2 Interesting European shells


#1

Was at a flea market the other day and found an old wooden shell box (500ct) that the seller had divided and dumped miscellaneous 12, 16 & 20 gauge shells in. He had his treasurers marked at .50 each but offered me the whole thing for $80 but I didn’t want all the junk he had. Did find two that interested me, although I usually don’t collect non-USA specimens.

The Eley-Kynoch caught my eye because of the SG marking, which was new to me. I had no idea the SG would stand for Special Goose (according to some sources??). Some sources say these were purchased by the British Government and issued to the Home Guard but others say those hulls were green and these are not. It was also mentioned that the Special Goose was a popular hunting load so I assume that this specimen is probably not from the War but post 1945. I have not found a description of what size the shot actually are but I suspect something like our BB size.

The Juno was just interesting, since I have nothing like it. Cool primer and the hand marked topwad was interesting. The cup seems very thin and split in several place. I suspect these were made after WWII, probably thru the Communist regime.

If anyone wants to improve my knowledge of these, it would be appreciated.


#2

My 1925 Nobel catalog shows that ‘SG’ is ‘mould shot’, 8 pellets per ounce, and .332" diameter. There is also a ‘Special SG’, SSG, SSSG, SSSSG, and SSSSSG (.214"). ‘MG’ is .347" and ‘LG’ is .360". ‘SG’ is equal to our Eastern 0 and Western 4. I find nothing to indicate that ‘S’ and/or ‘G’ are initials for something in particular.


#3

The /i\ mark means British govt property.


#4

May we see the headstamps? The one on the right is probably Czech, judging by the first word “Puškarna”. Take it back, it’s a Yugo by Puškarna Kranj.


#5

The left hand round is a British military load as indicated by the Broad Arrow government property mark. The SG load is as already pointed out, nine balls of .332 diameter.

Although difficult to date precisely I think this one dates from the Malayan Emergency of the early 1950s rather than WW2 Home Guard use. During that Emergency the Browning A5 automatic shotgun was quite widely issued for jungle patrol work and later Operational Analysis showed it had the highest kill ration to rounds fired of all the weapons in use. The other issue weapons were No.5 rifle, M1 carbine. Mark 5 Sten and Bren gun.

During WW2 the Home Guard were issued with similar SG loads and also large amounts of spherical ball, all with the Broad Arrow marking. Cases were mostly plain buff card but tan and blue are also known. I will take some photos later today and post pictures of examples I have.

A third category of British military issue shotshells are what one might call “normal” loads for use on airfields to kill or disperse flocks of birds. These are normally commercial rounds loaded with No.6 shot and without the Broad Arrow.

Now of course the British army are issuing the Bennelli M4 auto shotgun in Afghanistan (as the L128A1) for use by the Point man on patrols. Combat loads are again SG and slug but blank and drill rounds are also issued. Special Forces also use more exotic types for door breaching and other uses.

Regards
TonyE


#6

[quote=“TonyE”]The left hand round is a British military load as indicated by the Broad Arrow government property mark.

A third category of British military issue shotshells are what one might call “normal” loads for use on airfields to kill or disperse flocks of birds. These are normally commercial rounds loaded with No.6 shot and without the Broad Arrow.

TonyE[/quote]

A “fourth category” of British military shotshells are/were used for clay pigeon shooting with normal double barreled shotguns to sharpen up the reflexes of fighter pilots. We carried clay pigeon throwers, several guns and lots of cartridges for this purpose on RN aircraft carriers. The RAF did this on airfields as well as the RN “Airey fairies”.

gravelbelly


#7

Of course Dave, silly of me to omit that one! It is also worth mentioning that 12b tracer loads were sometimes used so that both instructor and shooter could see where their shot was going.

Regards
tonyE


#8

Is there anything that distinguishes these military bird clearing and clay shooting shells from each other and also from purely commercial shells not used by the military?


#9

Once they are out of their military crates, unfortunately no.

Regards
TonyE


#10

Thanks to all of you for your inputs. The E-K shell interested me the most and its certainly given me fifty cents worth of excitement!

Roundsworth, thanks for educating me on the British shot sizes. The Imperial War Museum site referred to these as “Special Goose” loads and other English sources have used “Small Goose” for the “SG” symbol but they seem universal on the size. However, it seems that the reference to goose shooting with these shot is more in the field of punting than in use from shoulder fired arms, due to poor patterns.

Tony, I have found several sites that referred to shells identical to mine as the WWII issue but of course that does not constitute fact. As I now understand it, this Smokeless Diamond (SD) powder was a rather mild black powder substitute designed for older guns built for black powder pressures. I wonder if the SD powder would have provided enough pressure to operate semi-auto actions like the A-5? Would a Government contract in the 1950’s, using the older powder and not one of the more modern Nobel powders, been likely? I have to bow to your expertise Tony because I know nothing of this area but have many questions.

Here’s a scan of the headstamp of the SG shell.


#11

A box which had red, orange, and blue shells in it when I got it so who knows which was right as only the top label is readable.
And some variations of Broad-arrow marked shells (no tracers shown) Note the three which were canceled, the blank, the L.G.'s and the 16 bore


#12

Tony E, your list re: Malayan Emergency ( 1950s-1960s), besides the British Sten, also used the Australian Owen (FTR Post-Korea, with added Rotating Safety lock on Bolt handle); Used by both Aussie troops and British troops in Malaya.( along with Browning A5s ( some experimentally converted to Box magazine), M1 Carbines, Rifle No5 Mark I, etc, Stens & Brens)…The Owens were preferred by all to the Stens for their greater resistance to Mud, sand and water in the mechanism.

