7.7 Arisaka headstamp mark?


This is the only mark on the head of what I have identified as a 7.7 Japanese (Arisaka) cartridge but due to wear I can’t be certain what it really is. Below are sketches of what it appears to be to me. The 1st appears most likely correct, unless the openings are due to damage/wear. Attempts to scan or photograph results were just to poor to even post. This thing is very small.

The image, as you see it, would be at 3:00 o-clock between the primer crimp, which is very pronounced, and the outer rim. I needed a 10X magnifier to really see it, in good light.

I’ve searched the site and found nothing, also several other sources. Does anyone know anything about this? The age and condition of the cartridge leads me to believe it is post WWII but the primer crimp looks very similar to Japanese wartime crimps.


7.7x58 cartridges manufactured for the Japanese military had no head stamps.
The only 7.7 Japanese manufactured cartridges I have ever seen with head stamps were 7.7x56r (aka 303 British) cartridges manufactured for the Japanese Navy for use in aircraft machine guns.


I’m sorry, but I am not clear at all on what those sketches are supposed to be showing. All I see is a rough sketch of the base of a cartridge, showing the outer edge of the base and the primer. What mark are you talking about?

If the cartridge is in such poor condition it cannot be scanned or photographed well, why would you believe that due to the condition, it is a post-war (after the war) cartridge? I would think a post-war cartridge could be expected to be in better was than, say, a battlefield picked up souvenir cartridge.

Is the mark itself a circle within a circle? In short, is your entire sketch(es) the mark, rather than the base of the cartridge?

John Moss


I think this might be the mark you are referring to. It also comes in a two “eye” variety, one on each side of the primer.


Could this be the mark that you’re refering to? This is on a 7.7mm Type 99 Rifle cartridge.
Ken Elks describes this headstamp, and a similar one which carries two of these marks at both 12 o’clock and at 6o’clock, as being the product of Tokyo Army Arsenal. He explains that the actual meaning of the mark is not known but he suggests that it might indicate an experimental load as apparently these rounds have a slightly different bullet ogive compared to the normal round.


Phil, you beat me to it by mere seconds!


Sorry John, I see your point; my sketches are very confusing. Tunnel vision got the best of me.

Thanks Phil, that is the mark on mine, though mine is a bit more worn. There is no sealer on the bullet either. Otherwise, it looks the same as yours.

Thanks Jim, too. Now I know something about it! Its the only military 7.7 I have and I am surprised it is WWII. Not bad for a freebee.

Thanks all.


Yep, but you have more information about it than me. The only thing I knew was that the marks can be found on ball and either blank or dummies, I’ve forgotten which. It has been a long time since I’ve messed with my Japanese stuff.