20mm round identification


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Fabio760
July 29, 2009, 07:09 AM
Hi im new here because I needed a definitive answer on a question.

Ok so my friend went out one day walking through the desert when he came upon random spent ammunition and he found a few(actually about 30)20mm rounds and said I could have few. I think wow cool these look cool for a project I had in mind. Upon inspection these didn't look malicious as in explosive or incendiary at least to my basic knowledge. However a couple of people have told me they might be HE of some sort and I think well how could they be just doesnt look like they would be, and after doing some research I found some clues to back my theory but nothing concrete. So for safety's sake I wanted to be 100% sure. They are blue with white numbering/lettering and have a silver tip(others found with these were slightly different in that they were all blue)so my question is are the rounds just training/dummy rounds like I believe or are they potentially explosive, which could be bad :uhoh: Also they seem to be a 2 piece round so can it be taken apart to prove they are non explosive?

Unfortuneatly since my camera is dead this is the best picture I have:
http://i324.photobucket.com/albums/k346/ABOMBER760/DSC05576.jpg

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maroast
July 29, 2009, 07:20 AM
Or, they could be depleted uranium.... just saying....

Mp7
July 29, 2009, 07:21 AM
correct me if im mistaken:
I believe the NATO colorcode for dummy-rounds
is blue.

Sam1911
July 29, 2009, 08:14 AM
I believe the NATO colorcode for dummy-rounds is blue.

Yeah, I think that's right ... I mean, that's why the UN paints their helmets that color.

Right? ;)

:D

Shung
July 29, 2009, 08:27 AM
it isnt the same blue thought... the UN blue is much lighter.. ;)

Sam1911
July 29, 2009, 08:31 AM
it isnt the same blue thought... the UN blue is much lighterPerhaps...but I think it means the same thing: Inert, Dummy :neener:

-Sam

Jubjub
July 29, 2009, 08:53 AM
Blue paint means TP (target practice) which is a solid bullet. The all blue ones are probably M55, the silver tip ones might be PGU-27. Same gun, but the PGU series are a bit higher velocity round. HE rounds would have yellow paint.

Shung
July 29, 2009, 09:30 AM
where do they come from btw ? ground or air based platforms ?

Jorg Nysgerrig
July 29, 2009, 11:18 AM
Also they seem to be a 2 piece round so can it be taken apart to prove they are non explosive?
As a general rule, taking something apart to prove that is non-explosive runs the risk of disproving that hypothesis in a spectacular way.

where do they come from btw ? ground or air based platforms ?
20mm, in the US, is most commonly found on fighter aircraft in the form of the M61. There are helicopter, land, and sea weapons that use it too, but those aren't nearly as common.

Acera
July 29, 2009, 12:11 PM
They could also be out of an Anzio bolt gun. If you look at the picture in the case, you can see some of the rounds. (BTW they are two different guns of the same caliber.) Is this area your are referring to available to the general public? If so check the gun stores and see if any of the folks know of a 20mm shooter in the area. But that many rounds in a small area would be a lot of work for a single civilian shooter, and expensive, buy you never know.
.
http://www.anzioironworks.com/20incase1-fp.jpg

http://www.anzioironworks.com/images/20mm022standingatangle-FP.jpg

jerkface11
July 29, 2009, 12:23 PM
With just the bullet there's really no way to tell what they are from.

Tom488
July 29, 2009, 12:42 PM
As a general rule, taking something apart to prove that is non-explosive runs the risk of disproving that hypothesis in a spectacular way.

http://www.theodoresworld.net/pics/0507/Ibugscartoonmage1.jpg

Fabio760
July 29, 2009, 12:47 PM
Ok so these are dummy/target practice correct?

Of course taking it apart to prove its not explosive wouldn't be the brightest of ideas but I meant after confirming their not HE or anything and because I need to drill into the backs of these using a press but owner of said press needs proof they're just dummy/inert. If they could be taken apart how would I go about doing so?



Thanks again for the help

Shung
July 29, 2009, 12:57 PM
20mm, in the US, is most commonly found on fighter aircraft in the form of the M61

That I knew well, and it is why I ask ;)

Could you possibly walk around where F-16s, F-15E's or even Navy F/A-18s do some straffing training ?

