WW1 RUSSIAN FUZES GALLERY

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Version francophone


Russian fuze
Russian fuzes characteristics

Percussion fuzes
Nr 6 GT percussion fuze

Time and percussion fuzes
22 seconds time and percussion fuze
30 seconds time and percussion fuze
45 seconds time and percussion fuze

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Main characteristics or Russian fuzes

Turkish time and percussion fuze


Until its collapse in 1917 due to the Revolution, the Russian Empire was a major actor of WW1, facing both Germany and Austria-Hungary on the eastern Front. It seems their artillery fuzes systems was pretty optimized with a limited quantity of models in percussion and time and percussion categories. Very few information can be found on the subject. Some of the fuzes have been designed, improved or delivered by the French Company Schneider, who developped the modern artillery system of Russia before WW1 in cooperation with the local industry.






Percussion fuzes


6 GT Fuze
Percussion fuze type 6 GT

Like most the fighting nations in WW1, Russia had its own artillery munitions system including fuzes. I have little data on this Russian 6 GT percussion fuze. A quick look to the plan found shows a safety system with inertia block and staple, as well as a safety spring. It looks like the starter was projected against a fixed percussion pin at the arrival on the target, right in the middle of the detonator charge.

As far as I can read cyrillic, it looks like it was at least mounted on projectiles of
  • 6 inches (152.4mm) 120 pouds M 1877 guns and 190 pounds guns
  • 6 inches (152.4mm) 190 pouds M 1877 heavy guns
  • 6 inches (152.4mm) M 1909 howitzers
  • 6 inches (152.4mm) M 1910 howitzers


An interesting point about the item shown is that this one fuze has been observed on a western front WW1 battlefield, proving the German Army was using captured Russian guns and ammo in France.


Percussion fuze type 6 GT.
Percussion fuze type 6 GT. Steel and brass body. No markings visible.
Percussion fuze type 6 GT. Front view.
Percussion fuze type 6 GT. That fuze has been observed in Massiges, Champagne (France). It is certainly a munition shot by the German Army with a Russian gun captured on the eastern front
Percussion fuze type 6 GT. Wartime scheme
Percussion fuze type 6 GT. Technical data in Cyrillic - transaltors welcomed...



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Time and percussion fuzes


22 seconds P or G fuze
Russian 22 seconds aluminium time and percussion fuze (campaign or mountain)

Developped with the help of the French company Schneider, this time and percussion fuze was the most famous member of a family of similarily-shaped fuzes of 22, 30 and 45 seconds. Despite its Russian name '22 seconds aluminium time and percussion fuze', the two rotating discs and the main body part and base were in aluminium but its top part was made in brass.

Under the chinese hat typical shape on the top of the fuze was located the concutor inertia system, classically made of a mobile primer and a static percussion pin only separated at rest by a safety spring and a soft metal protecting sheet. This device allowed to ignite the compressed gunpowder time tracks at the shot departure in the barrel. These tracks were located in the two discs, the upper one being static and the lower one rotating. The rotating disk was graduated from 0 to 140 distance units (unknowned value) with 1 unit steps, but it could also be set on a 'yD' mark for a pure percussion behavior.

The percussion system was located in the fuze tail. It was also pretty classical with a mobile graze pellet containing the primer and a static percussion pin on the bottom side, separated by a strong safety spring. The arming system was made with a safety block preventing any contact at rest between the percussion pin and the primer, that could be masked under the effect of the shot departure inertia forces by compressing a weaker safety spring, and remain such with the help of 'staples'. The tail percussion system could be activated either under the action of the explosion of a gunpowder room located behind the percussion pin and projecting it towards the mobile primer cap when ignited by the time system, and in any case at landing on a target under the action of the shock inertia.

My understanding of the schemes is that holes under the 'chinese hat' also acted as exhausts for the fumes of the concussion and time systems.

This 30-s fuze existed two versions : the 'P' version was dedicated to the field guns ('p' as 'polevaya' - field - in Russian), and the 'G' version to the mountain guns ('g' as 'gornaya' - mountain). It was the typical time and percussion fuzes of the shells of the 3-inches guns of various types :
  • 3 inches (76.2mm) M 1902 Putilov-Schneider field guns
  • 3 inches (76.2mm) M 1904 Obuchov mountain guns
  • 3 inches (76.2mm) M 1909 Putilov-Schneider mountain guns
  • 3 inches (76.2mm) M 1910 mountain guns


22s time and percussion Russian fuze.
22s time and percussion Russian fuze, zoom on the graduations of the lower ring
22s time and percussion Russian fuze, zoom on the top 'chinese hat'
22s time and percussion Russian fuze, one nice condition item seen on 'Delcampe' bidding website
22s time and percussion Russian fuze.
22s time and percussion Russian fuze.
22s time and percussion Russian fuze.
22s time and percussion Russian fuze, wartime scheme
22s time and percussion Russian fuze, technical data - translators welcomed...



