New entrants for Darwin award

Yes, exploded bombs may require a bag or sack or box - except those of the nuclear variety in which case they are best left untouched for a few thousand years?

I'm no expert in these matters, but I assume a shell when made includes some sort of safety device so troops can handle them (e.g. to load the gun). Firing it up the spout presumably disables the safety device - it wouldn't need much of an accelerometer to detect this. Or do they rely on the fuse in the tip only triggering when it hits something rather hard like armour plate?
 
I'm no expert in these matters, but I assume a shell when made includes some sort of safety device so troops can handle them (e.g. to load the gun). Firing it up the spout presumably disables the safety device - it wouldn't need much of an accelerometer to detect this. Or do they rely on the fuse in the tip only triggering when it hits something rather hard like armour plate?

I wouldn't worry about the mechanics of the fusing. I'd worry more about the stability of the explosives and fuse after decades of exposure to the elements.

If they are practice rounds with no explosives, no worry. We aren't allowed to touch any metallic rusty things found in the woods, but to call the guys who know what to do. Needless to say, when somebody arrives at security with an unexploded round in the back of their pickup truck, they are not exactly thought highly of.

jn
 
Not necessarily decades of exposure. This range is still in use. The Army are supposed to clear it before re-opening the public footpaths, but may miss a few. These two shells were apparently found just outside the range, so may be strays.

The Dorset coast is a strange place. Lots of military stuff. I remember once walking along the coast path and passing a big pipeline which went into the sea. Winfrith was only a few miles inland, so I didn't linger too long!
 
These shells obviously have NOT been fired, but are still intact and most probably live.
Note that such shells are routinely handled by soldiers when transporting and/or loading these shells into the gun. Totally safe. Dropping them will NOT fire them. What's all the fuss? Just because some woman (who obviously is an ordnance expert) took a pic with a cell phone? Jeez.

jan
 
You can get shells that have been fired, but have not exploded (there have been known problems with proximity, time, or contact fuses). Live or concrete filled dummy rounds, either way from what I can recall from watching Youtube video and Bugs Bunny cartoons (Looney Tunes or Merrrie Melodies) is that you aren't supposed to carry them over your shoulder, dig them up, tap the tip with a metal hammer, or stuff like that.

But usually the outcome is that you end up reading that maybe these guys will take them and drop them off as a matter of civic duty to the local police station (that happens a lot), take them home and use as door stops/conversation pieces, or drop them off at the scrappers looking for some quick cash.

People are funny that way.
 
Unexploded American civil war shells are dug up all the time. Some of these unexploded shells can still be dangerous even after 150 yrs. Few of the shells used back then used percussion fuses to explode the ordinance on impact. These are the ones that are dangerous despite the explosive within non-percussion fuses may still be live. In the case of very old gun powder, it can become more powerful than it was initially, or it was exposed to moisture and is inert. De-fusing these old shells and any ordinance that is old and weathered is a dangerous task. Some explosives can react chemically with the elements and exibit unpredictable properties.:eek: Typically they are detonated for safety. An inexperienced person attempting to defuse a 'dud' shell is a really bad idea.

Being a man of many interests, here is a photo of a few personal Civil War relics: 14lb Hodgkiss shell, a 10lb Parrott gun shell, and a typical 6-pounder. Notice the Hodgkiss shell has been fired, judging by the spiral rifling grooves in the lead band. (the white band coated with lead oxide.) When the shell is fired, the iron plate at the bottom is driven ito the heavy top part by the cannon charge, smashing the lead band out to the side so it can grip the rifling inside the barrel. The Parrott gun shell was never fired. It had been dropped and left behind, and was never even fused to begin with. However, this does not mean that the explosive inside is not live, or it may be inert. Sure wouldn't want to throw it into a fire though.:D BTW, Also have a 12 lb Bormann shell like #17 in the link below. It's in storage. This shell uses a phosphorous match powder that was placed in a circular groove cut into the top of the fuse. Around this cut are time markings, marked in 1/4 seconds. A cap would be placed on top of the groove full of match powder and a tool was used to set the time at which the shell is to explode depending on range and elevation.