Maybe a "Cobra" helicopter from the Corps ?

I was more wondering what kind of ground vehicles could use a 20 mike mike in the US..

With just the bullet there's really no way to tell what they are from

no, but the location where they were found could give a clue.

Nate1778
July 29, 2009, 01:00 PM
If they could be taken apart how would I go about doing so?




Whelp I can tell you apparently 3500 ft/sec into sand won't do the trick. Take it to the buddies, put it in a vice, and hit the tip with a hammer. If it makes a "DING" sound, you should be good to go and you end up with a cool project. If it makes a "BOOM" sound, then you win a Darwin award, which is pretty cool in and of itself. Its a win win in my mind.........

Jorg Nysgerrig
July 29, 2009, 01:08 PM
Could you possibly walk around where F-16s, F-15E's or even Navy F/A-18s do some straffing training ?
Possibly? Yes. There are many places in the deserts of California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona and other states where one can find ordinance, either on abandoned ranges or remote live ranges that aren't particularly well protected. It's never a good idea to go around such places looking for souvenirs. Beyond the legal consequences, it's entirely possibly to find UXO which is just a jostle away from becoming losing the U.

I was more wondering what kind of ground vehicles could use a 20 mike mike in the US..
The only ground based versions I know about are the M163, M167, and C-RAM, all of which are used for air defense.

Fabio760
July 29, 2009, 03:25 PM
New pictures, sorry if there big im not sure if this forum auto-resizes

http://i324.photobucket.com/albums/k346/ABOMBER760/DSC05590-1.jpg

http://i324.photobucket.com/albums/k346/ABOMBER760/DSC05585-1.jpg

bigalexe
July 29, 2009, 03:43 PM
These look like they could make interesting hood ornaments depending on their length.

chris in va
July 29, 2009, 03:49 PM
It's weird, every single picture I could find on the 'net shows the 20mm round has a much different profile than the ones you found.

Zoogster
July 29, 2009, 04:08 PM
Well they are clearly numbered, and the military would probably have no trouble determining exactly where that batch of ammunition was sent before you found it.
They have some detailed logistical databases and would even know where those were used in training. So if you were someplace you shouldn't have been I wouldn't be posting them.


Also 20mm shooting was much better before the military order to destroy brass earlier in the year.
The civilian firearm community loudly spoke out and all .50 and below brass was removed from required destruction.
Yet calibers above .50, such as 20mm remained, and so the most affordable way to acquire 20mm brass was removed from civilians.

20mm brass still requires the destruction from the policy change that the firearm community was all upset about in March.
The order was only reversed for calibers .50 and below.
As a result the cost of 20mm ammunition is much higher than it was before March.
The cheap source of military brass was removed in March, 2009.


There is a number of 20mm cartridges.
For example most of these are 20mm rounds:
http://www.quarry.nildram.co.uk/ATR2.jpg
(the tiny 12.7x99 on the left is the .50BMG in metric)
The Lahti rifle which some Americans own for example is chambered in the 20x138B in that picture. Some of the Solothurns use that chambering as well. Both are semi-auto and fed from box magazines. The Solothurns can even be fed from a very large magazine made for flak guns.
Here is a Lahti being fired: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nrD_GnkG7dI
The Vulcan 20MM is a much smaller chambering. A 20mmX102mm


It really just depends what picture you look at though. In this picture the 20x138B lahti round looks like a wimp:
http://www.quarry.nildram.co.uk/SubcalAmmo2.jpg


Here is a Vulcan profile:
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/7/71/50BMG_size_comparison.JPG/477px-50BMG_size_comparison.JPG

Owen
July 29, 2009, 04:17 PM
measure the length of the case. I can't see the photos here at work, so...

If it is 102 mm long, it it for the vulcan. If it is 110 mm, it is the Hispano cartridge. If its 87mm, its the german cartridge.

The 20x102 is mainly electric primed. The 110 and the 87 are usually percussion primed.

I believe all of these cartridges are considered destructive devices, so you owe a $200 tax on each one. If you haven't paid the tax, the right thing to do is to call you local EOD squad and turn them in.

