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 Post subject: 37mm - What Exactly is This?
PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2017 8:24 pm 
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These are very common and can be found on almost every military collectors website. As a matter of fact, I know where there are eight for sale right now. They are sold as "trench art", "desktop ornaments", "training aids", etc. They are usually inexpensive and they do make good display items:

Image

What exactly is it? I doubt that it could be labelled trench art. Could it be something that was mass produced after the war to be sold to visitors as they wandered the countryside? Since almost everybody used a 37mm during the war these are available in French, English, and German versions (like this one):

Image

All of them have either had the cap removed or fired, and all, that I have seen, are clearly marked:

Image

I use it as a display piece with Pickelhauben and Schirmutzen, but I never figured out just exactly what it was.

Any info appreciated!

John :)


Last edited by SkipperJohn on Sun Aug 06, 2017 10:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: 37mm - What Exactly is This?
PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2017 12:09 pm 
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These are referred to as sectioned ordinance. They are popular among some ordinance collectors for a couple of reasons, first is they show how the round functioned and in some areas, the paranoia about anything ordinance is so high that this type of ordinance is usually recognized as inert and safe. But not always.

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 Post subject: Re: 37mm - What Exactly is This?
PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2017 12:31 pm 
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That is a rather nice piece.

BTW Gus, it is ordnance. Ordinance is a piece of legislation enacted by a municipal authority, such as "according to the new ordinance all old ordnance must be made safe and inert."

I've confused the two in the past as well.


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 Post subject: Re: 37mm - What Exactly is This?
PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2017 12:51 pm 
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Gustaf wrote:
These are referred to as sectioned ordinance. They are popular among some ordinance collectors for a couple of reasons, first is they show how the round functioned and in some areas, the paranoia about anything ordinance is so high that this type of ordinance is usually recognized as inert and safe. But not always.


But why were they made? Somebody had to have a reason to make so many of these. Were they sold as souvenirs?
When I got back from the Persian Gulf I didn't know anybody that wanted a cut 155mm round. Why were these so popular???

John :o


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 Post subject: Re: 37mm - What Exactly is This?
PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2017 11:05 pm 
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Hey John,
There is a segment of the collecting community that has been cutting projectiles and grenades (that saves me from the spell check on laws) recently, one collector I can think of probably started doing it because he had just about everything on his list and wanted to do something with the duplicates. With the right kind of saw, it is easy to do. The really interesting ones are the artillery projectiles with complex fuses. they pretty much all look alike from the outside, but when you cut into them you can see the engineering and complexity of their design. By the way Peter, have you noticed I still use two spaces after a period? :)

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 Post subject: Re: 37mm - What Exactly is This?
PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2017 12:19 am 
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Gustaf wrote:
Hey John,
There is a segment of the collecting community that has been cutting projectiles and grenades (that saves me from the spell check on laws) recently, one collector I can think of probably started doing it because he had just about everything on his list and wanted to do something with the duplicates. With the right kind of saw, it is easy to do. The really interesting ones are the artillery projectiles with complex fuses. they pretty much all look alike from the outside, but when you cut into them you can see the engineering and complexity of their design. By the way Peter, have you noticed I still use two spaces after a period? :)


That makes sense. Maybe this wasn't cut shortly after the war. Maybe these were cut recently from old stockpiles.
I suppose that would explain why there are so many of them. I just thought it was a neat display and I got a good price.

Thanks for the info!

John :)


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 Post subject: Re: 37mm - What Exactly is This?
PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2017 10:33 pm 
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Post updated using picorator.com

John :D


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 Post subject: Re: 37mm - What Exactly is This?
PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2017 3:30 pm 
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Hey John; just read through this thread.

