Help Identifying 40mm Bofors Round

Hi all,

I came across a 40mm Bofors Mk. 4 round at a family residence and I’d like to know exactly what type of round it is. I’m not sure of it’s place of manufacture, but I’m guessing it is an Australian round. The Primer and Propellant have both been removed, so the cartridge is empty; however, the round is still in place. It is black, with a yellow stripe and several markings, e.g. [H.E.S], etc.

Attached are a few photos of the round.

I came across one website that suggested it may be a practice round, but I was under the impression that different countries have slightly different colour codes. Also I was under the impression that yellow represents High Explosive.

Is it safe to hang on to this, or should I be handing it in?


Welcome here Kaputcha.

Your cartridge is following the UK marking system. If you could provide us with more (and better) images of the markings and in particular the head stamp of the case we may be able to say more.
The projectile is marked as “HES” what stands for “High Explosive Substitute”. That means it has an inert filler, means it does not contain an explosive charge.
The “ME” makes me believe for the time being that your round may be Australian.


Your Bofors projectile is a PRAC projectile (black with yellow band) HE were buff yellow coloured all over with red filling bands & other bands depending on what it was filled with.

As previously mentioned, HES stands for High Expl. Substitute.

AN in white stencil means Australian Navy. 8/52 is when it was assembled for use.

These are very common here in Australia with a batch of thousands being released for scrap about 10 yrs ago.

You will probably find “Plug Rep Fuze” stamped on the fuze somewhere also. There is no explosive filling in these projectiles.

Regards Ozzi.