Small cannon round

Hello guys, thanks for the help in the past. I have a small cannon round I am unfamiliar with and was hoping someone can help identify it. It is a small bottleneck cartridge with the following dimensions. Bullet diameter,1.435" case length,3.680" rim diameter 1.740 overall length 6.500". The headstamp reads,37.85 PD.PS 410 9.71 plus it has a US flaming bomb. Any ideas?

That’s a French Hotchkiss 37-85. There are several threads on that cartridge, some of them recent. Do a search. It’s not a US flaming bomb, BTW. It’s French.

Are you sure about the date? Could the 7 be a 1? As in 9.11

Lookee here: … s-sfm_.htm

This it?


Thanks again Ray, as always a wealth of imformation. After seeing the photo you posted it is a copy of my cannon round. After looking at my round again I was a little dsylexic. The date? actually reads 9.17 I assume September 1917? Not arguing but trying to learn but it sure looks like a US flaming bomb. Now that I know what to look for in the search mode I will look into it.

Just couldn’t keep the cap on the Brasso, could ya Ray?

It wasn’t moving, so it had to be painted or polished. That’s the law!

It is a flaming bomb but i don’t think it’s a US Ord Dept bomb.


I found that 37-85 in an antique store in CA several years ago. The lady behind the counter didn’t even want to touch it, she just wanted to get it out of her store. So I offered her 5 bucks which she quickly took. It was very dirty and discolored, the fuze plug and washer was missing, but the case did not have any dents which was unusual. So I made a bushing to resize the case neck and rebuilt the whole thing. I didn’t polish the case, I just cleaned it with acid. Anyway, it’s been sitting on a shelf for the past 2 or 3 years and has taken on a nice mellow color. The photo was taken right after I refinished it. Another ten years or so and it will look great. ;)


You still polished it. Can’t back out of it now.

It’s a FAKE!!!

Well, I just tossed it in the garbage. No room for fakes in my collection!

You’ve the bar high, Ray.

Ray what type of acid did you use? Like everybody else I watch carefully how I clean a case. However there are a few that are so severely neglected I have no quams about harshly cleaning. I had a 45-75 that was so badly encrusted and corroded that I actully threw it in the trash. Started cleaning it after removing it from the trash and eventually threw it away again. The last time I removed it from the trashcan it actually cleaned up to be my best 45-75, though you can tell it has been cleaned not polished. Just today I got a massively dicolored and coroded 105 MM artillary case I would like to save from the salvage dealer.

I use muriatic. The kind you get from Ace Hardware. It used to be called Hydrochloric. Anyway, I start with plain water and add just a smidgen of muriatic and try it. If it’s not strong enough I add another smidgen. It doesn’t take a lot. After you’re done you have to clean all residual acid with soap and water.

Others will say to do this outside, which is probably good advice. The fumes are bad and they will also cause steel and iron to rust. Undiluted Muriatic will eat concrete, cloth, and your $100 leather shoes.

I won’t tell you how to dispose of the solution when you’re done. The way that I do it is probably illegal in 50 States and the District of Columbia. I live in a rural area so can get away with stuff that a person in a city can’t.

I’m probably already in trouble for even telling you this much. Maybe someone else can add their comments so I won’t be stuck with all the blame.


Bar is now back down to normal heighth.

Muriatic is a weak hydrocloric. It’s also available in swimming pool/spa supply stores.
The fumes (IIRC) are clorine gas, so outside / well ventelated is highly recogmended
Once diluted even further (as Ray did) it’s safe to pour down the drain.
Home owners can legaly get away with a lot more “polution” than busnesses can.