Marine EOD does these types of "cut-aways" to this day, on all types of ordnance and fuzes. Most military EOD shops have extensive ordnance libraries that cover many time frames and many countries. At a minimum, the smaller EOD shops will at least have inert and/or cut-away examples of the types of ordnance that can be found in an unexploded condition within the range impact areas aboard the installation that they are responsible to work on or train to. We normally use steam or special burning techniques to remove the explosives without harming the markings or the paint, disassemble the fuzes (sometimes remotely using special tools), remove propellants (rocket, artillery, etc.) and end up with items that look like pristine examples that have just been issued from the local ASP. Razor saws and a LOT of patience goes into the cut-away items. Generally, our newer EOD techs are assigned an ordnance item off of a list of Code H/Grade 3 munitions that needs to be destroyed anyway, and we will have those items slated over to our accounts. Sometimes, historic or unique ordnance items are given to us via various sources. The new EOD techs have to write up "inserting procedures" that are based off of similar items that have been worked on in the past, and using our EOD publications. Those write-ups are scrutinized through several levels before being signed off on by the Senior EOD officer. Once approved, then the item can go to the inserting range. Everything done to the item is scrutinized and by the book while the inserting process is underway. Explosive residue is disposed of in a "clean-up" shot when done. The procedures are supposed to be sent to NAVEODTECHDIV when complete for archiving. Not sure if this is always done, but every Marine EOD shop I've been in has their own archive of write-ups for items that have been inserted there going back many years. These inert ordnance items are used to train new (and old) EOD techs and assist for demonstration purposes when explaining things like fuze type-by-function for classes or investigations. And yep; I have seen 155mm artillery shells and fuzes inerted and even cut-away.

Were you a Marine John? Who were you with?

Bryan.


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 Post subject: Re: 37mm - What Exactly is This?
PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2017 3:33 pm 
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Darn spell check. Everything that says "insert" in my above post should read "inert". Annoying... :)


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 Post subject: Re: 37mm - What Exactly is This?
PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2017 3:59 pm 
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Yes, I am a Marine (no such thing as an ex-Marine).

Judging by a post of yours, answering Tony, I would guess that I went in the Corps before you were born and got out before you went in. I was field artillery at first and figured firing data with charts and darts, used a slide rule to calculate TOF, ROE, etc. NASA was the only organization that had computers at that time. I was with 3/11. I took a billet as a Combat Cargo Officer on the USS St. Louis LKA 116 for three years and went back to 3/11. Because of my background education (or maybe because I pissed somebody off) they made me a Motor Transport Officer and I ended my service after several commands with that MOS.

I am currently a senior technical instructor for an automobile manufacturer teaching service techs how to fix new cars, trucks, diesels, and hybrids.

I have a couple of inert arty rounds that were gifted me as trophies, going away gifts, etc., but they are not cut away. I had seen cut-aways for all manner of ordnance but they seemed to be fairly uncommon and highly prized. I just got curious with this 37mm piece because there are so many of them out there. I figured that they had to be something other than a training aid.

Semper Fi,
John


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 Post subject: Re: 37mm - What Exactly is This?
PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2017 11:38 pm 
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Cool. I know 11th Marines area well. And I probably should have said something along the lines of "former active duty Marine", but I figured you might have still been in.

I think the vast majority of sectioned/cut-away ordnance that is found in the "wild" was done by private individuals, but I guess I was just pointing out that we do it in EOD as well.

I PM'ed you yesterday. Good talking with you, and glad to see another Marine on this site!

Semper Fi,

Bryan.


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 Post subject: Re: 37mm - What Exactly is This?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 18, 2017 9:13 pm 
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To me the round appears to be an ash tray for a pipe. I have no documentation on this, but---. I was always told by old time collectors that things like this, the match box covers and lighters made with belt buckles plates, were made during the 1920's. They were made to be sold to Americans who were holding 5 and 10 year reunions as souvenirs.


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 Post subject: Re: 37mm - What Exactly is This?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 18, 2017 10:30 pm 
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aicusv wrote:
To me the round appears to be an ash tray for a pipe. I have no documentation on this, but---. I was always told by old time collectors that things like this, the match box covers and lighters made with belt buckles plates, were made during the 1920's. They were made to be sold to Americans who were holding 5 and 10 year reunions as souvenirs.


Good thought. I doubt that it is a pipe holder because it would be pretty unstable for that.

I know that many items were made for reunions, battlefield visits, and memorials to be sold to the attendees. One very common one, made in French, German, Dutch, Belgian, and English versions is this:

Image

The French ones had a helmet plate attached, the Germans had a belt buckle emblem, Belgian - a lion, etc. I have never seen a U.S. version of this.

I have seen similar 37mm cut-away rounds with French, English, and German markings (it seems everybody used a 37mm, though the projectile was somewhat different). Perhaps it was just a tchotchke ( chachki) to be sold in local shops.

John :?


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