20mm pgu-27/b amo


March 25, 2012, 12:23 PM
I found some unfired 20 mm target rounds in the mountains the other day but I wasn't sure if handling them was safe. Can I safely transport these rounds? Also, do they have any real value ?
Here is the script found on the case;
20mm PGU-27/B
Any idea how old they are?

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March 25, 2012, 01:19 PM
awesome find, I would say it's safe, not like you're handling dynamite. More than likely the powder is caked. Though i'm not expert, but if it were me I wouldn't worry about handling them. I wouldn't bang on them with a rock or hammer though lol.

March 25, 2012, 01:56 PM
These are 20x102mm rounds, as used in the M163 "Vulcan" aircraft cannon and various AA systems; this is a Vietnam and post-era system, so there's no real way of knowing how long these have been out there, and there's not even a way of finding out which functional type they are without you handling them (which could either be very dangerous, or not dangerous at all, depending on how lucky you are). The practice version of these cartridges are loaded with light blue projectiles, but it looks as if the sun might have washed out any colours that once were on these rounds. If there's any red or yellow anywhere on these rounds, you don't want to be anywhere near them.

March 25, 2012, 02:08 PM
The faded blue paint on the projectile indicates a training round with an inert projectile.

PGU-27/B Target Practice (TP)
The PGU-27/B projectile consists of a steel body with a solid aluminum nosepiece swaged or crimped to the steel bullet body.

It has an electrically fired primer, not a typical impact fired primer.

If you are 100% sure of the markings & blue color, and there isn't some other 20mm mixed in with it?
This projectile has no explosive filler and should be safe to handle, within reason.

The same cannot be said of other 20mm ammo, as most all of it will have a high-explosive, high-explosive incendiary, or high-explosive fragmentation projectile.

You don't want to mess with any of them.


Ron James
March 25, 2012, 04:36 PM
And as a side note, the non practice ones can be as dangerous as dynamite.

March 25, 2012, 10:07 PM
Is there any empty brass laying around? 20mm brass is heavy and it's scrap value will add up pretty quickly :-)

March 26, 2012, 09:18 PM
Thanks for the help. Most are 27/b--Target rounds and some are 30/b Tracers. Are the tracers safe to handle ?
I picked up about 150 brass casings. Hopefully it will be worth the trouble of hiking them out.
Is there any value in the live rounds or the casing other than scrap ?

April 5, 2012, 12:27 PM
Your good to go. Stay away from anything that has a yellow band or brown paint on the projectile.

April 5, 2012, 10:32 PM

April 6, 2012, 12:03 AM
I wasn't sure if handling them was safe.

It isn't.

Anything larger than .50 cal has enough of a charge to maim and should not be handled unless demilled.

murdoc rose
April 6, 2012, 01:27 AM
safe maybe, legal more than likely not depending on what and where they are.

April 6, 2012, 07:42 AM
Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't possession of modern cannon rounds with explosive heads illegal, the BATF requiring $200.00 per round payment for lawful possession?

April 6, 2012, 02:34 PM
Ok, it's target practice rounds as stated earlier. However it does have live high explosive components and should be treated with the same respect as HE, Frag, etc, etc,....The hazard is not from any explosive or incendiary filler but from the electrically initiated primers. What that means is that a good static build up will cause the primer to fire. Since the round is sealed there is a very good chance the powder will ignite. Pressure will build up. Since the brass case is not encased in a solid steel barrel, the brass case will fragment like a grenade. Contact your local police and tell them you found some abandoned military ordnance. Don't touch it. Mark the area and tell them you'll take them to it. There use to be some pretty gory photos of adventurous fellows who had tried to pop the primers and ended up without hands, eyes etc. Yeah it doesn't sound dangerous but it can be, if improperly handled. Get your local military EOD guys out to pick it up and while you're at it to them what a great job they've been doing in the "Stans!

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