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My chemical romance


Well-Known Member
Got lucky again!!! Found the fuze at one show,matched it with a body from a little shop I know.Mt apologies to the patina purists,I had to clean it, unfortunatly,its was in the begining stages of neglect with slight rust cancer under the 5 or so coats of paint.
The body, 4.2 Chem Shell M2 The fuze,also designated M2

"It is inert,clean,contains no chemical elements or residue"

So guys,its in the middle of restoration,a light coat of grey primer.I did the best I could to save the original paint,but it was too far gone.While stripping it however,at the very last faded layer,I did run across two partial 3/4"to 1" green/teal green painted bands,and some silver on the bottom.Those two bands could designate it as one of 5 or so different chemical shells?My information is limited.
So,what I hope is someone will have some good photos,of WWII 4.2 shells,they would share of the different paint schemes.And Id also like to know your opinions,if you had the chance,which chemical shell would you choose to replicate???


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Nice looking bullet. Too bad some government inspired clone decided to drill holes in the body. I'm guessing you decided not to plug the holes. Of course you know, the fuze is actually the hardest part to find.

I will post some photos of some rounds.

Da holes are derr best part!!!Dats where derr smoke or derr gas comes out ya hey!!!:nerd:
Yeah,I'll fill them later.Id just prefer to introduce such controversial item as inert as possible for the benifit of the watchers.
Got one really good photo montage but it was all in black and white.And copyrighted.So no can share.
Hey,I did try to get a pic of the baffle inside,would that have anything to do with the type of load?
The 4.2 inch Chem mortar carries liquids in most cases, with a small unfilled area for expansion during temperature cycling hot to cold and back. WP is liquid when very warm, but usually solid. The 4.2 is rifled, so if the liquid is sloshing to one side, it screws with accuracy and all those things, so they put a baffle in to slow the sloshing. Actually looking into the fuze well and seeing the baffle shows that it is empty, as you will not see the baffle in a chem filled projo. The burster well seals the fuzewell in the intact rounds.

If you look at Pete Brite's Avatar, he has an x-ray of a 4.2 chem loaded projo, and you can see the baffle in the x-ray.
Well,then,I guess in the case its good to have my baffle exposed,I think.

So this rifled then too?Wonder what tail parts Im missing then,I always thought the 4.2 was smooth bore.
it looks like you've got most of it. The early versions of the 4.2 used a soft copper plate between the baseplate and the body. It was the same diameter as the body going down the tube, then the force of being fired would squeeze the copper between the body and the base, forcing it out and into the lands and grooves. One of your pictures is a little blurred, but it looks like you have the copper plate present?

The 4.2 had a very long service life (1930's - 1980's) and over that time was loaded/tested with pretty much every possible chemical fill, to include nerve agent. During WWII the 4.2 was mostly loaded with either Phosgene (CG) or mustard (H). There were many variations of mustard, so it could be HD, HN, HT, etc., the most likely is HD.
Well I thought the plate I have was steel but I havent stripped it yet. And looking at it I can see how the force of the charge going off would distort the plate out,to make contact with the lands and grooves. So as Haz said,with most of the cargos being liquid,and this does have the internal baffle,and with the green stripes I mentioned as I was stripping the shell,looks like it might of actually been a mustard shell?
Its possible, but the most likely situation is that it was a training piece from an EOD collection. EOD units always try to have extra pieces around for training. The training pieces that are not on display may end up being painted several times, in order to support whatever current training is going on.

Due to occasional accidents with items that sneak into training collections, EOD training aids are frequently required to be drilled for instant recognition that they are inert. Subsequently, the items used for field training are the most likely to be lost, given away or scheduled for destruction as command changes and priorities change with it, so you frequently see collections containing drilled examples, sometimes still with "EOD INERT" stickers.

I've attached a typical example, an M-3 Smoke grenade. Its unfortunate that these items get treated this way, but live items do get in, people do get hurt and careers get ruined, so it is understandable.

Live CW rounds were rarely inerted, there are just to many difficulties. Instead, empty trainers would be released from the factories. For submunitions theses EOD trainers have their own codes, added to the munition identification (D-1, etc).

Regardless, one green band was for non-persistent agents (CG), two green bands for persistent agents (mustard). Enjoy. JO


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Just ran across another example. Here is a US 155mm illumination projectile that was painted for training use as a mustard round. Note the hole drilled just below the bottom green band.


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Maybe they used the Flare projo because it was already gray, and it is the shape of the older 155s.

I have attached photos of a few variations of training 4.2 inch rounds.

The CG Gas projo has the proper colors, but the lettering is done with a hand stencil, so probably improvised training like Jeff said. My copy has one large projectile caused inerting hole. Just never got around to doing body putty because I liked the green paint and lettering.

The H (Mustard) Gas round has a blue band for inert and white lettering for inert, instead of the darker green lettering and bands.

The WP (Modern color code) has a blue inert band with white lettering, instead of a yellow band for HE burster and light red lettering.


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Here's a picture of some real ones.


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