Need help identifying large cartridge


#1

Hello. I’m glad I found this site.
I have some items I hope to have identified. I know very little about ammo, so my terminology will be handicapped.
These are likely WW2 items.

This item was made into an ashtray. It is a large empty cartridge(?)…the markings are: 50 CAL. 3" MK.7
N.G.F. 5-43 LOT NO. 15 F.L.R. J.R.R. (with an image of an anchor in between)
Also welded onto this is a 20MM MK2 1943

There are also 4 other pieces of ammunition I’d love to know more about:

  1. 2 seemingly identical rounds…look like something that might be fired from machine gun (perhaps a bit too big for this) Markings are: S L 43 on one, and F A O 4(in N,S,E,&W positions)

2)This piece is slightly larger than the 20MM MK2 (above) Markings are: HGA 387(very small), 15C and 42 It has more markings on payload(?) area (orange writing on yellow paint)125G Br. Stamped:arz 19542 Then on the aluminum(?) fuse: 179 (small letters:W8A8851) 2cm Kpf.Z.45 fZf 42

  1. this cartridge is thick and heavy. PDPs 106 916 also has a little stamped design- looks like a pineapple (sort of)

  2. this is a very good cond MK2 1942 3/8 there are other ltters but on the edge and hard to read. Looks like the central ‘pin’ is intact. There are 3 holes bored through the cartridge.
    any help most appreciated-thanks!


#2

Midway,

Your “trench art” ash tray is the base of a U.S. Navy 3-inch 50 Cal. Cartridge Case, Mk 7.
N.G.F. = Naval Gun Factory
5-43 = Case was manufactured in May of 1943, lot number 15
F.L.R. = Initials of the N.G.F. superintendent, to the left of the anchor symbol.
J.R.R. = Inspectors initials, to the right of the anchor symbol.
50 Cal. = The length of the gun barrel, for this gun the barrel is 50 x the caliber of the barrel or 50 x 3-inches = 150-inch gun barrel

Your items listed under #1 sound like .50 BMG (Browning Machine Gun) fired cartridge casings.
[b]SL 43 /b = St Louis Ordnance Plant, St Louis, MO; 1943
FA 40 (? headstamp) = Frankford Arsenal, Philadelphia, PA; 1940

For the rest of your items it would be of considerable help if you could post a picture or at least give some measurements (inch and millimeters).

#2 sounds like it may be a WW2 German 20x138mmB RHEINMETALL (138mm is the length of the cartridge case)(2cm = 20mm), is there a “belt” or fat ring around the cartridge case near the bottom? Need more information. As an example, this type of cartridge is pictured here (click on the link): viewtopic.php?f=8&t=13366
#3 A French headstamp, possibly a 37mm. Need more information.
#4 ???

PS- Almost forgot, welcome to the IAA Forum!

Brian


#3

Brian- this is great! Thanks for quick reply. Had no idea you could tell so much from my minimal info w/o pics.
I wondered if that one piece was German. One of the small red stamp marks over the yellow painted area looks like tiny eagle with outstretched wings [very blurry though]…when I saw it -the possibility of it being German entered my mind.
Will take pics when I can…being from New England, I’m a little distracted today.
Thanks again, Paul


#4

Football vs. cartridges? :-)

Good luck!


#5

Hello midway

#3 is a french 37x94 model 1885 (37-85 should be visible on the headstamp at 12h)
PDPs means “Pinchart Denis Paris” who has manufactured the case.
106 9 16 means contract of september 1916, lot 106


#6

thanks Maverick- YES!.. 37 85
Will take some pics in next few days. [assuming I can figure out how to post them]

The ‘trench art’ is interesting: 50CAL empty cartridge for ashtray base…20MM welded to “central perforated ‘pin’” at angle…then 4 foreign coins slightly cupped and welded to edge of 50CAL to hold up to 4 cigarettes.


#7

Brian, I know I am a nitpicker here and bake you pardon, the 20x138B is Rheinmetall.
Solothurn has no role in the naming of the cartridge - unfortunately this error was/is way too often repeated in all sort of publications.


#8

Brian- forgot to answer you.
Re the German piece: sort of a brass ‘belt’ on bottom which is part of the end cap.
the orange/red markings on yellow background near top: 125g Br. wg 7 a 42 W then on opposite side is the small image of eagle with outstretched wings holding round symbol with feet. This was a bit smeared when applied so not very crisp. The image also says something underneath [letters or numbers?] but too indistinct to read.


