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marking on a 18 pdr


Well-Known Member
Ordnance approved

I was in our museum today, and I took this picture to show you, because I don't know what this marking mean.

There is one red ring, then one orange, and it seems another red. All these on a 18 Pdr MK XII, fuze 85.



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hi Pascal
Traditional coloured marking of the shell with shrapnel
The red band sharp indicates the shell charged
The orange band close to the eye and on the reducer is the identification of the shell shrapnel
Sometimes this orange color on the reducer is overloaded of a sharper color overflowing on the base plate of the fuze,is usually met on these shells and is seen besides very well on the picture
Hi doctor thank you for your response, but what is the difference whith the "usual" schrapnell marking (two orange bands), like this other shell (18 pdr Mk IX) ?


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Last edited:
Very interestind and good question
In fact it would seem that the color of the bands depend on manufacturing shell on the one hand and on the other hand factory of loading, which could explain the difference in color and the marks stamping on the body seems to attest this thesis
In the case of a factory of factory and loading the identical color couldt to be explained (it is not an isolated case)
The prime coat of the shells with good also changed passing from the gray to the black to become even sometimes without paint...
(a) High explosive shell are painted yellow.
(b) Shrapnel shell are painted black.
(c) Smoke bursting shell are painted green.
(d) Armour-piercing shell filled H.E. are painted yellow to the shoulder, with the head green.
(e) High explosive shell for use with reduced charges have the body from driving band to green band painted white, remainder yellow.

1. Tips of shell
(a) Red tip denotes shrapnel.
(b) Black tip denotes absence of smoke box in amatol filled shell.

2. Rings round the head
(a) Red ring indicates that shell is filled.
(b) A ring of red crosses in place of the red ring denotes amatol or T.N.T. filled shell suitable for hot climates.
(c) A black ring above the red ring indicates that the shell is fitted with exploders, only suitable for a powder-filled fuze.
(d) Two white rings, one above and one below the red ring, denote armour-piercing.
(e) A light brown ring above the red ring on smoke bursting shell denotes shell is of cast iron or semi-steel.

3. Bands round the body
(a) Green band round centre denotes shell filled with amatol or T.N.T.
(b) Two black bands denotes H.E. practice projectile.
(c) One black band round body denotes empty H.E. shell to be used for drill purposes.

I'd guess that the orange band is just a faded red band.

Source: Handbook for the Ordnance, Q.F. 18-PR Marks I, I*, II and II*. 1940
18 pounder

One of mine,with complete fuze and gaine including cardboard and fabric inards.
Given to me as a rusty relic,but complete.
Ill post a better picture of fuze markings.



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