Eifel Ball 1989 Spangdahlem Germany


What happened at Eifel Ball, Spangdahlem, Germany in 1989? I paid $1, neither the seller nor I had a foggiest idea.


Hey Vlad

It seems this was probably an award or table gimme at an event thrown to commemorate something at a USAF base in Germany. Not sure what they’re celebrating. Can’t believe you didn’t show the h/s.


Nichts zu seehen (I bet I’ve screwed it up)


Man! I can’t read any of the headstamp. Must be a crappy picture. ;-)


Spangdahlem is in the middle of the Eifel mountains, perhaps they had a biiig dance there? What is the case? a 20 or 30 mm?




You can ask them -:)



Alex is right, 20x102. How come there is no headstamp?


Vlad, most 20x102 have no head stamps no matter who made them. The only exceptions I remember are Denmark and Czechia.


Vlad & EOD–After handling literally 100’s of thousands of 20mm Vulcan rounds as a Weapons Specialists on F-4 Phantoms, and never having seen one with a headstamp, I mentioned this to Bill Woodin once at a Chicagoland show in the 1980’s. The next week I received a T61E1 Practice round headstamped “F A * * 48” with a black projectile with white stenciling from him. So, EOD, you can add U.S.A. to the list of makers of the 20 x 102mm with headstamps. Not sure when the 20 x 102mm was developed, but this must be an early one.


That would be a very early one, as it was developed from the .60 Cal round necked up to 20mm. The .60 cal can also be found with this headstamp.


Ron, great to know! So your’s is quite unusual and early then.


Spangdahlem AFB is still a major USAF fighter base in Germany. They had both F-16s and F-15s the last time I was there around 1994/1995. They have expanded considerably since then. This was probably an Officers Club or NCO Club ball and may have been used to put a rose in on the table. Cute and cheap way to provide a table decoration for people to take home.

This looks like a normal UASF 20mm case to me, and a fighter unit has a lot of them laying around!





Neat item. I’m trying to figure out the base part. Can you tell how that was processed?

I posted this group before but thought the current topic of “headstamps or not” warranted an encore…

The .60 Cal. here on the left has no headstamp and the 20mm has an FA ** 49 headstamp and sports a 110mm case with the shoulder of the 20x102. The third from left is an early ('52 dated projectile) 20x102 and has no headstamp (nor primer pocket). The one on the right is headstamped FA 51 and seems to be the Navy 20x110.



When you say “Can you tell how that was processed?”, do you mean if I understand what you say? I’m a bit confused, all this travelling to the gun show in the heat is getting to me.



Sorry about that! I meant “processed” as in “worked upon”. I was wondering if you could tell how the base part was modified to make it bright and, what looks to be, larger in diameter from the upper part of the case. The head seems untouched.



Dave, I am the wrong guy to ask questions. I can measure whichever parameters you wish, but I know nothing about this moderm large ammo. I just got it because it caught my eye and $1. The bottom has that shiny sticker, so it may look bigger.


Dave, it looks much like an aluminum sleeve has been “crimped” onto the lower section of the case. Unfortunately I do not know the correct English term but it is done on a aspecial lathe where are things are made of sheet metal like pewters and all sort of vases etc.


I’ll try to help even though with the exception of the crimp I don’t see the difference. I think if one takes the golden sticker off they will look identical. Also maybe the one on the left is un-fired and it makes a bit of a difference.


Ah! A sticker… In the first pictures it looked like the entire bottom section of the case, except the head, had the same bright material added. I couldn’t figure how that would be done easily. It seems the extractor groove and rim remained bright on its own. Thanks for clearing that up for me, Vlad.