British 120mm WOMBAT Recoilles Anti-Tank Gun

Hi to All,

I am new to the subject and I would like to ask if you can help me. I have recently acquired 2 artillery shell casings. From the initial look at them it seems that these casings fire 120 mm shells. Can any one shed some light on these shells, their origin and which gun fired these shell. The details on one of the shells are as follows:

written in big black print on the side of the shell are these NO/S 035, 120 MM B AT PRACL45AI, 4-27, GD 184A,
at the bottom written in black ink xxLI7AI 3GD 2/72 (xx there are some character I cannot distinguish)

It has also a number impressed on the brass metal at the bottom which is not clearly legible but it consist of a symbol with three circles OOO and the numbers P1P 71 OX 1235.

Its body is made of brass but the last bottom part is made out of metal. In fact it is showing signs of corrosion. There is a number impressed on the metal bit but I cannot see it due to the corrosion.

The length of the casing is 79 cm (790mm) and the upper bore diameter where the shell is attached is 12 cm (120mm)

Would greatly appreciate if I can have a bit of information on these casings.

Thank you all for your attention


These are cases for the British 120mm WOMBAT recoilless anti-tank gun. Unlike a conventional artillery gun, this gun was open at the breech end. The shell case primer was in the side. This meant that when the weapon was fired, some of the gas produced on firing would escape from the rear of the gun. This counteracted the recoil caused by firing the projectile. See the link below for more information on the gun.

“PRAC” means that they were fitted with inert practise projectiles which were fired during training.
“L45A1” is the model number. The other markings are lot numbers, manufacturers markings etc.
“2/72” Is the date (Feb 1972). The three circles are symbols used in engineering. They mean that the threads used to hold the parts of the case together are made to the American Unified standard.

Are you located in the UK by any chance?

Hi Falcon,

Thanks for the information. You made my day. No I am not in the UK but in Malta. In 1972 the British Forces were still present in Malta so that explains their presence here in Malta.

Is it wise to try an clean these casings and if yes do you know the best method to go about it?

Thanks again for your help


You may show us some images as it depends a bit on present paint markins etc.

OK. I will take some pictures and upload them soon…