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A variety of Imperial Guard Shells.[1]

Shells are explosive munitions used by a variety of forces across the Galaxy.[1]

Imperial Shells

Imperial Shells operate on the same basic principle that has been used for millennia. The Mechanicum's policy of shell manufacturing is one of simplicity of production and the repetition of practices passed down across generations. Most Imperial Shells possess a ballistic cap, fuse, explosive material, shell casing, propellant charge, and tracer.[1]

Known Shell Types

  • Frag Shells - Anti-Personnel Fragmentation Weapons[4]
  • High Explosive Shells - Standard explosive round. The shell has a thin walled case, inside of which is a explosive charge with an impact fuse which detonates when it impacts. The explosion shatters the case, sending shrapnel in all directions as a explosive shockwave creates a lethal blast. Because a HE shell does not require a high velocity to penetrate a target, it does not need a large propellant charge, which leaves room for more explosives. The shell is also fitted with a ballistic cap to improve in-flight ballistics. These shells are most effective against light vehicles and infantry.[1]
  • Anti-Tank Shells - Used against hardened targets such as enemy tanks or bunkers. The shell is a solid round with a hard adamantium tip, over which the tip of a soft metal cap is added. This cap melts upon impact, creating a "sticking" effect which helps to prevent the following adamantine tip from glancing off sloped armor or breaking up. Some Anti-Tank Shells contain a small explosive charge and will explode on penetration. However most do not contain explosives and rely on sheer kinetic energy and heat of impact to cause damage. To generate enough kinetic energy for the kill, these shells have considerable propellant charge.[1]
    • Mk.12-G4 Anti-Tank Round - Used by the Leman Russ Battle Tank.[1]
    • Vanquisher Anti-Tank Shell' - Used by the Leman Russ Vanquisher. This advanced version is a solid dart of super-dense metal contained within a lightweight exterior casing. Once fired, the case will drop away leaving just the speeding dart. The shell is fired from a large charge of high energy propellant powder to generate increased velocity down the long barrel. This combined effect of the heavy dart and the high velocity creates a massive kinetic impact, making it effective against almost any armor.[1]
    • Conqueror Anti-Tank Shells[1]
    • Bandeblade Anti-Tank Shell - Super-heavy rocket-assisted shell fired by the Baneblade.[1]
    • Macro-Cannon Armour-Piercing Shells[1]
  • Krak Shells - Designed for cracking open armor.[4]
  • Siege Shells - These large shells are only issued to artillery vehicles and combine the technology of both Anti-Tank and High-Explosive Shells into one round, having the armor piercing tips and heavy casing of the former while also having the large charge of high explosives of the latter. This explosive is fused to explode micro-seconds after impact, allowing for penetration through fortifications. To achieve a high enough velocity for penetration, these shells have significant propellant charges. The shells are large and heavy, making the cannons which fire them high calibre. The weight and size means they become inaccurate over longer ranges, but this is compensated by the devastating effect.[1]
  • Augur Shells - Developed specifically for the Leman Russ Conqueror, this warhead consists of a soft explosive in a thin shell that is designed to break open upon impact, spreading the explosive over a target's surface during the microsecond delay before the base-mounted fuse detonates. This causes cratering and cracking on the outer armor whilst inside the tank, causing ricochets in the vehicle interior. This is liable to kill or wound any occupations and can also disable controls and instruments. This shell however was not regarded as a success and few were produced from its manufacturer, Gryphonne IV.[1]
    • Mk.2-G4 Augur Round[1]
  • Hunter Shell - Considered a cutting-edge weapon by the Imperium, this shell was developed on Tigrus. It is considered to have a blessed Machine Spirit in the form of a simple logic engine which directs the shell after firing. Upon locking onto the target, it will track its movement and then just before impact steer upwards so to drop down on the top of the target where its armor is thinnest. With the capture of Tigrus to the Orks the technology has been considered lost.[1]
  • Inferno Shells - Spread incendiary material over an area.[11]
  • Melta Shells - Melta Technology that creates a sub-atomic reaction upon impact which releases a blast of intense heat. Capable of melting vehicles and reducing troops to ash.[11]
  • Flak Shells - Fragmenting shells used for use against aircraft.[13]
  • Smoke Shells - Used for laying down smokescreens.[1]
  • Illumination Shells - Light up the battlefield[1]
  • Autocannon Shells - Light Calibre.[1]
  • Plasma Shell - Releases a cloud of super-hot Plasma over its effected area.[4]
  • Gas Shells - Fire a variety of chemical weapons from poisonous to hallucinogenic gas.[4]
  • Virus Shells - Unleash a variety of biological weapons.[4]
  • Haywire Shells - Emits an electromagnetic Burst that disables enemy machinery.[4]
  • Photon Shells - Releases a blinding light energy that blinds foes and scrambles light-sensitive machinery.[4]
  • Rad Shells - Release a lethal wave of radiation.[4]
  • Psyk-Out Shell Releases a wave of negative psychic energy that is devastating to Psykers and psychic technology.[4]
  • Tanglefoot Shells - Create a localized gravitic distortion in its area of effect, slowing enemies.[4]
  • Stasis Shells - Freezes a target within space-time[4]
  • Vortex Shells - Extremely rare type of shell that creates a miniaturized Warp Rift.[4]
  • Hellhammer Shells - Rare type of super-heavy shell fired from Stormsword and Hellhammer tanks. They detonate with a miniaturized nuclear blast.[7]
  • Quake Shells - Extremely rare type of super-heavy shell fired from the Quake Cannon, sporting unparalleled penetration.[6]
  • Behemoth Shells - Massive shell of unprecedented size, fired by Capitol Imperialis Behemoth Cannons.[9]

Ork Shells

The Orks also utilize a vast array of primitive explosive shells.[5]