Tag Archive for 'shell'

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

17 cm Steel Cartridge Case, Spiral Design

17 cm Steel Cartridge Case, Spiral Design

This is a large caliber steel cartridge case of different design from those customarily used by the Germans. The body is a wound cylinder made of 0.084 inch thick sheet steel three and four turns thick and turned under at the base to fit into a base assembly. The base assembly is provided with a retaining plate, screwed collar, and a disc which seals the cartridge case and prevents the escape of gases through the base. The disc is of cardboard; all the other parts are of steel.

A shallow spiral groove, about 0.003 inch deep and .23 inch wide, is rolled into the inner surface of the body under such pressure as to show the marks of the groove on the outer surface of the case. A layer of black wax is used between the overlapping coils of the body to assist waterproofing. The upper surface of the cardboard disc is also covered with black wax. It appears that this case is manufactured by coiling the sheet approximately to shape, placing the body in a die and rolling to shape with an internal roller. The base, retaining plate, and screwed collar have completely machined surfaces. All the parts have a thin surface film of oxide for protection from corrosion. This is not completely effective.

The Vickers Diamond Hardness of the body increases from about 105 near the base to 133 near the mouth. It is approximately 222 across the base except in the primer boss where it is about 280. On the retaining plate the V. D. H. varies from 160 at the center to 172 on the rim. The screwed collar is 175 V. D. H.

German: p. 314

28 cm Rifled Projectile

German 28 cm Rifled Projectile

This pre-engraved projectile recovered in Italy is used for long range bombardment. It has longitudinal inclined steel splines and a single one-inch-wide copper band that acts as a gas seal. The splines are set at a slight angle to the axis of the projectile and are 19.2 inches in length. In loading the projectile, the splines are lined up with the rifling of the gun tube. The shell is 33 inches in length, exclusive of the windshield. Fragments indicate that the windshield would add an extra two feet to the length.

A nose percussion fuze (AZ 35 K) and a base fuze (BD Z 35K) are fitted. The Germans are reputed to have four types of 28 cm railway guns able to employ this type of projectile. They are: 28 cm Br. N. Kan E.; 28 cm K. 5 (E); 28 cm K. 5/1 (E); and 28 cm K. 5/2 (E).


Caliber         280 mm (11.023 ins.)
Weight (approx.) 550 lbs.
Length (excluding windshield) 33 ins.
German: p. 312

8 cm Wurfgranate 39: 8 cm Mortar Shell “Bouncing Betty”

8 cm Wurfgranate 39: 8 cm Mortar Shell - Bouncing Betty

The 8 cm Wgr. 39 consists of a nose fuze, front cap, rear body, and tail assembly. The body, which is separated from the cap at the ogive, has a standard shape and TNT filling. The cast nose cap fits over a cylindrical boss, concentric with the longitudinal axis of the projectile. This cap is secured to the boss by four shear pins that extend through the cap and the boss. The seam where the two parts are joined is then shellacked to form a watertight seal.

An impact type, nondelay fuze is screwed into the cap; inside the cap is a plastic container of about 1 1/2 ounces of smokeless powder. Under the charge, screwed into the projectile body, is an iron plug with a small axial hole through it. This plug separates the smokeless powder charge from the combination delay pellet and booster which is in an aluminum container.

The tail assembly is a standard type, having the usual base charge, ring increments, and fin assembly.

Upon impact, the nondelay fuze ignites the smokeless powder charge, sending a flash through the hole in the separating plug, setting off the delay pellet. The explosion from the first charge shears the pins holding the nose cap to the projectile body, and throws the shell from 5 to 10 feet into the air. In the meantime, the booster detonates the main TNT bursting charge at approximately the moment when the projectile is at the height of its bounce. This gives the effect of an air burst without the use of a precision time fuze. Height of the burst is governed by the angle of the shell axis with the ground at the time of impact.

     (A) Propellant increments
     (B) Propellant cartridge
     (C) Projectile body
     (D) False ogive
     (E) Point ignition fuze—Wgr. Z 38 st
     (F) Booster well
     (G) Booster capsule
     (H) Delay type detonator
     (I) Paper washer
     (J) Paper diaphragm
     (K) Plastic washer
     (L) Booster well adapter
     (M) Ejector capsule
     (N) Ejector capsule igniter

German: p. 309 (August 1, 1945)

10.5 cm “Sabot” Type H. E. Shell

10.5 cm Sabot Type H. E. Shell

This new type projectile consists of an 8.8 cm streamlined shell body fitted with centering and rotating band rings which permit it to be fired from a 10.5 cm weapon. Both the centering ring and rotating band ring are so designed that they become detached from the shell body under the influence of centrifugal force on leaving the muzzle of the gun. The advantage of such a design, provided it functions properly, is that a lighter weight projectile of smaller diameter is fired from a 10.5 cm weapon instead of the normal 10.5 cm projectile. The effect is to give a higher muzzle velocity and longer range for the 8.8 cm streamlined shell body than would be obtained with the standard 10.5 cm high explosive projectile. However, the effectiveness is reduced due to lower weight of projectile.

One disadvantage of this type of shell lies in the possibility of injury to friendly troops when the centering rings and rotating band are cast from the projectile. The centrifugal force would make these pieces into dangerous missiles.

The complete weight of the projectile is 23 pounds. Projectiles examined have been filled with a high explosive charge, and fitted with a percussion type nose fuze (AZ 23v.). The 15 cm shell of similar design employs the same fuze. The explosive trains of these projectiles are similar to those for the usual type of German high explosive shell.

German: p. 311