Here is a Chinese M/88 7.9mm mauser cartridge produced in the June of the 29th year of the Republic (1940.6) by Hanyang Arsenal.
The star in the headstamp is the symbol of the Hanyang Arsenal, one of the largest and oldest modern arsenals in Chinese history. It was established in Wuhan, Hubei province in 1894 and started to manufacture German M1888 Commission rifles in 1895 (the rifle was called “漢陽造”, which means “made in Hanyang”), and the production continued to 1940s. That’s the reason why the cartridge has a round nose M/88 type projectile while the most of other 7.9mm Mauser cartridges at that time have spitzer bullets.
The Chinese characters in the headstamp are “二九 六”, twenty-nine six, indicating that it was produced in the 29th year of the Republic of China(1940) and the 6th month of this year. But what makes me confused is exactly the year of manufacture. Due to Japanese invasion of Wuhan, Hanyang Arsenal transferred to Chenxi, Hunan province in June of 1938 to continue the production. Before long, Hunan province was also under war, Hanyang Arsenal then moved to Chongqing (temporary capital after the fall of Nanjing) and merged with Gongxian Arsenal transferred from Henan Province. It’s said that the machinery and equipment lost too much on the way to Chongqing, so its production didn’t resume until 1941. In that case, How was this 1940 cartridge made?