Tag Archive for 'ammunition'

28 cm Wurfkörper Spr.: 28 cm Rocket Projectile

28 cm Wurfkörper Spr.: 28 cm Rocket Projectile

This package-type rocket is a self-contained unit fired from a metal or wood crate. Firing is accomplished by “pointing” the crate at the target, resting the front part of the crate on a mound of dirt (or a similar rest) at an angle from 5° to 45°, and firing by means of a hand electrical firing system.

The propellant charge, contained in the motor tube, is in the form of one stick weighing 14 lb., 9 oz. with one central hole and eight annular holes.

Eight grooves are formed in the sides of the propellant stick, and celluloid tubes are fitted into these grooves. A length of quickmatch in the central hole is inclosed in a celluloid tube.

There are two igniters, one at the front and one at the rear of the propellant. The rear igniter consists of a cloth bag containing 10 grams (154 grains) of NC powder. The front igniter is a metal holder containing a flash composition with a layer of initiating composition.

The bursting charge is contained in the large section, directly forward of the rocket motor tube.

The booster, known as Zdlg. 36, consists of a cylindrical aluminum container filled with penthrite wax and perforated at the top to house a thimble-shaped detonator.

The fuze, Wgr. Z. 50, is a point-detonating or graze action type. The safety pin is removed before firing, leaving the two centrifugal bolts and a split ring to act as a safety feature in flight. The detonator is situated in the inertia pellet.

There are 26 jets at the end of the motor tube inclined approximately 12° right, giving it rotation in flight for stability. The internal diameter of the jets is 0.5 cm (.19 in.) and the external diameter 1 cm (.38 in.).


Weight (total)         181 lb.
Length (overall) 3 ft., 11 ins.
Length (body) 2 ft., 4 1/2 ins.
Length (tail) 1.85 ft.
Diameter (body) 11 ins.
Diameter (tail) .59 in.
Number of ports 26
Contents 110 lb. TNT
Range (maximum) at 42° 2,337 yds. (estimated)

German: p. 354

32 cm Wurfkörper M. Fl. 50: 32 cm Rocket Projectile (Incendiary)

32 cm Wurfkörper M. Fl. 50: 32 cm Rocket Projectile (Incendiary)

The operation of this rocket is very similar to that of the 28 cm Wurfkörper. It is fired from the crate, either metal or wood.

This rocket is stabilized by rotation due to the angle of the jets, of which there are 26 inclined at an angle of 14°. The internal throat diameter of the jets is 5.5 mm.

The motor tube is a solid forging, machined inside and out and threaded externally at both ends. The closed end screws into the bomb section; the open end receives the venturi block.

The propellant charge consists of a single multiperforated stick. It is supported at the venturi end on a flat grid held to the venturi block by means of a bolt. The grid consists of a ring 3/16 inch thick, 4 3/8 inches in external diameter, and 3 1/8 inch in internal diameter supported by six small cylindrical spacers 1/2 inch in diameter and 3/8 inch high from a flat plate 1/10 inch thick and 4 3/8 inches in diameter. The free space at the closed end of the 4 3/8 inches in diameter.

The ignition system consists of an electrical igniter inserted in place of the screw in the bolt in the center of the venturi block. Behind the igniter lies a bag of rough cloth containing 10 grams of the primary igniter composition in the form of six-pointed star-shaped flakes. A maintainer composed of compressed pellets in an aluminum container is situated at the closed end of the tube and acts as an igniter composition. The rapid transmission of the flash between these two is effected by the lengths of inflammable tubing housed in the conduits of the charge. The one in the center conduit is quickmatch; the tube is closed at each end by a gunpowder pellet.

A thin sheet of aluminum acts as a sealer at the venturi end. This does not appear to be sufficient to prevent the entrance of moisture. The bomb head contains 11 gallons of oil and a point-detonating fuze.


