7.7mm semi-rimmed Tracer?

I have two rounds that weigh 448 grains and 446 grains. GM projectiles with green case mouth sealant. 100% Non magnetic. Red sealant on primer. Question is Chinese or Japanese?


Joe I pulled down quite a bit of this exact ammo and mine was not tracer but ball, around 219 grains, (boat tailed) IIRC, your results may be different. JRH

May be wrong but without checking it looks to be Japanese loaded in China?

Thanks for the input Jim.

Pete, That’s what I was thinking, but no headstamp. All the 7.7 loaded in China by the nationalists or communists I have seen reference to, seems to have some sort of headstamp. I thought maybe re-manufactured captured Japanese Type 92 heavy machine gun ball, but the bullet profile looks different. I hate to pull one if there is some value to it just to confirm that it is like Jim says, a oddball 219 gr. BT. I do not think it will be as if you take the total weight into consideration, the standard Type 92 heavy machine gun ball weighs in at 437 gr. - 448 gr. (most around 445 gr. for the six rounds I have). So I figure these must be the same at 448 grains and 446 grains. If they were the 219 grain ones Jim speaks of, they most likely would weigh in around 460 grains. I know about heaver projectile less powder, but the normal Japanese Type 92 heavy machine gun ball has 45.2 grains of tubular nitrocellulose. 10% less powder charge with 16 grain heaver projectile does not revile the cartridges I have in question.

I sure hate to pull one if there is some medium value to it.


Do you know a friendly dentist wit an Xray?

These are definitely Chinese in origin from about 1947. They are remarked captured Japanese stock. I have ball & armour piercing loads. Both have the same green casemouth seal, the ball has a green lacquered primer. The armour piercing has a red lacquered primer and the distinctive brass 162gn bullet. I’d suggest your rounds are AP but they do look a little more copper in colour than I would have expected.

Hmmmmm…typically I posted my response and then re-read your post and noticed your “100% non-magnetic” comment. My identically marked round is magnetic although not strongly so. It weighs in at 421gn.


FWIW, when looking through Ken Elks book [b]Chinese Ammunition /b there are photos of various cartridges (7.92mm Mauser, 6.5mm Arisaka etc.), all attributed to Chinese production that have similar appearances to the 7.7mm semi-rimmed cartridges you show.

A number of cartridges are shown with all red painted primers (red prime seal covering the primer and spilling over onto the cartridge head), in particular 7.92 Mauser, and seems to first appear on some mid to late 1930’s dated cartridges and continues through to some early 1950’s dated cartridges.

Ring primer crimps are shown on a number of cartridges, mostly dating from the late 1940’s to the early 1950’s.

The use of a dark green neck seal is shown in the book. One photo shows three 6.5mm Arisaka cartridges, without headstamps, with green neck seals, all attributed to the People’s Republic of China production and probably date to the early 1950’s.

All this shows that your 7.7mm semi-rimmed cartridges share similarities to Chinese produced cartridges, but does not prove they are Chinese produced.


I’m leaning towards post war Chinese production.
I have seen Japanese produced 7.7x58sr with only clear and green over the primers, never red.

The only way to tell for sure will be to section an example, or have one x-rayed.


Joe, the standard ball bullet in the T-92 loading is FMJBT about 219 grs. in weight. The loaded cartridge weight is about 445 grs or so if I remember correctly, which seems to be what you are getting for these rounds. Looks to me to be Chinese post war IMO. A TON of this ammo was imported years ago on the strips. Ball, AP, and some tracer. The Chinese cartridge cases were of low quality with split heads popping a lot of T-92’s at MG shoots. Some enterprising fellows even turned the rims off and sold it for rifle use. JRH

No, not really. I have asked a few in the past, but they were not to keen on the idea.


What does your ball round weigh?



Yes, everything leads to that conclusion. If I had a third one, I would pull it, but I need to see if Peter G. wants one first. I was looking in Elks’s book on Chinese ammunition from 2012 like Brian is referring to and seen mention of 7.7 loaded in China by the communists post war, but no mention of non headstamped rounds. The sealant however is typical Chinese.

As far as projectiles go I had never pulled any type 92 loadings so I was going by the published 203 grains FMJBT for Japanese Ammunition… Did not have reference to the Chinese bullet weight for 7.7mm Type 92.



Thanks deCoux and everyone else for the input.


Hi Joe,
I just weighed a bunch of these bullets that I pulled from the cartridges in question some years back and the weight is 206/209 grains, not 219 grs. Sorry for the error, old age and all that. JRH


Thanks for doing that. I will adjust my notes.


My ball round was debated sometime ago on the forum. I have no idea how to post a link to that thread but I’ve given it a go & hopefully here it is…

Anyway, I have pulled the round and found it to be inert. It is loaded with a magnetic 162gn cupro-nickel Type 89 bullet. The inerted round weighs in at 353.4gn so if we allow 45gn for the missing propellant the live loaded round should, in theory, have originally totalled about 398.4gn.