Question- German Kaiserliche Marine battleship shell casing


#1

Was fortunate to find in an antique store here in the U.S. a very large brass cartridge shell casing that I believe is from the main gun on a German pre-dreadnought battleship. It is marked PATRONENFABRIK KARLSRUHE, Roman numeral V, 1902, and 460. It also has the crown over M mark of the Kaiserliche Marine and 4 dots/circles at the edge that I think indicates the number of times reloaded. It measures approx 274 mm across the rimmed base and approx 255mm across the top, and weighs 35 lbs. Struck primer is in place and is iron. Overall length is just 51cm, which is about half of what is listed for a 24cm SK L/40 shell. My question is could this be a practice blank? It is smooth and perfectly straight across without any saw marks, just light hand file marks seen on magnification. If it is cut down does that destroy the collector value? Sorry, I don’t have a site setup to upload images. I would also welcome any info on rarity since this isn’t my usual area of collecting. Thanks


#2

Interesting 1st post.

24cm SK L/40 Marine:
case length =1032mm or 103.2cm (40.62 inches)
mouth diameter=245 mm (9.64 inches)
base (rim) diameter=274mm (10.78 inches)
total weight of complete case=23.5 kg (51.8 lbs.)

Your case being 51cm in length with a smooth even case mouth, the original case could have been cut down on a lathe. This is a very common occurrence as people turned large casings like this into umbrella or walking cane stands/holders.

Still you’ve got a GREAT find!

During WW1 the Germans removed some of these gun tubes from older ships and converted them into railroad guns, see: kaisersbunker.com/cc/cc12.htm

Brian


#3

Thank you for the information- disappointing that it probably has been cut down, and it is the perfect height for an umbrella/cane stand, so that would make sense. Still, anytime I can buy a piece of history for “melt value” I feel like I’m getting a good deal. Are shortened shells of any value to collectors, or does it roll them over into souvenir/trench art status? Thanks again-