Japanese rigid feed strips



I am updating a study on Japanese rigid feed strips.

There are still some unclear questions.

1°) Here are the three types of markings I have observed so far.
Can anyone provide an identification of the meaning of those markings : manufacturer logo or inspection marks ?
Why the kanji “mu” is found together with the Hoten arsenal (Mukden) symbol ?
Is there any other marking known on Japanese strips ?

2°) Strips manufactured at the Hoten Arsenal (Mukden) in Empire of Manchukuo (Manchuria).
Here is a sleeve with Manchurian markings.

I can’t recall what was the marking on the strip which was contained in that sleeve. Does anyone has such Manchurian sleeve with the strip still in it ? What is the marking ?

As the feed systems are at the intersection of weapon and cartridge collectors, I will try to post the same questions on a MG forum :-)

Thanks in advance for any help,



Already 132 views and no answer or comment ! :-)

I can’t believe nobody has Japanese strips and cardboard sleeve in his collection !




JFL: The problem with coming up with a response is that practically the only thing most of us know is that the “mu” mark is also very commonly found on rifle clips, and you’ve been told that already on another forum. Practically speaking, I think we’ve shot our bolt. Jack


Jack is right in saying that no Forum member seems to have discovered the significance of the Japanese “mu mark”. It’s occurrence on Japanese chargers. including some Chinese-pattern ones probably made in Mukden during Japanese occupation of Manchukuo, and also on some Japanese MG rigid loading strips, was discussed in the recent thread “6.5x50 Japanese charger markings”, April 11-13, 2011, and that appears to be the extent of our knowledge at the moment.

John E


Top most line reads SHOTOKU (era of shotoku) 3rd year, 2nd month
I believe a zodiacal dating system.
third line reads (pattern?) of 3rd year Hinawa ju 8th month. The calligraphy here is odd. It should read as a date. But make no sense to me.
I have collected Japanese swords for over 30 years and can read most any inscription on the tangs of old swords. The syntax and phrasing changes with more modern written forms of Japanese are sometimes baffeling to me. There are so many possible phonetics for each kanji and slight variation in the calligraphy will change the meaning. Kai gunto (WW2 swords) are often marked with some of the same arsenal inspectors marks as well as having a mix of archaic and modern kanji some using ancient Chinese forms as “art names”. The so-called mu kanji is (on swords at least) is found mostly on late gunto swords and fittings (late '43 to end of war production). On sword fittings it is usually found on pieces that are Naval. What connection it had in the inspection of war material I don’t know.
I have sent the picture to a friend who is an expert on Japanese language, PhD type. ( he speaks, reads and writes at least 10 forms of archaic and modern Japanese.) I have not heard from him. I am sure he will respond.



thank you for your comments.

It looks like the very high quantity of Japanese strips in the cardboard sleeves that came from China depots and surfaced in the US are pretty much all of the same kind, and especially the strips are all marked with the “mu” Katagana.

The Manchurian strips and sleeves are much scarcer. No problem for the translation of the label on the Manchurian sleeve, it is already described in Ken Elks book on Japanese ammunition. My main question was to know the marking on the Manchurian-made strips.

It also appears that unfortunately the early cardboard sleeves and strips for the Type Ho and Type 38 guns are virtually non-existant even in the most advanced collections.




The only open MUKDEN sleeve which I have has this illegible mark. If anyone wants to buy a sealed one and open it let me know as I have a sealed one. 6.5mm .



thank you CSAEOD, a close examination of the marking on your Manchurian strip confirms that it is the marking “ko” found on my strip which I was not sure whether it belonged to the Manchurian sleeve.

This is important confirmation for my study.

I also note that the Mukden 6.5 rounds are devoid of mouth seal.




That took some sharp eyes !