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37-85 'Hotchkiss' help.

Robert B.

I was wondering if anyone could help with the following cut-down casing. Is the primer struck and safe? There is no mark to the base and internally the 'button' hasn't burst (which I'd expect from a fired primer). Also what sort of gun would this have been used with? Google and the like only bring up references to the Hotchkiss machine gun or german 3.7 'Flak' guns.

Many thanks,


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You didn't show a side photo of your case, or list the length of it, but you said it is cut down. How long is it?

Your case is French. Hotchkiss was based in Paris. Yes, your primer is live.
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It is made by Pichard Denys in Paris

They don't burst on the inside, there are only the two flash holes. The landships site is very good on this. In projectiles on this site there should be some information and take a look at my Album and you will gat an idea of what goes in these.
Hi Robs, Here's a pic of three 37MM shells in my collection. The two on the right are French WWI HE with very similar cases to yours and the one on the left is a WWI German tracer shell. It is difficult to tell how far your case is cut down from the pics.....Dano


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Many thanks all,

The casing is 76mm long and the cut is evident as the rim has slight burrs and is not even (flush when placed on level surface). It has tarnished along with the rest of the brass so is not recent.
Now that I know what I am looking for I can see the pair of flash holes neatly intact! Many thanks to all who sent PM's on this matter.

Interestingly the website lists the cannon as being issued in 1916 - would the 1914 date mean this was part of a stockpile of ammunition that was being built up during the development phase?

They are probably talking about the single shot infantry gun being issued in 1916. The revolving cannon had been around since much earlier.
Hotchkiss history

For a short history lesson on Hotchkiss try this one...Dano

[ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hotchkiss_gun"]Hotchkiss gun - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia@@AMEPARAM@@/wiki/File:Hotchkiss_gun2.jpg" class="image"><img alt="" src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/c/c4/Hotchkiss_gun2.jpg/180px-Hotchkiss_gun2.jpg"@@AMEPARAM@@en/thumb/c/c4/Hotchkiss_gun2.jpg/180px-Hotchkiss_gun2.jpg[/ame]
Hotchkiss 37mm revolving canon

Hi Robs, If you would like to buy a 37mm Hotchkiss revolving canon here is one that can be had in the US for 135,000usd! PM if interested...Dano


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