7.7x58mm Japanese


This totally non-magnetic round looks like Mauser but the shell length is 58mm plus the shoulder is positioned higher. Maybe my visit to my dentist damaged my brain. What is it?


Jap 7.7mm X 58 ?


I vote for the Japanese 7.7x58mm also. The pink CM seal and projectile ogive shape look right for a ball load and the off-center primer crimp with no headstamp says Japanese to me as well.



Thanks, you are both right. I have too few Japanese military rounds and they all have 3 stab crimping so “Japanese” without those crimps is not on my mind. Incidentally, why did Japanese not label headstamps? They seem to have copied European ways of conducting wars, so wouldn’t headstamping come naturally to them? Any way to know where (city, arsenal, year) it was made?


sks, some of the Japanese small arms ammunition IS headstamped, but as WW2 progressed, this practice declined dramatically. My WAG would be that the shortages of tool steel, machine tools, etc. were the primary reason. Virtually all the key war materials had to be imported . . . this and Japanese territorial imperialism have a sort of “chicken and egg” duality - each caused or justified the other, at least in the minds of their military / political leaders of the period.



Iconoclast - actually, I think a large portion of headstamped Japanese small arms ammunition went to the Imperial Japanese Navy. They seemed to have more of an interest in having their SA ammo headstamped than did the army. There are exceptions, of course. I have an 8mm Nambu blank with red bullet that has a single Japanese character as a headstamp, and I am sure because it was a special loading, not for any connection to the IJN. Even very early 8mm nambu has no headstamp, so I don’t think it had much, if anything, to do with war time shortages, etc. I guess they just didn’t see the necessity for it. Their box labels, until towards the end of the war when the back labels only seem to have the Showa date, had a great deal of information on the back labels.

Japanese ammunition can be very interesting - even unheadstamped ones. Many collectors get an 8mm Nambu with GM bullet and one with CN bullet and believe those are the only variations in ball rounds. I look at the stab crimps, the extractor groove and extractor groove bevel and the rim’s edge, and have found well over a dozen variations in 8mm nambu. Of course, the round was made from 1904 until 1945 (actually, after, but Japanese post-war ball rounds are headstamped, while post-war dummy rounds are not), and undoubtedly by more than one factory. That caliber is just an example, because I collect it and I don’t collect most rifle rounds. I can tell you that headstamped Japanese 7.9 x 57mm ammunition is very rare, and that even most of the large primer rounds made for the Navy don’t have headstamp, although the only known ones with headstamps are that variety. The Army rounds have no headstamp.


The Army ( and by derivation, the Airforce) never used headstamps…at least since the introduction of Smokeless Powder (some of the early BP cartridges were Headstamped. The japanese probably found that the packet label was sufficient to detail calibre, Lot and year of manufacture, and by which arsenal.
The Navy, insteat, having Much larger " shells" followed British ( esp. Royal navy) practice, and so headstamped everything… and the Navy made all the SAA specifically for naval guns (including the 7,7x56R ( aka .303); The Navy acquired its 6,5 and 7,7 Rimless ammo from the Army arsenals; The Army Arsenals did not make any .303 at all.
As to the Type 98 (1938) 7,9mm ammo, whil;st the naval made cartridges used the same (large) .303 type primer, the Army made version used the smaller 7,7 type primer( .217) and it was “stabbed crimped” just like the type 38 (second variant) 6,5 cartridge; This way, Army Airforce 7,9 ammo could be visiually distinguished from standard 7,7 Ammo (both semi rimmed(T92) and rimless(T99). I have samples of the Army 7,9mm from New Guinea, at without the primer crimp to distinguish it, it is very hard to separate it (with out a set of Calipers) from standard 7,7 rifle ammo.

Regards, Doc AV
AV Ballistics