7.9 japanese , mukden


#1

This is a Japanese cavalry souvenir from the 1930s occupation army. The cartidge which was made at the MUKDEN arsenal is a 7.9 likely for Chinese rifles and MGs.

Which of the numbers is the date of manufacture?


#2

Thank you. The Mukden Arsenal story is very interesting but shy on dates of origin.


#3

Manchuria, being nominally a part of China, used the Chinese Republic dating system (Year 1–1911), so the “19” would be 1930; and the Month is “11” (November) This is also correct for the period of operation of the Arsenal at Mukden (now called Shenyang,?). The "II. " is unknown to me, but could be the “Second cartridge Plant” or some other designation (???).

Japan, of course, began its War with China (by proxy) in 1931 ( the “9-18” Incident…18th September, 1931, the Japanese Troops attacked Chinese/Manchurian Garrisons in the North Eastern provinces, over-running them in quick succession ( Liaoning, Heilongjan, and Jilin); after the failure of the League of Nations to do anything ( they sent a “Committee” to report back)
the Japanese consolidated their hold on all of “Manchuria” ( a further two more provinces were annexed) and the new (Puppet)State of “Manchu-kuo” ( Nation of the Manchus) with the last hereditary Chinese Emperor, Pu Yi ( or Aisin Goro, to use his native Manchu name) was installed by the Japanese as “Emperor of Manchu-Kuo.”

The Japanese, who had already been dealing with Chang Tso-Lin (the “Old Marshall”–Warlord of Manchuria, and had been giving technical assistance for the Mukden Arsenal after WW I, decided that the Old Marshall had outlived his usefulness, and blew up his Armoured Train, killing him. He was succeeded by his Son, the “Young Marshall” ( see the later Xian Incident in the mid-1930s), but by that time, Japan was in full control, and the Young Marshall was with the Nationalist Forces near Peking.
The Japanese expanded the Mukden Arsenal, continuing to make 7,9mm rifles, as well as making 6,5 and eventually 7,7 mm Japanese Rifles by the time Japan attacked China proper in 1937. At the same time, the Japanese developed the Kwantung Army ( made up of mostly Japanese Soldiers) for the protection of the “Eastern provinces” ( Tung==Dong==East); This Army spearheaded the 1937 Attack at Marco Polo Bridge outside Peking in '37.

Interesting bit of Militaria.

Doc AV
AV Ballistics.


#4

Thank you. Looks like John Moss’s post has been removed. The past info from the 7.9 collectors and others was that what appears to be 19 is actually 7.9 refering to the caliber of the cartridge. Not true ?


#5

I just don’t have time to research much right now. I removed my own last posting because it got contorted (by me - not by the computer or Forum) and I wasn’t sure I was right at all, since I took things off the top of my head. There are two different Mukden headstamps, though, one of which does have the caliber 7.9 on it. The other appears not to be the caliber. That is where the confusion comes in, I think.

John Moss


#6

I have seen both with and without the dot; i.e. “7.9” and “79” . The 79 without looks very mch like 19 thus the confusion. When it comes to ordnance especially in the Orient I stay confused to save time. According to what I have read MUKDEN made 7.9 for many years and started before WW1 and the Japanese were there a long time as well. None of this make dating this stuff easy. One reference says that in the early years ( prior to and possibly during WW1) MUKDEN was run by a Brit. This name is what the Russians called this place not the Chinese,Japanese or Manchurians. Why we ended up with this name seems still a mystery.


#7

The fact that the headstamp clearly marked with the caliber is known with 17, 18, 19 and 20 at the 12 O’Clock position on the headstamp (the 7.9 is at the 9 O’Clock Position), leads me to believe that the number at the top of the headstamp you pictured is “19” and not “79”, although I don’t know the significance of the “II.” this headstamp is found with at least 4, 9, and 11 at the 3 O’Clock Position, all with the "19) at the top, while the other headstamp with “7.9” clealy a separate entry from the date I have had with 11-17, 4-18, 5-19, and 6-20.

The next question I would ask is whether these are numbers from the Western Calender, or the Chinese Calender.

I could be all wrong on this - but it is hard for me to accept that the numeral in front of the “9” on the pictured headstamp is not the same numeral as is found at the 3 O’Clock position of the headstamp. If they are a “7” than the other number is “77.” I can’t relate “77” to anything on that headstamp.

John Moss


#8

Dr. S: Chinese military ammunition produced from about 1930 to just after WW.II will generally have a date based on the Nationalist revolution, thereby carrying a two-digit number between 18 or 19 and perhaps 36 or so. This system probably was used a good bit before 1930 but early cartridges are hard to come by. All SAA produced in China by or for the Japanese armed forces will be without headstamp, I think. After the second war ammunition produced under Communist rule appears, the Nationalists retreat to Formosa/Taiwan and headstamping becomes more and more complicated. Your specimen seems to be pretty typical of Nationalist production in the years between 1930 and 1946 or '47. Jack


#9

[quote=“JohnMoss”]The fact that the headstamp clearly marked with the caliber is known with 17, 18, 19 and 20 at the 12 O’Clock position on the headstamp (the 7.9 is at the 9 O’Clock Position), leads me to believe that the number at the top of the headstamp you pictured is “19” and not “79”, although I don’t know the significance of the “II.” this headstamp is found with at least 4, 9, and 11 at the 3 O’Clock Position, all with the "19) at the top, while the other headstamp with “7.9” clealy a separate entry from the date I have had with 11-17, 4-18, 5-19, and 6-20.

The next question I would ask is whether these are numbers from the Western Calender, or the Chinese Calender.

