30mm Aden Practice Round Shell Casing

The 30mm Aden cannon was a very successful post war aircraft gun, and we covered much of its history when we looked at an example of the links used to join cartridges here. Tonight we have the casing from one of those rounds to look at:imageSadly this is just the casing and is missing the head, but it can be seen that it is a brass case, with a large extraction groove at the base. The primer has been struck as one would expect from a fired round:imageThe markings for the Aden round are marked around the circumference of the case, rather than on the base:imageThe markings indicate that this is a 30mm practice round, manufactured by Radway Green in 1973. I have found this very useful diagram that shows what the various markings mean:GAERGHRE_croppedThe empty brass casings were ejected out of the underside of the aircraft, falling to the ground below. This could sometimes be a little disconcerting to friendly forces on the ground:

Just below its ‘shoulders’, where the leading edge of the wings meets the fuselage, the hunter had two large bulges called Sabrinas (they were named after a popular actress of the time who also had two large bulges just below her shoulders). The Sabrinas were there to accommodate the empty links from the 30mm ammunition belts that fed the Aden cannon. Simply letting the link belts shoot out of a slot behind the aircraft’s nose might have allowed the belts to foul the aircraft’s control surfaces. There were no such fears, however, about the spent shell cases. They were ejected from two holes immediately above each Sabrina- and even a quick three-second burst meant that at least 240 30mm brass shell cases came tumbling down. If just one of those caught you on the head it would be enough to lay you out. As soon as the brass rain started, we were under cover with Alfie quicker than you could day ‘concussion’…

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