Thursday, 7 May 2015

Soviet Explosive Ordnance - Markings System Part 2


Identification of Soviet Projectiles and Projectile Fragments (Part 2)

Markings System (Continued):

c. Identification Code Symbols for Projectiles.
The identification code of a projectile is usually stenciled in black paint between the bourrelet and the rotating band.  The symbols which appear in the three components of the code are listed and explained below.

(1) In the first component.  The first component in the code designation of a projectile is the number 53.  This number identifies the supplying agency, Department 53.  In practice, as previously noted, this component is usually omitted from the marking on the item.

(2) In the second component.  This component consists only of Russian letters and identifies the projectile by type.  An exception to this rule is the code designation for an HVAP (arrowhead) projectile; in this case, the standard code for an armor-piercing projectile is supplemented by the letter "П," which follows the Arabic numerals in the third component. 

Thus, БP-350 is an AP-T projectile, but БP-350П is an HVAP-T.  It must be remembered that the meanins given for the following list of Russian letters are valid only when the letters appear in the second component of the code designation for a projectile.

А -- Propaganda (Leaflet)                                 
Б -- Armor-Piercing                                          
      БЗ -- Armor-Piercing Incendiary                            
БЗP -- Armor-Piercing Incendiary Tracer        
БП -- High-Explosive Anti-tank                       
БP -- Armor-Piercing Tracer                            
Г -- Concrete-piercing                                      
Д -- Smoke                                                        
З -- Incendiary                                                   
О -- Fragmentation                                            
ОЗ -- Fragmentation Incendiary                        
ОЗP -- Fragmentation Incendiary Tracer          
ОP -- Fragmentation Tracer                              
ОФ -- Fragmentation High-Explosive              
OФP -- Fragmentation High-Explosive Tracer
OХ -- Fragmentation Gas                                 
ПУ -- Target Practice                                       
                 P -- Tracer                                                                         
         C -- Illuminating (star)                                              
        Ф -- High-Explosive                                                 
X -- Gas                                                            
Ш -- Shrapnel                                                   
Щ -- Canister                                                    

(3) In the third component.  The third component consists of three Arabic numerals, which are sometimes followed by one to four Russian letters.  The numerals identify the model of the projectile, by identifying the weapon or weapons in which the ammunition may be fired.  The below-listed numbers of the third component have been found on projectiles used in the weapons named.  However, documentary evidence does not indicate that all projectiles with the same number are actually fired in all the weapons associated with the number.

For example, the projectile ОФ-350 is known to be fired in 76.2mm Mountain Guns (Howitzers) M1909 and M1938, but projectile БР-350A appears to be fired only in the latter of the two models.  Following the list of numbers which appear in the third component, is a list of Russian letters; the meanins given for these letters are valid only when the letters appear after the numbers in the third component.

 Letters                Meaning     (Note - when meanings are doubtful, the letter is followed by an *)
  A*         Projectile of English design (When no black band appears above the rotating band on proj. 
  A           Ballistic Cap electrically welded to proj. (in conj. with black band above ? band on AP proj)
  A           Cast iron projectile (in conj. with black band above and adjacent to the rotating band)         
 АГ*        Cast iron projectile (in conj. with black band above rotating band), using a T-series fuze
AM *       Cast iron projectile (in conj. with black band above rotating band), using mechanical igniferous fuze
 Б*          Filler contains an incendiary element
 B            Disruptive fuze
 Г*          Projectile uses a series "T" fuze
 Д*          Uses a series "Д" fuze (applies only to cannon projectiles)
 Д            Ten-finned (applies only to mortar projectiles)
 К            Improved model of original projectile
 Л            Improved model of original projectile
M*          Uses a mechanical igniferous fuze
H*           Improved model of original projectile
П             High-velocity Armor-piercing (arrowhead). When the symbol for an AP proj., Б, appears in the 2nd component
          Solid shot. When the symbol for an AP proj., Б, appears in the 2nd component
C             Early model projectile
T             Uses a series "T" igniferous fuze
У*           Uses a series "УTT" fuze
Я             Projectile of Japanese design
П             Ball shrapnel (when symbol for shrapnel proj. "Ш" appears in 2nd component)
C             Ball shrapnel (same as above)
P             Projectile designed by Rosenberg
У            A reduced propellant charge
Ш           Six-finned projectile (applies only to mortar projectiles)      

d. Other Projectile Markings.  In addition to the identification code, various other markings usually appear on the projectile.  These give information on the filler, weight classification, fuze, lot number, year of manufacture, steel smelt number, manufacturing arsenal, inspection by the arsenal, acceptance by the army, etc.  The symbols conveying such information are usually stenciled on the projectile in black paint.

(1) Symbols identifying explosive fillers
T - Trotyl (TNT)
TT - TNT and cyclonite (numbers following denote % of TNT)
Г - Hexogen (cyclonite, or RDX)
Ш - Schneiderite
T/80 - TNT/RDX 80/20
K-1 - 70% TNT  30% Dinitrobenzol
K-2 - 80% TNT  20% Dinitrobenzol
Ш-T - Schneiderite 88/12
ДБ - Dinitrobenzol
ДБT - Dinitrobenzol - TNT
A - Amatol
TC - Trotyl Sulphite
A-40 - Amatol 40/60
AT/90 - Amatol 90/10
A/80 - Amatol 80/20
A-IX-2 - 73% RDX, 23% Aluminium, 4% Wax
M - Picric Acid
TДУ - Type unknown (Possibly TNT + Fumyl)
ATФ-40 - Phlegmatized Amatol 40/60

(2) Symbols identifying chemical fillers
P-4 - White Phosphorous
P-5 - Mustard Gas
PC - Lewisite Gas
PIO - Phosgene Gas
P-15 - Adamsite Gas

(3) Weight classification symbols
TЖ—   More than 3% above standard weight
++++-    From 2.33% to 3% above standard weight
+++-   From 1.66% to 2.33% above standard weight
++-   From 1.0% to 1.66% above standard weight
+-    From 0.33% to 1.0% above standard weight
H—    From 0.33% above to 0.33% below standard weight
- —    From 0.33% to 1.0% below standard weight
- - —    From 1.0% to 1.66% below standard weight
- - - —    From 1.66% to 2.33% below standard weight
- - - - —    From 2.33% to 3% below standard weight
ДГ—    More than 3% below standard weight

Next time: Soviet Projectile Colouring System and example projectile

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