What's new
British Ordnance Collectors Network

This is a sample guest message. Register a free account today to become a member! Once signed in, you'll be able to participate on this site by adding your own topics and posts, as well as connect with other members through your own private inbox!

ID via Drive Band


Active Member
Is it possible to work out the type/size of shell even down to the gun type with just the Drive Band?
Ok with a complete Band you can get the diametre but what about the rest?
You can have a very good guess, have you got any photos of one you are unsure about?
Band ID

I have seen somewhere a US manual that detailed driving band fragments to ID the projectile. Will try and find reference.
BOMBSaway1980 and SG500,

Thanks, may i ask how one can tell what its from?
This is the first of about 6 that I got hold of last weekend all of different sizes.
The rest are soaking!
All the markings i can find:
ET in a square
letter L or could be I

Sorry missed of the dia of about 110mm
Last edited:
I'll get it right in a minute! sorry guys.


  • DSCF2839.JPG
    95.1 KB · Views: 57
  • DSCF2834.JPG
    50.9 KB · Views: 42
I'm sure the EOD guys have got all sorts of documents and manuals that tell you how do do this, I don't have access to that sort of information.
The way I've done it in the past is to compare a particular band to a complete projectile - count the number of grooves, measure the diameter and thickness of the band etc.
The one you showed looks like one of the WW1 bands on the German shells, I could be completely wrong with that assumption but have a look at the link below, some of the are quite similar.
For me there's no substitute for directly comparing a band on its own to one that is actually on a fired shell.
Hope this helps.

The manuals being refered to are the DIA ID Guides. They went by different titles depending on the issue - Projectile Fragment Identification Guide - Foreign - Projectile and Warhead Identification Guide, etc. Circa 1985-1996. Earlier versions were were put out by the Army Foreign Science and Technology Center (FSTC), including foreign fuze guides.

A large number of these were unclassified documents, allowing greater use and dissemination. They give very specific, detailed measurements of all portions of various munitions, mostly related to Comm-Bloc artillery projectiles and rockets. Relating to rotating bands, details such as the height, depth, material, number of grooves and the seat (pattern on the revers intended for grip to keep the band from spinning) are all listed, with identification by country and calibers.

Needless to say, it can be a very long and drawn out identification process.
ID manuals

I've got a couple of these manuals somewhere, they're in hard format and run to a few thousand pages. So no chance of emailing them.

Diam. and width sizes could help identify the band.
I`m not much into big caliber,but I do have a 105mm HESH practice grenade which has the same curved lines as impressed on the inside of your band.

Cheers Cornman
Is it possible to work out the type/size of shell even down to the gun type with just the Drive Band?
Ok with a complete Band you can get the diametre but what about the rest?

You don't need a complete band for the diameter. An engineer I knew showed me how to determine a radius using only a small piece of the band, assuming that the piece had not been distorted by whatever took it apart. That would at least narrow it down to the diameter. After that, hit the frag picture books.

No, sorry, I don't recall the math formula, but any engineer should be able to do it. All you need is a couple of rulers and scrap paper.