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Restoring artillery shells ~

Article about: I have picked up several WWII shells in quite good condition as the area is extremely dry ~ ( WWII Australian training artillery range circa 1942- 1945 ) I have had a quick browse through th

  1. #1

    Default Restoring artillery shells ~

    I have picked up several WWII shells in quite good condition as the area is extremely dry ~ ( WWII Australian training artillery range circa 1942- 1945 )

    I have had a quick browse through this section ~ but apart from treating smalls ~ no luck ~

    They are a 25 pounder and a 4.5 ~

    Can anyone offer an appropriate process for cleaning and restoring ~

    They are empty and we believe they were loaded with little more than a smoke cartridge ~

    Any information regarding the 4.5" projectile would also be appreciated ~ as I found pretty well very little information on the artillery piece or details apart from the comment that these calibre were far from an effective munition! (?)

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  3. #2


    So any way I am planning put these into a vat of Molasses which is natural product and has reportedly had some brilliant results on both ferrous metal aka Steel ~ and brass ~

    I have a test lot down now with one soaking a 3" mortar tail fin - steel ~ and another with misc brass , copper and a sad nickel plate spoon ~
    Will report back on results ~

  4. #3


    Oxalic acid is good for iron / steel based items. You can buy it in crystal form and make up the solution yourself. A 1kg tub would make 10 litres of a 10% solution which should be enough to submerge your items in the right sized container.

  5. #4


    But please be carfull with oxalic acid! Do it outside out of the wind , with chemical gloves!
    Informe your self well regarding anything chemical you use .And read "Toxicity and safety"paragraph on,
    Oxalic acid - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Always looking for Belgian Congo stuff!

  6. #5


    No need to go to Wiki.......we have the information in a sticky thread in this very forum

    Dangers of Oxalic Acid

  7. #6


    Thanks for the input Blokes..

    I actually pulled the 4.5" out of the 'vat' this afternoon after returning form an an amazing recce this morning... and the result is &*^*^ amazing after some ten days ~

    I will to some pictures in the next few days `

    (I have some four 'vats' running at present ~ either steel as in shell cases or brass ~ )

  8. #7


    I finally pulled the first test artillery shell out of the Vat containing Molasses ~ the result is absolutely spectacular ~

    Removed.. brushed and hosed to remove the residue ~

    Truly amazing result

  9. #8


    That 4.5 looks lovely. And to think you just picked it up off the ground. Is there any date on it?

  10. #9



    Cheers ~

    At this point, it have only found the engraving of 'BHP 5540 MO ' BHP is the traditional 'BIG AUSTRALIAN' ( Broken Hill Prop) steel manufacturers ~

    I will look again but have not seen a date ~ but suspect it would be <1940s> ~ although the 4.5" were hang over from the First World War ~

    And yes it/ they have suffered extreme heat < 45 deg plus> and severe wet ~ and even fire damage for 70 years ~ pretty amazing!

  11. #10



    I found a date on the Primer head ~ obviously may not be totally relevant to the shell casing but ~


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