I have acquired a 5"/38 shell casing, and would like to find out what some of the number and letters mean. The base identifies it as a 38 CAL. 5 IN MK 5, with a date of JUL 1945. The contractor was RMCO, but do not know what that is short for. After the RMCO appear 01 2431. There is a device in the center shapped like a Maltese Cross. Each of the four arms of the “cross” has one of the following: HW 172 MK. 131
It appears as if this “cross” was meant to be rotated as nescessary (I have not tried it)
In the center of the “cross” is a ring which appears to be made of nylon, and in the center of that is presumably where the firing pin hit the base of the shell. I have been given to understand that this was an Anti-Aircraft shell, but do not know for sure. All above information is stamped into the metal.
Additionally, there are some BLACK LETTERS and numbers which have been machine/hand stamped. They are: BI 939 McA.45 and 1018 NCIcIS. I am assuming that these were added after the shell was made by the Contractor. Would appreciate any information that the Forum can contribute. The “45” above appears below the “HW”, and the “13-1” appears bellow the “MK.”