Japanese 7.92 Experimental box


Here is a previously undocumented Japanese 7.92 experimental box I recently found in a garage. It contains brass cased 7.92 rounds with red c/m seal, ring crimped primer.


Is the box experimental or the cartridges? What about the box or cartridges makes them experimental?


This box carries the designation “Experimental Type 98 Ordinary Cartridges.” Very odd phrasing, and translation is from Ken Elks book. shown in his book is a 15 round box label, not the 30 round box, but the characters seem to be the same.

The cartridge has a heavier than normal bullet of 166 grains (10.76 grams) (other rounds have a 154 grain (10 gram) bullet), and is designated Type 98.

The box pictured on this thread seems to be the long, flat boxes normally associated with stripper clipped ammunition for machine guns of the general Hotchkiss type, fed by a clip rather than a belt or magazine, but Elks indicates this cartridge was for the fine Czech vz 26 LMG (the type that led to the Bren Gun). The ammunition was made by the Tokyo Army Arsenal according to the Star with circle and dot insignia at the top of the label.

I don’t know what makes this ammunition “experimental” and have wondered if there is a different meaning to those characters than the interpretation by Elks or his translator. Like with English words, Japanese characters often have more than one meaning. I assume the term “ordinary” in the translation indicates a ball cartridge, as in “ordinary ball”, rather than what we would call “common.”


As John indicates, it is what the label states o nline #2. This is not one of the strip style boxes. It is exactly like the 30 round 7.92 aircraft loadings type I. They are in two rows of 15 on top of eachother with paper between the rows.

A gentleman named Greg Babich wrote an article on the 15 round boxes (which all have two red lines through the characters “Experimental”) several years ago. In his article, he states that the first line reads “7.9mm Type Chi Light Machine Gun”. He speculates that this may be related to Czechoslovakian, although has no supporting documentation. I have seen the 15 round boxes packed in strippers before, but not this type. I am guessing this may be an earlier variant as the “experimental” characters are not crossed out, and it is dated 6 monts earlier. All just my guess.





“Chi” is the abbreviation for “Czechoslovakia.” on these labels.

I find there is a nice article in IAA Journal number 445, Sep/Oct 05, page 26-28, by Gregory A. Babich and Takehito Jimbo specifically on the 7.9mm Type Chi LMG Ammunition. It explains everything on the 15 round box label, much of which is the same as on the 30-round label shown here.

Thanks for clearing up the question of the box and what its contents where. I have never run across on of these “double line” 30-round boxes before.

Hey John,

Here is a picture of the Type 1 box. No date on back, so I assume it is later. This is the same style of packing. Two rows of 15 separated by paper.