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The shell is 57 mm in diameter and 170mm long. There is a hole in the bottom of the shell 13 mm in diameter. Any information on this shell would be greatly appreciated. I would like to keep it in my garage as a conversation piece. There is also some markings on the side of the shell. There markings are hard to read but looks like. THIS IS ON ONE LINE, P 6PDS 7 CWT 1 VT. Under that line is MC. Then under that is LOT 27 4/ 3’. enter image description here enter image description here

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    What country are you in? That might help narrow down the possible options.
    – Andrew
    Sep 1 at 17:59
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    How much does it weigh? Is its weight consistent with it being solid steel? Sep 1 at 19:20
  • The shell weighs 6 pounds Sep 1 at 19:50
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    How could you be sure that shell wasn't live? Sep 2 at 20:22
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This museum catalogue entry describing item number P19960033050 has the following description

  1. 6LB ROUND: CYLINDRICAL PIECE OF STEEL WITH POINTED TOP AND LEATHER PAD ON BOTTOM. HAS FLUTED COPPER COLLAR AROUND LOWER PART OF BODY. BODY OF ROUND HAS HORIZONTAL GROOVES RAISED FROM SURFACE. LEATHER ON BOTTOM IS DRY AND DIRTY. STAMPED INTO SIDE OF ROUND IS "S 839", "P 6PDS 7CWT 1 VT", "B MC" AND "LOT 24 4/43". SHELL HAS A COUPLE OF RUST SPOTS.

This is presumably the projectile fired by this weapon.

The relatively blunt tip indicates that it is a plain armour piercing (AP) round, rather than a "capped armour piercing" (APC) round. A militaria site has a chart listing dimensions of various 6 pounder projectiles; the AP ones clock in at about 6.8 inches, the HE ones at 7.2 inches; the former (175mm) are more consistent with the reported projectile length of 170mm than the latter (182mm).

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    @SteveFifield: All you have is the projectile. The propellant would have been in a brass shell attached to the flat end of the projectile. The hole in the base of your projectile was for the tracer. The hole is empty, so the tracer material is gone. A full shell would have looked something like the ones here.
    – JRE
    Sep 2 at 12:59
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    @nick012000: Humongous and heavy chunk of fast moving steel to ruin your day. The "shell" is the whole thing - projectile, propellant, fuze, casing for the propellant, etc. This thing is just the heavy piece of metal that is slammed into things to make holes. It is only one piece of what is usually called a shell.
    – JRE
    Sep 2 at 14:23
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    @nick012000 if it were an HE shell it would have a fuze on the tip, like this one mjlmilitaria.com/ww1-german-57mm-he-shell (though it's a german WW1 one and not a british 6lber)
    – llama
    Sep 2 at 17:35
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    @nick012000 actually a shot and not a shell, if you want to get picky, but the distinction is often ignored.
    – hobbs
    Sep 2 at 17:40
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    Terminology changes over time. In the 19th century the distinction between solid "shot" and hollow "shells" filled with explosives or chemicals was important, and "non explosive shell" would have sounded like a contradiction in tems. In the early 20th century armour piercing shells had bursting charges, but it seems in the mid 20th century solid AP shells were what was used with the 6 pounder QF gun in its anti-tank role. Since half a century had passed since solid cannon balls were used seriously, the idea of a "solid shell" no longer seemed oxymoronic. Sep 2 at 19:56
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According to the 57-mm caliber and the "6 PND" letters you mentioned, this is certainly a 6-pounder antitank gun shell that has been found there. Sources like Wikipedia does not mention 170 mm length. They mention more, but I guess this is an HE or even smoke shell and not AT shell, explaining the difference.

6-pounder guns were very important in 1942 African victories of the British Army, since they eventually gave her enough power to destroy Italian and German tanks.

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    What makes you think this is a High Explosive or Smoke shell? I see no fusing mechanism.
    – IronEagle
    Sep 2 at 12:28
  • Because the shell is shorter than the AT shell specified for 6 pounder Sep 2 at 18:18
  • HE ones listed at the militaria site mentioned in the first answer are all longer... the difference in listed vs. measured length is likely just due to the missing leather pad at the back (as seen in the museum link).
    – IronEagle
    Sep 2 at 21:28

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