Weight (total)         174 lb. (approx.)
Weight of motor tube 23 lb., 14 oz.
Weight of motor tube (filled) 49 lb., 8 oz.
Weight of venturi block and bolt 9 lb., 6 oz.
Weight of propellant charge 14 lb., 7 oz.
Weight of grid 1 lb., 1 oz.
Length (total) 5.08 ft.
Length (body) 3.3 ft.
Length of motor tube (overall) 18 5/8 ins.
Diameter of bomb 32 cm
Diameter of motor tube (external) 5 1/2 ins.
Diameter of motor tube (internal) 5 ins.
Depth of motor tube (internal) 18 ins.
Range (maximum) at 42° 2,217 yds. (approx.)

German: p.353

15 cm Wurfgranat 41: 15 cm Rocket Projectile

15 cm Wurfgranat 41: 15 cm Rocket Projectile

This rocket is fired from the German 6-tube Nebelwerfer 41. It resembles an elongated shell with a bulbous ballistic cap. The propellant is contained in the forward part of the projectile and the filling in the rear behind the ring which houses the jets. The propellant powder burns from both ends, giving faster and more even burning. The nozzles are arranged around a projecting annular jet unit about two-thirds of the distance from the nose. The jets are set at an angle to give the projectile rotation in flight, thereby eliminating the use of fins.

A complete round of this rocket projectile is composed of the following components (refer to photograph above): (i) pressed metal ballistic cap, which is screwed onto the projectile; (j) a motor tube; (d) an aluminum disk containing a black powder igniter charge; (a) a pressed metal spacer upon which the sticks of powder rest; (e) seven sticks of uniperforated stick powder; (b) a cellulose igniter tube containing black powder; (c) a cast-iron trap, which is placed over the powder at the rear end of the motor tube; (f) a black powder igniter charge, which is placed over the cast-iron trap; (h) a nozzle assembly, which is screwed to the motor tube; (g) an electric primer, which is inserted in any of the 26 nozzle holes; (1) a pressed iron spacer which fits into the base of the nozzle assembly and provides an air void between the nozzle assembly and the TNT bursting charge; (h) a bursting charge of TNT or a chemical filler contained in a fiber container; (m) a machined steel bursting-charge container; (o) a booster adapter, which screws into the bursting-charge case; (n) a base percussion fuze, which screws into the booster adapter. This fuze is similar to most German base percussion fuzes and arms by centrifugal force.


There are three known types of these projectiles in existence, namely:
A. High Explosive (15 cm Wgr. 41 Spr.)—weight 70 lb.; length 36.6 ins.; maximum diameter 6.2 ins.
B. C. W. (15 cm Wgr. 41 Grünring)—content chemical
C. Smoke (15 cm Wgr. 41 Nb)—weight 79 lb.; weight of propellant 14 lb.

German: p. 356

21 cm Wgr. 42 Spr. Mit Hbgr. Z 35 K: 21 cm Rocket Projectile

21 cm Wgr. 42 Spr. Mit Hbgr. Z 35 K: 21 cm Rocket Projectile

This rocket is very streamlined and in outward appearance resembles an artillery projectile. All metal components of the body are machined inside and out and appear to be of mild steel.

A complete round of this ammunition is made up of the following components (see photograph above):

(a) Nozzle assembly containing 22 orifices evenly spaced around the rim of the nozzle. These orifices are set an an angle of 16° from the axis of the rocket. This angle gives the rocket clockwise rotation in flight besides providing forward thrust. In the center of the nozzle there is an ignition hole which receives the electric squib.

(b) Motor body having two bourrelet surfaces.

(c) High-explosive body containing 22.4 pounds of TNT. It is made of mild steel with fairly thick walls and is threaded on its base and screwed into the motor body.

(d) False ogive, which completes the streamlined contour of the rocket.

(e) Trap, a casting painted rust red. Between the trap and the nozzle there is a tinfoil disk which is used as a moisture and dirt seal.

(f) Black powder base igniter.

(g) Igniter wick, a celluloid tube containing a charge of quickmatch.

(h) Propellant charge consisting of seven sticks 21.67 inches long and 2.46 inches in external diameter.

(i) Spacer to hold the head igniter in place and allow for the proper ignition of the entire propellant.

