Austria-Hungary shell from WWI needs identifyiing

I am researching a WWI Austrian artillery shell that has been turned into a piece of trench art for a Museum Studies program at Sir Sanford Fleming College in Peterborough, Canada, I am trying to get more information on the shell itself. The shell has the numbers 1918/17/8 cm M16 stamped on the bottom. What do these numbers mean?


It would help to have some measurements, in mm, of the casing - diameter of the case mouth, diameter of the case base and total length of the case. Pictures would be even better.

M16 could mean Model 1916, 8cm may mean 8 centimeter; model designation and caliber designation of the artillery piece that uses this casing. 1918 may designate the year 1918, the year the case was made.

This may be an Austrian 8cm case from WW1 but more info is required to confirm this. Is the case all brass, all steel or steel and brass?


Hi Brian,

The casing is currently 23 cm high, though I’m afraid that I don’t know what the other dimensions are. However, I can send pictures if you would be kind enough to tell me how to attach one (I’m new here).

1918 does seem to be the year it was made, and as far as I can tell, it is all brass.

Chavamara–I have no idea what your cartridge case is, but to post an image, please read the post “Posting Images on the Forum” Click here to read it: viewtopic.php?f=8&t=9455

Sounds like an Austrian 8cm M16 Field Gun 77 x 230mmR (R = rimmed) case or may be listed as 8cm x 230R case or 8 cm M.16 case for separate loading i.e. the projectile is loaded first and then the cartridge case.

Thank you for that, that helps a lot. Do you know anywhere where I could read up on those guns some more? What exactly do those terms mean? Any idea what the 17 means?

The subject matter at hand is very convoluted due to many factors. To begin with in Europe during this time frame there were many artillery manufactures such as Skoda, Krupp, Rheinmetall and Schneider. Add to the mix a number of “small” conflicts/wars and then there was WW1. So many European countries were using old models of artillery, modifying old artillery pieces and buying new artillery pieces. Add to the confusion, for example take the case of 75mm artillery, some countries called it 7cm, some called it 7.5cm. Or 76.2mm artillery might be called 77mm, 7.7cm or 8cm. And so on.
From what little info I can gather, apparently the Austro-Hungarian 8cm “Model” 16 Field Gun (77 x 230mmR) is a WW1 period modification of the Austro-Hungarian 8cm “Model” 5 field gun.
Here are a few links that may help you in your search for info: … ia-Hungary (you need to register with BOCN to use the site; it’s worth it) … 685493757/ This is an Austrian web site (a very good web site with lots of WW1 Austro-Hungarian material) so you will have to use a web translator. When you go to this page, at the top find the word “Artillerie” and click on that. That takes you to a page that has a listing of artillery pieces on the left side of the page, find and click on “8 cm Feldkanone M.5”. Before using the web translator go to the photos near the bottom and click on those to see different pictures of the M5 gun.

Sorry I could not help more but my knowledge on the subject is very limited at best.

Thank you for the sites.

The casing has Berndorf stamped on the bottom as well, so I assume that it was manufactured by Krupp. Would you happen to have any idea what the 17 refers to? It was written between 1918 and 8 cm.

Berndorf = Austrian made by Metallwaarenfabrik Berndorf (subsidiary of Krupp).

17 may be the lot #.

Thanks, lot number seem to be the most likely. Thanks for all of your help!