My 1st Trench Art - Russian 115mm Tank Shell


I could not resist buying this piece of trench art, my 1st :-) The price was really nice and I was blown away by the artistry. It is all brass and the previous owner purchased it while serving in the UN in Israel in 1970. The wife told me that her recently deceased husband bought it from a Bedouin tribesman on the Golan Heights. That being said, it has some amazing engraving with so many scenes it would take 100 pictures to show them. I believe there is some Arabic writing. Gobs of animals, lion, camels, birds, antelope, and horses.

It was made to be a lamp which I chucked right away. Anyhow, I figured I would post a few pics and see if any one has a picture of what the projectile looks like. I also wonder who may have fired this, Egypt, Syria? Maybe even Israel using a captured Russian Tank?


Head Stamp


Can’t help on the identification (too large for my collecting), but it sure is beautiful! Imagine the hours and craftsmanship it took to do it! Great object for collectors or anyone!



Not 100% sure, but it looks like the 110mm used by the Soviet T-62 tank. As I recall, the round has a long neck like yours… Most of the projectile being inside the neck.



This is a Soviet case, made by plant No. 556 in 1972. The lot number is 56 and the letters “ME” are the initials of the head of the in-plant acceptance department.

The letter “K” at the 12 o’ clock position indicates the case-material: silicone-brass.

Hope this info was of help!


AKMS, it is a 115 mm case for the U-5TS / 2A20 tank gun.


Here some projectiles for this case:

Here the whole overview:


You guys are the best! Thanks so much for your help and expertise! I LOVE tank ammo :-) I was just blown away by its beauty and the skill of the artist. The engraving is pretty deep into the brass and not lightly etched. It must have taken hours or maybe days to create?



When I did the first year of my engineering apprenticeship one of the teachers at the college where I did the day release part had a similar case from Syria. This one was a Russian 140 x 845R Case for the M46 towed Artillery gun. He said he bought it from a shop in Damascus on Christmas day in 1993 when he was working there for a British oil company. This shell was engraved in a similar way with Arabic writing. A Pakistani student saw it and said she recognised it as an Islamic prayer.


Thanks Falcon. Make a lot of sense. I bet their are tons of similar items like this in the region. Many years ago when I visited Israel, there were a lot of Israeli and Arabic shops with the most amazing engraved silver items. There must be gobs of engraving artists there.



Of course 115mm not 110mm…but you knew what I meant! This is what happens early in the morning when the coffee has not kicked-in yet…



A friend sent me these jpegs. It seems this Russian case also has a APFSDS-T version, MY FAVORITE! I will say, the US and German projectile designs are visually more appealing and look much more advanced.



Jason, here you can view the whole “Iraq OIG”:


Thanks so much EOD! I just book marked that. Extremely grateful.



Jason you can download it there for free.


Have had no luck at all getting any of the pages to open on that link. Hints?