French 25x191R?

I picked up a larger round than usual today. It is French and approxomately 25x191mm, with a rimmed brass case, no primer. The projectile is lead with a flat tip. “CHARGE FORTE” is printed 3 times on the side. The headstamp is MR 3 C 37. What is the correct cartridge designation for this round? Is it a dummy or some kind of practice load?

Jon, could you show us an image?

Sounds like the WW2 Hotchkiss 25x194R light tank/anti-tank gun round, as shown below.

“Charge Forte” means a strong (i.e. powerful) propellant charge, which was I believe used for a later, higher-velocity AP loading. This is normally encountered in cases loaded with a pointed jacketed bullet as shown in the pic. So your round is unlikely to be a dummy. There was a short range ball which had a blunt nose, but this was in steel. I don’t know what a lead projectile is doing in that case, I have no record of that.

I hope these are helpful. The projo is definitely lead. There is also some printing around the base, like a headstamp, that I could not photograph clearly.

Boy, would that leave some leading, or what! No expert here, but that appears to be a convenient projectile in a once fired case. Ballistically speaking, the designers would at least know the basics and not even consider soft lead(or pot metal). “Charge Forte” would turn it into a slug gun in short order. Nice casting job though.

Yea, this would be a hoot to shoot.[/img]

These are used inthe French AT gun known as the Puteaux (not sure about the spelling) or sometimes called a Hotchkiss. A fair number of these guns were brought into the US (live) pre-1968 and are in the hands of shooters. (Of course, properly amnesty registered as “Destructive devices” in 1968).

The markings are left over from the original loading, and are not related to its present configuration.

I suspect that someone has a mold for casting lead bullets for these and that this is a reload or at least a home made bullet. Using a lead bullet, it would strip the rifling pretty easily, so they probably intended to use very light charges, but it would still be fun to play with.

What do you think of the neck crimp? To my untrained eye, it looks good. The bullet is tight.

Could it be some kind of high pessure test cartridge? It was the first thing that came into my mind when I read ‘charge forte’.

I’ve seen a number of the standard (or at least common to me) AP rounds and all have the CHARGE FORTE marking on the case.

Tehe cast bullet looks very new, and the case looks like it has been around a while, possibly even once fired.

I’ll stick with a home made reload project.

I got it from Val Forgett (Navy Arms), if that helps.

The projectile is something self made.
The original crimp, which is not shown on the images above is “necking down” the case mouth on a length of about 12mm because the projectile is crimped between two gudinace sections (driving bands so to say). Means the lower driving band is inside the case and it straightens out the crimped section when fired, as visible on all (?) images which are shown above. For this reason it is almost impossible to reseat an original projectile on a fired case.
The original crimp looks like this:

And here the FMJ AP projectile, the tip has a lead filler above the core, no lead sleeve between the core and the jacket since the jacket is forming it’s own driving bands.:

That really helps me understand it. Thanks, Alex.

According to the spanish army manual for the Hotchkiss-Puteaux S.A.L.-37 25 mm antitank gun, the AP rounds were as follows:

  • Model 114 cartridge. 135 grams of two different sized single-perforated tubular gunpowder grains: 5,5 x 2,5 mm and 2,5 x 2,5 mm. Muzzle velocity 900 m/s.

Black bullet tip, red casemouth seal.

  • Model 114f (charge forte) cartridge. 141 grams of similar gunpowder but different ratio between the two before mentioned sizes. Muzzle velocity 960 m/s.

Black bullet tip, black casemouth seal, “CHARGE FORTE” stencilled on the case.

The two cartridges had the same AP projectile, thick GM jacket, steel core, lead tip filler.

Soon I’ll be posting some more info and pictures on this gun and its ammunition. Both were sold to the spanish Army by the nazi Germany in 1943, as a part of the "B