This is way out of my area. I just received a 37x94 R. It has an inpressed headstamp "P D. Ps. 150. 2. 16 ‘bomb’ 37-85. It also has a stenciled on the head I can’t make out what is says.

Who made it and any idea what the stencil is for??



You have a French 37-85 (37x93Rmm) Hotchkiss.

PD.Ps = Parc de Artillarie de Paris

Lot 150, Feb 1916

If you can transcribe the stencil somebody can probably help to figure out what it is.


That’s the problem I really can’t made out much of the stencil.


Two French contributors to the April 2008 issue of The Cartridge Researcher (the bulletin of the European Cartridge Research Association), C. Triboulot and J.P. Cinier, have stated that this commonly understood meaning of “PD.Ps” is incorrect.

Their article is too long to reproduce here, but this is a brief extract:

"The problem is that the so-called “Parc d’Artillerie de Paris” probably never was, the only facilities of its kind in the Parisian area being in VERSAILLES (code VS or P.VS) and VINCENNES (code VIS or P.VIS). If such a military establishment had been in existence, it should have marked its products PS, or P.PS, and in no case PD.Ps. The point is confirmed on two documents from the War Ministry, dated respectively from 1912 and 1923, showing no mention of such a place


Thanks for that clarification. It’s duly noted in my catalog.

I did not do a great deal of research (none) to arrive at my meaning of PD.Ps. It came out of an old article in the JOURNAL. It’s both fortunate and unfortunate that sources, such as the Internet and this Forum, are turning up quite a few discrepencies in the old JOURNALS.

Thanks again


The fact is that computer communication, an opening up of information sources in some countries, a vastly increased collector interest in finding information (probably part and parcel with computer communication) has meant finding much new information from primary sources that generally was not available years ago. We are all learning more about things, and sometimes what we are learning contradicts the “common wisdom” of the past. I don’t find it unfortunate at all; it is simply the natural order of things as more and more research is done, and I think it is common to many, many subjects, not just ammunition.

Older publications, for the most part, did the best they could with the information that was at hand. How many of us knew anything about factories behind the “Iron Curtain”, for example?

Some years ago, when I wrote a very large article on the 9 x 25mm Mauser cartridge, I was unsatisified that some initials that appear on certain DWM cartridges, and Greek cartridges, had been “unknown” all of my collecting life. Since it was certain, in my eyes, that there was Greek connection, a few days of banter on the computer betwen the great Swiss/Greek collector Dimi Goulas found the answer in a military/police museum in Greece. The same process would have taken months if not done over the computer, and perhaps no answer would ever have been received. There certainly had not been one up to the time I started asking questions.

I don’t like computers, I guess because I am extremely ignorant of their operation, but they have made information gathering thousands of times easier than it was even 25 years ago. Whether in the main, that is a good thing, is a matter of opinion, of course. Certainly it is when it doesn’t apply to personal information.


Maybe my use of the word “unfortunate” was not the best. What I was really trying to say is that there are a lot of entries in the old JOURNALS that are incorrect (even though they were the best available at the time) and it’s unfortunate that we don’t really have a way to correct them except through places such as this Forum. And, as we all know, only a handful of collectors visit the Forum and so the errors will continue to be a part of the record.

I’m not even sure I said it right this time. I wish I had paid more attention in English class back in my youth. ;) ;)


Ray - you said it perfectly. It is too bad that it can’t be corrected easily. In cases of big errors, a letter to the editor could be sent referencing the old issue and giving the revised information, but of course, if one did that for every error in the various Journals, it would take many issues of nothing but corrections to get even those we recognize. Probably not practical even for big errors, but surely not for small ones.

However, something like a headstamp identification error could at least be corrected in the Forum headstamp list, or the new, correct ID added to the list. anyone listening?

About PDPS, it is a fantastic story, as the famous so-called Parc d’Artillerie de Paris was generally admitted since years WITHOUT ANY ACTUAL PROOF , and, as a matter of facts, never existed!(I actually wonder from who and where came the story )…

This is once again the fact that we must be extremely cautious about the infos we are obtaining. A misinterpretation, repeated many times ends to be actual a truth…,

I must confess that I was quite surprised when my French colleagues told me about PDPs, but after a short while, when I saw the amount of serious research they did, I was convinced about the PINCHART DENIS, Paris interpretation (they even found the surviving grand son of the WWI factory owner, who did confirm and gave details, and War Ministry documents with the production contracts, years and quantity of ammunition made!!!)

So this is another thing to change in our references and datas. But as we say, better late than never…