6.5 x 50mmSR Arisaka, black wood bullet. Dummy or blank?


Found this item in a $1 bin at the recent Kansas Cartridge Collectors show.

Shown below is a 6.5 x 50mmSR Arisaka cartridge with a black wood bullet, unstaked unstruck varnished brass primer , NO knurled cannelures on the case and NO hole drilled in the case wall. Cartridge weight is 12.87 grams or 198.6 grains.

I could not find this cartridge in Japanese Ammunition 1880-1945, Part 1 by Ken Elks.


So is this a dummy round or a blank round?

Any information/discussion most appreciated.




I don’t think it’s either Brian, I’d say it’s a grenade cartridge. I’ve seen them with plain wood bullets but not with black.


Concur, it should be a grenade launching cartridge.
The wood tipped blank cartridges were uncolored.

That was an excellent buy for a buck!


It appears that $1 bins at the shows are the best way to get rare cartridges. Since they are uncommon, there is no easy way to determine their value and they are placed into “unwanted” $1 bins. Also cool to rummage for them, like a cheap safe archaelogical dig of sorts.


If real, and not colored by some artistic child of a cartridge collector, it is an exceedingly rare round. I have a similar 7.7x58, but there is next to no documentation to confirm it is what I think/hope it is. Same story with this 6.5mm.


Thanks very much for all the responses, a most interesting and surprising consensus!

In looking at Elk’s book he shows 2 wood bulleted dummies (one colored red and one plain wood) and mentions a third having a black wood bullet that runs the length of the case. The dummies apparently all have either knurled case cannelure or a holed case.

Then there is the plain wood bulleted blank for the Type 11 LMG without primer stakes.

And finally a grenade blank with a plain wood bullet, having primer stakes and a black primer annulus.

Add to the mix the possibility of wartime changes which may in part explain the oddity shown above.

I will take a picture under better lighting and post ASAP.

Thanks again,



Given that a typical weight for a 6.5 m/m Arisaka cartridge case with primer is about 152 gr. it can be assumed that the black ‘bullet’ and whatever is below it in the case weighs about 47 gr. total. Jack

p.s. for what it’s worth the type 11 round contains what appears to be a normal full load of a flake type powder. It needs such a charge to power the mechanism of the LMG.