M55 SP Howitzer Shell question

I'm attempting to add/correct detail on the Revell/Renwal re-release of the M55. Not a complete redo ala MIL MOD but enough to make it acceptable. I've
also seen some photos which seem to contradict some of the MIL MOD scratch builts - in particular the shell storage rack, and they're definitely the 203mm units not the 155s which were significantly different.
I ordered a set of projectiles and Powder charges - the plastic shells come with what looks like a handling ring on the end. The brass ones in the same set have what looks like a tapered fuse. So I'm assuming the handling ring is removed and replace by a fuze unit. Now - was this done to shells stored in the shelves inside the turret, or was the fuse inserted just before use. What started as a fun rebuiild of a favorite kit from childhood is becoming a bit of more complex.
While I'm on the M55 - The shovel and axe on the right side rear appear set into a recession. Photos of the real thing seem to show some kind of an open frame surrounding these tools - anyone know what this is.
Val Kraut
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Oh what a journey one goes on when one endeavors to do this.
This was my impression. That the rings are left in place to keep the end sealed and protect thr threads until it was time to add the fuse. Because the shell could weigh upwards of 200 lbs simply manhandling it was not an option. There appears to be a second crane on a turntable in the roof (separate from the one on the door). My surmise is it was used to hook the shells, lift them and then swing them over to the loading tray where the ring was unscrewed and the fuse was added immediately before it was rammed.
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