Unearthed in Northeast China.Headstamped “P/04”,Does “P” stand for “Polte”?
Another version with two eight pointed stars
Very interesting headstamps!
Just to be sure, is this Mannlicher or Siam Mauser?
More than likely 8x50R for M88/90
Mannlichers bought by Local warlords, in Imperial times.
Local Chinese Arsenals also made 8x50R in the late Qing and early Republic years.
Jianling ( Shanghai) Arsenal even developed a 7.62x55 Cartridge Mannlicher using the Russian style Mosin cartridge as a model fora purely Chinese built Mannlicher wedgelock straightpull rifle ( 88/90 design.
As to the T45 (1902) 8x50R Siamese Cartridge, this was developed in Japan, possibly based on the 8x50R (1893) design, but not interchangeable.
I strongly doubt Polte would have made any Siamese ammo; Siam was locked into the Japanese supply contract.
The 8mm Siam was a Japanese development?
How comes they made a new caliber then instead using something that was locally available (own Japanese calibers)?
Is there Japanese docs on this caliber then?
Japan was in it for the business. It’s best to recall the Siamese Mauser 98 type rifle (type designation not at hand but possibly also T45) made by Tokyo Arsenal was basically an unlicensed copy of a Mauser prototype the Thais likely showed Tokyo Arsenal. Tokyo was able to offer a lower bid than that offered by Oberndorf. Probably the finish was little below Mauser’s standard, but the rifles were durable and remained in Thai service for decades. Jack
Jack, thank you for the details.
Did Japan also make ammo?
Yes, I believe Japan made the 8 m/m rifle ammunition and clips, tho there was also production in Thailand. Others can speak with authority on this topic. Jack
Jack, again thanks!
Not to further delute the great thread on the two headstamps posted by Magnum I have taken the Japanese made 8mm Siam issue to a separate thread:
Back to the initial subject and sorry for partially hijacking the thread.
I ignored that…I could not tell It is Mannlicher or Siam Mauser only by measurement…
As I do not have specimen on hand:
Is anybody able to tell about the differences of 8x50R Mannlicher and 8mm Siam Model 45?
Are the cartridges interchangeable?
Despite similarity at first viewing, the shoulder position is different between 8 AH and 8 S.
This was brought to my attention many years ago by the American Cartridge Doyens, Woodley ???etc
(names escape me).
The M93 AH will fit in a Mauser, but the T45 ( Cartridge) will NOT
Fit a M88/90 in Siamese Service since 1897 ( Defaulted Bulgarian Contract, ).
BTW, Type 45 (2445, Buddhist Year) or Ratanakosin 121 ( Dynasty from 1782) is CE 1903. The Rifle is T46, and the Carbine ( first cavalry, later converted to artillery/engineers) T47 ( 1904,1905)
Because of different year lenghts
(Lunar instead of Solar) T66 is 1923.
As to Japan making the T46 rifle as a pirated design, the finished product is too close to then current Mauser existing designs to be “unlicensed”…Mauser was then
Fully employed in the Turkish 1903 contract, and DWM which controlled Mauser ( Paul Mauser was by then an Employee of Mauser Oberndorf) would have supplied Koishikawa ( Tokyo Artillery Arsenal) with the technical
If production was unlicensed, DWM would have taken the Japanese to court as they did the
US gov’t over the 1903 Springfield
( clips and bullet design). And FN for unlicensed manufacture of M93 Mausers outside the Existing Loewe agreements.
The T66 rifle however, was a typical Arisaka design rifle, but some parts are based on American specs rather than Arisaka metric Specs.
As to the Cartridge, with a spitzer flat based bullet, Siamese Military observers on the western front, realised that the days of heavy round nosed bulkets was over, and wanted an improved spitzer cartridge for rifle and machinegun.
For the MG they chose Vickers,
Some in .303 Initially, then 8x52R;
And forthe cartridge, Japan cameup with an economically efficient conversion…a derivation of the Japanese 8x53R Murata case, which is bulkier than the 8x50R Siamese ( .505 Body, but .565 Rim)…so a simple reamer to
" clean out" the existing chamber and throat, woud be easy.
The rear sights were also precision
Milled, to allowfor the higher velocity, flatter shooting spitzer.
Due to the “Base Upset Obturation”
Principle used in the8x50R for the heavy RN Projectile, the T66 projectile was flat based, to fill the
8mm Calibre Grooves ( .324"–.325").
By the way, the 8mm Siamese is a True 8mm(.315") calibre.
The conversion worked well, and Bungsoo Arsenal in Siam (Thailand after 1937) was capable of restocking, rebarreling etc, and making the cartridges after the initial Japanese supplied lots.
To note that Tokyo, in 1923, suffered the Great Kanto Earthquake and Firestorm, and Tokyo Arsenal was damaged quite severely . The production of the
T66 Arisaka lasted till 1927-8.
See F.C. Allan & Zielinsky’s book on the T66 Siamese Arisaka etc.
Doc: I’m not aware that there is any Oberndorf archival material that suggests Tokyo Arsenal had obtained a license to manufacture designs based on the 1895 patents (that is, those patents which outline the characteristic features of the 98 Mauser). It was in fact the first 98 Mauser manufactured outside Germany. Jack
I think Jon Speed may find something. He has done much research with surviving Mauser/DWM archives on a lot of pre-WWI materials ( Gunboards).
Speed’s thoughts would be very interesting. Jack