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Small lead or steel balls contained in a shrapnel case which is fired from an artillery piece; the balls are projected in a forward direction upon the functioning of the fuse.



originally an artillery shell filled with round shot. Shrapnel is primarily intended to strike live, exposed targets. It was named for an English officer, H. Shrapnel, who in 1803 proposed filling an artillery shell with cast-iron case shot, thereby intensifying the shell’s effect. Exploded in the air at a predetermined distance from the target, shrapnel was highly effective and was widely used in World War I.

Shrapnel was replaced in the 1930’s by the more powerful fragmentation and high-explosive fragmentation shells. The late 1960’s witnessed the introduction of shrapnel-type artillery shells filled with dart-like projectiles, or fléchettes, intended to strike unconcealed enemy personnel. There are up to 8,000 such projectiles in the US 105-mm shell, each fléchette 24 mm long and weighing 0.5 g. Thrown from the shell as a result of centrifugal force and the pressure of the powder gases of the bursting charge, the fléchettes are scattered in a conical pattern.

References in periodicals archive ?
The metal container and heavily oxidized artillery shell fragment were maintained at the park in a climate-controlled artifact storage facility.
As most particles were analyzed, this is a reasonable assumption with the possible exception of oyster shell fragments, not all of which were sampled.
Both temperature and pH had a significant effect on weight loss in shell fragments of Argonauta nodosa (temperature: [F.
One woman is among the casualties who were hit by shell fragments, the sources said.
The four casualties, including a woman, were slightly hurt by shell fragments when an Israeli aircraft fired a missile on a building in the east part of Gaza City, the security officials said.
lt;p>The injured people, including a woman, were hurt by shell fragments when an Israeli F-16 aircraft launched a missile on a house in the east part of Gaza City.
The eggshells were discovered at the Diepkloof Rock Shelter in South Africa, and over the last few years researchers have collected 270 shell fragments with scratch marks on them.
This is evocative of shell fragments that are scattered on ocean beaches.
Sometimes, layers of coarse and fine texture alternate with shell fragments of varied sizes.
When the car came to a stop, the occupants all fled except for one female illegal immigrant who took some shell fragments in the arm.
Intact shells and shell fragments of these organisms were present in both the stomach and hindgut regions.
This is on a par with saying "shrapnel" (a very specific projectile) to describe shell fragments.