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30 seconds fuze
Russian 30 seconds aluminium and brass time and percussion fuze

While the 22 seconds time and percussion aluminium fuze was dedicated to the 3 inches field and mountain guns, the 30 seconds one was designed for the use with the higher calibers of 4.2 inches and 6 inches. This '30 seconds aluminium and brass time and percussion fuze' was deserving this name since, unlike the smaller 22 seconds aluminium time and percussion fuze, it was made with aluminium static and rotating disks assembled on a brass base and body. The top part and hat were still in brass.

The inner organisation of this fuze was similar to the one of the 22 seconds fuze, with a concutor inertia system located under the 'chinese hat', a two discs (one static, one rotating graduated from 0 to 30 seconds with 0,2s steps) time system, and a percussion system located in the fuze tail.

Important differences although were the presence of pyrotechnic amplifiers in some flame transmission channels, and a two needles safety system that was inserted inside both the top concussion system and the tail percussion system.

The lower cone mounted below the item showned at left and transformed as a trench souvenir inker demonstrates that this fuze was equipping a shell whose caliber was higher than 95 mm, probably a 4.2 inches gun.

This fuze was in use with the shells of the :
  • 42 lines (106.7mm) M 1877 battery guns
  • 42 lines (106.7mm) M 1877 siege and fortress guns
  • 6 inches (152.4mm) 120 pouds M 1877 guns
  • 6 inches (152.4mm) 190 pouds M 1877 heavy guns


One of the items displayed at the left has been mounted as a trench souvenir inker on a marmor plate, the inner concutor and percussion mechanisms being removed, and the brass top part could be opened thanks to the addition of an opening hinge.


Russian time and percussion fuze graduated to 30 seconds.
30s time and percussion Russian fuze
30s time and percussion Russian fuze, opening hinge added for inker mounting
30s time and percussion Russian fuze, detail of the cyrillic markings
30s time and percussion Russian fuze, upper view
30s time and percussion Russian fuze, trench souvenir mounting on a marmor plate
30s time and percussion Russian fuze, old piece seen on an Eastern front battlefield
30s time and percussion Russian fuze, old piece seen on an Eastern front battlefield, dismantled
30s time and percussion Russian fuze, wartime scheme
30s time and percussion Russian fuze, technical data - translators welcomed...



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45 seconds fuze
Russian 45 seconds aluminium time and percussion fuze

The last variant of the Russian time and percussion fuzes series was a consequence of the need to accompany the increase of the range of the corresponding weapons. The flight time offered by the 30 seconds fuze was found insufficient, and a 150% increase of it was reached with this new model. In order to achieve this, the '45 seconds aluminium time and percussion fuze' was added a supplementary disk, making it a 3 disks time and persussion fuze. Thanks to this device, the range of the 152mm guns could progress from 5700 to 7800 meters with shrapnell shells (representing 30% of the ammunitions stocks).

The internal parts and action principles of the 45 seconds fuze were almost identical to the ones of the 30 seconds one, including the presence of the double safety pin (for concutor and percussion systems), with the exception of the 3rd disk addition. As indicated by the fuze name, this formula was back to the materials choice of the 22 seconds fuze with the 3 disks and the fuze body and bas all in aluminium, the lower being graduated from 0 to 45 seconds with 0.2 seconds increments, while the top part remaines in brass.

Most of the Russian fuzes were produced in the Petrograd Pipe Factory that was greatly expanded in 1915 and raised their productivity to very high numers : some non verified sources report in 1916 the incredible numbers for a daily (?!?) production of 25000 22-sec fuzes, 3500 45-sec fuzes, 2000 3GT fuzes and 1500 4GT fuzes

According to the wartime booklet copy I own, these 45 seconds fuzes were used with the shells of the :
  • 42 lines (106.7mm) M 1877 battery guns
  • 42 lines (106.7mm) M 1877 siege and fortress guns
  • 48 lines (122 mm) M 1909 howitzers
  • 48 lines (122 mm) M 1910 howitzers
  • 6 inches (152.4mm) 120 pouds M 1877 guns
  • 6 inches (152.4mm) 190 pouds M 1877 heavy guns
  • 6 inches (152.4mm) 200 pouds M 1904 long guns



45s time and percussion Russian fuze.
45s time and percussion Russian fuze. Zoom on the brass top and the large 'Chinese hat'
45s time and percussion Russian fuze, detail of the 3 disks and the brass staple fixing them together (unidentified function)
45s time and percussion Russian fuze, rear view with the sawn tail in the context of the transformation of this fuze into a trench souvenir inker
45s time and percussion Russian fuze, an opening hinge has been added for inker mounting
45s time and percussion Russian fuze, wartime scheme
45s time and percussion Russian fuze, technical data - translators welcomed...



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