I could be all wrong on this - but it is hard for me to accept that the numeral in front of the “9” on the pictured headstamp is not the same numeral as is found at the 3 O’Clock position of the headstamp. If they are a “7” than the other number is “77.” I can’t relate “77” to anything on that headstamp.

John Moss[/quote]

Do you take all of these 2 digit dates with 7.9 in the hs to be in the same calendar as the one shown here ?

If so, then the Roman numeral II is where the 7.9 would be on the others which you mention.,right ?


#10

Yes, the Roman numeral II. is at the position where the caliber is on the other headstamp, which has not such numerals. And, yes, after Jack’s reminder about the National Chinese Calender, I would expect that these Mukden headstamps are dated under that calender, and not the Western one. I meant to get into my library and look at when the Mukden Mauser rifles were made, to see if there might be some correlation between them and the ammunition, but simply have not gotten that far yet, and probably won’t this week.

John Moss


#11

Anyone want to rethink their opinion after seeing the following ?


#12

I have just been reading “Generalissimo” , an authorised Biography just out last lear about Chiang Kai Shek, and it is quite detailed on the Arms supplies to the various Warlords in the 1920s…mentioning the tens of thousands of Moisin Nagants supplied to Warlords in the north of China and Manchuria in the early 1920s by the Soviets.

Hence the “7,62” case, obviously made in China, on the souvenir. I have one of these MN 1891 rifles ( Old, first type rear sights). It has been fitted with a “Arisaka/M95 Mauser” type Bayonet band, to adapt M88 or Hanyang bayonets to it, or even maybe a T30 Blade.

The period 1911 to 1930, historically, is of much intertest , as there was absolute Chaos in both rifle and ammo supply into China, between Local
Warlords, Gov’t Arsenals and Armies, the Guandong province ( South) and Central China Areas ( Nationalist) and the North and Manchuria ( Warlords and the “Old Marshal”), also with their own arsenals…

A Lot of this equipment was “Wasted away” in the various battles in this period, and in the early Japanese War. Gradually Mauser Design rifles overtook all the assorted other arms, but occasionally an MN or even a Mannlicher
Straight Pull or Carcano will show up in Mixed lots of 1930s surplus…the
Chinese never throw away anything. Ammo for all these “odd” rifles and calibres has been made in China.

When I have fully read the Chiang Biography, I will table a list of all the known Rifle supplies into China in the 1920s and 30s.

Regards,
Doc AV
AV Ballistics.


#13

Movies to be seen " The arrival of the Chinese nationalist troops to the Sino border Tonkinese ". We perceive their armament.

ecpad.fr/l%E2%80%99annee-195 … e-cao-bang


#14

This is a British contract case made for Russia in 1917.
Greenwood and Batley. See White and Munhall # 961 .

A better look at the hs.


#15

[quote=“JohnMoss”]The fact that the headstamp clearly marked with the caliber is known with 17, 18, 19 and 20 at the 12 O’Clock position on the headstamp (the 7.9 is at the 9 O’Clock Position), leads me to believe that the number at the top of the headstamp you pictured is “19” and not “79”, although I don’t know the significance of the “II.” this headstamp is found with at least 4, 9, and 11 at the 3 O’Clock Position, all with the "19) at the top, while the other headstamp with “7.9” clealy a separate entry from the date I have had with 11-17, 4-18, 5-19, and 6-20.

The next question I would ask is whether these are numbers from the Western Calender, or the Chinese Calender.

I could be all wrong on this - but it is hard for me to accept that the numeral in front of the “9” on the pictured headstamp is not the same numeral as is found at the 3 O’Clock position of the headstamp. If they are a “7” than the other number is “77.” I can’t relate “77” to anything on that headstamp.

John Moss[/quote]

It looks more and more like you are correct about this interpretation given the WW1 date on this other one.


#16

I misidentified the 7,62 case as Chinese, as I did not see the “G” before the “17”…but that does not influence the dating question on Chinese Ammo.

G&B supplied the Tsarist Govt ( and initially the Kerensky Gov’t) with 7,62x54R ammo; so the ammo could have come from Soviet Russia in the early 1920s, as did the rifles. ( other factories were Kynoch, and the CF or GF Gov’t controlled but contractor operated subsidiary factories).
On the otherhand, the ammo could have been surplussed off by Gt. Britain or G&B itself, after WW I, to the many “wheelers and dealers” in the China trade, for sale to Warlords in Northern China. (Britain stopped supply to Russia after the Bolshevik revolution, and then tried to either withdraw or destroy the stocks at Murmansk and Archangel in 1919-20)

Either way,( Soviets or traders) it got to the Chinese sometime in the 1920s.

Regards,
Doc AV
AV Ballistics.


#17

A minor but not uninteresting point is that Woolwich Arsenal also produced 7.62 m/m rimmed ammunition for Imperial Russia in 1917 with the R [broad arrow] L mark in the headstamp. Jack


#18

Not just Woolwich. 7.62mm ammunition for Russia was also made by Kynoch, Greenwood & Batley (as above), Brmingham Metals & Munitions, Government Cartridge Factories 1, 3 and 4 and Eley Bros. Government Cartridge Factory 2 was part of Woolwich and used the R^L headstamp.

In mid 1917 fully 60% of total British small arms ammunition output was 7.62mm and 6.5x50mm for Russia.

Regards
TonyE


#19

As I understand it there was Japanese cavalry in Manchuria during the Russia-Japan war and for many years after. I see nothing convincing that would place these souvenirs much later than that. I think that John Moss’s analysis makes sense under prevailing information. The Japanese text seems to give no clue.