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I have this shell case which was handed down in my family. We know very little about it and wondered if anyone can help identify the markings. I would be very grateful for any assistance.

Image of the base of a brass shell case

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  • "75 DE C" means "75 de campagne" (usually for "military campaign". 14 is probably for 1914. The others usually are the producer of the metal and the one that checked and tested the quality of the shell. Still searching to find the match letters/companies. Once I know, I'll post an answer.
    – OldPadawan
    Nov 29, 2023 at 21:41
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    Given the stamp we don't need a diameter - this is from the Canon de 75 modèle 1897, AKA the French 75
    – SPavel
    Nov 29, 2023 at 22:19
  • Thank you so much. It makes it much more special!
    – Peter Ling
    Nov 30, 2023 at 10:21
  • Canon de 75: "21 L" is probably the batch number (L for "Lorient", warehouse for powder?), "14" the year, and "PX" would stand for "Puteaux". There are hundreds of references, many of them lost/unknown, so it's not 100% guaranteed. Not even 10% though :/ Still searching...
    – OldPadawan
    Nov 30, 2023 at 10:57
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    Your efforts are vey much appreciated. It has made such a difference.
    – Peter Ling
    Nov 30, 2023 at 19:32

1 Answer 1

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"75 DE C" means "75 de campagne". It refers to the Canon de 75.

"21 L" is probably the batch number (L is for "Lorient", a powder factory), "14" the year, and "PX" would stand for "Puteaux1". There are hundreds of references, many of them lost/unknown, so it's not 100% guaranteed.

Research leads me to believe that there would always be a letter identifying the supplier of the steel/alloy/brass, as well as for the manufacture and the powder. But it's impossible (as of now) to link the numbers and letters to any arsenal or location.

I can't find any reference about the "MA I" and some specialized forums about ammunition have the same question. I'll let you know if we find out.


  1. From "1914-1918 dans les Hauts-de-Seine":

L'arsenal de Puteaux: Laboratoire et producteur d'équipement militaire depuis 1866, l'Atelier de construction de Puteaux fournit à l'armée une partie de son armement, en particulier le canon de 75 utilisé par les Alliés de 1914 à 1918.

The arsenal of Puteaux: A laboratory and producer of military equipment since 1866, the Puteaux construction workshop supplies the army with part of its armament, in particular the 75 cannon used by the Allies from 1914 to 1918.

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