40mm Bofors fuse colours

A friend is trying to ascertain what the correct colour fuse is for a WWII 40mm Bofors HE QF round? He found the attached image on the web but has read differing accounts and hasn’t been able to find a reliable source.


Any help gratefully appreciated.

The fuzes I saw were all natural aluminum or zinc color.
Some few aluminum ones were anodized and light greyish-silverish.

The internet should have plenty of images.

Thanks Alex - I think the issue he is facing is that the internet has too many images. The ones in the image above looks like the black transport plugs that I have seen. I’ve seen those in blue also. Or are those training/dummy fuzes.

In British service, Black would indicate an inert fuze or PRF - Plug, Representing fuze. The blue coloured fuzes you’ve seen, I would suspect were for Naval service and have been painted with a blue varnish - RD 1177 as a protective measure. 2 Pr. Naval fuzes were so protected. BR 932 (1945) a Royal Navy Ordnance publication shows the fuzes as natural finish, likewise the 2 Pr fuzes, which I know to be incorrect as I have two varnished examples.

Thanks Tim. The blue ones I saw were painted in the same blue that is seen on later TP ammunition. Possibly not original.

Here a naval 2pdr Vickers.

Source internet.

I have a number of original finish WW2 era Bofors HE fuzes and, as EOD says, they are anodised a light grey/aluminium colour as a durable finish against oxidisation. As TimG says, black indicates a plug representative (dummy) fuze. I could get some photos tomorrow but the anodised finish may not show up well (may just look like aluminium).

I’m willing to take the risk! We all love photos :)

Here a factory inert fuze


It rather looks like a deactivated one and marked “0” as the Dutch required it in the past.

I suspect the 0 is meant to be an uppercase letter O for “onschadelijke munitie” (harmless amunition) used for instructional purposes. Bundeswehr used a white U (Unterrichtsmunition) for the same purpose.

Still is! :-)

OK, here’s a few photos of some Bofors HE fuzes with the original grey anodised (anodized for our US friends) finish. These are all WW2 dated 251 and 255s, British, Canadian and Australian made.

IMG_4924 IMG_4926 IMG_4928 IMG_4929 IMG_4930 IMG_4931


Thanks Graeme - those are very helpful.