40mm-5"-155mm shell markings-40mm Salute Blank


I have a few shell casings and one artillery shell. I was wondering if some of the experts could tell me about the markings and rarity of these. Thanks for having me here. I just started collecting. Stuff I have is a 5in Naval shell casing. 40mm Naval shell casing. 155mm Shell. My 155mm is missing the bottom and fuse. I’m looking for these to complete it. I got the 5in and 155 this week. I had the 40mm for awhile. I’m looking to pick up some more rounds. Heres some pictures:

Michael Hale


Your 40mm is of the most interest to me here. It appears to have a rubber or plastic ring about the rim. I have not been this before. The case appears to be from the 50s with the reconfiguration as a blank in the 70s. The US used the 40mm BOFORs AA guns for many years both in the Navy and Army. These were removed from service in the 50s but are now used on the C130 gun ships. I do not know if they used existing ordnance or new for these mounts. I have seen the ammo reloaded from WW2 era stores and later. The blank could be for a Navy or Army or Air Force gun being used for saluting purposes.

None of these are rare items.

The big ones are geting much harder to find these days.


That brass 5" 54 ain’t REAL common. A very nice start, to say the least. And yes, that 40MM is very interesting, as well.


Right, there are a lot more steel ones.


Thanks for the info. I didnt know the 40mm case was from the 50s. I know where it came from. I was an Airman in a squadron aboard the USS Nimitz in 1993 and 1994. I manned the rail to see and honor the USS Arzonia as we passed comming into Pearl. We fired a salute. After it was over I saw someone cleaning up the brass from the salute guns and asked if I could have one. They gave it to me and I kept it taking it home on leave. USS Nimitz had several Salute guns all 40mm. Dont know if all Navy ships have them. Didnt know it was reused from a 1950s round. Thanks for the info!!
What was the 5in 54 used for? I been looking on the net. I thought it was a Destroyer round from WW2 but they were 5in 38. I got it off a Viet Nam Marine Vet at a yardsale. Case looks to be dated 45. What I see on the Net the USS Midway had this round as anti arcraft in 1945. I was wondering if this round was made for that since its dated 45 then like my 40mm reused?
Anyone mess with 155mm shells? I would like to find a inert or replica base and fuse. I thought about repainting it but decided to leave the original paint on it.
Thanks for the info!! I’ll be looking for more shells and casings for my collection.


Michael, I believe your 155 is a submunition carrier shell and if so, it would not have a base fuse. Just a thin aluminum closing plate. Could you post the overall length of the 5"/54 brass case for me ??? Thank you, Bill


The 5"/54 was one of my babies.

They first saw service on the Midway Class carriers starting in late 1945. They were slow-fire MK 16 guns in the single gun MK 39 mount. By the early 1950s they were pretty much dinosauers against jet aircraft and were replaced with the new rapid fire guns and mounts starting with the Forrestal Class carriers in 1955. When the FDR, Midway, and Coral Sea were converted between 1955 and 1958 most of the guns were removed and eventually the few that remained were removed also, as anti aircraft guns on carriers became obsolete.

A few of the brass cases were still in use in the mid 1950s but they are hard to find.



3ky, The 155mm round is the M864 BBDPICM (Base Bleed Dual Purpose Improved Conventional Munition) Round, minus the rear closure/base bleed plate. The round carries 48 M42 and 24 M46 ICM’s. For more info on this round, you can google it by the DODIC (Department of Defense Identification Code) which is the number D864 on your round or be M864.


My case is 33inches tall. Neet case. Do ya’ll think its an early 5in 54?
I like the shell you have Ray. Its in great shape. Are they hard to find ray? I seen the USS Midway in Mothballs back in the 90s.
I was sent this by a pm. Looks like this is the 155mm I have. Its a neet shell. globalsecurity.org/military/ … s/m864.htm

I just bought another group of shell casings. A 20mm, 75 caliber, and a 37mm. I’ll post pictures when I get them.




Your 5"/54 case is an early one (1945) although the ALN seems to indicate it was reloaded in 1951.

The projectile is one that I restored.

Before her conversion in 1957-58, the Coral Sea was the last of the post war straight-deck attack carriers. The USS Midway is now a museum in San Diego. The Coral Sea and FDR have been scrapped.



Sharp restoration Ray. I like it!!

So my shell casing was reloaded in the 50s. Thats neat. Wondered if it was fired then or the 60s? Probably never know. Its like the 50s made 40mm that was reloaded in the 70s and fired in 1994. LOL

If I ever get to San Deigo I’ll have to go see the USS Midway. I was ported in Washington and saw the USS Midway plus another 50s carrier and a battleship in mothballs. I’m glad the Midway got saved. A few people in my unit served on her.



Your 40mm was most likely fired in one of these, a MK11 MOD2 Saluting Battery.
These came from the old Navy Base at Charleston, SC and are now at Patriots Point in Mt Pleasant.


Shotmeister that looks like what we had on the USS Nimitz. If i remenber right we had four of them. They were mounted on a catwalk on the island. I’ll have to see if I took any pictures of them. If I have I’ll post them.

Great pictures glad some were saved!!



[quote=“3ky”]Shotmeister that looks like what we had on the USS Nimitz. If i remenber right we had four of them. They were mounted on a catwalk on the island. I’ll have to see if I took any pictures of them. If I have I’ll post them.

Great pictures glad some were saved!!


Well, you learn something new everyday on here, I didn’t know that the USN adopted the “modern” 40/60 case for their saluting guns. In the Royal Navy we were more traditionalist and stuck to the 3 Pdr Hotchkiss, probably still do.



Hey Chief

Are those saluting guns still functional, or did the de-mil them?


Hi Rick,
The breech mechanisms are not in place but I don’t know if they are stored somewhere or what. Bores are rough but doubt that matters much. They sit out where anyone can get to them so they get abused as you can see.

Here’s a pic of the breech end.



Here is a 40mm Salute Gun aboard USS John C Stennis (CVN 74). Notice the short shell cases.



A great, and interesting, photo. Sailor boy on the right standing forward of the breech mechanism. That’s a no-no. He must be a Bosuns Mate. And what is the guy with the stick doing??? Toasting marshmellows???



[quote=“RayMeketa”] And what is the guy with the stick doing??? Toasting marshmellows???


This picture shows the awesome power that even a blank shell of that size has and should re-emphasize the matter of safety precautions when dealing with these, from a collectors standpoint of course.

Smores anyone?



Thanks for posting the shell case length. Nothing like Navy standardization. Your 5" 54 Cal case is 33 inches, My 5 " 38 Cal case is 26.75 inches, the 5" 25 Cal case is 24.65 inches and My 5" 51 Cal case is much larger in diameter and 33 inches long. I hope I am not the only one who is totally confused. Bill