View Full Version : WWII Mortar Round

December 11, 2009, 11:44 AM
I hope this is the correct place for this post. I recently purchased at an antique store a supposed WWII mortar round. Story is that a local judge is a war collector and opening a war museum in Vincennes Indiana and had some overstock and consigned some for sale. Had a lot of helmets and daggers and bayonets also. The mortar is the typical torpedo shaped with the fins on the end. Appears to have been painted the olive drab green or possible came that way. There is no tip on it and appears to have a hard black porus material on the inside. I will post some pics later. I was wondering if someone could point me to a website to research it. I couldn't find any writing on it although it may be covered by the paint. I only gave 30 dollars for it so not really worried about the value as it was worth that for the uniqueness and fact it looks cool sitting on my cabinet in my gun room. I assume there is no laws regarding this since it is not live. Thanks for any info and again I will post some pics later.

December 11, 2009, 11:49 AM
Here are a couple of quick links to get you started:


See if you can determine the size first. Use calipers to measure the diameter at its widest point, and the total length. Is it U.S.?

December 11, 2009, 12:21 PM
Sounds like a practice round or a dummy. Some practice rounds had colored powder inside for marking hits. Since it is an inert, it is legal to own.

December 11, 2009, 01:21 PM
From the info on the second link it appears it might be an M56. It is the approximate same weight as described and has the same appearance. I assume is a US unsure though. The tag just stated WWII mortar. The black porus material inside looks almost like lava rock. So I assume could be some kind of powder exposed to certain elements like water and age. My descriptions are pretty accurate but can't do the same as photos so I will post some later. Is there someplace where I can get more of these as I would like more to display and am I lekely to find them at the same price.

December 11, 2009, 04:14 PM
I got a practice bomb from a fighter here, it is totally inert and nothing more than 20 pounds of dead iron with fins attached. Modern inert ammo is painted blue, or with a blue band on it. US only, though. As long as you know it is inert, then it is only a paperweight and legal. Except on school grounds, where probably even a picture of one is a total suspension. :mad:

F. Guffey
December 11, 2009, 06:33 PM
Before the Internet I read an article about a curious artillery round setting on the desk of the Queen of England, it was given to her as a souvenir, there was no mystery as to where it came from, for what ever reason someone visiting was more than curious about why the round would be setting on her desk, he did not say FREEZE!!! NO BODY MOVE!!!! He did act responsibly and had the assembled round removed, sure enough during testing it went off, it was not set for altitude etc, it had a detonator, when the front stops and the rear continues to move, it goes off. When asked why the round got his attention the visitor said it was the detonator.

F, Guffey

December 12, 2009, 02:41 AM
That's the same round we used in the early 70's when I played mortarman, so I'd bet you could find them through surplus stores, I doubt that cheap though.

December 12, 2009, 09:54 AM
Here are some pics of the mortar. As you can see the ignition cartridge is still in tact and the primer not shot. I am still urious as to what the material on the inside is. It is a little less porous than lava like previously stated and more so like an iron ore or omething like an element rock. Also the fuse appears to have been broken off as opposed to unscrewed. Their is what appears to be a rolled iprinted stamp on the body of the mortar but it is unreadable as the body has been painted recently (I believe). Any ideas. And should i be concerned over the material on the inside. Thanks.

December 12, 2009, 09:59 AM
Here are some pis of the inner material. Sorry for the last 2 being blurry but the close i zoomed the more blurry it became.

December 12, 2009, 10:11 AM
After looking at the 2nd link posted eralier on this thread on my home computer it obviously isnt an M56(looking at the web page on my phone chopped off the top portion of the m56 image). I am guessing by the weight it is possible the M45 because when i weighed the mortar it was about 11 pounds.

December 12, 2009, 01:40 PM
That looks more to me like a 60 MM round.