British 120MM L23A1 APFSDS-T Restoration Project


About a month ago I was offered a nice, British manufactured, 120MM L23A1 APFSDS-T projectile that I jumped on. I am guessing it was put together from fired components? Anyhow, upon receipt, I started to restore it. It was missing both its upper and lower bands and had a lot of paint scratches / blemishes. I was really lucky to have a friend in the UK who happened to have a brand new lower driving band for this round that he sent me.


AFTER RESTORATION ( Not sure what if anything I will do to repair the fin assembly) I kept the original stenciling and used a heavy duty ZIP TIE from Home Depot as the top band.


VERY NICE!!! Perhaps you could tape one side of the chipped fin, and smooth out a Metal colored glue, resin or auto body filling. Once its dry remove the tape. Nowhere near as durable but it might work.



Excellent idea Steve! Thank you. Are you thinking like a Bondo type material?


Yes or even a glue like JB weld. Put that damaged area on a hard flat surface and lightly pound the damage flat, then fill it.



Excellent! Off to Home Depot!



Thanks to some great advice, I attempted to repair and repaint the fin assembly. Not bad for my first try at this but I am sure the Smithsonian would probably fire me as a restoration personnel. :-)











Thanks guys! Appreciate all the advice and help.



Nice work. That JBWeld is really amazing stuff…if you can take the smell. I had never thought of molding it to shape before.


Thanks so much, Jon. I would have never thought about using it if it was not for the great advice. Once it hardened, I used a Dremil to shape it and smooth it out before painting.



Hey, I am trying to find dimensions on the penetrating rod for the L23A1. Would it be possible if you could take pictures of it beside a meter stick for both diameter and length measurements. (including the frustum length) I am trying to provide evidence of this things capabilities using a perforations calculator for a bug report in a video game called war thunder. (if you have heard of it) Anything you can provide would be helpful :)


I really don’t play video games but would be happy to help with photos & measurements for your project. Off to take pics.



Took some pics. Sorry the only ruler I had was red. If these measurements are not useful, let me know and I will try to find some calipers :-)



Honestly didn’t think this would work replying to years old content of an actual owner of the shell. Thanks so much!
This is the link to the calculator to show you what to measure with the caliper. The developers are very picky and would want the diameter of the rod and frustum measured. (Thanks for doing this it is very helpful)

Based on some guess work from the pictures the perforation results are looking like the blueprint I have and the penetration table. This is going to help a lot!

I got a response back from a moderator, and he said that I would need an accurate measurement of where the tungsten rod stops within the fin. (which is kind of annoying since that looks quite difficult)

It seems the length of the shell doesn’t match this due to the ruler being too far back (the tiniest difference actually skewed the values a little): image


Impressed both by your dedication and APFSDS’ very quick response.
I play WT too, mostly the German tanks, but it’s really great to see you are doing hands-on work to ensure quality control of the rounds I face ;-)



Here are some caliper measurements. Hope they help your quest :-)

That diagram looks amazing! Doubt my measurements would be more helpful?



What are the bottom two images measuring? Just want to be sure.
I assume length and then frustum length.

How deep is the hole at the bottom of the fin? That distance is important.

Thanks again for more pictures!


Sorry, for some reason the order of the images got out of whack. The bottom image is the sub projectile dart’s overall length.

The image above it, shows the distance where the main body of the dart starts its tapper to the tip of the windscreen point. Right after the black paint stops and meets the widest unpainted, silver colored band to the tip_)



The depth of the tracer hole is 3/4"