Hello, these two, very heavy shells, have been in my father’s house for 50 years. My father says they were left behind by the previous owner of the house. Does anyone know what type of shells they are?
They appear to be roughly 3 inches or 75 or 76mm diameter.
There is very little of the steel body below the rotating band, not really enough to crimp it into a cartridge case, so I suspect these were for early breech loading cannons which used a bagged powder charge instead of a one piece cartridge with shell case, primer, powder and projectile all in a single unit (sort of like a big .22 caliber cartridge).
The flat piece on the top is probably some sort of shipping plug to keep dirt out, and might unscrew easily by hand. I would expect it to have normal right hand treads, but sometimes the are left hand. If you can take the top off, please confirm the projectiles are empty inside.
Condition is not the best, or worst, and collectors do like these, although the value is likely to be modest.
Precise measurements of diameter and overall length and an and all markings would be a huge help for a positive ID.
As John said, measurements such as diameter and length are important. Also please look at the base of each projectile for markings stamped into the base. The brass plugs at the top may have markings as well as the brass rings that the brass plugs are is screwed into.
A photo of the brass plug at the top of each shell may also provide some information.
Those appear to be 4.5 inch high explosive shells, if you are located in usa, those are highly likely united kingdom contract shells produced by us companies during world war 1. Those are, as others have said, shipping plugs in the top of them.
The rotating bands look correct for 4.5-inch, but depending on where they are located not necessarily contract. In Michigan we see them most often of Canadian manufacture. They are also found on impact areas at our National Guard ranges in the northern part of the State, where a fair amount of joint (US/Canadian) training has gone on for decades.