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105mm shell case markings


New Member
Hi all,

I was given this WWII 105mm shell case at the weekend, by my Dad who found it at a car boot sale - to go with a few other pieces of WWI/WWII militaria that I've collected over the years.

While looking up the head-stamp markings, I came across this site. Having lurked here for a while, I (think) that it's a US M101 howitzer shell case, manufactured by Symington Machine Corp, NY.

I have a couple of further questions, which I would be extremely interested in some expert help with.

In the (hopefully) attached image, there is a crest or insignia on the bottom left-hand side, which I can't seem to account for (albeit with limited research). What does this represent? A unit insignia perhaps?

Also, how should I clean this up, brasso and elbow grease? Or would it be best left alone?



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Your case is a standard 105 Howitzer case M14, which is the most common 105mm case, except yours says Type I which makes it unusual and more rare. It is also 1942 dated, which also makes it more rare and valuable to collectors. The marking you mentioned looks like the standard crossed cannons U.S. Ordnance mark, but it is hard to make out.

Hi John,

I'm sure that you're correct. The picture I uploaded was at 600dpi, but it's obviously been down sampled by the message board software. I can make out an upside-down cannon/flaming bomb motif, which matches the description.

Many thanks.
You are very welcome, and thanks for the question. I learned a lot myself, as after I replied the first time, I checked a few random cases of mine, and then checked my TM 9-1904 Ammunition Inspection Guide dated 1944. The Type I case is the standard case used for all rounds except the M67 HEAT. The M67 HEAT used the Type II case, which was slightly smaller at the mouth to hold the projo. Originally, the M67 was issued as a fixed round with loose powder in the case, whereas all the other rounds were semi fixed with 7 powder bags in the case. It was used for direct broadside fire at hard targets, and the tight case would allow them to unload the chamber with the barrel in a horizontal position. Later on in the war, the M67 was issued as a semifixed round like all the other 105 H rounds, due to the logistics of wanting to use the same type of crates as used for all the other rounds. So, a Type II case would be more rare than a Type I. You will also notice that the M14 Type I is stamped in an arc. The current cases are stamped in a straight line to save cost.

Most recently some 105 H rounds are issued as fixed. The rounds for the AC130 Spectre Gunship are crimped and marked "For Aircraft Use only" on the base, as the barrel is actually pointed down when that gun is loaded. The spike-nosed HEAT M456 variant projo is also crimped in the case for the same reason as the earlier M67, when used in ground howitzers.