French 25x193 (rimless) gun ID

For years I am puzzled about the gun that is using the French 25x193 (rimless) variant of the well known 25x193R AT cartridge.

One would think it was for an automatic weapon but I never saw anything that would explain which gun it was used with or how it looked.

The first thought is about the well known 25x163 AA gun with a longer receiver but I never saw anything like that on images (as the magazine would also be longer then and should be recognizable).

A Spanish document referrs to this cartridge as “for AT machine guns”. (EDIT: just found this detail, so we are definately speaking of an automatic weapon)
One source mentions thih cartridge to have been made for Mexico and the Japanese have captured these in 1939 in presumably China.
Also we know these cartridges to having been captured by the Wehrmacht in France.

Anybody to ID the gun? Are images available?

Here some images from the web:

Looks like the Hotchkiss 25mm
AA/AT cannon used by Japan during WWII ( Naval, mostly).
Can’t remember Japanese Type number. Fully auto, box magazine Fed. Usually in double mounts.

Doc AV

Astrid, no, what you mean is the 25x163 AA gun.

I took a group photo to show the case lengths.
The projectiles also differ. The rimless one unscrews from the body. Different design to Jap.


The only info I have is a development aircraft weapon
It never reached full production as France was over run
The only way to tell would be to take the weight of the round and see if it was equal to or greater than the 25 x 163


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The depicted one is the 25x163.

Also a Spanish doc is stating that it is an AT machine gun (auto gun).

No help then

I’ve often wondered about this gun myself - I have one of the cases in my collection. I’ve never found any information about it, though.

The following notes are from my forthcoming book on cannon:

The development sequence is unclear but the earliest known dates on Hotchkiss factory drawings of the three case types are:

25x194: mitrailleuse Hotchkiss no specific use identified: March 28 1930

25x194R : canon anti char Mle 1934 and canon SA Mle 1938 : September 18 1931

25x163 : mitrailleuse Hotchkiss 25A - J case aviation type: June 13 1934

I’m not sure if this helps or even if it is accurate, but says this (translated):

Cartridge created in 1930 by the French Hotchkiss and used in the Puteaux Model 37 anti-tank gun.

[It] was in service during the early stages of World War 2 but [its] power was insufficient to confront the new tanks and [it] disappeared at the end of the war.

There are photos of a semi-automatic 25mm SA.L. Puteaux1937 here, but I don’t see anything stating whether it uses a rimmed or rimless case (and of course it is not a machine gun):
Muzzle velocity is listed as 900 m/s, so probably the 193mm case. There is also a video at the top of the page showing one being fired (single shot). The ejected case looks like it might be the longer variant, but I’m guessing it is the rimmed version.

The AT gun depicted used the 25x193R while the one in question is named by Spanish docs as for an automatic gun.

The 25x193R AT gun was a formidable weapon in it’s days. At least up to 1940 where the Wehrmacht lost quite some tanks to it when they went into France.
After that the guns were used extensively by the Germans who also made ammunition for it.

A photo of the 25x193 Rimless projectile.
Looks like it was crimped in a lathe. I need comments on the odd projectile.
Is it a long adaptor or a two-part body? The fuze is too tight to remove.
Enough damage was done when someone inerted it.
Who has other projectile photos of this cartridge for comparison?

The 25x193 was used in magazine fed automatic guns mounted in different carriages according to the intended use.

Here is an image of an AT configuration:


Fede, thanks a lot for the image!!!
As per the magazine it really appears to be for the 25x193!!!

What document is this image from?

From an article titled “Artillería anti-tanque” (Anti-tank Artillery), published in January 1934 at Oviedo, Spain.

Fede, thanks, this then squares with the ammunition being described in Spanish documents.

I see that the example of a headstamp shown above is dated 1934. My own case is dated 1933. Does anyone know of any other dates?

I have just found a document which must have spent decades buried in my files. It is a brief extract from the Armour Research Foundation Project No. 14-382D headed “25mm HOTCHKISS AUTOMATIC AT GUN”, which appears to have been written after WW2. It lists the following characteristics of the gun:

Gas-operated, magazine-fed and air-cooled.
muzzle velocity - 2,700 fps
projectile weight - 0.7 pounds
weight of round - 1.8 pounds
muzzle energy - 39.6 foot-tons
total weight 237 pounds
weight of barrel assembly - 80 pounds, 10 ounces
weight of recoiling parts - 32 pounds 1 ounce
weight of 10-round magazine (empty) - 14 pounds, 15 ounces
overall length - 96.25 inches
barrel length - 59 inches.

The report comments on the mechanical-operated positive lock, and says that the main advantages of the gun are simplicity and ease of manufacture, but criticises the low rate of fire (though it doesn’t say what that is), heavy parts, a limited firing capacity (magazine), the large locking movement and the large space requirement.

I have a suspicion that reference works may become confused about the Hotchkiss guns and their ammunition.

Incidentally, when searching for this thread, I found this one, which may be of interest: The Hotchkiss-Puteaux S.A.-L 37 25-mm antitank gun