7.63 Mauser head stamp

Hello from France,

I need help to identify this 7.63 Mauser head stamp.


Chassepot - It is Chinese. I cannot say what arsenal it was made at - I don’t know - but I can tell you that there is a Model 88 7.92 Mauser round with the same basic headstamp, but also with the initials “RC” on it which I assume stand for “Republic of China>” This caliber shows up on some Tokarev lists, perhaps because this headstamp was one of many reported found with Chinese forces during the Korean War. I cannot verify that. Also, relate the three-stab neck crimp to Tokarev, when of course, mainy 7.63 Mauser rounds are found with them as well. If used in Korea, it is possible, of course, it was being used in Tokarev-caliber weapons.

I will try to find out if Lew Curtis knows what arsenal it is from. He is very, very knowledgeable on this Chinese stuff, as he is on many subjects. I believe he is away now, but will send him an email.

It is a good find. I had it in 7.9 Mauser but have never even had my fingers on one of the 7.63 mm Mauser rounds.

It is an excellent round and took me years to get one. Yours is in very good condition. You didn’t happen to find a box full, did you?

Thanks for the identification.

Unfortunately, I found a single round.


Wouldn’t the nickelled bullet tend to suggest earlier manufacture, hence of Nationalist origin and of 7.63 m/m caliber? Jack

Jack - I didn’t make myself very clear. I agree completely it is a Mauser round and basically, although imperfectly, say that in my answer on this thread. It has showed up on Tokarev lists, but it is not an ID I agree with, if we must even separate 7.62 Tokarev and 7.63 Mauser as two different cartridges. I have my own feelings about that. I believe these are older headstamps and pre-communist. That does not in any way preclude their use by the Communists, nor specimens being found in Korea, being used in Type 51 Pistols and PPSh 41 and other Soviet-design SMGs. The only time I ever shot a PPSh 41 was in Sweden, and with Fiocchi 7.63 mm Mauser ammo that I supplied. Worked fine! As I said, though, I have not been able to document any Korean connection with this headstamp - I know I read it somewhere, sometime, but can’t find the source in my library. W&M Ctg. Hdst Guide sjpws a similar headstamp as Number 392, page 51, identified as “Suspect of Communist Chinese Origin.” Seeing as how the book was published in 1963, that would lead one to believe their specimen came from the Korean War, as that was about the only source for Chinese ammunition at that time. They used plenty of old ammunition from pre-Mao days in that conflict, however.

John: Thanks for the additional comments. I did once own a Tokarev pistol which didn’t want to chamber American-made Mauser cartridges. This was years ago when the Mauser ammo wasn’t particularly easy to come by and Tokarev unknown except to collectors. Jack


I think the failure to chamber can be written off to simply manufacturer’s specs. When dealing with foreign ammo (I don’t mean “Foreign” = not made in USA, but rather “Foreign” meaning ammo not made in the same country as the weapon) made before the existence of such organizations as C.I.P. and SAAMI, especially in auto pistols, that happens occasionally. Fiocchi 7.63 Mauser does not always chamber in my Chinese Type 54 (Tokarev) Pistol. Abut one out of three will not chamber deep enough to allow the slide to return to battery. However, the same ammunition chambers and fires perfectly in my Czech vz. 52 pistol. I would not shoot “Tokarev” ammunition in a broomhandle Mauser for reasons of my own, but I have, for testing theory, chambered various Soviet-world 7.62s in a couple of Mausers and all chambered in the two pistols I had available for checking. If you sit down and measure about 25 different makers of Tokarev and Mauser cartridges, you get a pretty good spread of measurement in both.

I hope I can find out what arsenal made that nice headstamp Chassepot posted.

John is correct, this is Chinese by all accounts I have heard. The theory is that the symbol at the top is a script “hy” standing for Hanyang arsenal. Hanyang produced lots of ammo and was also probably the most prolific producer of the Chinese copies of the C96 Mauser Broomhandle.