French 37x95mm Hotchkiss


I got this French rolled brass cartridge with the projectile today. On the cartridge itself: lot 192 , Hotchkiss symbol, 1893-1; on the projectile: patent, Paris, company symbol, Hotchkiss. It appears that it may be an original projectile. How to know for sure? Mine is 93mm long, but it may be from all the bangs on the side deforming the body. The headstamp has 3 circles which may be rivets, I looked inside, there are circles inside too.



Nice early case with the wrapped construction and riveted base.

Bob Mellichamp’s great new book on 37mm guns and ammo will tell you all about them, but from what I recall, this is a very desirable early example. Lots of the later conventional drawn cases around (from a couple dozen countries) but not many of these early ones.


Mellichaps book is great but expensive AND it is vol 1 of 3.

This is a Hotchkiss patent coiled case. It was made in several calibers. I did an article on the coiled cartridges some years back for the JOURNAL. Condition is important in the value as they are easily dented and the nice ones are getting rare every day.

The projectile is marked and the wide driving band is typical of the Hotchkiss production.


Thank you, John & John,
I got it for $20 at a NJ show, the seller, an old lady, knew nothing about it, and I was marginally more knowledgable. Makes me feel good finally doing something right after years of trying.


The dents could be carefully worked out using a wooden mandrel inside the case and a rubber or leather mallet.