35 mm Mendoza

These pictures of the wonderful 35 mm Mendoza round were published in IAA journal 449, where the meaning of the headstamp letters is asked. For those who may be interested in this, the meaning of “EC DN” is Ejército Constitucionalista, División del Norte. This was the largest and most powerful division of the revolutionary army and was commanded by Francisco “Pancho” Villa.


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Fede, awesome images!
Is it Mexican?
Do you know the case length?
Is there any more info on this cartridge? Background, weapon or any other details?

Really neat ! Thank you.

EOD, case lenght is .878" (22.3 mm), projectil body is 1.355" (34.42 mm) and rotaing band is 1.409" (35.8 mm). The primer is headstamped W. R. A. Co. NEW No 4.

I’ll post some extra information not already published in the IAA article.

The cannon using this rounds was designed by Mexican Rafael Mendoza Blanco during his service with “Los Dorados de Villa” (1910-1917). Some sources said that the solely purpose of this design was to make use of the shells taken from Federal Gral. José Francisco Velasco after his defeat at the Torreón Battle (march 24 to april 3, 1914). Mendoza cannons using 35 and 37 mm shells were already in use during the second Torreón Battle (september 29, 1914).

After the revolutionary forces defeat, records mentions two different Mendoza cannons and calibers:

  • “Mendoza” cannon of 37 mm;
  • “Mendoza” short cannon;
  • “Mendoza” grenades of 37 mm;
  • “Mendoza” grenades of 35 mm.

The short 35 mm model is illustrated in the picture below dated 1912, and if the date is correct it could mean that this was an earlier design made expressely for this unique 35 mm shell and that the 37 mm model was a later model using the “common” 37 mm shells taken from Gral. Velasco. However, Francisco “Pancho” Villa was assigned to the “División del Norte” in march 29, 1913 and no Mendoza cannons are mentioned before that date.


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Fede, thanks a lot! Great info.


I’ve found another picture of the Mendoza cannon which was taken at the same time and place as the picture shown above (Mendoza’s workshop, 1953). This one shows Rafael Mendoza at 71 years old posing with his short cannon design and a grenade round in his hand.

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Great! Thanks for sharing it!

Fascinating, but is this a cannon or a grenade launcher? Seems like an inbetween piece of ordnance. Certainly it could not have been very high velocity or long range…

Thank you for posting about this cartridge and weapon!


I think those days it was classified as a trench gun like the well known Austrian 37x57R and to some extent the 37x94R Hotchkiss (I know, I know, not all guns firing this cartridges were trench guns).
Today these are all automatic and still have the same caliber range as the Mendoza.

Hola Fede, great material.
I´m writting a book on Mendoza´s arms platform.

It would be a pleasure to exchange ideas on this topic.

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Fede, could you please restore your images at the top? Grateful aforehand Vlad

I would be interested in the book once published…