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RN 4.5 inch Shell cases


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Came across two 4.5 inch Mark 8 shell cases the other day in a junk shop. Black felt pen dates on the side were 1999/2000. Can't see a date stamped on the bases. I was unable to find how they got to be there - sounds like they were found in a shed clearance in Northwich, Cheshire.

I wonder if anyone can tell me more about these, and whether there are other used cases floating around. Or maybe they were dummies or production test pieces, not sure how I would tell. They look like the real thing to me, except for a nylon plug in the centre of the detonator, so I don't see how they could have been fired.

Steve

Shells.jpg

Shells2.jpg

Shell3.jpg

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On 6/4/2022 at 6:43 AM, andym said:

Noting the degree of polish I suspect you've picked up a couple of ex-mess doorstops/ashtrays!

Andy

I polished them. They did have some handwritten black felt tip writing on them but hard to make out. I have heard that shells like these have been used as ashtrays at a British Legion club. Could be they were put into storage once smoking inside was banned.

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1 hour ago, ferretfixer said:

These are useful in the Hallway, as an Umbrella / Walking Stick / Cane Holder.

I have a 120mm Cent Case to provide this facility in my Home.  😁

Yes, might do that, though will need to remove the detonator tube inside, and put something around the lip.

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2 minutes ago, Cheshire Steve said:

I polished them. They did have some handwritten black felt tip writing on them but hard to make out. I have heard that shells like these have been used as ashtrays at a British Legion club. Could be they were put into storage once smoking inside was banned.

If You polish them, Then clear lacquer them as well. you wont have to Polish them again! 👍

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1 minute ago, Cheshire Steve said:

Yes, might do that, though will need to remove the detonator tube inside, and put something around the lip.

I never bothered. The sticks & Umbrellas go in and Stow OK. No need to do anything TBH.

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On 6/5/2022 at 9:50 AM, ferretfixer said:

These are useful in the Hallway, as an Umbrella / Walking Stick / Cane Holder.

I have a 120mm Cent Case to provide this facility in my Home.  😁

I have a 4.5in naval shell serving this exact same purpose. 

Swords into ploughshares and all that...

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19 hours ago, Adrian Barrell said:

Are you sure? Cent never had 120mm and British 120mm, other than L1 used bag charges. 105mm?

Yep 105 a necked case, is indeed Centurion. Mine is also stencilled 105mm BLANK.

I have just checked my 'Stick Stand' in the hallway. It is a PARALELL sided case of 155mm Diameter! Please accept my Embarrassed  Appologies! I had forgotten that I had changed cases! 

I have a good Excuse: I am Terminally Confused!....😁

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On 6/5/2022 at 5:42 PM, Richard Farrant said:

4.5 in. equates to 115mm and the T62 tank uses this calibre, looks very similar.

The Mark 8 4.5 inch naval gun is actually 4.45 inches (113mm), though its a small difference to measure when the thing is slightly out of round anyway. The shell case dimensions match those I found for the Mark 8 gun, with 700mm case height (it seems earlier versions of the 4.5 inch gun used shorter cases arounf 640 or 645mm). Date appears to be 1999/2000 from the black felt tip writing that was on the outside (and probably the stamps on the base if I can fgure out how to read them).

The one thing I think I have decoded from the base is that RLB is Royal Ordnance Factory Birtley, Birtley - which makes T62 unlikely,

So I am fairly convinced what they are - though if anyone can decode the base stamps then that would be of interest.

Steve

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3 hours ago, gordonb said:

Others might know better but I would expect Birtley to be ROFB or ROF(B). Certainly in my day (1970s) Nottingham was ROFN and Leeds was ROFL.

 

Gordon

It appears to have been designated as the Royal Laboratory Birtley (or Laboratories) - I have no idea why. Search for RLB and shall case brings up several references, searching for ROFB didn't turn up anything. So I think its Birtley.

Steve

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46 minutes ago, gordonb said:

See, I knew someone would know better!

Gordon

Ha - I know nothing - except what I found using Google! It seems to have been referred to as a Royal Ordinance Factory, even after it was privatised and sold to BAe systems, who I think closed it and switched to a new factory at Washington, Co Durham in 2011/2012. The title Royal Laboratory was also used by Woolwich, maybe Birtley gained it when Woolwich closed. The implication of Laboratory maybe being the development of munitions, rather than purely the manufacture.

Steve

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