Other Shotguns ( US Pump guns) were also used, but the A5, with Shortened “DeerHunter” barrel, and rifle sights, was the preferred Shottie for the Forward Scout. ( immediate, Large volume of fire in a Contact— a tactic used by Aust.Troops later in Konfrontasi ( Borneo, 1960s) and SVN ( 1965-70s) using a Full-auto L1A1, with 30 round (AR-L2A1/Bren L4) Magazine, and a shortened Barrel. The Contact action (SAS Patrols) was the full 30 rounds in one burst, giving the GPMG-M60 time to deploy, and keeping the VC down in the mud.

Aussies (SVN) also used the Stevens Mod. 77E as a Scout Pump shotgun (US supplied) with US “OO Buck” Loads ( again, 9 pellets, .330 diameter, 2&3/4 inch Plastic Case).

Nice thread,
Regards,
Doc AV

Regards,
Doc AV


#13

Thanks, Doc. I was aware of the popularity of the Owen but the document I was refereing to only compared the weapons that were in British rather than Commonwealth service.

Shotmeister: You may well be correct that the SG load with the “Smokeless Diamond” wad is WW2. Perhaps the unmarked buff round is the Malayan period one. Other than military loads I know little of shotshells.

I checked my Kynoch catalogues but the only post war one I have is about 1956 and by then Kynoch did not describe the propellants they were using by name or in any detail. However, I am not sure that Smokeless Diamond was a weak black powder substitute. The 1935 Kynoch catalogue states “Loads for modern and medium range game shooting require a “fast” powder which is comfortable to shoot. “Smokeless Diamond”, the first completely gelatinised bulk powder, is made by pressing nitro-cellulose through holes ina die…”. They also have Modified Smokeless Diamond which is for heavy shot charges. I am sure you know all this but I thought I would post it for completeness.

Both the SG loads in the picture below have Smokeless Diamond wads. The unmarked buff case has no Broad Arrow but is definitely British military. The wad is worn but is “SG” surrounded by just “SMOKELESS”.

These two are Home Guard spherical ball loads.

This picture is a composite showing both sides of a miltary Eley Rocket tracer load.

Just to bring things up to date, here is the current plastic cased british L14A1 blank round.

Finally, what is this round for? It says it is a stainless steel “Ram” round. Presumably a cylindrical stainless steel slug?

Regads
TonyE


#14

Thanks to all of you for the ton of information! Tony, never assume I know anything… perhaps it is better to believe that I don’t. The opinion on the strength of the Smokeless Diamond powder was more of an assumption.

I talked to Dick Iverson about this Eley-Kynoch shell and he seemed to think it was WWII and not later. Based on all I have been told now, I am going to label this one as “likely WWII”.

Tony, your photo’s are most interesting, especially that blue, all-plastic that you describe as the current blank in use today. Could you give me the details on that cartridge (i.e. headstamp)? All-plastics are one of my major interest and I have not seen one of these before. I’d love to know how to get one.


#15

The unmarked buff coloured cases were in common use during WW2 for civilian use too, packed in cheap, plain, cartons labeled simply “War finish” or similar. I had a full carton of these, with the carton just about completely collapsed, and only the shot size on the wad. The cartridges are/were in good condition, despite the carton degradation and I still have a few left somewhere around here. The lack of colour was a wartime economy measure, I think that mine are no 6 shot but would have to dig them out to be sure.

gravelbelly


#16

The blue all plastic blank has a headstamp “ACTIV 12”. I will photograph it tomorrow for you.

Unfortunately I do not have any examples of the current British military slug or buckshot load so I do not know if these are all plastic also, but I have seen an all aluminium drill round anodised dark blue. IIRC it was the L12A1.

I will be spending some time at the National Firearms Centre (Pattern Room as was) in a couple of weeks so will see what I can find out.

Regards
TonyE


#17

I know we are straying a bit off topic but Hey, it’s my topic!
Tony, I suspected this was an ACTIV case because they were used in all sorts of applications but I have not seen a blue one, until now. Dick Iverson is a very serious collector of these all-plastics and we found that I had some nickle-plated shot loads that he did not have so every day something odd rolls up in these fairly recent shells. ACTIV hulls have been used in breeching rounds, steel shot, buckshot and all sorts of things like blanks, confetti loads and bird bangers but until now the chocolate brown (2 different shades) orange and red were the only 12 ga ACTIV headstamp colors I was aware of.
So if you come across any of these blue ACTIV hulls, even fired ones, keep me in mind please.


#18

Will do!

Cheers
Tony


#19

Are you talking about the drill round that I have?

Mine is an L15A1 with a blue anodised turned aluminium body. This is attached to a brass base in the style of a real shotshell. The “primer” is a disk of hard grey plastic. I have never seen another one of these. Another collector we both know very well has tried on several occasions to get me to part with it!


#20

[quote=“Falcon”]
…Are you talking about the drill round that I have?

Mine is an L15A1 with a blue anodised turned aluminium body attached to a brass base in the style of a real shotshell. The “primer” is a disk of hard grey plastic. I have never seen another one of these. Another collector we both know very well has tried on several occasions to get me to part with it![/quote]

Thanks Gareth for correcting my memory!

…and I know you would never do that!

Cheers
TonyE