French 50mm Mortar shell


I purchased this many years ago solely because I thought it was cool. It is a very tiny mortar, guessing around 50 MM’s? I was told it was either French of German. It is stamped SEP 40 and M 39 around the part the fuze screws into. If you look carefully at the tail section, it appears to have been modified by having a threaded rod screwed into it. I was told that it may have been modified to be used as a rifle grenade. I really have no clue, but figured I would post a few pics for the experts out their to take a look.

This photo shows the modified tail.

If you look carefully, you can see the letters NX stamped in a few places on the body. The letters FSC 2940 LR is also stamped in the body.

Here you can see the fuze base stamped SEP 40


It is a French 50mm Mortar shell. Not related to rifle grenades.


Great, thank you EOD! I have seen a few very similar mortars but non had a threaded rod installed in the tail. Also, the guy I got from said he cut a portion of the rod off and it was originally protruding about a foot before he hacksawed it. He speculated it was some kind of in the feild improvised rifle rod grenade made from a mortar? I really appreciate you confirming its proper identity.


That in the back might be also some sort of mount for a desk ornament or so.
Hard to say what it was.


Great thinking! It would not surprise me if was a point of attachment for some static display or paperweight.


I agree with EOD that the adapter in the base of your mortar round is probably to attach it to a base for use as an ornament, mainly because the use of rodded rifle grenades is so long out of favor.

But I disagree that it has no relation to rifle grenades. The French did modify these 50mm mortar rounds into rifle grenades and issued them as the Mle 1948 Grenade A Fusil. The example in my collection is 1953 dated and appears to be manufactured as a rifle grenade as it doesn’t have the obturation bands of the mortar round. But as you can see in the manual illustration, some were converted from mortar ammo, too.


Awesome! Thank you. It really is one of the neatest, tiny mortars I have seen.