Military History/artillery shell


QUESTION: What are these markings q5mmf possibly d rw297 lot 8 rLB

ANSWER: A photo of the markings would be a bigger help.

Lot 8 is the manufacturer's lot number.  

The following initials are the inspectors mark.

The q5mmf are suspect.  Might the q not be another number?

Usually the markings include a size or pound stamp.

English shells were designated by pound with a stamp saying 12 lb.

You Brits held on to the old smooth bore cannon designations through WWII and only afterwards moved on to the bore size designation.  Something like 75mm field gun.

In the old days a cannon was identified by the weight of the solid iron ball is shot not by the size of the bore of the barrel.

So during WWII an approximately 76 mm cannon was still referred to officially as a the 17lb gun even though the shell weight was heavier than 17 lbs and depending on the type of the shell, it may have been more or even less.   

If you can send me a picture I might be able to help out more.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Does this picture help ?

Okay, the date 1932 (I think its 1932, but it could be 1982) is on the bottom that narrows it down a bit.

The RLB stands for Royal Ordnance Factory Birtley in Newcastle on Tyne.

The three circles next to RLB is a thread mark, meaning unified thread or American Thread for the primer hole in the middle.

RW297 is the drawing/ design number for a proof round.  

According to the discussion here:

It looks like the date might well be 1982 by the dating of the thread.  So it is probably a proof round.  

You never did say what the neck measurement was.  Is it 105mm?

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Keith H. Patton


I can answer questions pertaining to weapons and tactics, personalities, battles, and strategies in european and U.S. history.


I was a history major, and had done extensive research in the subject area. I have designed and tested numerous computer games for various
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B.A History M.S. Science
I have had the opportunity to live abroad and walk numerous battlefields both in the United States, Europe, and the Pacific.

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