I'm not sure but my grandfather says that it is from time of first world war. As his father served in British army during 1st world war. He(great grandfather) has done some kind of modification on it. can you guys tell all about it which can be identified through its current form.image of shell base; burnishing marks visible; no identifying numbers exterior vertical image Interior of artillery shell

enter image description here

Well i didn't mention height because as i said earlier it is modified but dimension are:diameter-7.8cm appx ,height- 11 cm appx

  • 8
    You really should update your question to at the very least write down the measurements of the shell.
    – SJuan76
    Aug 27, 2020 at 13:07
  • 9
    With no markings whatsoever this will be really difficult. Without exact measurement of height overall, height of the rim, and diameter it will be downright impossible.
    – DevSolar
    Aug 27, 2020 at 13:20
  • 1
    It appears to fall into the general category of what's known as "trench art."
    – R Leonard
    Aug 27, 2020 at 15:25

1 Answer 1


This question is probably not completely answerable, but let's see how far we can get with some reasonable assumptions.

The object seems to have been made out of a brass cartridge case for an artillery shell. If it is "trench art", that implies it was done by hand, without power tools. That makes it unlikely that its diameter has changed much, and if it has, it will have got larger. Its length may well have been cut down. The puzzling thing is the rim around the bottom, which doesn't look like part of a cartridge case at all.

Which British WWI artillery pieces had cases of the right dimensions? Sadly, quite a few. We're looking at 75-78mm calibre and a case length of 110mm or more. We can eliminate weapons designated as "BL", because they did not use brass cartridge cases, but loaded their propellant in cloth bags. So we can limit ourselves to the other type ,"QF" for "Quick Firing" guns.

The most common British gun in WWI was the QF 18-pounder gun. That took an 84x295mm case, which seems unlikely to be the parent of this item, since its diameter is too large, as are those of many other large guns.

The QF 12-pounder 8 cwtgun and QF 12-pounder 18 cwt naval gun are unlikely, as primarily naval weapons.

The QF 13-pounder gun is a possibility, as are the QF 15-pounder gun, QF 2.95-inch mountain gun, 75mm AA gun, QF 12-pounder 12 cwt AA gun, QF 13-pounder Mk IV AA gun (very rare), QF 13-pounder 9 cwt, and the QF 3-inch 20 cwt.

Without more clues, or help from an artillery cartridge collector, we're unlikely to get much further.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.