(j) Igniter.

(k) Booster cup.

(l) Point-detonating fuze.

(m) Wooden actuating rod.


Weight of projectile as fired         241.30 lb.
Weight of TNT bursting charge 22.40 lb.
Weight of propellant powder 39.50 lb.
Weight of high-explosive body 65.25 lb.
Weight of propellant body 87.75 lb.
Weight of nozzle assembly 5.12 lb.
Length 49.21 ins.
Diameter 8.27 ins.

German: p. 355

Gr. 39 Rot HL C: 10.5 cm Hollow Charge Ammunition

Gr. 39 Rot HL C: 10.5 cm Hollow Charge Ammunition

This projectile, which is fired from the German 10.5 cm L.F.H. 18 and L.F.H. 18M, has a steel case with a 1/8 inch cement liner built up on the wall of the filler chamber. This liner extends from the base to about one-half the length of the chamber. The ogive is composed of a metal resembling an aluminum alloy or German light metal. It screws into the projectile, holding all components of the filler in place.

The fuze, AZ 38, is made of aluminum and carries the primer detonator. It is armed by centrifugal force, and contains no other safety features. There are no delay adjustments, all functioning being instantaneous on percussion.

The explosive filler, composed of cyclonite with 5% of montan wax, is pressed into two pellets and enclosed in a waxed paper carton. A central hole is bored through both pellets for the full length of the charge. The forward pellet is hollowed out to accommodate a hemispherical metal liner. The aluminum flash tube, which passes through the hole in the center of the explosive pellets, is attached to the liner by means of a pressed collar. A heavy metal collar or baffle is attached to a washer on the rim of the liner. The purpose of the baffle may be to direct the flame of the primer detonator down through the flash tube, or it may have a use in developing the jet effect of the hollow charge.

A booster pellet of PETN and montan wax is contained in a cylindrical metal cup at the base of the rear pellet; a detonator in an aluminum case is located in the upper portion of this explosive in direct alinement with a flash hole in the bottom of the booster cup. This booster is ignited by the combined flame and blast of the fuze detonator which passes through the flash tube.


Cartridge case, length         6.10 ins.
     diameter at mouth 4.48 ins.
     diameter of rim 4.91 ins.
Projectile as fired 26 lb., 14 oz.
Explosive filler w/o booster 3 lb., 4.58 oz.
Primer detonator .07 oz.
Booster explosive w/o detonator .18 oz.
Detonator (in booster pellet) .03 oz.
Wt. of normal propelling charge         5 lb., 3.43 oz.

German: p. 310

8.8 cm Pzgr. patr.: 8.8 cm A.P.C.B.C., H.E. Ammunition

8.8 cm Pzgr. patr.: 8.8 cm A.P.C.B.C., H.E. Ammunition

The German 8.8 cm A.P.C.B.C., H.E. ammunition consists of an armor-piercing capped projectile of conventional design, crimped in a primed brass cartridge case. The projectile is loaded with a TNT bursting charge and fuzed with a base-detonating fuze containing a tracer. The brass cartridge case holds a double base, single-perforated propelling charge with a nitrocellulose powder igniter and a short percussion type primer.

The projectile as fired weighs 20.71 pounds. Both the projectile body and the armor-piercing cap are made of steel. The cap is soldered to the body, and a sheet steel windshield is attached to the cap by a series of spot welds. The large fuze body occupies a considerable part of the explosive cavity which is comparatively large for an armor-piercing projectile. The weight of the explosive charge is approximately 1.8% of the total weight of the projectile. The bursting charge is contained in an aluminum case conforming to the contour of the cavity except that the forward end is flat. A molded plastic button which conforms to the contour of the cavity is located between the front of the charge case and the small forward end of the cavity. This button acts as a cushion for the charge upon impact of the projectile on the target. A tar-like compound fills the space between the projectile walls and the aluminum charge case to prevent the case from slipping upon rotation of the projectile.

The pressed bursting charge has 5.5% wax blended with it. The base fuze has a steel body with a threaded extension at the base end to receive a tracer assembly.

