1.1 inch USN projectile colours?

Does anyone have an illustration of the correct colour scheme for the 1.1 inch HE and/or HE-T projectile?

I have a round with an unpainted replica projectile and would like to paint it in the appropriate colours.

Thanks for any help,

Tony, what is the date of the headstamp? I’m asking you this because two different identifications schemes were used.

From NAVSEA OP 1664 (1947) U.S. Explosive Ordnance and U.S. Navy Projectiles and Fuzes (U.S.N.B.D., June 1945):

1.1"/75 Ammunition Identification:

The body of the projectile is unpainted except for two dots below the fuze, indicating as follows: Explosive D - Yellow Dots; Tracer - Red Dots.

A new color marking scheme was proposed (during WW2) for 1.1" ammunition and ‘some’ projectiles may show the new ‘proposed’ color scheme:

HE-T = Light Gray with White Band
HE-T/SD = Dark Green with White Band
BL & P = Red overall (Blind Loaded and Plugged, per JohnS, see below)
BL & T = Red overall with White Band (Blind Loaded and Tracer per JohnS, see below)

The 1.1" gun and ammunition was declared obsolete in late 1945.


Thank you gentlemen.

The case is dated 1936 but I was interested in the colours used early in WW2.

However, as my projectile has two red dots, it obviously already carries an appropriate colour scheme!

BL&P is the abbreviation for “Blind Loaded and Plugged” or an inert filler with an inert plug in lieu of a tracer element, used mainly for practice.
BL&T is “Blind Loaded and Tracer” which has an inert filler, but with a tracer, also mainly for practice.

Tony, the early identification code does not mention “two dots” but one single dot of each used to denote explosive or tracer. It seems that someone made a wrong interpretation of the vague text published by OP 1664 which says: “two dots below the fuze”.

Color, size and position of the dots goes like this:

“Antiaircraft Self-Destroying” (HE-T/SD):

  • Yellow dot of 1/4" to 1/2" diameter on the forward portion of the body (indicating explosive “D” loading);
  • Red dot of 1/4" to 1/2" diameter on the body of the projectile just forward of the rotaing band (indicating flame tracer).

“Target” (TP-T):

  • Dot ommited (indicating sand fiilled);
  • Red dot of 1/4" to 1/2" diameter on the body of the projectile just forward of the rotaing band (indicating flame tracer).

The new code was indeed implemented and I’m aware of projectiles painted green or red. Not sure if all four variations were made.


Thank you for the clarification and correction on the meaning of BL & P and BL & T.



U.S. Navy Projectiles and Fuzes (U.S.N.B.D., June 1945) also lists the identification markings as being 2 dots below the fuze. Is this publication also in error or was there a modification made to the dot marking scheme during the war?

FWIW this publication also briefly discusses the proposed new marking scheme in the term ‘If adopted…’ as if to imply at the time the manual was put together the marking scheme was not official.


Brian, these publications are not in error but the way the text reads could lead to a wrong interpretation, as you can see below:

U.S. Navy Projectiles and Fuzes (1945):
“The body of this projectile is unpainted except for two dots below the fuze, indicating as follows:
Explosive D - Yellow Dot
Tracer - Red Dot”

OP 1664 (1947):
“The body of these projectiles, now obsolete itesm, were unpainted except for two dots below the fuze, indicating as follows:
Explosive D - Yellow Dot
Tracer - Red Dot”


Yes, I agree that a wrong interpretation could be made since part of the marking scheme description is singular in form and part is plural in form. That did not dawn on me when I looked at the manuals, it was obvious only after you pointed it out.



It seems odd to me that projectiles intended for a marine environment would be left as plain unprotected steel.


From the 1923 U.S. Navy Ord. Pamphlet No. 4 Ammunition Instructions For The Naval Service, pages 237-238: Unpainted projectiles (small caliber i.e. 1 Pdr for example) and unpainted portions of larger caliber projectiles were coated with vaseline to prevent rust. I think (can someone confirm or deny this) latter on the Navy used a thin coat of grease/cosmoline to protect unpainted surfaces.


I have a dummy 1.1" round headstamped as 9-43. Its projectile appears to be partially unpainted bare metal and partially painted flat black.


Here is a thread where this came up before. Pretty much the same as above but the info on the dots is clearer in the one description with the colored section view.



Prior to WW II all large size USN projectiles were painted, except for the rotating band, bourrelet, and base. Around WW II the regulations were changed to permit one coat of paint on the bourrelet, and one coat on the base of seperate loading projectiles. No paint was ever allowed on the rotating band.

But, in the USN it is a moot point because rust is not permitted. Woe betide the Gunners Mate caught with a rusty gun or ammunition. OTOH, it is a different story with Artillerymen. You often see photographs of them, with bayonet in hand, scraping the mud, and the blood, and the beer off their projectiles. ;-) ;-)


Not having seen an actual photo or example of the paint scheme, here is what I did to this one that came to me with a gaudy and poorly executed paint job (no signs of original paint were found when removed):

The projectile is a 1941 dated Mark 1 Mod 27 with what appears to be a SD type tracer element. The fuze is a 1944 dated PDF MK 34 with all the internals removed. The case is a 1944 dated MK 1.

Not sure if the look is authentic but I thought it needed fixin’…

Would be great to see a photo of an original condition round. Any out there?


I guess I should get out my Dremel tool and brass brush to remove what appears to be a partial covering of black paint on my 1.1" dummy projectile, then lacquer it.

Chemical paint stripper would probably be easier than using a dremel brush. I usually use the gel type paint stripper to remove lacquer from brass cases. You simply brush it on, wait a few minutes then wipe it off (along with the dissolved paint).

Looking at it more closely, it’s not paint, appears to be corrosion patina. It will probably have to be buffed or sanded off to get back to bright metal. Should the fuze be bright metal or black?


With the reduced diameter drive band on your projectile, I would guess that is possibly an actual dummy round rather than an inert assembly of components. The hole in the case side is obvious, but does the case head have any markings indicating “Dummy”? I have not seen any official documentation for loadings other than those discussed earlier in this thread, but there no doubt had to be dummies made up for various purposes. The question may be “what color did the projectiles get painted (if at all) on dummy rounds”. That one’s in pretty nice shape and I would dare say worth restoring to original (if what that is can be determined) for posterity. Mine was a train wreck with paint that looked like it was from the “Barbie” nail polish collection so nothing to lose there. Just don’t know if I got that dot thing right…

My fuze appears to be a die cast product and was unpainted and so I left it that way. Yours may be the inert version of another material?

Perhaps others can tell what they might know of 1.1" dummy rounds (and feel free to post any pics of original paint schemes, older or newer!).