The only Japanese-made pre-1946 8 mm Nambu rounds I have seen that are headstamped are blanks, usually found with a red wood bullet, although I am told that plain wood bulleted blanks are also found. Mine has a curved line with one tick mark above it. The few others I have seen all had two. I was told “on authority” that mine just had one of the two marks run off the head of the cartridge due to poor stamping, but the source had never seen my cartridge, and it simply is not the case. I don’t know the exact meaning of these marks.
By the way, the ball rounds were made in Japan for at least 41 years, and aside from the usual GM or CN bullet variations, there are many, many variations in rim thickness, extracgtor groove and bevel, bullet crimps or no crimps, and if crimped, the size and shape of the crimps. It is easy over the years to accumulate ten or 15 variations of the ball cartridges made in Japan. There are also Thai ones, also unheadstamped, and then of course, many post-war renditions, mostly American, with and without headstamps. It is not the “three or four variation” cartridge some think it is.
Paul - the additional information is great. Thank Teri for all of us. I used to love the Nambu pistols and had a small collection of them within my overall auto pistol collection, which I sold in 1970-71 or thereabouts. I only have a Baby Nambu now, but it is complete with original holster, shoulder strap, all the cartridges, both matching magazines and even one of the shoulder boards off of the Japanese Captain’s uniform. A dear friend of mine, now deceased, took it in a one or won pistol fight in a “secure” area of the Philippines not long before the war ended. He gave it to me as a gift years ago.
Years ago I published an article on the Grandpa Nambu with stock that I had, in Shooting Times Magazine, and also a general article on Nambus in one of the Gun Digests. In those days, we didn’t know much at all about Nambus, really. My articles were pretty basic and probably with errors. Harry’s book “Handcannons of Japan,” and the followup edition, show how far we have come.
I have good notes on the post-war ammunition. Mr. Hiromatsu Ikeda, a former head of the Japanese Crime Lab, used to visit me at the store when he came to the US for AFTE meetings.
The last visit I had with him he gave me all his notes on the post-War ammo that he brought to AFTE for a some purpose. The headstamp photos make me envious! I also wrote a long article on Japanese post-War ammo for one of the club bulletins - I forget which one - and it was well received at the Crime Lab in Japan. A couple of small corrections were made to it. Embarrasingly, one of those corrections was to a mis-spelled English word they found in the article!