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Old July 2, 2014, 05:47 AM   #1
MMDeveloper
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Artillery projectile identification (suspect American and WWII)

Found Artillery - Imgur

Found this artillery shell while metal detecting on a populated beach in St. Augustine, FL. On the same quarter mile stretch of beach, I've also found several 50 cal rounds in parallel rows as if the beach had been strafed at one point. I understand the dangers and those have been repeated to me on several sites, I just want to know what this came from.
  • This shell is 8.5" long
  • The rear of the shell is 2 15/16" in diameter
  • The nose of the shell is 2 3/8" in diameter
  • The inside of the nose is threaded and is 1 5/8" inside diameter
  • The rifled portion is brass and is 3 1/8" in diameter

These measurements are not exact as rust may be throwing them off a little. The overall composition of this item appears to be steel with a brass rifling ring. It's pretty heavy but not heavy enough to make me think it's solid steel.

There are markings on the "head stamp" area, some of which are legible. In no particular order, I can make out these markings:
  • DOD 638 37
  • MOD 2K-HW 00
  • 876 LBS
  • COM FL WAA
It's pretty corroded so I wrote down what I THINK some of the letters are. There are other markings stamped on it but too corroded to make out.
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Old July 2, 2014, 06:58 AM   #2
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I'm guessing it's from an M116 howitzer, which was a 75MM gun used from WWII through Vietnam.
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Old July 2, 2014, 07:21 AM   #3
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It's a 75mm shell. For what, exactly, I don't know. The location for the base fuse makes me think that it's some sort of armor piercing round as opposed to a nose-fused high explosive.

My first inclination would be something for a Sherman tank type gun, but the M62 APC shell had a three part driving band.

I wonder if it might have been something like an M66 HEAT round for the 75mm Pack Howitzer...
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Old July 2, 2014, 09:57 AM   #4
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As it was found on a beach, 3" naval round would be my first guess.
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Old July 2, 2014, 10:05 AM   #5
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"As it was found on a beach, 3" naval round would be my first guess."

Maybe... except...

It shows at least some indications that it's an armor piercing shell. I know of no Navy guns that used 3" AP shells with base fuses.
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Old July 2, 2014, 11:08 AM   #6
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do my eyes deceive me or is the top shell the one in the picture... according to the page I got this from it's a 75mm M48 circa WWII.
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Old July 2, 2014, 12:04 PM   #7
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Nope, I don't think so.

The M48 High Explosive shell was nose fused and had a distinct boattail.

See the pictures of this training dummy that was for sale...

http://g503.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=27&t=222511
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Old July 2, 2014, 12:05 PM   #8
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Hey MM,

What does it weigh? That might give some hint...
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Old July 2, 2014, 01:10 PM   #9
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EOD

County EOD confirms it's an M66 HEAT round from the M116 Howitzer. Although it's missing the nose cone, it still has its detonator and explosives inside. They're en-route right now to pick it up for demolition
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Old July 2, 2014, 01:21 PM   #10
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HEAT... High Explosive AntiTank?
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Old July 2, 2014, 01:25 PM   #11
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Well that would have made a good 4th of July BANG
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Old July 2, 2014, 01:25 PM   #12
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"HEAT... High Explosive AntiTank?"

Yes.

"County EOD confirms it's an M66 HEAT round from the M116 Howitzer. Although it's missing the nose cone, it still has its detonator and explosives inside. They're en-route right now to pick it up for demolition."

Did someone examine it? Otherwise, how would they know?
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Old July 2, 2014, 02:02 PM   #13
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Clearly this thing was picked up and moved around if only to take the pics we see.

I wouldnt be keen to handle a old piece of ordnance like that. Might be the last bright flash you see
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Old July 2, 2014, 02:19 PM   #14
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The ordinance call went to my county, they came, looked at it, took pictures of it, relayed the event to the county that it came from as they have an actual EOD department. Those guys said that they've had a few calls of this exact nature over the years and could tell by looking at it that's what it was.

Why they haven't torn that beach apart blows my mind, given the ordinance finds on it. No telling what else is yet to be discovered there.
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Old July 2, 2014, 02:37 PM   #15
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Guess the citizens of London aren't the only ones who have to watch what they step on.
So, if you got blown up would that count as a WW2 casualty or a current one?
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Old July 2, 2014, 03:41 PM   #16
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Yeah, it's a very popular tourist area where I found this and other munitions.
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Old July 2, 2014, 05:06 PM   #17
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bummer that it was still live... would have made an interesting mantlepiece.

on the plus side... I was close at least
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Old July 2, 2014, 06:17 PM   #18
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since you found it, do you get to watch them blow it up?
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Old July 2, 2014, 07:13 PM   #19
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I asked if the blowing up was a private party or not, they said that they didn't give a **** if I watched. When the EOD finally arrived they made us go inside. They picked it up, left, never got to talk to them again. 2 hours later there was a window-rattling THUD, where they blew it up.

Was hoping maybe one of the deputies would bring back a souvenir or something but nothing :|
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Old July 2, 2014, 08:59 PM   #20
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There was a post a while back by a guy who had had an "old shell" by his fireplace for years, where it got hot and also kicked around quite a bit. Finally, he decided to call the police EOD and ask about it. It was a very much loaded and fuzed 75mm shell; which they took away. While many explosives are not especially sensitive to heat (black powder excepted), having the shell fall into his fireplace might have had some unpleasant "repercussions".

Jim
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Old July 3, 2014, 07:51 PM   #21
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some of Floridas beaches are known to have unexploded ordinance on and in them
about ounce a year in, Fort Pierce Florida, the military is called to dispose of these items (Fort Pierce was a UDT and naval training center during WW2)
if you encounter anything like that on the beach call 911
they will contact the correct agency for disposel

DONOT poke, move or disturb it (it may be unexploded )
this ordinance has caused many many injuries
some are concussion, shrapnel, phosphorus, duds or inert practice rounds
and you have no way of determining which it is
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Old July 6, 2014, 09:59 AM   #22
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I understand French farmers are still getting blown up with ordnance from the Great War.
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Old July 6, 2014, 10:34 AM   #23
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There's something like 70 square miles of France that are still uninhabited because it was part of one of the most heavily bombarded places on earth. The French department of the interior responsible for clearing munitions says that it's pretty much impossible to ever recover those areas.

In Belgium and other parts of Europe it's called the Iron Harvest. Winter pushes shells, shrapnel, and other debris to the surface. Sometimes people are killed when a plow snags a shell, either high explosive or just as often, gas.

It's estimated that of the billion or so shells fired during the course of the war, about 1/3rd of them never detonated.

Some interesting photos here:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...-Flanders.html
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Old July 8, 2014, 06:13 PM   #24
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I'm in Saint Augustine all the time and didn't know you could find stuff like this! Most I've ever found is some sea glass. Do you routinely find things like that while metal detecting?
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