Chinese .45 ACP headstamp


Can you help interpret this rather attractive headstamp found on a .45 ACP?
I have refered to the extensive article in the IAA Journal no.420 however the images contained in that aricle are simply not clear enough to be of much help.


AT 12 o’clock, what looks to be “Year 19 ( 9-10)” which is 1930 Western calendar.
AT 6 o’clock, I would say the Factory identifier…Which I cannot interpret right now ( can’t get at my Chinese Character Dictionary).

Some of our Chinese-literate members will know.

Doc AV
AV Ballistics.


It is from the Sichuan Machinery Bureau at Chengdu/Sichuan which operated from 1878-1933. The cartridge manufacturing facility was pillaged and moved to Chungking in 1933.

As DocAV says the characters at top say “19th Year” which would be 1930.

Ref.; Chinese Cartridge Headstamps by Tzong Bin Shih - IAA Issue 459, Jan/Feb ‘08


Thanks guys. :-)


The bottom line of the headstamp says “Si Chuan Made,” indicating manufacture there. The factory was also known as Szuen, Szechuan, Si Chuan or Ch’engtu. These are the only positively-identified Chinese .45 A.C.P. cartridges from prior to WWII. They were made in the 19th, 20th and 21st years according to the Chinese Nationalist calender, representing Gregorian-calender years 1930, 1931 and 1932. In a huge shipment of .45 A.C.P. ammunition from China, some years ago, brought in by Val Forgett, of Navy Arms, these rounds were mixed in small quantity with rounds of other nationalities including WWII era Chinese rounds, the bulk of the shipment actually being steel-cased Evansville Chrysler rounds (EC and ECS), but including many, many variations of unheadstamp cartridges pretty obviously made in China. It is not known if they predate, post-date, or both, the Si Chuan rounds.

The Si Chuan rounds were produced contemporary to the production of the Shansi .45 caliber copies of the Mauser C.96 (Broomhandle Pistol) and were likely intended for use in those, and probably original or copies of the Thomspson SMG.

I know of four vartiations of this cartridge, all of which are verified, being in my own collection:

1930 high case cannelure, 1931 high case cannelure, 1931 low case cannelure and 1932 low case cannelure. The cannelure of the first type is at 0.320" (8.14 mm) from the case mouth, and in the second type, lowered to about 0.350" (8.88 mm) below the mouth. We belief this to absolutely be a design change, and not an accident of production, as the level of the cannelure is consistent in both pairs. My 1930 round appears to have a copper primer cup, with the others having brass cups, more the norm for chinese pistol cartridges. All bullets seen so far in these cases have been FMJ GM RN type with lead cores. All examined have been non-magnetic.

It appears that once the factory was moved, they ceased production of this caliber ammunition, or continued production with no headstamp.

Reference: “The Early Chinese .45 Auto Cartridges,” California Cartridge Collectors Bulletin, Issue Volume 29, Number 5, October 2009, pages 3 & 4, by John Moss under the auspices of Woodin Laboratory and with the help of Lew Curtis, Butch Daubner and Bin Shih.


Thanks John,
I can confirm that the cannelure on my specimen is 8.14mm from the casemouth, the cap is of copper and the bullet is non-magnetic.