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  1. #1
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    Gruson(?) 57mm Chinese/Japanese?

    I've had this round for a while but never really did much research on it. I believe it's a 57mm Gruson of some sort and the only reason I'm leaning towards Japanese is based on the inscription on the wall of the case. To boil it down, it basically says it was found on a battlefield in China and is an "Chinese Imperial" shell. I'll include the entire inscription at the end. Hawkinson's book mentions a Japanese "6 Veld" 57mm case (number 1047) that is 57x248. Mine measures 57x249 but being 1mm off could just be a stretched mouth. Neither the case nor projectile have any markings that I can find. The case is also very light and thin-walled.

    Inscription:
    "Chinese Imperial Shell"
    "These shells are made in Germany and are of a very poor quality, the Federal Chinese army(?)"
    "This shell was picked up at Hanyang battle-field near Hankow about six hundred miles from Shanghai"

    Measurements:
    Case is 57x249R72.4
    Projectile OAL: 215mm
    Length with fuse removed: 207mm
    56.42mm diameter at the base
    IMG_1304(1).jpgIMG_1310(1).jpgIMG_1311(1).jpgIMG_1307(1).jpgIMG_1308(1).jpgIMG_1306(1).jpg
    Weight: 2671g/5 lbs, 14.2 oz

    Thoughts?

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  3. #2
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    Very nice find!

    The official length of the case is 251 mm but allowed tolerances in length were large for most artillery cases. Krupp continued the production of such guns + ammunition after the purchase of Gruson in 1893. The fuze is a relatively modern one wich makes me think is made around the 1895-1900 by Krupp. It's typical for Krupp export ammunition around this time to have no stamps.

    I wonder whats wrong with it because of the very poor quality.

    The calibre was for the L/25 quickfiring guns.
    Last edited by Alpini; 28th January 2020 at 12:18 AM.

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  5. #3
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    I have questions. I'm reposting some photos of Color Plates posted by Gordon some time back, and photos of my 53mm Gruson projectiles. Gruson projectiles have a very distinct rotating band with many uniform small grooves as seen in these photos.

    Nordenfelt rotating bands are also very distinct, long tapered lead, two uniform wide grooves, with minimum size trailing part of the band. The projectile to be identified has a Nordenfelt rotating band, not Gruson.

    To add to British projectile design, the British sold huge quantities of Ordnance to Japan.

    For Alpini, is the Fuze of German design?
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    Last edited by HAZORD; 28th January 2020 at 11:24 AM.
    ___HAZ/
    _____/ORD Hazardous Ordnance Recognition
    ________Saving Lives Through Education

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  7. #4
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    Wouldn't call it German design but Krupp design. This type of fuze was used on a whole range of common black powder shells.

    About the driving band, there may be more than 10 years between your 53 mm shells and this 57 mm and I have a fired 57 mm which has the same driving band.
    Last edited by Alpini; 28th January 2020 at 09:03 PM.

  8. #5
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    Unfortunately no ammunition showing.
    No details were given, 53mm - 57mm ?
    It seems to have a rather short barrel for those casing lengths, so maybe
    a shorter cased round , Mountain gun perhaps.
    Maybe these images help, maybe make it worse
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Gspragge; 28th January 2020 at 09:10 PM.

  9. #6
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    there was also a L/20 with this ammunition (and may be other guns too):
    Attached Images Attached Images

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  11. #7
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    I do appreciate everyone's input but honestly I am more confused now then when I made the original post. Is it a Krupp made round? But of Gruson design? Or a Nordenfelt as per HAZORD? Was it made in Germany for export to China/Japan? I understand that no one knows the exact answer but I'm a thoroughly lost at this point haha

    Alpini - that photo you posted of the Krupp L/20 and it's ammunition does look very similar in basic size and shape, so maybe that's the answer.

    Again, I really do appreciate everyone's knowledge and input.

    Mike

  12. #8
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    Krupp eventually bought Gruson but Gruson developed some of these guns before Krupp took them over and and for some time thereafter. After maybe 1900 or so armaments and armour plate were moved from the Gruson werks to Krupp Essen (and developed weapons there etc) and Gruson made industrial machinery (which was likely used to made guns and armour elsewhere.
    Two Krupp ID plates, one from a 1pr Maxim, the other unknown machinery.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Gspragge; 29th January 2020 at 06:15 PM.

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  14. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by mdot633 View Post
    I do appreciate everyone's input but honestly I am more confused now then when I made the original post. Is it a Krupp made round? But of Gruson design? Or a Nordenfelt as per HAZORD? Was it made in Germany for export to China/Japan? I understand that no one knows the exact answer but I'm a thoroughly lost at this point haha
    Hello Mike,

    I am sure it is made by Krupp (in Germany) and not by Gruson because of it's fuze which did not exist until Krupp took over Gruson in 1893. The older Gruson fuzes had a large slotted screw on top. And it is absolutely possible that it was exported directly to China because China was one of Krupp's best customers and used a high percentage of Krupp material at this time. In the 1880's and 1890's around 20-25% of all Krupp exported guns went to China. For example in 1893 Krupp made 665 export guns of which 293 were for China. If your cartridge was used in Krupp or older Gruson guns I think nobody can say. I found a reference that China bought 12 x 57 mm mountain guns from Gruson in 1891 for the region of Xinjiang. More deliverys of mountain guns and quickfiring guns are mentioned but without calibre.

    Japan bought also many Krupp guns but also some from UK (mostly naval by what I have seen) and a lot from Italy. But I don't have information about Japanese Krupp or Gruson 57 mm Guns.
    Last edited by Alpini; 29th January 2020 at 11:14 PM.

  15. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gspragge View Post
    After maybe 1900 or so armaments and armour plate were moved from the Gruson werks to Krupp Essen (and developed weapons there etc) and Gruson made industrial machinery (which was likely used to made guns and armour elsewhere.
    After 1893 the gun production especially field artillery and also ammunition production continued in the Fried. Krupp Grusonwerk until 1919 when the Treaty of Versailles was signed. The evolution of the original Gruson designed guns also continued and merged with Krupp design. The name "Friedrich Krupp Grusonwerk" stayed until end of 2nd WW.
    Last edited by Alpini; 29th January 2020 at 10:12 PM.

 

 
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