37.2mm Shell Identification


#1

Can someone please tell me about this shell? Firstly, who made it and what does the headstamp represent? Secondly, for what country was it made and for what type of weapon. Thirdly, about what era was it made in?

Collection of Vit.

Posted for a friend.


#2

The actual caliber is 37.2m/m, not 372 m/m. That’s my fault. I didn’t clarify that for Joe, and you cannot see the decimal point in the photo.


#3

John–I edited the title for you. BIG difference between 37.2 and 372mm!!!


#4

Ron - you betcha! Thanks.


#5

The case is of Czech manufacture, from the 1920’s or 1930’s. I’ve never heard of a “37.2mm” before. Please provide the dimensions and a side view photo.

Jim


#6

Vit - can you post dimensions on this cartridge at least? I have had two requests at home and one on this thread for dimensions. If you have photos of the side vies of the case, you can send it to me and I will have our friend and partner Joe post it.

Jim - since this was posted by me for a Czech friend, I have no further information on the round myself. One question though - the Czech identification makes sense, seeing as how it is in the Czech Republic, but how do you know this, since you did not identify what the “R” means? Do you know what factory it was made at and what the “R” headstamp stands for?


#7

John,

I don't know what the name of the manufacturer is, but do have the following Czech cases with the "R" marking:

9cm Mountain Howitzer, Vz.28 (90 x 78.5R) (1933) (different style of “R”)
10cm Howitzer, Vz.14/19 (100 x 183R) (1925) (same style of “R”)
15cm Heavy Field Howitzer (150 x 296R) (1930) (different style of “R”)
30.5cm Mortar, Vz.16 (305 x 382R) (1927) (same style of “R”)

In addition, I have a drawing of a 37 x 57R (Czech made Austro-Hungarian M.15 Infantry Gun (1926) round with the same “R” in the headstamp.

Based on these cases, it appears that the style of “R” on the 37.2mm case was used at least during the 1925 through 1927 period. I suspect that this case may be an experimental item due to the lack of a lot number.

Jim


#8

Jim - good info. If I can get to it this morning, before I leave to travel to my son’s home for my grand daughter’s high school graduation, I will send profile picture and measurements to Joe for posting. If not, I will do it Monday, when I return home. My Czech friend Vit sent me a very good photo and an excellent case drawing with measurements.


#9

Photo of profile of 37.2mm cartridge along with measurements.

Courtesy of Vit.


#10

John,

Thank you for posting the excellent photos and dimensioned drawing.  At least I now know what this mystery case looks like, even if another one never turns up!  Hopefully, it can be identified someday.

Jim


#11

I received a PM identifying the maker of this case as the Georg Roth A.-G. of Austria. Odd that on such a large shell-head they would not have used their normal “GR” intertwined monogram, since they used it on tiny little cartridge heads like the 6.35mm Browning,w here it is hard to even figure out what it is, sometimes.

It wasa also said that “it is likely for a Czech 1930s Anti-tank gun M4.”

Any further comments on this?


#12

Thank you for posting the new information. The intertwined “GR” monogram may have no longer have been used (at least on artillery ammunition) after the Austro-Hungarian Empire was broken up, as I have nothing dated after 1918 with the GR monogram. Regarding the “M4 Antitank Gun”, I’ve not heard of this weapon before. The designation “M4” seems unusual, as Czech cases and fuzes normally are marked with a “Vz” designation, such as “8cm Vz30”. Primers can be found marked either with “M” numbers, such as “M35s”, or Vz numbers, such as “Vz.35s”. In either case, the number following the “M” or “Vz” is a two-digit number indicating the year of adoption, so “M4” does not fit into this scheme. Could “M4” actually be “M34”?

Jim


#13

Once i saw a photo about a german 37mm flare gun. Due to the lack of any shell crimping method, I guess this also could be a flare cartridge.

Regards,
Vince


#14

While I don’t know anything about artillery, I found the Model designation “4” to be unusual myself, as year-model designations seem to be the rule in at least central Europe. However, “Vz” simply stands for “Vzor” which is the Czech word for “Model.” We simply used the English translation in our posting. If a correct designation, it would be “Vz. 4” in Czech.

Vince - isn’t a 207mm case-length very, very long to be a flare cartridge? I don’t know myself, it just seems most flare rounds I have seen, and admittedly, it is not many that i have paid attention to, are not that long.


#15

The mystery of the 37.2mm case may be solved. I have an extract of a Czech book titled “Ceskoslovenske Delostrelecke Zbrane”, by Vladimir Karlicky. Unfortunately, the extract consists of only a few tables from the book. On page 82 there is a table titled “CS. Pechotni A Protitankova Dela Z Let 1915 - 1939”. In it is a dual-columned listing titled “70/37mm pechotni delo BA a AB”. The 37mm column lists the true caliber as 37.2mm, as it does for all the other 37mm weapons listed (37mm vz.15, 37mm kanon P.U.V. vz.34, and 37mm kanon P.U.V. vz.37). The implication is that the unknown 37.2mm case is marked with the true caliber, even though it was designated as 37mm, as are the others. I suspect that the 37mm listed in the 70/37 columns is the weapon that the 37.2mm case is for. The barrel length is listed as 1,202mm, the muzzle velocity as 600 m/s, the projectile weight as 0.8 Kg, and the range as 6,900 meters. These figures differ from all the other 37mm weapons listed. I have rounds for all the other weapons and know that their cases do not match the one marked 37.2mm. Unfortunately, the photo and written information on this weapon is on page 83, of which only a small portion is present. In any case, I do not read Czech. Does anyone have a complete copy of this book, or at least the relevant pages?

Jim


#16

Yes, I have the book, although sadly I don’t understand Czech…I can send you a scan of what appears to be the relevant bit, but there is nothing that could be cartridge dimensions (or any illustration of the ammo).


#17

Tony,

Thank you for your reply.  Please send me a scan of whatever appears to be relevant to the 70/37, and I will attempt to figure out what is being said, and post the results, whether they are positive or negative concerning solving the mystery surrounding this case.

Jim


#18

Hello collectors, I would like to join into this topic. I’ve attached photo of the page from the book “Ceskoslovenske delostrelecke zbrane, by V.Karlicky”. You can see also a translation of title.

This case 37,2mm was propably used in morris-tube of this cannon. In book is also written, that development was stopped. It’s very nice case and rare.

Sorry for my english, isn’t so good.

Karel Ja


#19

Once again me… for illustration the letter “R” on a headstamp was used in a bigger caliber, as you can see…

The symbol “R” means factory ROTH.

K. Ja


#20

This should be the same gun. Can’t read the text , Bulgarian ?