The fuze has a slight delay and arms on centrifugal force.


Type of ammunition         A.P.C.B.C., H.E.
Weight of complete round         32.74 lb.
Weight of projectile         20.71 lb.
Weight of bursting charge         37 lb. (1.8% of wt. of proj.)
Weight of propellant         2,471 grams
Weight of fuze with tracer and detonator assembly         2.18 lb.

German: p. 308

5 cm Pzgr. patr. 40 Pak: 5 cm Arrowhead Ammunition

5 cm Pzgr. patr. 40 Pak: 5 cm Arrowhead Ammunition

This fixed round of ammunition is fired from the old model of German 5 cm short-barrel tank gun. The projectile has a plastic needlepoint ballistic cap, a mild steel projectile body, a tungsten carbide core, and a tracer. The cartridge case contains a propelling charge of diethylene glycol dinitrate tubular stick powder, and a charge of nitrocellulose granular igniter powder. An electric primer containing a quickmatch and black powder charge is also used.

The center of the projectile body is trimmed down, lightening the round and giving the ammunition an extremely high muzzle velocity. Armor-penetrating qualities are very good, but can be used only for short ranges due to the instability of the projectile in flight. On impact with armor plate, the plastic ballistic cap shatters and the tungsten carbide core is the only part that penetrates.

The projecile is unusual in that the forward bearing surface acts as the rotating band, and the rear bearing surface as the bourrelet. The rear bearing surface is in two parts, due to the crimping groove dividing it.


Weight of complete round         5 lb., 3 oz.
Weight of projectile as fired 1 lb., 15.86 oz.
Weight of tracer composition (kind not known) 0.12 oz.
Weight of primer composition (quickmatch and black powder) 0.07 oz.
Weight of igniting charge (nitrocellulose granular) 0.45 oz.
Weight of propellant 1 lb., 2.69 oz.
Length of complete round (overall) 14.480 ins.
Length of projectile w/tracer cup 5.75 ins.
Length of cartridge case 11.342 ins.
Diameter of bourrelet 1.950 ins.
Diameter of rotating band 2.269 ins.
Diameter of body midway of projectile 1.258 ins.

German: p. 307

3.7 Stielgranate 41: 3.7 cm Stick Grenade

3.7 Stielgranate 41: 3.7 cm Stick Grenade Hollow-Charge Antitank

This deadly device is a hollow charge finned bomb for use on the 37 mm German Pak. It is believed that this type of ammunition was developed for the purpose of making this obsolescent gun more effective for antitank use.

The stick bomb which is made of pressed steel has a steel rod which fits into the bore and a perforated sleeve which fits around the barrel of the gun. The hollow charge is at the rear of the steel cup (or cone) and consists of two blocks of TNT with cyclonite. A nose fuze of the instantaneous percussion type and an instantaneous tail fuze are used. The nose fuze is used for impact against armor and the tail fuze is for graze action. Both fuzes arm on setback. The propelling cartridge consists of a steel case and is charged with tubular stick powder, an igniting charge of granular powder, and a percussion type primer.

Twenty-nine of these grenades were tested at Aberdeen. One was statically detonated against the face of 7-inch homogeneous armor plate. It penetrated completely, leaving a hole 2 1/8 inches wide at the face and 1 1/8 inches at the rear. The other rounds were fired from a German 37 mm A.T. gun for which they were designed. Range was found to be 203 yards at 5° elevation and 857 yards at 25° elevation. Accuracy was hard to determine because of the inexperienced gun crew.


Caliber of rod       37 mm
Weight of grenade as fired18 lb., 12 oz.
Weight of burster5 lb., 5 oz.
Weight of propelling cartridge1 lb., 6 oz.
Overall length of round 29 1/8 ins.
Diameter of projectile body6 1/4 ins.
Types of fuze 1—P. D. Instantaneous
2—B. D. Instantaneous
Average velocity350 f/s
Average pressure18,600 p.s.i.
     5° elevation203 yds.
     25° elevation857 yds.

