Need ID on 37mm projectile


#1

i have a projectile with almost no markings on it and my original post was on the MCF forum, and someone directed me here because he said you guys would know what this thing is…

its 37mm in diameter, 100mm long, weighs about 500g(about 1 pound) and the only marking on it is a very faint, red “56” on the bottom of it.

one guy on the MCF forum said it looks a lot like a French 37mm HE round from WWI. and he showed me a picture. except his had a flat nose

here is a side picture:

and bottom:

and here is the pic of the french round:


#2

I don’t know what this comes from - there are hundreds if not thousands of variations of one-pounder projectiles, and I don’t specialise in them - but it looks like AP to me. If the nose is solid (i.e. the projectile is in one piece) then that’s almost certainly what it is - the hole in the base looks too small to take any base fuze I’ve ever heard of.


#3

It looks much like an early Hotchkiss HE shell which got a decorative self made nose plug.


#4

Can you put up a better photo of the nose ?


#5

ya, here’s a better picture of the nose:


#6

These rounds are very common and in lack of a fuze, brass plugs where screwed in the fuze hole.

Here is the Hotchkiss plate of 37mm ammo.

These projectiles where very popular souveniers and converted to everything from cigar cutter , lamps and what ever.


#7

ok, so its confirmed to be a hotchkiss round, and its HE correct? if it is, how would i go about getting the explosive removed? i dont believe it ever has been… i would never attempt that myself, so is there anyone i can go to to have this done?


#8

As I said over the other forum, IMHO, don’t worry about it.

First off, its a big IF if there is still any filling in it.

Secondly, it does not appear to be fuzed, just plugged.

So IF the HE was never removed, (and again that is a big IF)…without a fuze, if left alone, nothing will happen, unless you drop it in a fire, or try to play handball with it.

IF you contact anyone “official” about it (ie police, bomb squad, what have you) you WILL lose it, forever, without compensation. They are not going to fool with it, they will destroy it.

Maybe the other guys might have other ideas, but that would be my approach.


#9

This is not a common Hotchkiss 37mm. The extra deep crimping groove is the first clue. Black powder 37s do not have a deep groove.

Is the nose gold paint or brass? Touch it with a magnet.


#10

the iron body seems to be the only magnetic thing. the iron’s magnetism is interfering with the nose so the nose appears to be slightly magnetic, but its not. im pretty sure its brass.


#11

TOUCH A SMALL MAGNET TO THE VERY TIP. Compare how it grabs with how it grabs the base. That will tell you if the tip is iron or not.


#12

The deep crimping groove shows that this is not a low pressure shell as are the typical 37 Hotchkiss rounds. I ran it by Robert Mellichamp who knows more about 37mm than anyone else on the planet. He has no positive ID and says the following:

“The deep crimp is seen on some Maxim pom Pom shells. The boat tail is seen on some early AAAC projectiles. A copper or Brass tip is seen on some 1918 experimental German AP types.”

It would take further study to nail this one down. If Bob has not seen one it is a RARE projectile type. The crimping groove is not typical,the base is not typical,the nose is not typical.

I doubt that it contains any type of charge. You might check the weight against a typical 37 Hotchkiss HE slug.

THE DRIVING BAND IS MUCH TOO EARLY TO BE WW1, it is also too early to be Maxim and AAAC is a manufacturer for which no experimental items are known to my knowledge.

I suspect that it could be a VERY EARLY antiarmorplate or even antiaircraft experimental projectile. In which country was this found ?


#13

Do you have a date on this ad?


#14

the tip is brass for sure. i don’t know what country this was found in because i bought it in an antique shop and the guy said his uncle brought it back from WWII in europe, but he had no idea what it was; which is too bad…

by the way, what is a “boat tail”? ive just started collecting militaria and i dont know the lingo that well


#15

[quote=“CSAEOD”][quote=“genkideskan”]These rounds are very common and in lack of a fuze, brass plugs where screwed in the fuze hole.

Here is the Hotchkiss plate of 37mm ammo.

These projectiles where very popular souveniers and converted to everything from cigar cutter , lamps and what ever.[/quote]
Do you have a date on this ad?[/quote]

1900 SFM Catalog


#16

[quote=“jasonhtml”]the tip is brass for sure. i don’t know what country this was found in because i bought it in an antique shop and the guy said his uncle brought it back from WWII in europe, but he had no idea what it was; which is too bad…

by the way, what is a “boat tail”? ive just started collecting militaria and i dont know the lingo that well[/quote]

A boat tail is the curve of the side of the base. If the sides of the bullet go straight down - not boat tail.

This is a good start. This is NOT a common shell. The caliber is , yes. This particular design-no.

This style of driving band was used in the early 1880s . The transition from black to semismokeless powder to smokeless powder happened from 1880s to 1900.

I would not be surprised that this is a slug for an early smokeless powder case.


#17

A boat-tailed bullet is one which tapers towards the base. This is used to reduce aerodynamic drag, especially at subsonic velocities, so in military use it’s associated with long-range rifle/MG ammo.


#18

[quote]A boat tail is the curve of the side of the base. If the sides of the bullet go straight down - not boat tail.

This is a good start. This is NOT a common shell. The caliber is , yes. This particular design-no.

This style of driving band was used in the early 1880s . The transition from black to semismokeless powder to smokeless powder happened from 1880s to 1900.

I would not be surprised that this is a slug for an early smokeless powder case.[/quote]

thx for the info! ill search around for some information on shells from the 1880’s and see what i can find.


#19

You have an old type Hotchkiss shell with drivingband 30mm.
Hotchkiss started production in France 1875. The 5 barrel revolving canon was introduced in the French navy (Canon-Revolver Mod


#20

The “boat tail” comment came from Robert Mellichamp. He knows 37mms and has seen and catalogued more of these than any human being. A deep crimping groove in designed to accept a deep crimp which device retards the immediate impulse of a high pressure system to dislodge the projectile prior to optimum pressure being obtained. Such a groove would serve no purpose for a practice round for a low pressure black powder load.

These early black powder Hotchkiss rounds have a shallow crimping groove or none.

If a shell crimped in the manner which this deep groove implies is fired in a black powder gun it would cause case failure through excessive pressure.