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A 20mm headstamp has me stumped !

Article about: Good try Ned Thanks Tony. I was leaning in that direction and your reply has tipped me over

  1. #1

    Default A 20mm headstamp has me stumped !

    Unusual I know, and even more unusual that I should admit to it, but a 20mm headstamp has got me.....

    A find of a colleague of mine whilst MDing a field down in Kent. I eventually ID'd it as a German 20x80RB cartridge or MG-FF.

    The numbers are obviously a batch number (40) and year of manufacture (1936) and the maker is BK, (the ever reliable..... Hugo Schneider AG, Plant Altenburg).

    However, what the hell is the 'f' !!!!??? Is it to denote the cartridge is for an MG-ff ? Is it that simple or does it represent something else ? I am curious as it isn't as deeply stamped as the main headstamp marks themselves.

    Your views would be appreciated

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    PS Mark this down in your diary because I doubt I'll ever admit to being stumped by a headstamp again

  2. #2
    ?

    Default Re: A 20mm headstamp has me stumped !

    ????????????? and ?????????? !!

  3. #3

    Default Re: A 20mm headstamp has me stumped !

    it is from a 20mm oerlikon Bordkanone it was made 1940 sorry but i cant tell you the preducer.

  4. #4

    Default Re: A 20mm headstamp has me stumped !

    f=fabrizierte, fabricated by, manufactured by???
    'I do not think we can hope for any better thing now.
    We shall stick it out to the end, but we are getting weaker of course, and the end cannot be far.
    It seems a pity, but I do not think I can write more. R. SCOTT.
    Last Entry - For God's sake look after our people.'

    In memory of Capt. Robert Falcon Scott, Edward Wilson, Henry Bowers, Lawrence Oates and Edgar Evans. South Pole Expedition, 30th March 1912.

  5. #5

    Default Re: A 20mm headstamp has me stumped !

    Sorry my Englisch is not so good

    - - Updated - -

    Sorry my Englisch is not so good

  6. #6
    ?

    Default Re: A 20mm headstamp has me stumped !

    Quote by big ned View Post
    f=fabrizierte, fabricated by, manufactured by???
    The walking encyclopedia does it again, Steve will kiss your ...... feet

  7. #7

    Default Re: A 20mm headstamp has me stumped !

    Quote by davejb View Post
    The walking encyclopedia does it again, Steve will kiss your ...... feet
    Maybe not, but I've had another idea....... Looking at the above side on pic, the rim of the shell is a smaller diameter than the case itself. That makes me think it may be an Oerlikon round (which I believe were originally for use on ground based weapons) that has been modified for use in aircraft, as I think the MG FF was just prior to the war.

    Indeed, I seem to remember that the Luftwaffe employed a 20mm H.E. round during the Battle of Britain that was considered poor by the RAF boffins as it was lightweight and exploded without causing serious structural damage to their fighters, especially the wood and canvas construction of the Hurricane. This was the 20mm H.E. Oerlikon modified round I think.

    Anyway, back to the case in question, what if the 'f' stood for 'flugzeug' (aeroplane), and was stamped on the rim of the case so that it differentiated it from the 20mm ground based weapons ammo which although similar in appearance, was completely different from the aircraft type?? It makes sense I reckon.

    Whaddaya think about that???

    Regards, Ned.
    'I do not think we can hope for any better thing now.
    We shall stick it out to the end, but we are getting weaker of course, and the end cannot be far.
    It seems a pity, but I do not think I can write more. R. SCOTT.
    Last Entry - For God's sake look after our people.'

    In memory of Capt. Robert Falcon Scott, Edward Wilson, Henry Bowers, Lawrence Oates and Edgar Evans. South Pole Expedition, 30th March 1912.

  8. #8
    ?

    Default Re: A 20mm headstamp has me stumped !

    He might be kissing more than your feet after that, and it does make very good sense

  9. #9
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    Default Re: A 20mm headstamp has me stumped !

    Sorry Big Ned but I don't think so.

    First, we already knew it was a 20x80RB Oerlikon case because Steve told us it was in his first post!

    Second, the Oerlikon FF was adopted by the Luftwaffe in the mid 1930s and modified to the FFM about 1940. The German army never used the FF or FFM as a ground gun. The army's principal 20mm round for both AFV and AA was the 20x138B, although some limited use was made of the longer Oerlikon 20x110RB case, quite distinct from the FF case. Since the cases were distinctly different and the supply chains also different there woould be no need to identify a round as specifically for aircraft.

    I agree with a previous post that it dates from 1940 and that the Lot number is 36. I think the small "f" probably represents the metal supplier. The only official Rechlin explanatory drawing I have of a 20mm headstamp is for a steel case, but that shows the manufacturer's code is opposite the year date and shows both the steel supplier and the lacquering/bonderising plant.

    I suspect that the reason the "f" is struck differently is because the main headstamp bunter could be used for all rounds but the metal supplier stamp could be changed for each batch.

    Regards
    TonyE
    British Military Smallarms and Ammunition
    Collector, Researcher and Pedant
    https://sites.google.com/site/britmilammo/

  10. #10

    Default Re: A 20mm headstamp has me stumped !

    Oh well, it was just a guess.....
    'I do not think we can hope for any better thing now.
    We shall stick it out to the end, but we are getting weaker of course, and the end cannot be far.
    It seems a pity, but I do not think I can write more. R. SCOTT.
    Last Entry - For God's sake look after our people.'

    In memory of Capt. Robert Falcon Scott, Edward Wilson, Henry Bowers, Lawrence Oates and Edgar Evans. South Pole Expedition, 30th March 1912.

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