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Old May 15, 2016, 03:47 PM   #1
Casings
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40mm shell casing - need identification please

I have an expended 40mm shell casing from 1945, and an unknown dud fuse. I am having trouble pinpointing exactly what they are. Anyone out there know? And, if they do, what's it worth? I've had it since I was young, but I need to clear out the extra stuff I have. Photos are attached.

The bottom of the shell reads:

Lot No. 1987
40mm MK 2
5-45
A triangle symbol with an L in it

The side reads:
UG_215
McA_53






Thanks
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 40mm-A.jpg (224.2 KB, 187 views)
File Type: jpg 40MM-B.jpg (93.8 KB, 184 views)
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Old May 15, 2016, 04:48 PM   #2
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40MM Bofors AA brass.

NavWeaps page
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Old May 15, 2016, 04:52 PM   #3
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Now, let me see. If I neck that down to .223, and use a 55 grain bullet....

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Old May 15, 2016, 07:36 PM   #4
Phil McGrath
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^^^^^^^^^^^^^It would vaporize itself^^^^^^^^^^ Doesn't Barrett make a 416?
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Old May 15, 2016, 07:51 PM   #5
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I believe I can get a 40mm Blackout upper!
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Old May 15, 2016, 10:02 PM   #6
444
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I believe I fired quite a few of those rounds out of the M42 Duster.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M42_Duster


This has been a long time ago, and I actually have two fired cases from it and I think we are talking about the same thing.

In the early 1980s, I was a member of a National Guard Unit that still used the M42 Duster long after the active duty Army quit using them.

This was MOS 16F and at the time of my involvement, AIT was at Ft. Bliss Tx.
https://www.amlot.org/u-s-army-1421/

I believe this same gun platform was also used as a naval anti-aircraft gun. As you can read at the above link, the Duster was used in Vietnam against ground targets.

The rounds we fired were HEITSD (I think that is what they were called). High Explosive, Incendiary, Tracer, Self-Destruct. We shot them at radio controlled drones that trailed a streamer behind them. As well as at ground targets. Somewhere I took part in a live fire exercise where several Dusters lit up a passenger car. Obviously it was not only completely destroyed but it actually rolled several times.

The rounds were contained in (I believe) a four round clip. There were two guns and two guys loading them. You dropped the rounds into the top where the clip lined up with guides. The spent cases and the clips ejected out the bottom of the vehicle. In practical use, since the guns fired full auto, you really needed two more guys handing the ammo to the two loaders. The ammo came in a steel can that had something like four clips in it. In addition to those guys, you had the gunner and the "Lead Setter". The gunner obviously fired the guns and aimed the guns. The "Lead Setter" sat on the other side of the guns and adjusted for lead: what this consisted of was a mechanical device that physically moved the sights as the "Lead Setter" watched the stream of tracers and he would steer the tracer stream into the target. The gun could be run manually with hand cranks or it could be electrically powered. You also had two sets of sights: one was just a steel ring type thing and the other was a glass plate very similar to a modern red dot sight. You sighted this all in by putting a metal cross hair device into the end of the barrel, then at the rear you put a mirror. You would then look down the breech of the gun and put the cross hairs on a target like 1000 yards away or something like that. Then you adjusted the sights to be aligned at the same place (bore sighting). There was more to it than that, but that is basically how it worked. You also had to do something with a gunners quadrant.............................

Again, this was over 30 years ago and I am somewhat hazy on the whole thing.
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How the farmers gave them ball for ball,
From behind each fence and farmyard wall,
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Then crossing the fields to emerge again
Under the trees at the turn of the road,
And only pausing to fire and load.

Last edited by 444; May 15, 2016 at 10:23 PM.
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Old May 20, 2016, 04:05 PM   #7
Mike Irwin
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40mm Bofors are still in service with the US military. They're part of the armament of AC-130 gunships.
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Old May 21, 2016, 02:17 PM   #8
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Back in the early 80's the US Army was pushing a new vehicle called the Sargent York. It also had a (Duel I think) 40 MM cannon on it. There was a bonus to re-up for a crew position on one. It was kind of like the Bradly, a rolling exploding target for Hinds. I think it just went away.
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Old May 21, 2016, 03:51 PM   #9
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Yep, the M247, which was to be the answer to the Soviet ZSU-23 series of armored AA vehicles.

It wasn't our finest moment in armored vehicle development.
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Old May 22, 2016, 01:59 AM   #10
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Bofors and ......?

Yeah, I'd call that a Bofors case. I had a fire crew that unearthed several of them on a detail along the AL/FL Gulf coast, they looked just like that, only still had projectiles. The Naval EOD people that came out resultantly, declared them Bofors ammo from the WWII era. The projectiles in the ones we discovered were some type of practice round, non HE.

