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What is this artillery shell?

What is this artillery shell?


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I found this in my Grandfather's basement. He served in World War 2, in the Pacific Theater. He sadly passed away and we have no idea if this is safe. Can anyone help with identifying this? It is 13 inches tall, and 3 inches in diameter. The only markings I found on it are T Z. Thanks


WW2 Pacific Theater means US, British, or Japanese; let's start with the US. Long, solid, and pointy means anti-tank round, and it's capped. US anti-tank guns of 3" diameter means 75mm, 76mm, or 3 inch shell. 76mm and 3 inch would be overkill against Japanese armor, so probably a shell for the 75mm M2 tank gun. That cuts it down to an M72 or M61 shell. M72 is not capped, the M61 is. The M61's projectile is 13.2" long.

It is the projectile from a M61 or M61A1 75mm APCBC-HE-T shell (Armor-Piercing Capped Ballistic Capped High Explosive with Tracer). It is lacking its casing, which is good because that's a lot of gunpowder you don't have to worry about.

  • Armor-Piercing
  • Capped with a blunt, softer nose to prevent shattering against hardened armor or skipping off sloped armor.
  • Ballistic Capped again with an aerodynamic cap to improve performance.
  • Containing a small High Explosive charge in the base to detonate after penetration and fling shrapnel around inside the target.
  • Tracer at the back to help aim a second shot.

Because the ballistic cap is intact it is unlikely to have been fired.

The hollow bottom is where the explosive filler would go. It's empty so it's probably safe, but I'd still have an expert look at it. Perhaps call a local military museum.

Punching a 75mm hole in armor usually produced plenty of havoc and shrapnel on its own, and the explosive filler was often omitted.


Watch the video: Explaining Mechanics: Armor Penetration (November 2022).

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