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Painting and Marking

All projectiles are painted, both as a means of ready identification and as a rust preventative. The basic colors used for many years were olive drab (OD) for high-explosive rounds, gray for chemical rounds, blue for practice rounds, and black for drill rounds. A system of contrasting color markings or bands in addition to the basic color has also been used to identify the particular type of high explosive or chemical used as a filler. Color coding of recently produced projectiles is somewhat different. For example, illuminating and smoke rounds are no longer painted gray, the basic color for chemical shells. Illuminating rounds are now painted basically white or olive drab, and the smoke rounds are painted green. The basic color for dummy ammunition has been changed to bronze. Projectiles containing high explosive TNT Amatol, etc.) are painted yellow. Projectiles containing chemicals (gas or smoke) are painted blue-gray. Projectiles containing low explosives (black powder) are painted red. Projectiles are also stenciled to show the caliber, type of cannon used in, ammunition lot number, kind of filling, etc.

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