Here is a link to data references. The Parrott gun shell is kin to #13. The Hodgkiss shell is #7. The 6 pound round shot was used by both sides, I believe this one is Yankee. Those two white cartridges are Confederate buck and ball musket loads. Probably don't see many of those cartridges around these days.:p BTW, these are NOT replicas.;)

Imagine marching in infantry formation with the enemy slinging these things at you, exploding around you, along with volleys of musket fire whizzing by. Men around you falling down, missing flesh. Can't imagine Hell being much worse. To have the courage to keep marchng forward took some real stones swinging between the legs.
 

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Just to edit, these pieces, uniforms and relics like that have to be kept in enclosed environments or they will deteriorate. Average uniform size was smaller back then....must be the diet....or lack there of.

So your marching in summer with full gear through Virginia, 90+ degrees with high humidity, and you’re wearing a wool uniform. Wheww… man that’s tough. Unfortunately, you cannot keep an authentic uniform in a closet for the moths to eat up.:whazzat: disgraceful. Local museums like to have interesting artifacts like this to display…..and besides, they generally have better security and environment.:cool:

Flint arrow heads are neat too. I have a cousin who owns a dairy farm in a specific region that used to be a river. I remember as a kid walking through the newly plowed fields picking them up off the ground.:) I have an intact Clovis spear tip somewhere around here.....:scratch:
 
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Cassiel

Disabled Account
2004-09-30 3:53 pm
Madrid
Imagine marching in infantry formation with the enemy slinging these things at you, exploding around you, along with volleys of musket fire whizzing by. Men around you falling down, missing flesh. Can't imagine Hell being much worse. To have the courage to keep marchng forward took some real stones swinging between the legs.

I wouldn't call it courage, just sheer stupidity. I know what I would be doing, either marching backwards or just lay down playing dead. Of course you can also be killed that way but at least I wouldn't be looking for it. Just imagine everyone doing that, no way to start a war. You need a few crazy people and thousands of fools to start a war.
 
Don't forget the financiers, the those who will make huge amounts of money on the tragedy. Modern wars require huge financial investments into industry to produce the required resources. Sometimes there are resources that require a war.:xeye: The ugly thing is that there are few national boarders in the world that was not formed as a result of war. In 1863, medical practice was quite barbaric by today’s standards. The musket bullets back then are different then what is used today, resulting in different injury patterns. If a 68cal solid hot lead ball or Minie` ball hit’s a bone it flattens and shatters the bone to pieces.:eek: The only treatment back then was to amputate and hope the stump doesn’t fester. This was no secret to the men that fought. It was a time in America where weapon technology raced ahead of battlefield tactics resulting in many casualties. WWI was the same way. “What Sarge?!?! Charge across that field into machine gun fire????? WHAT?!?!?!?!?…..” :bigeyes:

Hmmmm, could be a pattern.:scratch: :whazzat::warped:


I wouldn't call it courage, just sheer stupidity. I know what I would be doing, either marching backwards or just lay down playing dead. Of course you can also be killed that way but at least I wouldn't be looking for it. Just imagine everyone doing that, no way to start a war. You need a few crazy people and thousands of fools to start a war.

I suppose it depends on what your fighting for. If a foreign army is going to conquer your land and do away with you, then I guess you can't just hide away or play dead, lest you be dead.:sad: Although you did not start it, you may have to win it. It wouldn't be nice to be playing dead, then later the enemy is going through bayonetting corpes......until they get you! :eek:

Actually in the American civil war, for as brutal as it was the dignity of many of the soldiers was greater than the brutality of that war. Often, they would let up if the massacre got too ugly......offer surrenders and take prisoners if they could.
 
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Cassiel

Disabled Account
2004-09-30 3:53 pm
Madrid
Well, I'm no Gandhi if someone messes up with me I will have no problems showing him the way to heaven but a professional army is a different thing. Too many chances to get killed, if they don't kill you today they probably will kill you tomorrow, if not, next week. That's just crazy.

Invaders are a different thing. Some I may even like. If they are of the rape, pillage and burn variety I guess I would have to fight, but I will only fight for my life. It's the natural thing to do. If you can't run - fight.
 
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