Is this projectile live? 1885 37mm PD.Ps

I have a 1917 PD.Ps case for 1885 37mm gun.

The primer is punctured. The case is empty. The projectile slides easily in and out of the case.

The projectile drive bands are unfired. The projectile body rust looks like it was burned in a fire?

The projectile nose (fuse) looks nice.

How nice is it?

I guess these projectiles were black-powder charges with no sophisticated mechanism?

Is it live? How do I know for sure?


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If you think it could be live then you should treat is live and have it professionally inspected.

I know nothing about these rounds but to me the projectile doesn’t appear to have been fired, even thought the case primer has been fired. I would leave the projectile on its side and somewhere where it cannot roll and fall. I would then reach out to your local police force and go from there.

As mayhem mentioned, the safe answer is always to treat it as live. With that being said, there are literally thousands of these French 37s in the US and I’ve personally owned/bought/sold probably 40-50 of them (in the exact same, unfired condition) and never have seen a live one.

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This case was made in Jan 1917 as shown on the headstamp.
Can you give a projectile weight without the case in grams.
I can check to see if there is a wide weight variation or not. Maybe it is empty?
The fuze has a right-hand thread and may just be a bit tight over the years?

As mentioned by Mdot above, there are a great many of these cartridges in the US. While the fuze is frequently found live, the fill of the projectile itself was considered relatively simple to inert and they are not often seen filled. If filled they are a violation of the NFA and present a hazard to personnel. The fuze by itself (live) is a low hazard and on the level of a blank cartridge. If this model of live fuze is found in an empty projectile it would not be a legal issue.

Note that this information applies to this cartridge alone. There are other, commonly found WWI 37mm, that present considerable risk and, having been more difficult to empty, are frequently found live. Those items are neither safe to possess nor to attempt to empty. Ask before you act.

Thanks for the replies.

The projo weighs 419g.

It was never my intent to attempt to unscrew the fuse. :slight_smile:

Maybe when I was younger. :smiley:

Thanks for the good advice.



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Thanks Maverick.

Old documentation is fun and interesting.