Artillery Projectile w/ No Markings

Hello everyone,

I recently acquired this projectile. It is by far the largest, and heaviest piece I have in my collection.

Items like this projectile do not show up around here too often, so I figured I should scoop it up before anyone else.

The antique dealer I purchased this from didn’t know anything about its origin, other than where he picked it up from. He also wanted to turn it into an ashtray or lamp (which I didn’t want to happen).

The measurements are as follows:

  • 130mm wide base
  • 140mm wide approximately in the center ( bourrelet?)
  • 600mm tall
  • 62.6mm wide mouth (exterior measurements)

From the research I have done, it visually looks much like a 155mm M107 HE (https://www.gd-ots.com/munitions/artillery/155m-m107/) but I am unsure how to get the measurement of 155mm. There are no markings or stamps as far as I can see.

The two driving bands appear to be made of brass, and not as thick as some other styles of artillery shells I have seen in photos.

Mouth:

Side view with a BIC lighter for size comparison:

What I would like to know is:

  • Identification?
  • The approximate age of this projectile?
  • Would this projectile benefit from electrolysis (to save it from rusting out any further)?

Thank you.
Best Regards,
Dave.

The fuze thread looks British. At a guess BL 5.5" further guessing the smaller 80lb HE Mk IIID projectile. Have you looked on the base for markings?

Hello Tim,

Thank you for adding to the list of possibilities! I will look further into thos two.

As for the base, I have looked many times in hopes to see something that I haven’t seen before, but unfortunately all I can make out is the etchings from the machining process around the outer edge.

The rust is abit heavy on the base which is why I was wondering if an electrolysis bath would help or hinder the cause.

Base:

If it helps any, the inside of the projectile is completely hollow, with a concave base on the inside.

Inside photo with poor quality resolution (sorry, but best I can produce!):

Dave,

Having consulted my books on BL 5.5", your projectile at 600mm it is far too short to be either the 100lb HE or 80lb HE projectile, which were about 660mm long. If it’s British, the fuze thread will be 14 tpi

Tim,

Thank you for the info and research!

I checked the TPI and it appears to be 12 or 13.

13 TPI would be from the 0 inch mark to 1 inch mark on my ruler.

Dave,

Looks like your initial ID was correct. The 140mm must be very approximate!
155mm.pdf (475.6 KB)

It looks like a 155mm to me as it only has one drive band-not two.
The 5.5" have two bands about 9mm apart.

U.S. artillery fuzes are almost all 2" diameter by 12 threads per inch.

Thank you to everyone for the reply’s!

The drawing is most interesting too!

Upon a more precise measurement (using two squares, and my ruler) I came out with 150mm measurement. I originally tried using my digital caliper, but it would not fit around the circumference of the projectile.

John, 12 TPI sounds like it matches my thread count. I did count 12 TPI more times than I did at 13.

Now that Identification has taken place (many thanks for that gentlemen!), I do plan to “clean” this projectile up with an electrolysis bath.

Once clean, I wish to find a fuze (or mock-up of), and to possibly paint it with original colours. I assume the colours would be olive drab, with yellow numbers and letters…

I found this website with inert replica fuze’s and was curious if the second 155mm would be appropriate for this projectile? https://inertproducts.com/artillery_fuzes

Also, does anyone happen to know where I can obtain the appropriate stenciling?

Thank you again, and you guys have been very helpful thus far!

Regards,
Dave.

Here is another fuze option for you:
http://www.oldguns.net/catho.htm#HO20967

Hello John,

Great website! Thank you for this!

Is the fuze in particular labeled as “ 20967 U.S. ARTILLERY FUZE, DEMILLED”?

(If so, that would be super!)

Regards,
Dave

i agree US 155 mm projectile. HE type. look at gun broker.com you will find more info joe gatz CWO4 RT