Identification of Cartridge

My good friend George Koller send me a headstamp and some specifications of a fired cartridge case to identify, and I could not. Perhaps some of our Western European friends could help.

It is a brass, A-Base case, with the headstamp “Ste Fse Mons 1901 LOT 2” with the lower-case letters in “Ste”, “Fse” and “Mons” being underlined with a double line, like “=” which I cannot reproduce here.

Measurements are as follows:

Rim: 1.209" (30.72mm)
Head: .978" (24.89mm)
Shoulder: .905" (23.80mm)
Mouth (inside diameter): .790" (20.09 mm)
Case Length: 4.670" (118.60 mm)

The case is reportedly of turned brass, not drawn, and the case is Berdan primed. I suspect French or Belgian manufacture.

We would like an identification of the case-type (caliber) as well as an identification of the meaning of the headstamp entries, and the weapon(s) this round was used with, if possible.

George made a good drawing of the headstamp, which I will try to scan and post today, since I am leaving for ten days and will have no access to a computer in that time.

If anyone can identify this today, it would help. If not, if a proper identification is made, and anyone who knows George Koller sees it, would you please notify him. If not, I will do so when I get back.

Unknown cartridge of approximately 20 x 118mm dimensions. See above description.

John Moss

20x118 French Aiming?

Hammer - can you or someone else expand on that. Definition of an “aiming” cartridge, and how it was used? What was it used with? What kind of projectile would it have had? Etc. Etc. Also, any confirmation from our French or Belgian members?

John -
Cannot ID the cartridge but the h/s is Societe Francaise des Munitions

JCP - that would make sense. Don’t know why I didn’t see that. Not used to French abbreviations, and doing auto pistol and some rifle, I am used to seeing many variations of S.F.M. headstamps, but not in that style at all! Thanks.

Jean Pierre, mon ami, or Phil Regenstreif, my friend of years - are you there? What say you guys about this round? While you both know you can never educate me to the French language, unfortunately, teach me about this cartridge!

hi john!
dou you have a picture or a drawing of the case?

your round is a 20 mm short range for Navy.

the bullet is lead.

Jean-Pierre - is a short range the same as an aiming cartridge? I think of an aiming cartridge as something used in a subcaliber device to get on target before a main cartridge is expended. I think of them as usually being tracers. Am I wrong (like it would be the first time - sure!)

I only know that there is 20x118R French Aiming and 20x119R French Navy Aiming.

I don’t think this one is to shoot on the target before you use the main cartridge.
Anyway the bullet is pure lead, no tracer inside.
And it is for the Navy.
Never heard of one for the Army with the same dimensions (close to one mm)

If this round was anything like many of the other “aiming” cartridges, it was fired from a sub-calibre adaptor for training purposes; that way, the gunners could get their procedures down without spending hundreds of dollars/pounds/francs per shot, but still have a tangible record of their accuracy.


Aiming cartridges, at least in the Royal Navy, were used in a sub-calibre gun which was installed inside the parent gun. It was not the same as the “ranging” cartridges such as the 50 cal for the Wombat and in some tanks. There were special range tables used to calculate the settings to place the aiming shot on target and the fall of shot was spotted through telescopes/binoculars in the normal way.


SCD is on the spot!

the excat designation is:
20 mm pour tube

Hi John
I had some time this morning to scan some drawings.

here is the drawing of your round.

There is another French round with a lead bullet, a lot scarcer.
You will find it on the picture