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1942 20mm Projectile Info? Safety Questions

Article about: Hello all, I had two different 20mm shells, both dated 1942 on the casing and having NOEN 84 marks presented to me by a local shop owner/friend. Both have D.P stamped on the projectile and n

  1. #1

    Default 1942 20mm Projectile Info? Safety Questions

    Hello all,

    I had two different 20mm shells, both dated 1942 on the casing and having NOEN 84 marks presented to me by a local shop owner/friend. Both have D.P stamped on the projectile and no powder in the casing. The projectiles are easily removed from the casings (i definitely flinched when he just pulled the apart without thinking about it) but have no drill holes and the primer appears to be unfired. I quickly let him know that these were not “bullets” but cannon shells and could be explosive. I told him I would reach out and see what info I could find and after taking a few pictures of each, I told him to wrap them both up separately and store them in a place that they couldn’t accidently get dropped or fall.

    The pictures I’m posting first are of the shell that had a red dot on the tip of the flat nose of the fuse. The marking on the shell that I can see are (D.P / MKIII MOD4 / 2-42). The markings on the fuse are ( M42 /610? / NO 253iam US) the 610 stamp in sort of overlaid into the NO 235iam markings).

    First of all, is this a live round? Does the D.P stand for “drill purposes”? I’ve searched through lot’s of old US Navy WWII era pamphlets and can’t find this marking mentioned. I let him know we needed to make sure these were safe before doing anything else with them.

    I’m attaching these pictures in hopes that they help. I have pictures of the other shell with “M 42” stamped in the tip of the fuse, but didn’t want to overwhelm with too many pics.

    Thanks for any info you can give!1942 20mm Projectile Info? Safety Questions1942 20mm Projectile Info? Safety Questions1942 20mm Projectile Info? Safety Questions1942 20mm Projectile Info? Safety Questions1942 20mm Projectile Info? Safety Questions1942 20mm Projectile Info? Safety Questions

  2. #2

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    Hi.
    Justified enquiry I would say.
    It is a 20mm Oerlikon AA.
    Case is from Northern Engraving & Mfg. Co.
    The No 253 Fuze which has damage that doesn't correspond to the appearance off the proj. is normally found on HE-I projectiles! HE-I's are however painted red.
    The B(lind) L(oaded) & P(lugged) practice versions are Dark Grey Green and if you look at the front lip of the driving band
    1942 20mm Projectile Info? Safety Questions
    it appears at least in the photo as if there's still paint remnants there that didn't get sanded off.

    Short answer: visually it seems likely the proj. is harmless and was only ever inert filled, it seems to have been forced off to drain the propellant. The primer it would seem has either been thermally destroyed or it's still very real.
    The Fuze is a Fuze and may have been forced back on after functioning in an inert proj. or it may still contain enough mercury fuliminate and tetryl to give someone a very painful surprise.
    My professional opinion: I think it's time to get professional assistance and get them permanently marked as FFE or appropriately disposed of should they be dangerous

  3. #3

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    Teck,

    Hello old bean, Agreed, with the following caveats. The primer is live, I know some people believe, (wrongly) that oil will render them inert but as we know the waterproofing on military grade percussion caps defeats that method. The No253 has the red nose, indicating a sensitive strikerless fuze, all markings indicate a live operational item. This fuze would not be fitted to a Drill Purpose, (Drill by it's very definition has no explosive components) therefore the projectile appears to be live.

    To second your professional opinion, this needs to be dealt with by the appropriate authorities. OTB as you have a live item or at least an item that appears live wit no indications to the opposite, and the opinion of two people who do this for a living you need to inform your local official organisation, (normally the Police) so that you are both safe and not illegally in possession of an explosive item.

  4. #4

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    Quote by onthebend View Post
    Does the D.P stand for “drill purposes”?
    .

  5. #5

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    Quote by onthebend View Post
    Hello all,


    First of all, is this a live round? Does the D.P stand for “drill purposes”?.
    Forgot to answer this one last time around.
    DP has nothing to do with drill purpose. Stamped into the proj. is the manufacturer, the mk with mod Nr. and the production date.

    As you've already had them apart... do they have tracer?

  6. #6

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    Quote by vegetius View Post
    Teck,
    This fuze would not be fitted to a Drill Purpose, (Drill by it's very definition has no explosive components) therefore the projectile appears to be live.
    .
    HI. Nice to see someone let you loose again
    Getting slightly into semantics now...
    Drill for the US was not Blind Loaded.
    Drill was according to them empty while BL is inert filled. Stupidly enough and I still don't know if it was common practice but I did a couple of legacy 40mm Bofors a while back that were Fuzed with booster but inert filled.
    Still, I'm picking that these here could be HEI-T

  7. #7

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    Teck,

    Yes HEI-T ! If you think Drill and BL are bad the UK's 3 Inch Mortar Prac is sand and lead shot filled but with a Live No 152. That one with degredation turns into grey mush so looks like 'concrete filled' but is actually just about the most upset fuze ever!

  8. #8

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    It's not bad. Just a horrible anti climax when you're hoping on waking the dead and popping corn is louder.

    Wonder if onthebend is coming back anytime soon.

  9. #9

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    Probably decided that that going lights out equals us forgetting all about it.

    R

  10. #10

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    Hey guys,

    Sorry it took me a while to get back. I'm in the process of getting those two shells in the hands of the local police. They don't belong to me and not in my possession. The person who has them was confused as to how they should report them without causing a big stir.....didn't want a SWAT team and local news descending on his business! I've spoken with a contact I have in local law enforcement and I'm hoping to have them picked up this coming week. Thanks for all the info on this. I'm just glad he showed them to me before unknowingly selling them to someone who thought they were just "cool".

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