0 ga?


#1

I just came a cross this auction where a “O GA” case is offered.

gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewIt … =411616343

I can not find a caliber reference anywhere.

Questions:

  • What is the metric caliber of this case?
  • Why would the US military need/test a shotshell in this caliber?

0 gauge military aluminum shotshell?
#2

Alex, this is a 38x97R (case neck measures 39.5 mm) but it is not what we know as 0 gauge, which is a 2.5" (63.5 mm) caliber for a Strong yacht saluting cannon with a case measuring 152.5 mm.

For several reasons, I have the strong impression that these cases and their documentation is the product of someone’s imagination. There is also an identical case headstamped R-P 0 GA.


#3

I think this was on the forum awhile back but I couldn’t find it. I have one just like it with the same paper work. I always thought it was a fake but have no proof. When I got it there were “W” headstamped ones and if I remember right RA headstamped version. All came with the same paper work. The paper looks like a bad copy of a copy. It looked to me the area where the 0 gauge was printed on the paper had been “white outed” and O gauge printed over it. Other parts of the paper also looked like they had been altered.

My guess was that it was some type of flare or some other type cartridge that some one put on a crude headstamp and made up some fake paper work but I could be wrong.

Dimensions of mine is:
Rim 42.91mm
Base 39.93mm
Neck 39.48mm
Length 96.67mm
ID 37.43 mm

Paul


#4

Guys, thanks a lot! So it seems not to be worth to waste any more thoughts on this one.


#5

These are fake marks (they look hand-applied) & sometimes sold for a lot of money. Why or for what reason these were made for I don’t know. Perhaps to sell for lots of money? Or ?


#6

Just some thoughts on the gauge designation…

If one applies what I understand to be the traditional use of “gauge” to describe the bore diameter of a gun, it would not be possible to have a “0” gauge bore. Of course, the designation could be used to describe a certain cartridge/bore (as Fede indicates was used to designate a 2-1/2" diameter yacht cannon), but the math shouldn’t really be able to go there. If the concept of “gauge” is accepted to be the number of pure lead round balls of a given diameter equals one pound in weight, you could have any positive number (1/2 gauge or even 1/1000 gauge for example) relate to the diameter but “0” can’t happen. A pure lead 1/2 gauge ball would weigh 14,000 grains (2 pounds) and a 1/1000 gauge ball would weigh 7,000,000 grains (1000 pounds).

If there are other formulated applications of the use of “gauge” to describe bore diameter otherwise, I would be interested to learn how it is applied as my understanding is limited to the above described method.

My quick thoughts (uneducated, perhaps…) on the item in question would be a flare cartridge with a tweak of imagination.

Dave


#7

A possible explanation for the “0 gauge” designation is that it was chosen by Strong Fire Arms Co. when the company decided to make a saluting shell bigger than their 1 gauge. This company also made a “00 gauge” having the same caliber but with a longer case (7"/178 mm).

Is worth of mention that in 1868 the British proof house opted for letter designations after 3 ga., starting with “P” (1.25") and ending with “A” (2"). All letters in between were used except for G, I and N, and gauges 2 and 1 ga. were also interspersed between these. However, few of this alphabetical gauges were actually made as shotshells for breech-loading guns.


#8

[quote=“DaveE”]Just some thoughts on the gauge designation…

If one applies what I understand to be the traditional use of “gauge” to describe the bore diameter of a gun, it would not be possible to have a “0” gauge bore. Of course, the designation could be used to describe a certain cartridge/bore (as Fede indicates was used to designate a 2-1/2" diameter yacht cannon), but the math shouldn’t really be able to go there. If the concept of “gauge” is accepted to be the number of pure lead round balls of a given diameter equals one pound in weight, you could have any positive number (1/2 gauge or even 1/1000 gauge for example) relate to the diameter but “0” can’t happen. A pure lead 1/2 gauge ball would weigh 14,000 grains (2 pounds) and a 1/1000 gauge ball would weigh 7,000,000 grains (1000 pounds).

Dave[/quote]

Dave, this is what confused me.


#9

Evidently, this was a well thought out hoax but I would have never imagined that I would find an ad offering these shells. It was published November 1995.


#10

I think the current seller is going strictly by what previous sellers have stated, and is not the party who began this fantasy.

The paperwork definitely looks like made up stuff. It purportedly comes from Mainz Army Depot in Germany, with European style handwriting for the numbers 1 and 7, and references a TM9-1440-47-24P which seems to be a made up number, or at least no reference to such a manual seems to exist anywhere today. How this correlates to a Lone Star Army Ammunition Plant label on the bottom of the form is a mystery to me, but the original seller was located in Texas, so maybe that was supposed to add plausibility to their original story.

The cases themselves seem to be 37mm flare/signal cases which have a distinctive bevel on the forward side of the rim. These usually had lot markings just ink stamped on the head, not stamped headstamps, so a bit of paint remover leaves a surface ready for imaginative markings.

It is totally unbelievable that a lot of only 300 rounds would include cases made by Winchester, Remington and Lake City, instead of a single contractor, and all with similar hand stampings.

The best explanation for these is the comment by P.T. Barnum, the famous American circus promoter: “There is a sucker born every minute.”


#11

RIMFIRE is correct about a previous post on these shells. About a year ago I asked the same question regarding these cases. I acquired a number of these at a gun show about 25 years ago. It was the conclusion of many far more knowledgeable than I, that these were fakes and were probably unloaded flare cartridges. I paid @$3 apiece for mine.