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WWI 75mm Ordnance collection


Well-Known Member
Here is a photograph of my inert U.S. World War One 75mm shrapnel (1) and HE (7) collection. The fuzes are a mixture of U.S. & French manufacture as was actually used during the war.

Best regards,



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Wow! Really nice diversity on the fuzes! Do you have any chemical rounds from the same time frame? Thanks for sharing.


Hey Shelldude, thanks so much for the clinic on 75mm us shells. Well done, great pics, I am so in awe, Dano
Hello John & Dano,

Thanks for the kind words regarding the collection.

John, No I don't have any chemical ordnance from WWI. I guess I've always been a little gun-shy of the chemical stuff.

Dano, You're correct, it's a shrapnel round with an M1907 M 21-second time/percussion fuze.

Best regards,

I understand your reluctance to chemical, but in general the more complex and high tech the rounds are, the more interest they have to me, but the old stuff has its interest in emerging technologies and rarity, so its all good.

75mm shell case

Randall, could you provide details on shell casing for 75mm shrapnel round? I have a shrapnel round with no casing and was wondering what is correct? Dano
Hi Shelldude,
What a great selection of rounds a credit to any collection, thankyou for sharing those with us.
Best regards Weasel.
The U.S. Chemical rounds from WWI did not use gas bottles. The typical calibers were the 75mm for the French 75 and the 4.7 inch gun. U.S. Gas projectiles up to the 1950s use a pipe threaded adapter at the nose of the shell, that contains the bursting charge separate from the chemical. The main body of the projo is filled with chemical and kept sealed by the tapered pipe threaded adapter. The Adapter is very visible as it is hex shaped like a large nut. The design only changed slightly post WWII for the 105mm, 155mm, and 8 inch rounds that were in inventory up through the 90s. Those rounds had the same type of seal, but the large external hex nut shape went away, making the chem rounds harder to identify. To complicate the matter the U.S. Model numbers stamped in the projo body, for white phosphorus and Mustard gas projectiles in 105H and 155H is the same number. It might be acceptable to blow a WP dud round in place, but people really frown on scattering Mustard gas around an area these days.

Since the chemical had contact with the metal body of the projo, there would be a danger of residual chemical inside the body of the projo on the metal surfaces, if it hasn't been "washed" out by cleaning methods.
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Hello Hazord,

THANK YOU for your U.S. chemical round information! I knew that residue could linger on steel surfaces if not carefully salvaged. Now I've decided that my collection will continue missing a chemical specimen!

Best regards,

Treatment of Shells


I especially admire that your collection is not sanded polished and painted but retains the original patina of the ordinance. Much more museum like.

Can you tell me if you use any sort of preservative, wax or oil?

Big fan.

Hello Jim,

I enjoy the original patina as well. It seems that each of us has their own opinion regarding restoration of their ordnance collection. The only items I use to remove surface oxidation if necessary is 0000 steel wool and Navel Jelly. BE CAREFUL with "blued" ordnance since navel jelly will instantly remove that as well.

Best regards,

Randell - Can you clarify why you think all the rounds are US ? I think all of your rounds are French WW1 ? I have an extensive photo library of shells from WW1 & WW2 and every one resembles French ordnance. It may be you have 75mm cases - but the heads in my opinion are all from French Shells. I look forward to hearing your explanation of my question. Thank you in advance.

Ammo Cat
Ammo Cat,

Before Randall has to go into a long detaied genealogical investigation and thesis as to why his rounds are U.S. manufactured items, you should understand that the U.S. was very unprepared for WWI and WWII. Before the U.S. got into WWI, it was manufacturing huge amounts of artillery ammunition for Russia and other European allies. Since the U.S. had minimal artillery, it patterned much of its field gun material after French designs, such as the French 75 and the 155mm, and some items after Russian designs. Therefore, the U.S. manufactured 75mm HE and shrapnel rounds look identical to the French manufactured ones to include fuzes.

If you search the threads here on BOCN that address early U.S. fuzes, you will see many photos of U.S. manufactured fuzes identical to the ones on Randall's projectiles.
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EEEER ok ! What is your problem ? I only asked a question and thank you for your brief explanation. No need for the attitude mate !
Ammo Cat,

Sorry if my reply seemed to have attitude. It wasn't my intention. I just wanted to answer your question.
WWI U.S. 75mm projectiles & fuzes...

Hello Bramble,

John's (HAZORD) reply to your question couldn't be more precise. My collection of WWI 75mm shells number around fourteen now and EVERY one has the United States Ordnance stamping on it's projectile body. I've included a few photographs of one of my better inscribed 75mm's manufactured by the American Can Manufacturing Company. I've also included a U.S. manufactured MK III PDF fuze which is identical to the French 24/31 I.A.L M-1916 Instante Allonge Lefever, or the instantaneous elongated fuze of the Lefevre design. The American Expeditionary Forces during WWI used almost entirely French Manufactured 75mm guns. But they used both American & French manufactured projectiles and fuzes. Believe me, John isn't the type of person who attempts to be condescending. He's the most knowledgable ordnance collector I've had the pleasure of knowing.

Best regards,



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