Help identifying LARGE cartridge


February 4, 2003, 04:34 PM
Can anyone help identify this? The bullet breaks down into two pieces (the top silvery looking part screws out). There are markings, but mostly numbers (there is a small marking on the silver tip that looks like a dragonfly- maybe German insignia). I believe it is WWII era, possibly from an aircraft machine gun?

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February 4, 2003, 04:59 PM
I don't know why, but it looks like a Potato Masher handle

Mike Irwin
February 4, 2003, 05:27 PM
It looks like a 15mm round for the German MG151.

Can you post some dimensions?

George Hill
February 4, 2003, 05:28 PM
German, or Russian.

Where did you get it?

February 4, 2003, 05:30 PM
There are a WHOLE bunch of assorted 20mm cartridges out there. If you could take some measurements of the head, belt, neck, overall case length, and how far up the shoulder is, I could probably tell you what it is. There should also be some sort of headstamp on the case, usually telling you at least who made it. The "dragonfly" you mention sounds like it could be a German waffenampt marking. Also, is the cartridge loaded, or is it a "put-together", with a fired case?

Elmer Snerd
February 4, 2003, 05:34 PM
It looks very much like one of the inert cannon rounds that this guy ( has, especially the 20mm Hispano round. Some exact measurements might help.

Brad Johnson
February 4, 2003, 06:01 PM
My shell is bigger than your shell. So there!

It's a French 75mm anti-personnel round. My brother found it buried in the corner of one of our Grandfathers old shops.

Yes, it was very live. And No, my brother had no idea what it was, and was using it to chock the tires on his trailer!! The nice folks from the EOD battalion at Ft Sill were nice enough to come down and "dispose" of it (with the help of a pretty healthy chunk of C4).


February 4, 2003, 08:10 PM
Thanks for the help so far.

From the one example of a "waffenampt" I could find thru searching, I think that this is the stamp on here, so it looks like it is German.

The base of the shell measures 2 1/2 cm across. The length of the the shell is 13 1/2 cm. The top portion of the shell measures 2 cm across. The projectile is 8 1/2 cm long- 2 cm of that length fits into the shell- so overall when assembled it measures 20 cm in length.

The bottom of the shell has the waffenampt and under that a "W", some mark, an "A", an arrow pointing up and "88". Also "P414", "XIg" and "40".

The silver tip has "AZ5045" (I think), "R S 222 40 272" and again the waffenampt with "W" and "A" under it- can't read the numbers.

There are also four indents on the silver tip, two circular (very small) and two wedge shaped at the top.

It belonged to my grandfather, who was not in the military, but who I believe had a brother who did fight in WWII.

February 5, 2003, 10:26 AM
I believe you have a 2cm (20mm) Fliegerabwehrkanone ("Flak") anti-aircraft cartridge. A nice addition to a cartridge collection, but I wouldn't be too rough with it, in case it hasn't been deactivated.

Mike Irwin
February 5, 2003, 11:36 AM
By jove, I think you've got it, SDC!

Last night I was beginning to suspect that this might be the case, but I couldn't find a picture of a German 20mm.

Question for you, if you know.

Was this the same kind of round that was used in the Wurbelwind self-propelled anti-aircraft vehicle?

February 5, 2003, 12:26 PM
I wouldn't be too rough with it, in case it hasn't been deactivated.

I hope that means no powder in the shell (there isn't) as it has been banged around some.

By the way, any idea why the tip is screwed on? Was it meant to be interchangable with others?

Thanks all- it would have taken way to long to search out all this info.:D

Mike Irwin
February 5, 2003, 12:32 PM
The tip of the projectile is screwed on because it's the fusing mechanism.

The projectil is, in use, EXPLOSIVE. The tip contains the fuse and detonator, while the shell would contain the bursting charge.

February 5, 2003, 12:35 PM
Yes, that's right, the Wirbelwind used a quad mount of 20mms on a Panzer 4 chassis, but you could also see these guns in single or dual mounts.
The tip of the projectile is screwed on because that's where the fuse mechanism is; these rounds were designed to go off on impact with the target (or, failing that) after a time delay had burnt down. Is there anything still inside the case? Most of the larger German rounds had their powder charges packed inside a cloth or silk bag, then had the projectile crimped onto the neck. Larger ordnance makes a nice display, but you still run across live examples that would make a mess of any car they happened to go off inside.

February 5, 2003, 02:25 PM
Nothing in the projectile or shell- wasn't anything in there as long as it's been around the house.

Thanks for the history. :)

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