I recently came across an Unusual French Artillery case, it is not like anything I have heard of before.
The dimensions are as follows:
Inside mouth Dia.: 75mm
Case Length: 330mm
Rim Dia. : 91.8mm
The case is a tapered design with a Hotchkiss double rim. There are no mouth crimps of any kind.
The only markings are: “L.37.” close in, below the primer pocket. I know it is French as the Font is identical to that on the headstamp of a 47mm Tir Rapide case I have that was made in 1893. The “dots” in the headstamp are also small upwards pointing triangles, which have three lines inside them that divide them into 3 segments.
Here are the markings as they appear on the case, apart from the markings on the case are curved to suit the profile of the primer pocket.
The closest case I can find reference to is described as a 75 x 330R case possibly made in France for the Boers. The headstamp style would fit that time frame, and the lack of maker’s markings could also be realted to this. However, the case that is possibly for the Boers is describes as having a 90mm rim diameter. Mine is definitely 91.8mm.
As for the primer pocket, it is c hole drilled straight through to the inside of the case. The diameter of the hole is 11mm. I know it is not a pocket for a pressed-in Berdan cap that was drilled out as it has a step at the base of the hole. The design is like the pocket on French WW1 cases with their pressed-in primers that resemble a rimmed cartridge, only smaller.
I am fairly sure this case has not been cut down as the case mouth is level and has been finished with a lathe and not cut off with a hacksaw then filed down. It also has the marks on the inside of the case mouth where it was bored out with a boring tool in a lathe.
I would be grateful if anyone could tell me what gun this case is for, how old it is and who it was made for. I took a chance on buying what may have been a cut-down case as I thought the almost total lack of markings was interesting.