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  1. #1
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    Cartridges for French 37x149r SA38 L/33 tank gun

    Left the cutaway model of the HE shell type 1938 for the 37 mm SA38 L/33 tank gun, taken into German service as the 3,7cm KwK 143(f).
    The french designation of the cartridge was “Cartouche de 37mm a obus explosif modele 1938 pour canons S.A. modele 1938”, in German service the cartridge was known as the “3,7cm SprGr 145(f)”.
    The explosive charge consists of a composed cast charge of Melenit- Dinitronaphtalin in the base, with a topping of several pressed cilinders and rings Melinit on top. Total weight of the explosie charge is 60 grams.
    The projectile is fuzed with the impact fuze R.S.A. model 1938, an all brass nose fuze. On impact, the firing cap (red) moves forward by desceleration, while the firing pin is pushed backward. Colour of the shell is matt mustard yellow, the part placed in the shellcase is coloured dark blue with a transparant ink like paint.

    The brass shellcase has a 84 grams charge of powderstrips (90 mm long x 18 mm wide x 0,5mm thick) . In the bottom of the shellcase a firing cap with a black powder magazine, type "14/18mm model 1933" is placed.

    The 37mm SA38 L/33 gun was used in the Renault R39/R40 and Hotchkiss H35/38/39 tanks

    Vo: 600 mtrs/sec.
    Length complete cartridge : 274 mm
    Length shellcase : 149 mm
    Length Complete projectile : 142,5 mm
    Length projectile body : 110 mm
    Projectile weight : 0,67 Kg
    Weight complete cartridge : 1,1 Kg

    On the right the cutaway model of a “Obus de rupture Mle 1938”, an armour piercing capped shell. The projectile is made of hardened steel, with a soft steel nose cap. The soft steel nose cap is roll crimped in place and prevents the hardened nose from shattering upon impact.

    The powder charge in the shellcase consists of a linen bag filled with 110 grams Balistit 10, according to French descriptions square leaf powder blades 10x10mm in size.

    In German service the shell was known as the 3,7cm Pzgr146(f)

    Vo: 705 mtrs/sec.
    Length complete : cartridge : 239 mm
    Length shellcase : 149 mm
    Length Complete projectile : 103 mm
    Projectile weight : 0,7 Kg
    Weight complete cartridge : 1,13 Kg

    German tests with the O.d.R 1938 gave the following penetration values:
    29mm @30 degr. at 100 mtrs
    23mm @30 degr. at 500 mtrs
    16mm @30 degr. at 1000 mtrs
    12mm @30 degr. at 1500 mtrs

    French penetration value was given at 30mm @30 degrees at 400 mtrs.
    The difference may be explained by the hardness of the steel plate to be penetrated.

    Regards, DJH
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by pzgr40; 4th April 2020 at 12:42 PM.

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