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MikeyH

British No. 80 shell fuse

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MikeyH

Have a No. 80 fuse in aluminium, rather than the normal brass version. The markings include:-

11/16 presumably the date

capital L, this might be a part formed capital T

80

capital R followed by large broad arrow, then capital L

what looks like capital C followed by a letter o or number 0

111 which has been struck out by a single line, with a dot to the left

80 with a line under it, with 44 below that

23 over 16 this accompanied by a small broad arrow.

The time graduation markings are the normal 0 to 22

Were the aluminium ones manufactured for a specific purpose? They seem to be quite scarce.

Mike.

Edit to say, seem to have posted this twice, how did that happen?

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jay dubaya

Mike, the no.80 fuse designed by Krupp first appeared in 1905 and was made under license in the UK, initially the fuse was made in aluminium but was not heavily favoured since corrosion and 'elasticity' were evident, some Mks were adapted for use in anti aircraft weapons. Posting a photo of the markings will help

Jon

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Michael Haselgrove

Hi Mike,

As Jon says, a photograph will help. However, I think the "R broad arrow L" mark indicates manufacture by Royal Laboratories. As you say, the 11/16 is, I think, the date. The original 80/44 was a time and percussion fuze for anti-aircraft shrapnel. It was a conversion of the No. 80 by fitting a weaker spring on the percussion unit, omitting the 0-2 graduations on the time scale and putting a stop pin in the body to prevent setting below 2 secs. Introduced in 1914, it was abandoned in favour of the 80/44 time only.

The later 80/44 time only, which ran to 14 marks, was for anti-aircraft HE shells generally. It too was a conversion of the No.80 by removal of the percussion unit. Early models had the space filled with either an aluminium block or extra gunpowder. Later models used a wood block. Again, graduations 0 - 2 secs were omitted.

As Jon says, the No.80 was originally a Krupp design. It was made of brass, aluminium or steel. Cast iron, zinc alloy and vulcanised rubber were also tried as a wartime expedient, without success.

Hope the above helps,

Regards,

Michael.

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MikeyH

Michael,

Thanks for your very informative reply. I would guess the reason that the aluminium ones have survived in smaller numbers, is due to the corrosion problem. I do not think that 90 or 100 years underground in damp conditions, would do them a lot of good.

Mine, which is in very good condition was found in a box of oddments at an antiques event last year for £2.

Mike.

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nigelfe

UK used three materials for artillery fuze bodies in WW1 brass, aluminium and steel. They all have pros and cons.

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Michael Haselgrove

Mike,

Yes, I agree that the survival rate for aluminium fuzes left in the ground for many years is very poor. Although they may be preserved in some types of soil all those that I have seen in France have been in very corroded condition.

I thought you might be interested to see photos of a fired and inert shrapnel shell in my collection. It is fitted with the No.80 fuze from which your No.80/44 was developed. The shell is dated 10.8.05 and the fuze 12/07. You can clearly see the RL stamp.

Regards,

Michael.

post-53132-0-87391400-1416055270_thumb.j

post-53132-0-17396700-1416055285_thumb.j

post-53132-0-07280000-1416055300_thumb.j

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trenchtrotter

Lovely she'll and fuse. Thanks for showing.

TT

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MikeyH

Michael,

A much overdue thanks for posting the pics. of your 18 pounder shell with aluminium fuse, nice to see another one.

Mike.

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Pirate

Hi.  I have a No 85 fuze dated 1915. 

All the info I read say they started making them in 1916 . Any thoughts. Dave

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Chasemuseum
On 14/11/2014 at 06:29, Michael Haselgrove said:

Hi Mike,

As Jon says, a photograph will help. However, I think the "R broad arrow L" mark indicates manufacture by Royal Laboratories. As you say, the 11/16 is, I think, the date. The original 80/44 was a time and percussion fuze for anti-aircraft shrapnel. It was a conversion of the No. 80 by fitting a weaker spring on the percussion unit, omitting the 0-2 graduations on the time scale and putting a stop pin in the body to prevent setting below 2 secs. Introduced in 1914, it was abandoned in favour of the 80/44 time only.

The later 80/44 time only, which ran to 14 marks, was for anti-aircraft HE shells generally. It too was a conversion of the No.80 by removal of the percussion unit. Early models had the space filled with either an aluminium block or extra gunpowder. Later models used a wood block. Again, graduations 0 - 2 secs were omitted.

As Jon says, the No.80 was originally a Krupp design. It was made of brass, aluminium or steel. Cast iron, zinc alloy and vulcanised rubber were also tried as a wartime expedient, without success. 

Hope the above helps,

Regards,

Michael.

 

"vulcanised rubber"

 

This is an interesting reference and I suspect that this is actually "Ebonite" an early plastic compound, manufactured from natural rubber, with the addition of sulphur and linseed oil and then heat treated for an extended period. This was invented in the mid-nineteenth century. This material was used extensively in WW1 as the hard faceboard for electrical equipment such as wireless stations and as a backing board for electrical switches. It was also used to make insulated knobs. The shutter knob of the "Signal lamp B" (Begbie) is ebonite. Today it is still used to make the stems of smokers pipes and cases of high end fountain pens. It is easily lathe turned, sawn shaped and polished.

 

I have never seen a fuze in ebonite - if anyone has an example a photo would be much appreciated.

Cheers

Ross

 

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