to TW headstamp.

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    The 20mm are nicely marked, although one is cause for considerable debate as to its origin. BBC = Bridgeport Brass Co., Bridgeport, CT (who exported large quantities of cases to the UK during WW 2) OR BBC = Barking Brassware Co, Barking, Essex. Some say that Barking Brassware were only a very small outfit and not able to produce large quantities of 20mm ammo, and others say that the four digit date stamp is US not UK. There is also debate over the type of font used.

    As for the BMARC (British Manufacturing & Research Co), the stamp on this I always presume to mean Mark I ('I'), nitrocellulose fill ('Z'), incendiary ('B' in a diamond), and the calibre, (20mm).

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    No 36m nicely dated base plug

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  4. #4

    Default Re: WW2 gunnery range - Impromptu visit

    Very nice Steve, another good selection from your site.
    Ps I know just what you mean about ignoring the .303 signals.
    Cheers
    LS

  5. #5

    Default Re: WW2 gunnery range - Impromptu visit

    wow great find i am jealous of your hunting spot !! do you ever find live bullets around their ?? also love the 20mm how many 50 cals do you have total now ??

  6. #6

    Default Re: WW2 gunnery range - Impromptu visit

    Hi ww2relichunter - I have more than 500 WW2 dated 50cals, and around 200 20mms.

  7. #7
    ?

    Default Re: WW2 gunnery range - Impromptu visit

    Quote by Steve T View Post
    Click image for larger version. 

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    The 20mm are nicely marked, although one is cause for considerable debate as to its origin. BBC = Bridgeport Brass Co., Bridgeport, CT (who exported large quantities of cases to the UK during WW 2) OR BBC = Barking Brassware Co, Barking, Essex. Some say that Barking Brassware were only a very small outfit and not able to produce large quantities of 20mm ammo, and others say that the four digit date stamp is US not UK. There is also debate over the type of font used.

    As for the BMARC (British Manufacturing & Research Co), the stamp on this I always presume to mean Mark I ('I'), nitrocellulose fill ('Z'), incendiary ('B' in a diamond), and the calibre, (20mm).

    Click image for larger version. 

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    All the US-made 20mm cases I've seen have the primer staked in place in the same way as the .50 cal one at the top.

  8. #8

    Default Re: WW2 gunnery range - Impromptu visit

    Next time we have a group dig PB I'll bring you a couple of 20mms that haven't got the distinctive primer marks, yet are certainly American. BBC headstamp is always a debatable one !!

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