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Old August 22, 2011, 07:11 PM   #1
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20MM MK4 E.K.1944 ~ UNFIRED round?

Last year an aggressive beach refurbishment project took place near my house in Southern California. The process includes dredging tons of sand from beneath the waters directly offshore and pumping it back to the beach. In addition to a prehistoric sharks tooth, I found a 20MM round that appears to be UNFIRED. (see pics).

I’m wondering what type of round it is? Clearly the outer jacket has deteriorated leaving the inner “bullet” intact. Any idea what type of round this was?? I was told that the Japanese planes carried these rounds? I’d be interested to hear if anyone as a theory as to “how” it might have ended up in the Pacific ocean off Sunset Beach???

Thanks in advance…

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Old August 22, 2011, 07:38 PM   #2
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Boy, that is really encrusted. E.K. is Eastman Kodak. The round is a standard U.S. Navy 20mm cannon round, not Japanese.

Since you don't know what kind of projectile it has, I would strongly recommend you contact the police or the military for safe disposal. It may be badly encrusted but that does not mean there is not a live explosive shell under that crud. (I am not talking about the propellant charge, but about an explosive projectile, which could be a lot more dangerous and could go off if the round is dropped.)

If the projectile is explosive, it is illegal to own under federal law, one more reason for turning it in.


P.S. Please don't just toss it or put it in the trash for someone else to find and maybe be injured.

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Old August 22, 2011, 07:49 PM   #3
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Its a 20mm Oerlikon round made in 1944 by Eastman Kodak Co.
Be careful as there could be an explosive projectile in there and it looks corroded enough to be dangerous...
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Old August 22, 2011, 09:08 PM   #4
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Old August 23, 2011, 06:53 AM   #5
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"Its a 20mm Oerlikon round made in 1944 by Eastman Kodak Co."

Kodak made the cases only, since they had metal stamping and forming equipment for manufacturing cameras.

Once the cases were made, they were shipped out to, I believe, Watervliet Arsenal for loading.

Supposedly Kodak only made the cases during 1944, but some have turned up stamped 1943, and others claim to have seen cases stamped 1945.
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Old September 15, 2011, 02:57 AM   #6
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I'd expect the entire Pacific coast was fortified or had armed naval vessels offshore at many or most points during WWII, so a 20mm rd in the vicinity could be easily explained. I was on a hurricane cleanup for Ivan a few years back and a member of my team turned up a 40mm Bofors round in coastal Gulf Shores AL . The Hazmat officer pitched a holy fit.

Not an expert, but that projectile looks odd..........I dunno. I have a 20mm Ork. round that was used as a paper weight, engraved with dates from a mfg plant I suspect, that looks nothing like what you have.

The effects of corrosion may have "pruned" your projectile somehow.

Almost looks like a cannister round don't it?
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Old September 16, 2011, 12:58 PM   #7
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There were a lot of new fortifications built on both the East and West coasts during WWII, mostly all still there. But I'd be surprised that many 20-mm guns were in use in land fortifications, although I suppose it is highly likely.
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Old September 17, 2011, 05:41 AM   #8
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I would guess that proper disposal of this round would be the safest thing to do unless you are trying to join the leagues of Darwin Award candidates.

Let's see, explosive round; exposed to corrosive environment, unknown condition of propellent and explosive.
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Old September 17, 2011, 07:55 AM   #9
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It looks to me like an armour-piercing round that has had the outer jacket corroded off, but that doesn't mean that it's safe to handle. This would have been fired from a single- or double mounting of these:

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20mm , mk4

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