40 x 311 case ID


I have a brass case I picked up at a local gun show a couple of weeks ago. It measures 40 X 272 mm. Head diameter is 63 mm. Rim thickness is 6 mm. There is an annular groove 5mm wide by 2mm deep. The impressed headstamp is “L inside a triangle” (I assume this is an inspectors mark), “7-42” (original date of the case), “LOT N00399”, “40 MM MK-1”. Black stenciling on head “17-HA-53”. On the side of the case is black stenciling “UG-62-HA-53”. I know the black stenciling means that the case was re-inspected or re-loaded. Who is the original maker and who is “HA” and what does “UG” mean? I can not find this case length listed in any of my references. I do not think it has been cut down. the case is tapered like a 40 x 311 and bottlenecked. What gun was it for?

200% image.

40mm Bofors L60, UG translates to HEIT-SD

That would be a green projectile, with red/white nose fuse.

HA might be Hawthorn Army Ordnance Depot.

Mil HDBK 1461A (April 1999) shows two HA codes, Harvey Aluminum Torrence, CA (now Martin Marietta Aluminum Div) and Naval Ammuntion Depot Hastings NE.

Keith–Thanks for the ID and information. I think it is most likely that it was Naval Ammunition Depot Hastings NE. that reconditioned the round. Although there is no indication of Naval use. Did the Army use the 40mm L60 as well? If so, what gun?

Keith–Are you sure this is a 40mm Bofors L/60? Everything I can find online says the L/60 uses the 311mm case, not this 272mm case.

Keith–I must have been hitting the La-La juice too hard when I measured this case late last night. It is in fact a 311mm case. I have no idea how I got 272mm. I only had a 6 inch ruler to measure with. I must have used the wrong conversion factor to get mm last night. I really feel stupid. I guess I’ll just chalk it up to a “Senior Moment”.

Thanks for ignoring my obvious mistake and giving me the correct answers anyway.

yep. Navy used the L60 from WW2 well into the VN war. Army picked it up somewhere along the way, not sure when, but in VN the Army deployed tank chassis with twin 40mm guns on it and called it the Duster. Army reserve/guard units finally ended their use fo the L60 fairly recently according to an article I saw. USAF used/has used the L60 in their Spectre gunships. Currently the gunships are being rearmed, so don’t know the timelines are there.

Didn’t concern myself much with the case length reported as lots of them have been cut back/modified/turned into art. But the markings all checked out, across the board.

Navy assigned them Mk #'s, Army assigned a few M#'s, & the USAF has some PGU numbers for the caliber.

…by the way, the Navy had a system where the rounds had two letter designators. The first letter referred to caliber, the second the type of load.

U codes were 40mm L60. The second digit indicated load as HEI, HEIT, Bl & P, etc.

Keith–If you have the list of the 2 letter codes, such as my “UG”, could you post the list. I am sure it would help a lot of people who have empty cases to ID what loading it was originally. If you can post it, I suggest you put it in a new posting for ease of finding it later in searches.

I agree that a list of the identification of those initials should be put on a new thread, but I hope that someone involved with the Forum Management will very soon add them to the general headstamp list on the Forum as well. Initials that appear stenciled on the sides of these cases are akin to headstamps, and should be included, in my view. Just my opinion, but I sure would like to see that headstamp list grow, especially from the information constantly being provided about headstamps on this Forum.

  • @ Ron Merchant: Normally the impressed headstamp markings give information about the shell case maker, date of manufacture, etc. The black ink markings [stamped on the side of the shell case or even on the head] show information about loading [date, type of propellant, type of projectile, loading facility, etc] and type of round. Liviu 01/19/08

Code Fuze Tip Fuze Band Body Band Body Description

UA Green Green HE-P
UB Green White Green HET-SD
UC Black Black AP
UD Black White Black AP-T
UE Red White Red Bl & T
UF Red Red Bl & P
UG Red White Green HEIT-SD
UH Green Black Green HE-SD
UI unknown
UJ Red Green HEI-P
UK Red Black Green HEI-SD
UL Red White Black Green HEIT-NSD
UM Red Yellow Green HEIT(DI)-SD
UN Black Green HEP-NP
UO Black Red “INCEN” Green HEIP-NP
U ? Gray Black HPT/Proof Shot
M17 Plain Bronze Dummy (One-Piece)
M17B1 Plain Steel Dummy (One-Piece)
M25 Plain Plain Dummy (Component)
M81A1 Black Red “T’s” Black USAF APT
M91 Blue Blue USAF TP-T (Early)
M91 Blue Brown Blue USAF TP-T (Late)
Mk 2 Plain Red Yellow USAF HEI
PGU 9 A/B Plain Red Yellow USAF HEIP
Mk 11 Plain Olive Drab USA HET-SD
Mk N2 Black Black HE (Sub) T

Great information!!
According to the U.S. Navy Bureau of Ordnance Ammunition Display Board shown at: iaaforum.org/forum2/viewtopic.ph … mm&start=0 the

Keith–Thanks for posting the codes for all the loadings in 40mm Bofors, L/60.

What is the source for the listing? Could you post a list of letters for other calibers. I mean just the first letter like “U” for 40mm Bofors, L/60. I assume the projectile type letters are the same for other calibers.

The P in the designations indicate “Plugged.” Plugged means no tracer. Bl means “Blind.” Blind means no HE or I in the body. So Blind & Plugged means Target Practice or Ball depending on your persuasion. Blind Tracer is a TP-T, HEI-P means HEI no tracer, etc.

Where the Army & USAF step into the caliber, the designations get more confusing as they apply their own nomenclature.

Yes, there are other codes besides U for 40mm, but I’d have to dig out the appropriate BuOrd manual that lists that. It’s in my archives somewhere and will take time to find it.

These markings were all painted or ink stamped, not impressed like headstamps. The cases and projos were all made the same, it was only during the final loading process that their identity was created, so the markings were applied at the end of the process. (i.e. you can’t tell a BL-P from a HEIT-SD as the components came out of the factory. Components were all the same. Only when it was loaded were the colors and markings applied.)

Thanks for the