The Navy used the 20x110 cartridge into the 90s for antiaircraft roles.

Blue is not inert, it just means that the projectile has no energetic materials (explosives or incendiaries) in it. There is enough propellent in any of these to ruin your day.

Jorg Nysgerrig
July 29, 2009, 04:23 PM
measure the length of the case. I can't see the photos here at work, so...
He only has projectiles, not the entire cartridge.

Blue is not inert, it just means that the projectile has no energetic materials (explosives or incendiaries) in it. There is enough propellent in any of these to ruin your day.
Since you can't see the pictures, this statement seems rather out of context. :)

Owen
July 29, 2009, 04:25 PM
aha!

Sam1911
July 29, 2009, 04:26 PM
Why would a cartridge of non-explosive ammo be considered a DD? The large bore RIFLE might be considered a Destructive Device, but not the round itself. (Especially a solid-projectile training round.)

Besides, from what I've seen, they found the projectiles themselves, not the entire cartridge.

-Sam

Tom488
July 29, 2009, 04:26 PM
Edit: nevermind.... too slow :)

7X57chilmau
July 29, 2009, 04:27 PM
Dang....

Zoogster
July 29, 2009, 05:10 PM
Whelp I can tell you apparently 3500 ft/sec into sand won't do the trick.
Don't forget to add the velocity of the aircraft it was fired from. They tend to strafe going fast.
An F-15, F-18, or F-16 going 900 MPH during the strafe for example is going an additional 1320 feet per second. Those are around realistic speeds from which they could be firing at ground targets with the cannon.

That 1320 feet per second would be added to the initial muzzle velocity of the projectile.
So I would add at least another 1,000 feet per second to the muzzle velocity of the round itself when fired from such aircraft platforms.
The round would also be working with gravity, and those large rounds have a very high ballistic coefficient. So they lose velocity slowly.

Fabio760
July 29, 2009, 05:24 PM
they were found on public land right outside of neighboorhoods just a ways into the desert so its not like I went into a military base, the only one here is MILES from where they were found so I see it as fair game since all it really is, is chunk of shaped metal :) Right? But to clear it up only the round was found, no cartridge.

But final answer as to whether it goes boom or not is no correct?

Are the two pieces separable?

Thanks, again.

Owen
July 29, 2009, 05:27 PM
That 1320 feet per second would be added to the initial muzzle velocity of the projectile.


I'm no pilot, but I don't think strafing ground targets while supersonic is typical...

Zoogster
July 29, 2009, 05:45 PM
I'm no pilot, but I don't think strafing ground targets while supersonic is typical...

It depends on the ground situation. You would strafe as fast as you can get away with while being reasonably accurate to avoid taking fire from the ground.

Slowing down significantly below what is necessary for the safety of the aircraft at that altitude puts you at greater risk for taking ground fire.
Those aircraft can go near that speed at sea level (where the atmosphere is denser, they can go faster at higher altitude) and so why wouldn't they in a combat situation?
If you are going to train one should train close to like you are in combat, so strafing at only slightly slower speeds (don't need to be at the limits of the airframe just for training) during training would be ideal.
900MPH is high, as they need to be below thier maximum maneuvering speed for that altitude.

1,000 feet per second more is 681 miles per hour, which is below what those aircraft can do at low altitude. So adding another 1,000 feet per second to the muzzle velocity of the projectile from a higher altitude attack seems quite reasonable to me. They usually go around 500 mph when just skimming the surface for a strafing run, which is still an additional 733 feet per second to add to the projectile speed. Certainly faster when not skimming the surface.

jaymac
July 29, 2009, 06:35 PM
http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/library/policy/army/fm/4-30-13/appf.htm

WC145
July 30, 2009, 11:18 AM
As a general rule, taking something apart to prove that is non-explosive runs the risk of disproving that hypothesis in a spectacular way.

People string words together all of the time but it is seldom that it's done with such eloquence. Excellent use of the written word, just reading that sentence makes me smile.:)

rbernie
July 30, 2009, 01:01 PM
Why do they show no rifling engraving?

Fabio760
August 1, 2009, 04:43 AM
Well my project can now go on, I drilled into 3 of them and didn't blow up :)

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