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18 pdr question


Well-Known Member
Premium Member
I have in collection these 18pdr shrapnels, the worse one was found in the battle fields of Asiago, Italy, the other one bought online.
I noticed that the two shells are of different length, so did you have information about the different models of existing shells please?

I read from some source that the base of the cases were painted with a color that pointed to the kind of shells;
for example yellow = explosive, is it true ??
I found a 18pdr canadian case that is yellow painted made by M.A.C. in 1916
If this is correct which was the color code for the other shells? was it a standardized code for the whole commonwealth?

I hope for my English is comprehensive for you.
thanks in advance

best regards


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12 Marks of 18Pr shrapnel shell were used since WW1
the most used were Mk IX XI and XII
Color Case base: Grey for Chemical; green for Smoke; Red for Indy; Black for training; white for Shrapnel and Yellow for HE
Nice find, the paint on the case heads is usually completely gone after 90 or so years.
Pre 1929 painting to cartridge base.

Stremline shell
(a) 1/2-inch white ring on outside of base, remainder yellow, indicates H.E. with full charge.
(b) One quadrant green and the remaing three quadrants white, indicates streamline smoke bursting shell, with full charge.

Plain base shell
(a) Yellow,denotes H.E. shell and full charge.
(b) Green, smoke bursting shell and full charge.
(c) Blue, armour-piercing shell and full charge.
(d) Unpainted, shrapnel shell and full charge.
(e) Yellow, with 1/2-inch white band across base, H.E. shell having reduced charge.
(f) Yellow, with H.E. PRACTICE stencilled on in red, H.E. practice shell and full charge.
Note-The primer is in all cases left uncoloured.

Source. Handbook for the Ordnance, Q.F. 18-PR., Marks I, I*. II and II*. 1940
Dear friends
thanks for the precious info
Quatermass, is it possible to recognize ww1 shrapnel by the lenght of the shell??
what are the marks used in ww1??

thanks in advance

best regards
I have in the past seen reference to 'light' and 'heavy' 18pr shells, but I can't remember where. The two shells you have Fert look like one of each.

Your smaller shell must be MK XI or XII (221 mm without reduced socket)
MK IX and X (237 mm without reduced socket)
Mk VII, VIII (239 mm without reduced socket)
Mk VII (237 mm without reduced socket)
Mk V (235 mm without reduced socket)
Mk IV never seen
The thickness of the wall, the number of balls, the shape of the room with powder, the diameter of the tube of transmission of flame, the aspect of the belt of forcing, the form of the diphrame over the box charge, the lip due the eye, make all the differences in the models of shrapnel shell
Let us note that the adapters are sometimes also out of steel, and that intermediate models will be sometimes met for example Mk XI 1
Shrapnel projectile

Mark V 9.868 inches (250.6mm)
Mark VI 9.868 inches (250.6mm)
Mark VII 9.868 inches (250.6mm)
Mark VIII 9.868 inches (250.6mm)
Mark IX 9.868 inches (250.6mm)
Mark X 9.868 inches (250.6mm)
Mark XII 9.25 inches (234.9mm)
Mark XVI 9.66 inches (245.3mm)
Mark XVII 9.25 inches (234.9mm)

Source: Handbook for the Ordnance , Q.F. 18-PR., Marks I, I*, II, II*. 1940
thanks guys for the great info.

according with your data I deduce the longer ( 250mm, steel adapter ) could be a Mk from V to X;
shorter ( 235mm brass adapter ) could be a Mk XI, XII or XVII

lenght it's adapter included.

great job guys

best regards