#9

EOD,

THANK YOU for the correcting me on the designation for the 20x138mmB RHEINMETALL and I’ve corrected my earlier post. You are correct in that this is incorrectly listed in a number of places. Some notes to be corrected.

Midway,

The small stick figure German Reich eagle (WW2) is typically called a Waffenamts and is an inspection stamp, showing the item has passed inspection for the German Army. Its sounding more like you have a 20x138mmB Rheinmetall cartridge but a picture (when you have time) to confirm would help.


#10

I can add that the “F.L.R.” initials stand for Rear Admiral Ferdinand Louis Reichmuth, Commandant and Superintendent of the Naval Gun Factory and the Washington Navy Yard.


#11

Hi, I would like to post pics of the items I’m describing but am having troubles (not computer savvy) Is there a relatively easy way to do this that I’m just not seeing? thanks


#12

The easiest way I know (and the method I use) is to upload the images first to photobucket.com (you’ll have to create an account - free):

s226.photobucket.com/

After your images are uploaded (and you’re looking at the image you want to post here), click on the little icon that looks like a chain link (it’s for “linking” images). That will drop down a little window with a link in it. Copy that link and then paste it into your post. That’s it.

For a little more explanation, here’s a page that describes the process:

support.photobucket.com/hc/en-us … -to-Forums

-WRM


#13

[quote=“EOD”]
Solothurn has no role in the naming of the cartridge - unfortunately this error was/is way too often repeated in all sort of publications.[/quote]

Good luck with that! Although you might stand a better chance that those (like me) who enjoy pointing out that there were only ever a couple of hundred AK-47 rifles built - they were the 1947 prototypes which were tested by the Soviet Army for a couple of years before being adopted in 1949 (after lots of minor modifications) as the AK, later replaced by the AKM (and later still partly replaced by the 5.45mm AK-74) ;-)


#14

I agree it is a fight that hardly can be won and even less merits to earn.
Yes, the AK and the AKM are the best example for distorted and wrong designations.
As good as calling the 7.62x39 the “Kalashnikov cartridge”.

Nevertheless I do not want to bent backwards and will keep on with the correct designations.


#15

It is also much the same how the MP 40 is so often referred to as the “Schmeisser”.


#16

Thanks WRM. You explained perfectly.
These are the items described. The cardboard tube belongs to the shell with holes drilled in the cartridge. While other items in various shades of ‘knocked around’ …this item appears ‘mint’. Thanks again for all the great background info.


#17

And how in WW2 British soldiers called every German MG a “Spandau”.

The reason for this is quite amusing and dates back to WW1, when the German MGs most commonly captured were ones from shot-down aircraft (generally, variants of the standard MG 08). As the British used names for their guns (Vickers, Lewis, et al) they looked for the gun’s name. They had identifying letters and numbers on them but only one actual word - the location of the factory where most aircraft versions of the gun were made. So the guns were called “Spandaus” and that was applied by extension to all subsequent German MGs, unto the next generation!


#18

[quote=“TonyWilliams”]And how in WW2 British soldiers called every German MG a “Spandau”.

The reason for this is quite amusing and dates back to WW1, when the German MGs most commonly captured were ones from shot-down aircraft (generally, variants of the standard MG 08). As the British used names for their guns (Vickers, Lewis, et al) they looked for the gun’s name. They had identifying letters and numbers on them but only one actual word - the location of the factory where most aircraft versions of the gun were made. So the guns were called “Spandaus” and that was applied by extension to all subsequent German MGs, unto the next generation![/quote]

Tony I heard that from British ex-army folks when talking about a MG42 or MG3. This was in 1997!


#19

[quote=“midway”]
These are the items described. The cardboard tube belongs to the shell with holes drilled in the cartridge. While other items in various shades of ‘knocked around’ …this item appears ‘mint’. Thanks again for all the great background info.[/quote]

An interesting assortment!

A tip for future reference - cartridge collectors can get a bit pernickety about using the correct terminology. The part with holes drilled in isn’t a “shell” but the “cartridge case”; in live ammo, it contains the propellant. While I’m at it, the part which gets fired down the barrel is generally known as the “projectile”; in small-arms ammunition it is of course called a bullet, in larger (20+mm) calibres may be called a “shell” if it’s hollow to contain explosives or incendiary material, or a “shot” if it’s a solid armour-piercing type (not to be confused with the shot that’s fired by a shotgun - are you still with me? :-) ). It is never to be called a “head”! The entire assembly of cartridge case and projectile (plus propellant and primer in live ammo) is known as a “cartridge” or “round of ammunition”.

Basic ammo 101 lecture over, return to normal service…


#20

double post…