Please help me Identify this Artillery Shell


Thank you in advance for any of your help. I recently obtained a piece of trench art for my dad for Father’s Day…and I was wondering if any of the Pro’s could help me with additional info. I assume that there is SOME way to tell what Country used this as artillery?

This is what I was provided:

Vintage from the 1940s Trench Art Vase WW2 1943, Brass, Hand Made, True Trench Design Artillery Shell decorated with flowers by a soldier. Dated 1943.

It measure 31 cm high or 12 1/4 inches and is 6.2cm in diameter 2 3/8th inches across.

It weighs 811 grams or 1lbs 12 ozs.

Thank you to anybody who can help me out!


Welcome here Meghan, The absence of a headstamp is somewhat unusual and it also could have been removed on a lathe.

As the primer is dated 1943 this most likely is the average manufacturing date of the case. I would go for about ±1 year.

The case was a 40x311R for the M1 40/L60 (Bofors designed) anti aircraft gun used widely during the war and still in use today in a few AC-130 gunships.

Here some info on the ammunition and clips:

More threads on the subject:

Here some basic info on the gun:

Your assumption that the bottom of that round had been turned on a lath need not to be so
I recently attendet a Gun show and encountered the excact case as shown in the picture
I was as astounded as you that there was no stamp,it looks like that during that war there
was someone that made a few like that

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Sherryl, it would take a close examination (including precise measuring of rim thickness) as these could be QA fails and then never got a hs. Even the primers could have been inserted later.
Or as said the hs was removed, could be a condition for example when intended for commercial sale later on. Such things always depend on the entity or single clerk issuing regarding disposal contracts.
So making a remote diagnose is not so easy.
So far I have not seen eventually loaded rounds without hs (may not mean much).

I have also seen some of these cases with no headstamps.

The primer markings identified them as WW2 US made.

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I also had a WW2 era US Bofors case (fitted with US primer) with no headstamps. Found in Australia, so almost certainly fired here during the war. I just assumed it was only stencilled.

Thank you all SO much!!!
This is SO much more information than what I had!

Forgive my ignorance…what do the terms “QA” and “hs” mean?

QA I assume it means quality assurance- so did not get accepted to standards.
hs is usually the abbreviation for headstamp but I usually type H/S for this.

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