German: p. 306

81 mm Antiaircraft Mortar Projectile

81 mm Antiaircraft Mortar Projectile

This antiaircraft projectile, fired from the 81 mm barrage mortar, is composed of three sections. The rear portion consists of a primer, black powder charge, propelling charge, 15-second delay train, and a black powder ejecting charge. The explosive cylinder, or middle section, comprises a 40-second delay pellet in a central cylinder and three H.E. pellets cast around the delay element. The forward end section contains a wooden nose plug, two parachutes, and a suspension cord.

The projectile is slid down the mortar tube in a manner similar to the firing of a standard mortar shell. Upon striking the firing pin, the primer is ignited, and it, in turn, sets off the loose black powder in the base of the round. The black powder ignites the propellant and the 15-second delay train. The shell is propelled from the mortar and continues in flight until the delay train ignites the ejecting charge which forces out the wooden nose plug, the two parachutes, the suspension cord, and the explosive cylinder. At the same time, the 40-second delay pellet is ignited. The explosive cylinder is suspended by a small parachute attached to the cylinder by 12-inch strands, and by a larger parachute attached to the cylinder by the 30-foot suspension cord. The end of the suspension cord is covered with match composition and acts as a pull igniter. If an airplane strikes the suspension cord of the floating high explosive assembly, the jerk on the cord pulls the end of the cord through the primer, causing detonation of the high explosive. If the pull igniter is not functioned, the burning train of the 40-second delay pellet reaches the detonator and sets off the explosive cylinder.

An 81 mm flare shell, identical in external appearance except for color markings, is also used. It contains two parachutes and a flare, apparently of a magnesium composition. When the projectile is in flight, a 15-second delay train sets off an ejecting charge of black powder which forces out the nose plug, parachutes, and flare. The burning of the ejecting charge ignites the flare, which floats earthward on the parachutes.


Caliber        81 mm
Length (overall) 21 3/8 ins.
Diameter of cylinder 1 9/16 ins.
Size of fins 7/8 in. x 4 3/4 ins.
Color Black with tan nose plug

Japanese: p. 310.1 (May 1, 1945)

7.7 mm Explosive Cartridge

Japanese Explosive Cartridge

This fixed round of ammunition consists of a brass cartridge case and a high explosive projectile. The semi-rimless case is tapered, forming a neck which fits over the projectile. The top of the neck is coned into the cannelure of the bullet. The base of the case is recessed to take a simple percussion type primer, and the rest of the case is filled with a propelling charge of graphited nitro-cellulose grains, about half of which, in the specimens examined, had a very fine axial perforation.

The brass projectile is cylindrical in shape with a truncated ogival nose. It contains a brass inner compartment, ogival in shape and open at the base, and a hammer consisting of a lead antimony plug encased in a brass sheath. The rear of the projectile is also open, the walls being turned in to retain the hammer. Both the main projectile and the inner compartment. are filled with the explosive charge, a mixture of PETN and RDX. A white felt washer pressed into the base of the inner compartment protects the explosive charge from the effect of setback when the round is fired.

When the projectile strikes a target, the hammer in the rear end sets forward crushing the explosive against the walls of both the inner and main compartments, causing the projectile to explode.


Caliber        7.7 mm (.303 in.)
Weight of complete round 26.15 grms.—.915 oz.
Length of complete round 3 3/32 ins.
Length of cartridge case 2 9/32 ins.
Weight of cartridge case (without percussion cap) 14.93 grms.—.523 oz.
Weight of projectile 10.69 grms.—.374 oz.
Length of projectile 1 15/32 ins.
Maximum diameter 0.310 in.
Thickness of main compartment walls 0.021 in.
Weight of main compartment 2.95 grms.—.103 oz.
Thickness of inner compartment walls 0.008 in.
Weight of inner compartment 0.20 grms.—.007 oz.
Height of inner compartment 0.390 in.
Length of hammer 0.700 in.
Weight of hammer 6.65 grms.—.233 oz.
Diameter of hammer 0.258 in.

Japanese: p. 221 (April 1, 1945)