The fuse looks big........the projectile associated must have been even bigger.
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Old May 22, 2016, 07:42 AM   #11
Mike Irwin
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That is the projectile, or at least the nose of one.

Compare it to the interts on this auction: http://www.gunauction.com/buy/4900021

I'm thinking, though, that that's some sort of training projectile or marker. That big... aluminum.... tank? under the nose looks like it would hold something other than explosive.
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Old May 22, 2016, 07:44 AM   #12
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Here's a pretty neat page on the Bofors. About halfway down the page there's a diagram of two shells.

http://maltacommand.com/bofors.html
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Old May 22, 2016, 07:46 AM   #13
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Here's some even better information on a modeler's forum. You have to go most of the way down the page, but it looks like green was the identifier for a high explosive 40mm shell...

http://www.shipmodels.info/mws_forum...4721&start=380

Some great pictures, too.
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Old May 22, 2016, 07:54 AM   #14
444
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Mike that webpage is interesting.

In those pictures you can easily see some of the stuff I was talking about: You can see those rounds in the four round clips. In the top picture you can see a guy that loaded a four round clip into the automatic loader. You can see the gunner, the "lead setter", and the sights. You can also see that, that gun is set up for manual operation with the hand cranks.

The gun on the M42 Duster is the same thing only there are two of them side by side. And the Duster allows "power mode" operation to run the turret using electric power provided by an on-board generator we called "Little Joe". The Duster also allowed sighting with a holographic type sight. The Duster also had a somewhat more sophisticated sighting arrangement.

I am not sure about what type of round that is in the picture. Typically, training rounds or inert rounds are painted blue. Maybe this website might shed some light on it ????
http://www.alternatewars.com/BBOW/Ma...o_Markings.htm
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You know the rest. In the books you have read
How the British Regulars fired and fled,
How the farmers gave them ball for ball,
From behind each fence and farmyard wall,
Chasing the redcoats down the lane,
Then crossing the fields to emerge again
Under the trees at the turn of the road,
And only pausing to fire and load.

Last edited by 444; May 22, 2016 at 08:00 AM.
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Old May 23, 2016, 01:17 AM   #15
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Keep in mind the 40 Bofors is still used on the AC-130 for air to ground attack.

A while back the .mil found an old WW2 stockpile of 40 Bofors rounds. They use/used them for training.
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Old May 23, 2016, 06:36 AM   #16
Mike Irwin
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"Keep in mind the 40 Bofors is still used on the AC-130 for air to ground attack."

Seems to be an echo in here....

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Old May 23, 2016, 04:22 PM   #17
SHR970
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Your fuse appears to be a WWII vintage Proximity Fuse for either a 3" or 5" AA gun; would need widest measurement to know.

Page

Another Page

Judging by the condition of the fuse, I doubt that it was a dud.....more like never sent up.
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Old May 23, 2016, 08:29 PM   #18
Mike Irwin
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Oh... dang...

You're right... I just assumed that the fuse/projectile nose was sitting closer to the camera, making it look bigger.
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Old May 24, 2016, 10:51 AM   #19
JimPage
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I flew Phantoms in SEA. One of our assigned missions was to escort the AC-130s (AKA Spectre) at night. That 40mm was most impressive!
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Old May 24, 2016, 10:13 PM   #20
Casings
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Quote:
Your fuse appears to be a WWII vintage Proximity Fuse for either a 3" or 5" AA gun; would need widest measurement to know.

Page

Another Page

Judging by the condition of the fuse, I doubt that it was a dud.....more like never sent up.
Looks to be a 2" diameter at the widest. Here's the bottom of it so you might determine what its usage history was.

Attached Images
File Type: jpg bottom.jpg (178.9 KB, 67 views)

Last edited by Casings; May 24, 2016 at 10:25 PM.
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Old May 25, 2016, 01:14 PM   #21
Mike Irwin
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Yep. That's a proximity fuse.
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Old May 25, 2016, 03:57 PM   #22
SHR970
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Quote:
Looks to be a 2" diameter at the widest.
Incorrect, by your photo it appears 2" wide at the base...not the widest place.

However, comparing your first picture vs. the first picture in my first link and your diameter of the base it would appear to belong to a 3" 50 caliber.

Edit to add: NavWeaps 3" /50 What they are listing as VT ammo means Variable Time. That was the name given to the fusing / round to hide the fact it was Radio Controlled Proximity.

Last edited by SHR970; May 25, 2016 at 04:05 PM.
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Old May 25, 2016, 05:43 PM   #23
Casings
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I didn't get my measurement from the photograph. The lens is so close to the fuse end that the photo itself is out of perspective completely.

See the shadow on the ruler... its protruding to the lens. The ruler is positioned on the lip of the cone.

Last edited by Casings; May 25, 2016 at 05:49 PM.
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