dating of military shell casing

#1
Hi everyone,

Unfortunately I am completely uneducated when it comes too shell casing as I am just 17. I would appreciate any help you could all offer to date a military shell casing that I have inherited.

Many thanks, Mike
 
#2
Is it a shell (projectile that is fired from the gun) or a cartridge case (empty brass tube)? What markings are stamped or printed on the item? A picture would be ideal!
 
#3
Good morning Mike..

Dating ammunition items is not that easy as each nation has it's own marking scheme.. Some have a manufacturing date, but for others you just have to go on dating by type. Cartridge cases are usually marked on the base.

There are a number of sources for tracking ammunition markings on the internet..


The Ammunition Pages are a good source:

Ammunition Pages - Ammunition of the world

Anthony Williams site is also good...

CANNON, MACHINE GUNS AND AMMUNITION

Please remember that collecting ammunition is potentially dangerous and that you must never pick stuff up from ranges..

If you can post the size and any markings on your case, or even better, post a photo, then someone may be able to help..

Best of luck...
 
#4
Thanks for the replies guys,
Its an empty brass looking tube marked with it saying 18 pdr on the base more details and hopefully pictures to follow
 
#5
The 18pdr Field Artillery piece and it's associated ammunition is WW1 era. It was maintained between the wars and converted to 25pdr during WWII.

So the date of your cart case could span a 40 year period. There will often be a date also on the base, but this could have worn over time.

Get a used wet tea bag and wipe it over the base, this may highlight some markings without damaging the case.
 
#6
Ok the bottom reads,
CF. 18pr 2( in roman numerals). Lot 1696. 11/15. Bsc S ( the s being in a square)
Inner circle: no.1/2 ( 2 again in roman numerals). Lot 1910. 10/15 bsc and finally us in a circle. I shall take a photo and upload it In a short while
 
#7
Ok the bottom reads,
CF. 18pr 2( in roman numerals). Lot 1696. 11/15. Bsc S ( the s being in a square)
Inner circle: no.1/2 ( 2 again in roman numerals). Lot 1910. 10/15 bsc and finally us in a circle. I shall take a photo and upload it In a short while
10/15 probably denotes October of 1915 as date of manufacture. BSC is probably name of the manufacturer.
 
#8
Ok the bottom reads,
CF. 18pr 2( in roman numerals). Lot 1696. 11/15. Bsc S ( the s being in a square)
Inner circle: no.1/2 ( 2 again in roman numerals). Lot 1910. 10/15 bsc and finally us in a circle. I shall take a photo and upload it In a short while
Thanks mike,

I do have a complete technically correct answer for you, but I want to see tossers response - just for a laugh.

Did you try the tea bag tip? Did it work?
 
#9
i can clearly see all the stampings on the bottom of the shell so no need for a tea bag and please find the photos attached IMG_0619(2).jpg IMG_0611(2).jpg if you require better pictures a have the original high quality ones on the DSLR which i could email for you.
again thanks for all your help
 
#10
The very large "CF" is most likely the intials for "Chilwell Factory" in Nottingham which was the largest filling factory in the country during the great war and site of one of the largest ever explosions in the UK.

To this day it is still the location of a large depot.
 
#13
Have a look at the Western Front Museum web site. they show photos of shell markings.

CF definitely stands for Charge loaded with cordite / Full charge
 
#14
Hubba Hubba Ammo Tech porn!
 
#16
Tosser, you really are a special turd, you must have 30 wiki tabs open researching this. If your that desperate ill have a word with the RE see if they can issue you an ASH.

Do you actually understand the markings?

Step aside, ATO coming through. If I don't quite get something correct, I'll accept corrections from HE117 and only HE117.

18PR II - 18 Pounder Mark 2

The arrow (known as a crowsfoot) - British Army

CF - Cordite Filled (it does NOT indicate full charge). After 1916 when the majority of cart cases were refilled CF denoted Cordite Full Charge, CR denoted Cordite Reduced Charge (half).

BSC - manufacturer, in this case Bethlehem Steel Corporation a US company manufacturing for the British under contract.

S in Square - Scoville, a subsidiary plant of BSC.

11/15 - month and year of manufacture.

Lot 1696 - is the lot number of the cart case. Ammunition is manufactured in lots of a certain quantity (dependent on munition). A lot is deemed as homogenous.

This would be the empty cart case details, in this instance the cart cases will ave been moved from the US and filled at an ROF filling factory. The propellant lot details will be recorded on the outer ammo container (and on a label in the lid).

The inner circle is the percussion primer No 1 mark 2. You'll be able to work out the other markings. The US in a circle simply indicates it was manufactured in the US (I don't know why it's on the primer and not cart case).

When the munition is ready for use it will consist of the cart case, propellent and filled primer. These will have their individual lot numbers. When grouped together to form a complete munition they become a batch and given its own batch number. This is identifiable from lot numbers by being underlined.
 
#17
Hubba Hubba Ammo Tech porn! BSC, British Cycle Thread (the thread in the base of the cartridge case for insertion of the primer). Lot number on the base of the Primer, 1910. Possibly 1st lot of 9th month 10th year so 1/sept/1910 Pre 1969. Seem to remember on tour of the museum at Kineton instructor said the CF stood for cordite filled when asked. As to the lot no on the Cartridge case itself could be a local lot number but I think that would be prefixed by a depot number. Of course I could be spouting complete drivel as I've downed 4 bottles of Old Tom,beer you can chew! So will probably slated & corrected by much wiser heads on here!..

I was right and bow to the font of land service ammunition knowledge that is dingerr :)
 
#18
It wouldn't be a local lot number from that era that's an Ammo Tech thing.

BSC is an engineering/manufacturing term. It may appear on designs, but wouldn't be marked on munitions.
 
#20
Fantastic read, nice one dingerr. I may have another challenge for you next time in my office. One of the Md's paid a ridiculous amount for a shell casing mounted to a piece of mahogany, which he uses as a door stop. Well, not being office but site based every time us lowly site scum have to go into the office we always make a point of either slamming it on the door or kicking it over. Over the years there's not a great deal left of the mahogany so im sure the batch numbers etc are all exposed by now haha.
 

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