30x114 Japanese shell


Noticed this for sale and thought it was interesting enough to point out:


Seems pretty rare?


Yes, that is a rare one.


I’d like to see the final price then.

Also note the notorius “F” on the case AND on the projectile! Maybe worth to think in other directions.


$1740.00 !!!


I need to raise my prices then…


[quote=“EOD”]I’d like to see the final price then.

Also note the notorius “F” on the case AND on the projectile! Maybe worth to think in other directions.[/quote]



Hi all,

I beg to differ regarding the ‘F’: I think it’s mere coincidence that this letter ‘F’ also appears on this projectile. Connoisseurs of Japanese ammunition will directly see that ALL markings on it are highly unusual for Japanese projectiles. Not a single one looks like anything I’ve seen previously on Japanese projectiles (incidentally: this particular projectile would have white ink Kanji on them, stating “Ho 155”). The ‘F’ on this projectile seems to have been placed on top of a ‘V’ like partial shield. I have also seen Japanese projectiles with other letters (like an ‘H’) on them. I really don’t think this particular ‘F’ bears the same meaning as that present on the casings. If it were to have the same meaning, it would be the very first projectile I’d have come across with the ‘F’ marking; sure, this is a remote possibility (after all, I’m only human too and by no means have seen THAT many projectiles ;) ), but I think this is very unlikely.



What are you disagreeing about ?

No one knows what this F or the Fs on the case mean.

Are you in disagreement that it is worth thinking about ?

Maybe this is lost in translation but I see nothing to disagree with.

Both the case and projectile have an F stamp the meaning of which is UNKNOWN.

That is a fact.


I’m still dying to find out what some of the little cryptic stampings mean on the inside of my Czech CZ52 pistol, and nobody on the internet seems to have an answer. So if something as common and well known as the CZ52 has markings that are inexplicable, then I’m not surprised that some Japanese munitions have similar markings. But somebody in the Japanese ministry or military must have an answer with regards to this one. Maybe a Japanese military history professor or historian? Is there a Japanese version of Dr William Atwater?


Hi John,

I’m ‘disagreeing’ (or rather: ‘doubting’) that the ‘F’ on the projectile bears the same meaning as those on casings.
The rationele:
-This is the only time I’ve seen an ‘F’ on a projectile so far (whereas the ‘F’ markings on casings are ubiquitous).
-The ‘F’ seems to be part of a different marking: it has a ‘sharp’ bottom part which I’ve never seen on the “casing F marks” and below the ‘F’ one sees a ‘V’ shaped marking that together with the ‘F’ constitute the entire marking, making it a “different F” than what one sees on casings.

One does see single letter markings in triangles etc. on Japanese projectiles. It’s my assumption (though not a proven fact) that this letter ‘F’ is more likely to fall in that category of markings, rather than it being related to the marking on the casings.

Again it must be stressed that I don’t know 100% for sure either, but I am just strongly doubting it being related (even if both are the letter ‘F’).



You are disagreeing with something which was not suggested. Prosecuting an opinion is not the same as searching for facts.

What I see suggested is that maybe we should be thinking along other lines until we know the facts and that the Fs represent something which has not yet been determined.

EOD is a professional who deals in FACTS to stay alive. OPINIONS about explosive ordnance can get you killed.

Of course, both Fs do represent something which has not yet been determined.


Most if not all collectors of Japanese ordnance know more about markings than the total of all employees of the ministries and military combined. I hired Japanese military officers to research this stuff and have explained the various reasons why they were unscussessfull previously. I won’t revisit it here. You might be interested to know that the Japanese military have bought references about their own ammo from me.

Further , I know Dr. Atwater well. He is in no positon to answer such detailed questions. He has a good general knowledge of weapons history and HAD a museum collection to act as a backdrop for his TV appearances. He is not an ordnance intelligence professional .

Most collectors know far more about their subjects that most , if not all , museum curators and government employees .

For example;

When JFK was killed by Lee Harvey Oswald using a 6.5 Italian rifle the US GOVERNMENT asked the ITALIAN government what SMI marked on the loading clips meant. They responded that it was a STATE SECRET ! .

Hard to find a gun or ammo collector of the time in the US and elsewhere who could not answer that question. No need to take my word on it you can read that in the Warren Report of the investigation.

I asked an Italian officer some years later about that and his opinion was that THEY DIDN’T HAVE ANY IDEA WHAT IT MEANT and the STATE SECRET basket was a good place to drop it. We do the same thing.

The FBI flew a special mission to Tucson to get a box of the similar ammo which Osward used from Bill Woodin for testing. Why didn’t the “select committee of the Congress” ask him? ASK THEM.

Typical. When I want information I go to collectors.


Hmm, “F”? Maybe the Japanese were adopting our grading system before the war and “F” meant the dumbest shell before a dud? (rim shot…cymbal clash!!)


Hi John,

You are right of course that the meaning of both ‘F’ markings has not yet been determined, however, as the post I initially reacted to stated the following:

Also note the notorius “F” on the case AND on the projectile!

I thought that to be quite a speculative assumption that indeed they would be having one and the same meaning (at least: I interpreted it that way), which is why I wrote I doubted the two 'F’s to have the very same meaning (the reasons for which, are motivated in the other reactions I wrote). I too thought the word ‘disagree’ was too strong, especially as I don’t know for sure either, which is why above I wrote the word ‘disagreeing’ between quotes and had it followed by the parenthesised explanation that I merely ‘doubted’ that they’d both have the same meaning. ;)

Either way, I too am doing my best to be careful with one’s opinions, which is precisely why you will nowhere read in my reaction that “there is no way they have the same meaning”; I’m just very seriously doubting this to be the case, due to the entire marking containing the ‘F’ (i.e. note the bottom of the ‘F’ and the ‘V’ like mark under it), and the fact that I, for one, so far have not seen the very "casing F’ on any projectile. We must, then, be very careful to not all of a sudden directly assume the ‘F’ to be a marking that was also used on projectiles, reflecting the same information, whereas there is preciously little (so far only this very projectile, that I’m aware of) that suggests this to be a viable possbility!

Then again: I don’t want to be too quick either to dismiss the possibility of the two ‘F’ markings to have the same meaning, but my doubt still remains.

Darn; it’s about time some official document surfaces that puts an end to this, once and for all! :)



Just perhaps it isn’t a ‘F’ may be it should be inverted??? I bet this is a lot of help?