37x94R Mle 1892 Hotchkiss Questions

I picked up this 37x94R cartridge from Pete’s last auction. First I will say I am not very familiar with the many 37mm Hotchkiss variations. Since I don’t have Robert Mellichamp’s books on the 37mm (yet) I need some help with markings on the case and projectile and wonder if the projectile and case go together or not (I believe they are at least the right types of each, but not sure if the markings would say otherwise).

I’ve added some of what I found online, but not sure how accurate it is. If anyone can add anything about the case, primer, and projectile and the history of manufacture and usage (including corrections) please reply. I have many questions, so I hope you will bear with me.

I believe the case is a model 1892 (Mle 1892) based on the headstamp (Px 92). I assume this means Puteaux Mle 1892. Would this necessarily make it a French load? Or would other countries have used this headstamp?

From what little I could find online, it looks like these were used in the Puteaux SA18 L/21 gun (in Renault FT tanks during both world wars and in Renault R-35, Hotchkiss H-35, and others during WWII, as well as some armored cars in both world wars).

It appears that there was also a German version: 3,7cm Pzgr. Patr. 148(f) - frz. 92/24 (Mle 1892/1924 APHE). However, I believe it is not a German load based on the headstamp (see this site for info on German markings: http://michaelhiske.de/Wehrmacht/Heer/D_HEER/D0050/Teil_08/Teil_b/FRA/144_13.HTM).

How does one determine the difference between the Mle 1892 and the Mle 1892/1924 (or frz 92/24)? Was the Mle 1892/1924 an updated load or explosive in the original case/projectile (LE changed to HE)?

There are several markings on the case:

Headstamp markings:
LOT. 47 with a round dimple near the 7
a larger 0
Px 92 (the x appears like it might have something under it like a short underline or dot, but it could also be a mark from handling)
a smaller 0

Can anyone tell from the headstamp when and where the case was made?

Neck marking:

Faded ink stamp on side of case near head:
might be AUG 1959 (?) or something similar

If the date is from the 1950s this seems late for a cartridge of this type. Would anyone know what this means?


I’ve seen references to the projectile as penetrating (AP) LE (black powder I assume) and also HE. Can anyone confirm which or if both (LE or HE) were used at different times? If HE was also used, what was the composition?

The empty case also contains a thick felt wad that looks like it just fits through the neck, but I don’t know if this was used in the original or not (no photo, but I can probably dislodge it from the case if anyone wants a photo).

Markings on the side of the projectile:
The bottom line looks like maybe a circled L, flaming bomb and anchor.

The steel base plug also has a marking (and two spanner holes), but I cannot tell what the marking is:

And there is a number 12 stamped on the top edge of the plug:

Another view of the base plug:

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Any 37mm collectors have more info on this? Even if it is confirming or refuting my assumptions that would be great!

One of the best resources for this subject is the large collection of photographs of the GSpragge 37mm collection on the site BOCN. You can go to the “Gallery” section and search for French 37mm.
I don’t know if you have to be a member to get to the gallery section or not. Example below.


Jeff, thanks for the reply. I joined the BOCN recently and found some of the info I posted above on that site (including some of the 37mm photos you noted above). I was hoping to find some more info on the markings on the headstamp, side of the case and the projectile, but so far I have not found anything further. I should probably post my photos on BOCN as someone there will probably have some of the answers I am looking for.

Case headstamp: LOT 47 made at Atelier de PUTEAUX (Px) in 1892.
On the shell, the circled L , flaming bomb and anchor are for French Navy acceptance.

Send a pm to Gordon, in the past he was always good about answering and it’s his stuff. Very knowledgeable.

Hello domi, thanks for the helpful bit of information!

Jeff, thanks. I will get in touch with Gordon through the BOCN site. The photos he posted at least helped me do a general ID on the round.