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  1. #1
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    3 inch mortar practice bombs

    Recently received the buff colored bomb in trade and found it interesting that it has the same date and filling station marks as a plain lacquered bomb already in my collection. Any ideas on why there is a color difference? Was this the transitional year for a change in markings?

    IMG_3500.jpgIMG_3501.jpg

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    Unfortunately, I cannot see from the photo whether the bottom lacquered bomb has a nose adapter or not, or whether there is a hole to take a nose adapter and it is missing.
    In any case, if it does have a nose adapter/hole it is not marked to any marking system of the time. If it does not have an adapter hole it is nothing to do with 3" mortar practice, unless it is something to do with Stokes, about which I know very little. All 3" Practice bombs had a nose adapter, right up to the Mk 8,which lasted until overtaken by the 81mm Mortar system.
    The other bomb is marked correctly for both the Pre '44 and '44 - '48 marking systems. The yellow band indicating 'Practice' for the Mk III bomb of the pre 1944 period. The MkIII bomb was produced using the empty bodies of the HE and Smoke bombs to meet the vastly expanded wartime production targets for live types of bomb, hence the buff coloured body below the bourellet.
    Had this been a Mark I or II bomb it would also have had a red filling ring indicating the presence of the GP burster under the adapter ring.
    Marks I and II were used with Fuze 150 or 150P and later with Fuze 152 or 152A. By the time of the Mk III no live fuze was fitted and the Plug Representing Fuze 162 was used, therefore no red filling ring was required.
    Last edited by AE501; 6th June 2018 at 03:43 PM.

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  5. #3
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    The lacquered bomb is indeed threaded for an adapter but I don't have a spare at the moment. The two bombs are identical except for the markings.

    What would the "Plug Representing Fuze 162" look like? Is it a solid piece? Does it still have a removable cap?
    Last edited by Infanteer; 12th June 2018 at 03:07 AM.

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    There are contradictions in the markings. I do not believe that the lacquered bomb markings are original. You say the adapter is missing. What is under the adapter? If it was really a Mark 1 or 2 bomb it would have had bursters and should have a red filling ring up near the adapter, above the yellow practice ring.
    If these really are Mark III bombs they should have 'inert' beneath 'practice'to differentiate them from Mark 1 and II bombs.
    Have you had the adapter out of the top bomb. If it did come out you could check for bursters underneath it.
    The Mark III bomb was introduced, without bursters, when it was decided that a separate Drill bomb should be introduced. These were all painted black and originally had a steel ring welded to the bottom of the tail to stop the fins getting bent due to repeated training drills using the mortar tube. These quite often fell off, but the bombs were still used and they may be found without the ring because it was not necessary.
    The first of the Drill bombs were fitted with a Fuze Drill 152 which was made of empty inert parts of the live fuze.
    All marks of the Practice Inert bombs (MkIII and above) were fitted with PRF 162 or Fuze Percn DA No 162. These are solid castings, threaded as necessary and fitted with removable caps and pins.

  7. #5
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    Interesting. I'm fairly confident that the markings are original. Is it possible that the red filling ring is not present because it wasn't ever loaded?

    I also have a Mk I with a yellow and red band and a MkII that is painted green on the nose with a red filling band. The MkII is stenciled "Empty" despite having a red band. Photos to follow.

    Oh, and I feel quite embarrassed as I actually have two PRF 162 but it's been a while since I looked at them and thought the model number was different.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Infanteer; 13th June 2018 at 03:51 AM.

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  9. #6
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    drill and practice bombs may have been repainted by individual units,companys etc as the paint wore off,so the repaints could have been their interpretation which would explain a lot of variations

  10. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by kiwieod View Post
    drill and practice bombs may have been repainted by individual units,companys etc as the paint wore off,so the repaints could have been their interpretation which would explain a lot of variations
    There also seems to have been some small differences between British and Canadian markings even though they technically should have been the same.

 

 

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