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OSMP Collection

How to tell if an artillery projectile has been fired

If an artillery gun projectile appears unfunctioned, it can sometimes be challenging to tell on first glance whether it has been fired and failed to function, or has not been fired at all. In general, munitions specialists look for the following three characteristics in making this determination:

  1. Engraved driving bands, where the soft material (typically copper) of the bands has been deformed by the lands of a gun’s rifling as the projectile passes up the bore towards the muzzle;
  2. Scoring to the body of the projectile, particularly on the bourrelet, especially where showing rifling impressions which align with the engraved rifling in the driving bands;
  3. Impact damage, especially to the nose (inc. fuze, usually) of the projectile.

If one or more of these features is present on an intact artillery gun projectile, it is likely to have been fired and failed to function.

Methodology

This collection filters all images that are artillery and classified as delivered and unfunctioned.

Images in collection

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Munitions in collection