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Original British WWII Ordnance ML 3-Inch Mortar 10lb. Inert Round - Dated 1941

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. Totally inert per guidelines provided by the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) this is a very nice WWII-dated example of an Inert Round for the British British Ordnance ML Three-Inch Mortar. The propellant and explosive charge have been removed and the fuse deactivated, making this totally inert, and unable to be converted into an explosive device.

This example is in very good condition, and the bottom fins still correctly unscrew. The top of the mortar round, or bomb, has the original top plug still installed, which would then be removed when the fuze was to be installed. It can still be removed to show the internal explosives cavity.

The mortar round still has original markings, stamped into the body next to the gas check band / obturating ring:

C S - 3" MOR. 10 LBS 111 CW     3 / 41

There is also a maker mark and date stamped into one of the fins: C-W 1/41. There are no other markings that we can see. The body looks to have suffered some corrosion, and then was painted tan post war. This unfortunately removed the original paint markings, which would have identified the exact time of shell / round that it is. Measures about 15 inches long by 3 inches wide.

These are quite rare, and this is the first example that we have had. Ready to display!

More on the British ML 3-Inch Mortar:

The Ordnance ML 3-inch mortar was the United Kingdom's standard mortar used by the British Army from the early 1930s to the late 1960s, superseding the Stokes mortar. Initially handicapped by its short range compared to similar Second World War mortars, improvements of the propellant charges enabled it to be used with great satisfaction by various armies of the British Empire and of the Commonwealth.

Based on their experience in the First World War, the British infantry sought some sort of artillery for close support. The initial plan was for special batteries of artillery, but the cost was prohibitive and the mortar was accepted instead.

The Mark II mortar (Mark I was the Stokes) was adopted by the British Army in the early 1930s; and this was the standard British mortar when the Second World War broke out in September 1939. Experience in the early part of the war showed that, although the Mark II was reliable and sturdy, it did not have sufficient range compared to the German 81 mm s.GW.34 mortar. A series of experiments and trials using new propellants improved the range from 1600 yards to 2800 yards by about 1942; and, by 1943, the barrel, baseplate and sights had also been improved. Although called the '3-inch mortar' by the British Army, its calibre was actually 3.209 in (81.5 mm).

The ML 3-inch mortar was carried on three packs by infantry or on Universal Carriers. The Mark II remained in service with the British Army until replaced by the L16 81mm mortar in 1965.

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