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.: 2 pr shell :.


Well-Known Member
Premium Member
these are my 2pr shells.
1 of them has a wider hole of the usual one for the tracer.
what type of shell is it?
I would appreciate your comments and information.
another shell
it's marked 40 mm SAP, so I tought for 40mm bofors, otherwise would have been marked 2pr, it's right??
I cant help with the id of the 40mm but these are nice selection of rounds you have,are they all ground dug
Looks like you have found a few "escapee's" from the old Birmngham Small Arms company-the SVIT is know as a "little John" and was fired from either a 2 Pounder Anti Tank gun or a 40/60 Bofors fitted with a special adaptor that reduced the shell body to a diameter of 30 MM thus greatly increasing the projectiles velocity.
The Steel "collar" at the front of the projectile as well as the rear is compressed and is forced up the body towards the tip and the rear skirt is forced rearwards as their diameters are reduced.
The adaptors rether surprisingly had short lives !:eek:hmy:
Nice collection of rounds.

That SAP round is fairly rare I believe !
thanks Chris
great information.
so th SAP too was fired by both guns?
any info about 2pr with strange base cavity?
best regards
I've never heard of the Bofors being fitted with the Little John adapter, maybe experimentally in a similar way to the 40mm S gun, but not in service? The only real use of Little Johns seems to have been on the vehicle mounted 2 pdrs.

I think the SAP round is Bofors, its not 2 pdr. The Bofors Mk I S.A.P.Shot is described as: Steel, truncated nose and recessed base.

What stampings are on your 2 pdr with the cavity?

The "Little John! adaptor I have seen was fitted to a 40/60 Bofors Gun in one of the side marquee's at "The Royal School of Artillery" public "Artillery Day" day back in the good old days before the "pc" brigade stepped in on the excuse of "cost's".

Sadly the photograph I took of that weapon and the entire roll of film got developed and was all spoilt by sunlight entering the film:angry: guess Thats the beauty of digital !:woohoo:

And it was DEFINATELY a 40/60 Bofors gun which surprised me also, but it was fitted with the barrel having the necessary "blind holes" for the fixing bolts to screw into.
My 2 pdr handbook is only amended up to November 1940 and only covers the Mk I & II AP shot.

I'd imagine that your example is just a different style of tracer from the others marks?

As for the Bofors/Littlejohn combo, I wonder if it was experimental or test piece?

I'm certain that the Bofors was not issued with SVAP rounds.

They are not mentioned in the 1949 handbook of anti aircraft ammuntion or the 1946 maintenance manual

The Littlejohn would have stopped the gun from using any other type of ammo untill the adaptor was removed, not ideal in combat!


Littlejohn adaptor at the tank museum.

What do you know about the existence of a 37mm Littlejohn round for the US M5 or M6 gun, and its use in WW2?

I have a similar picture of the 2PDR littlejohn adapter at Bovington, and just above it (on right in pic), I can only assume is a 37mm Littlejohn adapter, sadly I dont have a more wide angle picture.


Ill post on the next page a pic of the breech end of the guns

Heres the picture I took at the other end of the gun !!


...and finally, next is a pic of a Humber Mk4 with Littlejohn
...and finally, heres a picture of a Humber MK4 with, I think, Littlejohn adapter installed.

Now, unless Im wrong, the Humber had a M5 or M6 37mm gun, as opposed to the 2PDR on the Daimler armoured car??


[Cant remember where I found this pic, but it was on another website.....wish I knew now!!]
I've seen 37mm Littlejohn rounds being sold on ebay but I've never seen an official picture of the round.

Was it a British only modification?

hi Rich, yes, there was one, to all intents identical to the British Mk2 Littlejohn projectile - there was one for sale at Stoneleigh - somewhat pitted but not unreasonable at 84. Same use as ours, to extend the useful life of a more or less obsolete weapon. But you couldn't fire standard 2pdr (or 37mm) ammo through the adaptor, you had to get out and unscrew it - they probably drew straws for that job! Dave
Hello old chap ;-)
Didn't know you were on this site.

I know I saw one sell on eBay a long while back for an absurd amount (far more than 84, I think 285 from memory), so they would seem to be less common than the 2PDR Littlejohn. But on that note is there anywhere that lists qtys of ordnance supplied by month during the war, that might include littlejohn rounds as well as other types

Secondly, per Quatermass' question was it only used by British forces?

I bet you wish you hadn't posted now !!

I think the 37mm gun M6 Littlejohn was a purely British used adaption.

I've seen it fitted on the American M22 Locust light tank, but only when operated by the British 6th Airborne division.

To quote from British tanks of WWII (2) Holland & Germany 1944/1945 by David Flecher.

" Returning brifely to the Royal Dragoons they explain that in November (1944) they handed in the Littlejohn adapters, fitted to the 2-pounder guns of their Damiler armoured cars. Their comments on the Littlejohn are worth recording, it was; 'a contraption fitted to the muzzel of the 2-pounder which enabled it to fire a smaller round with much higher velocity and a consequent greater penetration of armour, but which imposed the handicap that high explosive shells could no longer be fired. This disadvantage had been serious throughout the campaign and the squadrons had, in many instances, dismounted them already'. It is not oftern that one reads of the 2-pounder high explosive round being carried in armoured vehicles or, indeed, of armoured regiments sacrificing armour piercing capability".