90 x 353R Case ID

Today at a flea market I bought a 90 x 353R case for

Falcon–If the case is brass you should not use steel wool on it. Use brass wool instead. The steel wool, even if fine, will scratch the case and leave steel residue behind which will eventually stain and discolor the brass. Also, if rinsed well, paint remover will work to remove the lacquer, but often paint removers leave an oil residue when they evaporate. Acetone works much better. However, you do need to be VERY careful not to use it where there could be any kind of a spark (like a light switch) or there is poor ventaliation.

The paint stripper didn’t appear to be removing the lacquer, so I had to use what I had, the case was scratched to hell on the outside when I got it anyway. I am not sure if you can get acetone in the UK, and would not know where to get brass wool. I know my method was less than ideal, but I used what I had access to.

Falcon–You should be able to get Acetone at any store that sells supplies to auto repair shops that repaint autos. Brass wool can be harder to get, but I would think any large hardware store should have it. If not, try machine shop supply stores.

I have researched it before and I’m still not sure if you can buy acetone here. I have never seen brass wool for sale, as there are so few machine shop supply stores around as there is so little industry in the UK nowadays. I will try and seek out some of both items.

Nail polish remover contains it,make sure you get a non-oil based one though!



I get my bronze wool from Brownells. Comes in three grits.

It’s on page 279 of their current catalog. Lots of other stuff in there for cartridge collectors to tinker with. Check out the new snap caps, action proving dummies, and safety trainers too (if you’re into that sort of thing.)

On line catalog at



If you can find a source of acetone in a quart can it will be a LOT cheaper than using nail polish remover. For instance, here in the U.S., I bought a quart of acetone for $5.69 at a paint store… Nail Polish is about $1.79 per 1/2 ounce bottle, so a quart would cost $114.66 for a quart!! If you don’t have an auto paint supply store, call any normal paint store. Acetone is used anytime lacquer is being applied to clean out the spray guns and as a final wipe before spray painting, especially metal objects.

As for the brass wool, other than my previous suggestion, I am sure you can find a source on the internet. A good hobby store that sells metal model cars and remote control airplanes, etc. might have brass wool.

Thanks for your information, I’ll see what I can come up with. I don’t know if Brownells operate in the UK so thats that one out of the window. I really hate anti-gun politicians.

I did a search on Google for Brass Wool London. I found a list of 14 sources. These MAY be all industrial suppliers and won’t sell small quanties, but for what it is worth go to:

portal.kompass.com/clist/CH_PR_Z … _P__Rep_14

Falcon, boat supply houses and Chandler shops carry bronze wool here on the U S west coast. Would guess there are some around London. Think there was a thread on the old forum that Brownells would not ship to England.

If you have Wal-Mart in England, they carry acetone in one gallon cans in the paint section. It’s about $13.00 in the US for a gallon. The ideal way to strip paint or lacquer is with a strong paint remover, although some types are soluble in acetone. As a final step in the cleaning process, rinse the item with acetone to remove any residue that remains.


Thanks for all the suggestions, I’ll see what I can find. Can anyone give my anymore information about the case from the markings?

As a general concept ( note not rule) although it is a belgique designation (NR) the case itself could have been made in a number of locations with the designator showing commonality with the system. So in answer to your first question-maybe ;-) This is further complicated as you are looking at the case designator not the all up round which was probably an NR*** (3 digit designator) this was used for both PRB and GIAT production and I have also seen it on Brazilian produced rounds in Iraq for Engesa EC-90. Based on the date code however and where it was acquired I would guess it most likley is PRB manufacture

81 - year
2-5 lot codes
MMJ is probably the case manufacturer and it is one that I dont have so I’m interested as well.
I would normally expect to see the round and fillers details( at that time probably PRB) inked on the case but these are probably long gone if it has been cleaned. Later ones also had the system designator on the base.

Thanks Nematoad, Would this ever have had any inked markings on the case if it was never loaded? I will put it down in my records for now as being made in Belgium. What does “PRB” stand for?

PRB - Poudres R

I think these have never been loaded as they have no primers, are extremely clean and shiny on the inside, and have no evidence of ejection marks on the rims. The mouth on the 90mm case also appears that it is slighly wider than the case, ready to be crimped onto the projectile. Either that or they were loaded but have been dismantled for some reason and the cases sent to scrap yards where someone picked them up and kept them before they were sent to be melted down.


I really would like to get to the bottom of this, I have had it over a year and still no Indication who “MMJ” might be.

Don’t you remember my two replies on BOCN about this cartridge posted on the 20th and 21st of June 2008? I think these are good indications on who MMJ might be… Maybe someone can give you more info with the info I posted in those replies.

[b][i]Hello Falcon,

Your case is made in Belgium.
MMJ is indeed the manufacturer ID, which is Metallurgia (Mechelen).
This factory in Mechelen exploded in 1966, so I don’t think 81 can be the date.

I have also a case made by MMJ, but this is a 90X602 shell case. [/i][/b]

[b][i]I don’t know where the J in MMJ stands for.
The complete (French) name of this factory is: Metallurgia Societ

I do remember your reply, but was looking for more information.