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Probate Auction Finds

Article about: Steve, my mate Cyril was a mechanic in the RAF during the war, he introduced me to his friend last night. His friend was an armorer with the RAF, he informed me that the best way of telling

  1. #11

    Default Re: Probate Auction Finds

    Quote by shadowwolf View Post
    The 20mm Hispano as used by the R.A.F. fired both HE and solid ammunition.
    Regards, Simon.
    Good stuff Simon and some great items there! Even in relic form H.E Hispano shell heads are quite easy to tell apart from the commonly found 20mm solid slugs-by way that the H.E projectiles will have a nose fuze fitted and if this is missing there will be a threaded cavity. The H.E types are not common in any form. Auction houses often appoint an inspector who carries out checks on any form of gun, ammunition or cartridge to ensure its safety prior to sale. Nice items again though mate! Cheers, Tim.

  2. #12

    Default Re: Probate Auction Finds

    Thanks for the info Tim. Coincidentley enough a bloke down the market had some 20mm's with heads in place for sale today. One of these was a dummy, being a solid 1 piece head/shell. There were a couple of deactivated HE heads on 20mm cases for sale, you can clearly see the cap on the end of the heads. I thought about photographing his 20mm's so to show the difference, but then got lost in a conversation with the owner about WW2 Italian maps of North Africa

    If this is any help to anyone, here is a link on AP Hispano ammo:-

    Hispano 20mm Armour Piercing Ammunition

    Regards to all, Simon.

  3. #13

    Default Re: Probate Auction Finds

    Very interesting

    I was aware of the AP 20mm round and the fact that the HE shells usually had a brass percussion cap to act as a detonator when the shell hit a solid surface. Indeed, I have found a couple of the brass heads on relic hunts.

    However, and this is why I ask, I also found what I believed to be a solid AP 20mm head. There was no brass tip. It appeared to be of solid single piece construction. So, believing it to be safe I took it away from the site for cleaning. When I soaked it, the head almost completely fell apart (BUGGER !!) and it was then I noticed that, despite the lack of any obvious 'detonator', it was NOT solid. I have attached a picture of the head. You can clearly see the machined inner and the total lack of a brass nose.

    So, was an explosive round that did not have a standard nose fuse in existence ? My own evidence says there was !!!!

    Excellent debate by the this kind of thing.


    Steve T
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Probate Auction Finds  

  4. #14

    Default Re: Probate Auction Finds

    Steve, the "machined inner" on your 20mm head, could it be a tungsten carbide core?
    Wish we could get some opinions on this subject from some other members with a bit more info as to the compostion of AP and HE heads used on 20mm ammunition???
    Regards to all, Simon.

  5. #15

    Default Re: Probate Auction Finds


    If it was, where the heck did it go ? It wasn't in the bucket that I soaked the head in.

    It is very strange indeed and is the reason I am wary of 'de-ac' 20mm heads......what if they are like this one ?

    Steve T

  6. #16

    Default Re: Probate Auction Finds

    Did the Hispano 20mm not use any kind of incendiary AP or APHE rounds? Or were there maybe practice rounds that were simply turned steel, hollowed to have the same performance as a loaded HE shell? Unfortunately, I only know German aircraft munitions but since they had a huge assortment of different projectile types, it'd be surprising if the Hispano weapon had only a couple...
    Ohhhhh- pillage then burn...

  7. #17

    Default Re: Probate Auction Finds

    Sorry I don't know to much about the various types of 20mm rounds.
    As an update to the ones that I posted photos of, I had them checked last night by an RAF armorer and the ones I have shown are "Solid Shot". The Armorer who had a look at my rounds is going to dig out his old handbook for me to borrow and photocopy. I should have this book in my possesion within the next four weeks, as soon as I have I shall upload to this thread any relevant data, if anyone is interested?
    Regards to all, Simon.

  8. #18

    Default Re: Probate Auction Finds

    The 30-06 with the two bands is in my opinion no blank cartridge but a grenade launching cartridge.


  9. #19

    Default Re: Probate Auction Finds

    Thanks for your opinion on the 30-06, what makes you believe it is a "grenade launching cartridge"?
    Regards, Simon.

  10. #20

    Default Re: Probate Auction Finds

    Nice work Simon.

    I have 2 'solid shot' 20mm heads in my shed......put there the day I found that one I've shown

    I shall dig them back out again and shove them back on their cartridges

    Can't wait to see scans of the armourers hand book

    Steve T

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