23 x 115


Just got this fired case. Appears to be “preserved” with polyurethane or something. As well, it is machine engraved with the following: MuJ-23. Guessing Mig-23, but ???. Vlad? Liviu?


Here’s my rendition of the h/s:
Here’s the nearly illegible scan of the h/s:


You are probably right, it does say “MiG-23”. My only knowledge of flying is restricted to an old PC game called “Warbirds”. Boy, did I suck!!! I never managed to land on an aircraft carrier alive. Hats off for those who do this in real life!!


Thanks for quick reply, Vlad. Now wondering who would have been worthy of presentation of this case. Maybe a Mig-23 pilot. Or armorer. Or?


Try this, after the 2nd photo … 1&.intl=us
This may be a Yugo round, is it possible to get a h/s scan?
Nope, I am wrong, see this
iaaforum.org/forum2/viewtopic.ph … hlight=606



That forum reference you referred to is for the 23 X 152. This is X 115.


I know, but at least, according to Alex, this is a Russian-manufactured cartridge (606).


Ah. Roger that.


I am actually learning Russian geography, get a hang of this:
Kemerovo Oblast is one of Russia’s most important industrial regions, with some of the world’s largest deposits of coal. The south of the region is dominated by metallurgy and the mining industry, as well as mechanical engineering and chemical production.


When did the MIG-23 make an appearance? I ask because if the headstamp on this cartridge follows the usual Soviet pattern than the “I” (the backward “N”) should signify the date of case manufacture as 1955.

Was the MIG 23 in existence then? My knowledge of Soviet aircraft pretty well ends with the MIG-15 of Korean War vintage.

Of course, I understand that the engraved “MIG-23” may post-date the manufacture of the cartridge by years. I was just wondering if this caliber would have been used in a MIG-23.


John, absolutely! The MIG-23 had a GSh-23L twin barrel gun.
Actually there were 2 different calibers in 23x115. The one for the NR-23 and NS-23 which was the original design and then the hotter loaded cartridge (adopted in about 1954) for the AM-23 and also used in the 1960s development which was the GSh-23. The cartridges were exchangeable only into one direction, means the AM and GSh could shoot the NR and NS cartridges but not the other way round.


How does letter “И” signify 1955? Does it mean that “Й”, which is the next letter in the Russian alphabet, be 1956? I am asking out of ignorance.


Found a pair being auctioned that had a Russian label noting they were souvenirs. Looked exactly like mine. Off center hit resulted in a cock-eyed primer cup. Same headstamp. Must be loaded on the hot side. Berdan primed, of course.

And for those interested

The Mig 23 entered service in 1971.


Vlad - from 1952 until 1955, the U.S.S.R. made a decision to code the dates of manufacture of shell casings with a letter code. While the code is in alphabetical order by the Cyrillic Alphabet, there are gaps between some of the letters. Whether this was done to make it harder to decipher, or simply that some letters were deemed unecessarily complex for metal stamping dies for this purpose, I have no idea.

The letters, in the Latin Alphabet, and the years they represent, are as follows:

G - 1952; D - 1953; E - 1954; I - 1955; K - 1956

These date codes but with the addition of L, M, P, and R also appear on some Soviet weapons, such as the Makarov Pistol and the Stechkin, and probably others. The codes on the firearms are made difficult to decipher because the letter “D” appearing on a Makarov with a frame-style that is late 1954 and after makes it impossible that it represents 1953 as it is known to on ammunition. I have found three different explanations for the firearms codes in unofficial Russian sources along, one of which I consider without merit. Until the letter “D” showed up on a Makarov, I felt the codes were the same as ammo one but extending the date range alphabetically to
1960, but the appearance of the letter “D” on a gun that could not possibly represent the year 1953, as it does on ammo, through the entire subject into a dither.


This case looks like it came from broken down “de-milled” ammunition rather than being a fired case. The crimps are still partly there, if it had been fired, the neck on this calibre would be completely straight. The off-centre primer strike also indicates that the primer was popped by a machine once the powder was removed. Russian cases like this are common, I have a 23x152B Brass cased tank sub-calibre case and a couple of 37 x 251SR anti aircraft cases that have been done in this way.


Now that their commonality has been established, Falcon’s theory of deactivation makes sense. Some poor gob with a hammer and a dull nail, sitting all day popping primers. For a bowl of cabbage soup. Way back in the way back, we tended to expend dated ammo at sea. Shooting barrels and such. Sweeping hulls over the side. No trench art efforts that I recall. Guess it’s a lost art, so to speak.


Rick, the Russians have automatic machines to pop primers. Russia’s ammunition disposal is set up in a way where contractors get paid by the metals they gain from the disposal and sell them as scrap metal. So in particular old ammunition containing any colored metals is of top interest to Russian demil business.


So I suppose these De-milled Russian cases are ones that are picked up by a worker from the scrap case pile and taken as a souvenir.


Normally the employees can’t take stuff wit them since it will be a loss for the demil company. On the other hand there are 1000s of possibilities of how one got his hands on such a case. I guess we will end up with more speculation than facts.


Considering I saw two more exact copies of my hull up for auction, and Falcon’s example(s), I’m guessing this to be a cottage industry of sorts vs somebody filching from the gubmint. The engraving is very well done, as is case preservation. In light of the international politics nowadays, I suppose we’ll see a drop in supply of this particular trench art.

  • @ slick rick: Your 23X115 rimless brass shell case was made in 1955 by the Russian State plant “606”. Your shell case was not fired by the 23mm aircraft cannon, a normal fired primer by the gun doesn’t look like that. Most of the 23X115 brass shell cases fired by the 23mm gun also have deep markings on the side left by the steel belt links. Liviu 02/04/09 P.S. Unfortunately nobody has been able to answer to my question about Russian made 23X118 fired brass shell case I have [see my article named “The 23X118 Cartridge Case” printed on page 52-53, IAA Journal #451, Sep/Oct 2006]. My article shows very clear the comparison between the well-known 23X115 shell case and my “unknown” 23X118 shell case and it describes in detail the 23X118 shell case.