What's new
British Ordnance Collectors Network

This is a sample guest message. Register a free account today to become a member! Once signed in, you'll be able to participate on this site by adding your own topics and posts, as well as connect with other members through your own private inbox!

French 47mm Afv


Well-Known Member
Premium Member
Hi, I know these rounds are common in france but i only have a case.What types of projectile are there ? Thanks in advance!
Hi Tig,

I recently purchase two French 47mm rounds for the MLE 37 anti-tank gun. (see pic below)


I believe that the AFV - eg Somua S35 and CharB1 etc used the slightly shorter barreled MLE 35. which used a 47x193 case as opposed to the 47x380 case of the MLE 37 & 39.

What I don't know, as I have very little information, is whether the MLE 35 used the same projectiles.??

From the link below on Tony Williams site, i looks like the AP from the MLE 35 (AFV) was different


Do you, or anyone else have info on the French MLE 35, 37 or 39 rounds?

What a pair of beauties you have there I read somewhere that the mle39 was extremly rare and only the germans used it after occupation in any numbers but it might not be true.
Saffery had a weird HE round the same as the one you have I wish I could of afforded it bidding started at 100 I dont think it sold.

I dont mean to butt in but while on the topic of french WW2 shells can anybody give me any info on this round or any info/pics connected with it.
All i think i know about it is ,its 37mm french WW2 and i think it was used in the long barrel version of the tiny little hotchkiss H39 tank.
Pics to follow.
Cheers Daz
Cheers for the posts ,i was e mailed some info by Domi a while back,i can e mail you this info but it cannot be posted due to copyrite.all your rounds are very nice by the way,apparently french tank rounds are scarce even in france,cheers Tony.
My conclusion here is from very quick research. OK!

Id say you projectile is from a French 37mm MLE 1916/18 --- see image on far right in link below


By using the width of the projectile in the pic Id guess the case is 5 times the width of the projectile and therefore roughly 190mm long. ie 37x190R. From my list of cases, theres only 1 that length and thats the British WW1 Vickers C.O.W. 1 pdr. Looking at the head stamp of your case, I can see a Vee stamp similar to the WW2 V acceptance arrow used by the British, Also, I can see that the primer uses the same two U shaped notches for screwing the primer in...that seem to be on all my British Primers....so seems to confirm a British case.

So my guess is French 37mm MLE 1916/18 Projectile with British Vickers C.O.W. 1 pdr case. :)

Let me clarify, I know NOTHING about WWI stuff

O.K. i'll put my head above the parapet again with another identification!

Its a French Navy 'Tube cannon' M1902 (37x201R).

The projetile is the same as that used in the 37x94R round (as far as I'm aware?).

The COW gun case is taperd and necked with with a ribated rim.

Fingers crossed that I've got this one right. :)

Hi all its a 37mmx194R mle 1938 theres a capped version on quarry website under the heading "1940/41 tank battles 2" I just cannot find any more info on the shell i've tons of stuff on the tank that fired it but nowt else.
Hi richb the round in the picture on quarry somebody tells me is a capped version the germans modified to make the tanks they captured almost usuable later in the war a bit like the 37mm WW1 renault tank shell that safferys selling on specialist that has been modified in WW2 with a subcaliber thingy on the projectile to make it almost effective in WW2.

Cheers Darren
Hi Daz, Have you measured the case? it looks longer than 149mm to me.

I'll be happy to be proved wrong. Your case is dated 10.3.11 and marked 37 02 which doesn't seem to tie in with the idea of it being the Mle 1938 AFV gun.

I've still got some humble pie left if I need to have a second meal of it this week!


You have posted a picture of your collection with this round next to a Mle 1934 Hotchkiss AT gun round, that rounds dimensions are 25 x 194R and its shorter than the case your describing as a 37 x 149R....
I kinda agree with Q ;-)
The case length seems about 5 times the width of the projectile.....so about ~190mm, as I said initially, 149mm is more than 1 projectile width less...and my measurements arent that bad. ;-)

So are we any closer to ID'ing the Projectile and the Case..