Japanese 7.7 "Eye" Headstamps

I have had a running discussion with some gentlemen on a gun website concerning the single and double “eye” headstamps on some Japanese 7.7x58 rounds. I have three examples:

  1. one eye, GM ball, brass case, pink neck seal, knurl on bullet at case mouth.
  2. two eyes, GM ball, brass case, pink neck seal.
  3. one eye, GM, brass case, black bullet and case base. Ball?

One of the gentlemen has a short-range round with one eye and apparently has seen others, so their conclusion is that the eye marks a reloaded case. Elks posits that the eye marks signify some kind of special or experimental loading. I disagree that they are reloaded cases, but I’m not totally convinced of Elk’s theory.
Any thoughts, info, or other theories?


If you mean the sybols that look like a dot with 2 half circles around them, I dont think any documentation has ever been found to prove or dis-proves Kens theory.


Hi, I have this one and it seems to me that the case has never been reloaded.
Black seal annulus at case mouth.
I also have other wooden and paper blank rounds without any symbols.

Here is an old post with some info.


Ken Elks postulated that it meant either experimental or a special type of ammo:

Source: Elks, K. 2007. Japanese Ammunition 1880 - 1945. Part 1. Pistol, Rifle and Machine-gun Ammunition under 20mm. Solo Publishing. UK (p.62).

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Yes, that’s what I posted initially, but I’m not convinced that Ken is 100% correct.

You are correct. I missed the word “special” when I read your post and thought you just meant experimental.

Actually, this stamp is called “eyeball stamp” in Japan.
And this “eye” stamp only means rimless 7.7x58 ammunition.
On the other hand, semi rimmed 7.7x58 ammuniton has green primer.
This was made for identification purposes, as all 7.7x58s (except ACMG ammunition) were standardized to rimless after March 1941.
However, this mark was not applied to all of them, but to a certain percentage.
On the other hand, small caliber special ammunition, such as high pressure test, is stamped with a Japanese letter “シ”.