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 37mm 
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Joined: Sat Jul 02, 2011 11:42 pm
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Post 37mm
I bought this 1916 37mm shell with the casing telescoped. Iwas told that the shell is live and was wondering how this might have happened?
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Sun Feb 23, 2014 5:54 pm
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Location: USA
Post Re: 37mm
I hate to tell you this but if you think your item is live then it needs to be turned into the proper authorities NOW for disposal! As per Federal law and for your own safety.

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Sun Feb 23, 2014 6:48 pm
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Post Re: 37mm
It may have a live primer, leading some to think that the whole thing is "live", but the powder and any charge in the shell is almost always gone. One can usually twist the projectile out and see into the empty casing. When in doubt, consult a collector familiar with these first. If an experienced collector of these is in doubt, then it is time to call in the E.O.D.

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Sun Feb 23, 2014 7:02 pm
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Post Re: 37mm
Here is a pic of the primer. I think that the bulging ring on the case was caused by reinserting the projectile.
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Sun Feb 23, 2014 10:00 pm
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Joined: Sun Sep 27, 2009 7:17 pm
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Post Re: 37mm
Is there a federal law prohibiting ownership of live ammunition of this size?


Mon Feb 24, 2014 6:22 am
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Joined: Tue Oct 13, 2009 4:30 am
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Location: England
Post Re: 37mm
This sort of "telescoping" damage can be caused by dropping the round onto a hard surface, base first. The shell tries to ram itself deeper into the case as the base of the case stops abruptly. The dents on the base of the case show that it has been bounced a few times.

gravelbelly

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Mon Feb 24, 2014 7:36 am
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Post Re: 37mm
A question due to the lack of experience/knowledge: do artillery rounds (or large calibre aircraft rounds) produce shifting gun powder sound, like some small arms rounds, when shaken? I never handled a live large calibre anything, so would like to know.


Mon Feb 24, 2014 10:54 am
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Joined: Sat Sep 19, 2009 10:45 pm
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Location: Linden AZ
Post Re: 37mm
cartguy wrote:
Is there a federal law prohibiting ownership of live ammunition of this size?


I think the law reads that any caliber projectile which contains over 1/4oz. of explosive or incendiary substance is considered a destructive device and requires a license to own.

But, we need an expert to tell us for sure.

Ray


Mon Feb 24, 2014 12:04 pm
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Post Re: 37mm
sksvlad wrote:
A question due to the lack of experience/knowledge: do artillery rounds (or large calibre aircraft rounds) produce shifting gun powder sound, like some small arms rounds, when shaken? I never handled a live large calibre anything, so would like to know.


Vlad

If the propellant is loose in the case then, yes it will shake. Most large caliber artillery cases have cardboard fillers and spacers that keep the powder from shifting, so they would not shake, assuming you could pick them to shake them. :-)

Ray


Mon Feb 24, 2014 12:09 pm
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Post Re: 37mm
RayMeketa wrote:
sksvlad wrote:
A question due to the lack of experience/knowledge: do artillery rounds (or large calibre aircraft rounds) produce shifting gun powder sound, like some small arms rounds, when shaken? I never handled a live large calibre anything, so would like to know.


Vlad

If the propellant is loose in the case then, yes it will shake. Most large caliber artillery cases have cardboard fillers and spacers that keep the powder from shifting, so they would not shake, assuming you could pick them to shake them. :-)

Ray


Also, as this case is fore-shortened, there is less space inside for anything to rattle. However, twisting the shell out is the simple answer.

gravelbelly

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Mon Feb 24, 2014 12:14 pm
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Post Re: 37mm
The 1/4 oz rule is the way to determine destructive device legality, and whether one needs to have the proper level of FFL license, or a $200 tax stamp in some cases. You can own all sorts of 40mm grenades and 37mm - 155mm shells (and larger) with original projectiles, as long as no explosive, or in some cases, propellant is present. The only live cartridges that I sometimes see which might be in violation of this are some 14.5 Russian loads, and some WWII vet bring-backs on things like 20mm shells that they picked up. These are just barely over the limit in some cases, and are usually ignored since the majority of them in the U.S. are all inert, and nobody is really checking or able to tell in most cases if one is live or not unless the projectile pops out easily.

In terms of rockets & missiles, you can own anything as long as the explosive & guidance system is removed. If the rocket motor remains, then you are presumably subject to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Code 1127 regulating the size of rocket motors for usage & storage (even though you obviously would not be intending to launch collector specimens). Those rules are meant to regulate model rockets essentially, and refer to certain ranges of average thrust in Newtons, and overall weight & frame construction. The BATFE also has a permit called a "Low Explosives User Permit", which applies to any live rocket with intact propellant weighing more than 62.5 grams. This permit regulates storage and usage. I don't think any collectors ever really get into rockets with intact motor propellant of this size, so this is probably all moot.
http://www.lunar.org/docs/handbook/regs.shtml

The gray area is non-lethal things like 37mm and 40mm grenades with wooden or rubber projectiles that are live, which are legal, but not if you own a weapon capable of chambering them that is otherwise not a Destructive Device (meant as a signal device).

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Mon Feb 24, 2014 12:42 pm
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Post Re: 37mm
The line where you cross into the "destructive device" category is usually in the 20mm range. Some 20mm projectiles can hold more than 1/4 oz of explosive, while others cannot. It's best to know exactly what you have.

Ray


Mon Feb 24, 2014 1:10 pm
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Post Re: 37mm
Ray
The 14.5 Russian is above the HE limit, (according to B.W.) but I realize that is probably not your cup of tea not being a match round, so 20mm works too.



This 37mm round in question does not seem to be the HE type as far as I can see unless it is base fused? So not a problem, loaded or not?

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Mon Feb 24, 2014 3:17 pm
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Post Re: 37mm
PetedeCoux wrote:
. . .This 37mm round in question does not seem to be the HE type as far as I can see unless it is base fused? So not a problem, loaded or not?


The cartridge shown is a 1 Pdr Common. It is base fuzed. It can hold nearly 1/2 oz. of bursting charge, which would be black powder. The question is - does BATF&E consider black powder an "explosive"? In a grenade or artillery projectile I'm betting they would.

Didn't the Russians use the 14.5mm in this year's Biathlon? That would make it a match cartridge. ;-)

Ray


Mon Feb 24, 2014 4:16 pm
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Joined: Sat Jul 02, 2011 11:42 pm
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Post Re: 37mm
I was finely able to get the projectile out of the case, it was rusted in, and there was no powder. Anyone know how to get the wrinkle out of the case or should I keep it as is for a curiosity?


Wed Feb 26, 2014 8:33 pm
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