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:
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?
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: