105mm info

I have a 105mm case that I need info on. Wondering what gun fired it and what did the projectile look like.
Case specs:
Bottle necked case
Case length: 24 3/8", Head width: 5 13/16", Case mouth: about 4 3/8", Neck length:2 1/4",
Shoulder length: 3 1/4", Case width: 4"

Case head markings
Thanks for any info, frogbert
The long no. is: LS-78B003GOO2

This is a case for the 105mm L7 rifled gun which was fitted to the British Centurion Tank (see photo below) and I believe others.

The projectile would have probably been a HEAT (High Explosive Anti-Tank) or HESH (High Explosive Squash Head) type. It would have looked like a conventional artillery projectile with a copper driving band.

Here is a photo (not the best quality) of a HESH round in this calibre:


105MM TK = 105mm Tank (There was aldo a shorted case marked 105MM FD For British 105mm Field guns and also self-propelled howitzers.

RW244 = Factory Drawing Number

LOT 4 = Lot Number

/|\ = British Military Property mark.

OOO = Primer thread is American 60 degree unified form instead of British 55 degree whitworh form.

RLB = Maker’s Mark - Royal Ordnance Factory Birtley, Birtley, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, UK.

F = Loaded with full charge.

I am unsure what the long number means.

I hope this helps.

Thanks for the much needed info Falcon. I got it at a auction sale awhile back for $ 17.00. I now use it as a piggy bank.
Thanks again, Frogbert

I wonder how it found its way to the USA? British cases don’t seem to be too common there.

It was definitely worth $17.

The long number on the right is a US-style lot number:

LS- indicates Lone Star Army Ammunition Plant in Texarkana, TX.
78 is the year
B is the month (February)
003 is the interfix number
G indicates “Regrouped lots (includes reblended propellant lots)” (quoting from MIL-STD-1168B: Ammunition Lot Numbering and Ammunition Data Card)
001 is the lot sequence number

It’s interesting that it has both British markings as well as a US lot number.

Maybe the case was supplied to Lone Star on contract by ROF Birtley? I have never seen a US lot number on a British made case before.

The Centurion was a very successful tank design and it saw service with a number of countries, most notably by Israel during the 1970s and 1980s, when it was known as the Sho’t. The US never used any Centurions themselves, but perhaps old, 1960s dated, British ammunition for its 105mm gun may have been obtained by them for refurbishment and subsequent supply to Israel under their military aid programme?

John E

The US supplied Centurions MkV for the danish army, paid for and delivered via the MAP system. Originally they had 20 pounder guns and the one case in my collection is of british manufacture (1953). Maybe Israel was supplied the same way? The Sho’t (Whip) were reengined vehicles, iirc.

I believe the British L7 105mm gun was license built in the U.S. with some modifications as the M68 gun and used in the M60 series and early M1A1 tanks. A variant of the L7 was also used in the German Leopard tank. Several other allied nations also used variants of the L7 or M68.

Thus the ammunition may have been a NATO standard type item. Possibly this is ammo that was overhauled for an ally, or NATO stocks that were given some sort of overhaul and repacking at a US facility.

Interesting combination.

Hi Brian how do I delete the others Thanks

The M68 gun was used in the M60 and M1 tanks the M1a1’s were all 120mm, M256 guns.

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Just for info sake, the Royal Ordnance L7 is easily one of the most successful and widely used tank guns out there. With 8 variants of the gun (either licensed copies or variations with auto loaders) and over 20 countries using it (or used it in the past). Countries ranging from the US, Canada, South Korea, Israel, Italy, Japan and the list goes on.

Hi Falcon, I own a similar 105mm shell and was hoping you could point me in the right direction.

In particular, the shell casing was obtained in Australia, and has a Makers mark of MF- (Munitions Footscray factory in Melbourne). Australia has used the centurion tank, however the date at the bottom (1988) makes me wonder if it was manufactured for the later Australian Leopard 1 tank, which also appears to use the 105mm rounds. Is there any way of telling? My shell seems to have less markings than those in this post but I’m keen to learn more.

The LOT number possibly says “1” under it, but it is a bit difficult to tell. There is also no obvious serial number or broad arrow, which strikes me as unusual…

The shell has since been converted into a man-cave style beer tap and I would love finish it off by adding a small engraving detailing a bit of history. Any help would be great!!


This case is for the Australian Leopard Tank Cannister rounds.
The ID is the two base grooves. Not very common.

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Ron, do images or diagrams exist of that round?

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I have no documentation but most cases are found as new never loaded. I have found 4 only.
I have one marked canstr in black and a new cannister projectile. They are not common.
The base grooves are for ID when in the storage racks (I am told).
The HES cases have 4 circles cut-out in base for similar ID. I will take photos if you wish. Ron.


Ron, photos would be really great!
We do not see much Aussie ammo here.

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It will take a few days to take photos. Busy. I have drawn all H/S , dates and lot numbers of Aussie and British ammo I have seen but have misplaced the metric book. I may have to guess the other dates and lots ? 76mm ARMC and 105mm H were made by AFF and ADI but we make few big cases now.
Latest 5" Navy were SMI Italian contracts but obsolete now? I am getting off the subject.
I meant to say HESH had the base circles on 105mm Tank cases.

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Ron, to me no matter what ammo you may show. If you feel like just open another thread so nothing goes off-topic here.

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Two images of the Australian 105mm Canister loaded at Maribyrnong:



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