Japanese shell. Ignition? Flare?

Hi can anybody give me a lead on this one?

Many thanks for all the help.

regards rené

Congratulation! This is a very rare japanese military 20mm (12 gauge) shot cartridge before 1945.
Hope, this helps

Hello Horst,

Thank you.
Now I know it is military and before 1945.
Do you have any idea of the meaning of the symbols?

It looks it is not loaded with shot but with something not as heavy as lead shot.
What can it be?

regards rené

These shotshells were loaded in 1944/45 as a signal cartridges for pistols Type 4 and Type. 5. Can You show the closure cap?

T.Y.K. in the headstamp stand for “Teikoku yakkyo kabushikigaisha”

Loaded with sintered iron, SSG or #3 buckshot. why it seems light. Had either 11 or 12 balls
& as flare notes the cartridges also fit the Japanese 20mm signal pistols, but this is not a flare loading.

Here is a picture of the topwad.
It looks green with some sort of lacquer on it.

The total weight of this cartridge is 27 grams.
A standard cartridge with lead is about 45 grams.

Thank You for the Picture. What is the length of the cartridge?

I guess 67mm must check later.

Does anybody have images of the signal/flare loads?

I also have this same 59.09mm [oal] long shell rené shows & it also has a green topwad with a lacquer sealant.

I recall Gary Muckel did an article of Japanese shells, think in the IAA Journal not too long ago & pretty sure this was noted in it, and it is also in the Woodin Labs as such.

My answer was out of Ken Elks 2009 edition Japanese Ammunition 1880-1945 Vol. 2, pg. 147-148 and on pg 149, which is titled “28mm Signal Cartridges (and the so-called 20mm Signal Pistol)” he shows a cartridge with the “dragon” marked card closure. It is a red paper hull, with a tan paper label & they are apparently VERY rare.

Other flares / signal cartridges are shown at the appropriate places in the volume.

Alex, if you don’t have these two Japanese volumes you should e-mail Ken & get a set at the next European show. Most excellent books!

Pete, thank you for reminding me! I actually got those. Shall look them up there.

Hi Pete,

You are right about Gary Muckel and his article.
I found it in my files and indeed this particular shell is in it.

answer found!

thanks everybody for the help offered.


I have 3 12 ga. Japanese shotgun shells. One is a light tan and the other two are dark, almost black but may be a dark purple. The two dark ones may be the same color but one had a lacquer coating making it look darker. I also have a T-4 and T-5 pistols. How do you post pictures? Don

I’ve replied to this thread because recently I came across a shotgun marked “TYK,” apparently made by Teikoku Yakkyo Kabushikigaisha and hope someone can give me an idea of when it was made. I also have an image of what may be a catalog of guns or ammunition by the same company. Not being able to read Japanese I don’t know which it may be. I’ll try to upload it if someone can tell me how this is done.
OK, thanks to Pete de Coux who told me how to do this. Here’s the image of the cover of the TYK catalog.

You have just one image or the complete catalog in digital?

Create the picture in JPG format on your desktop.
Open your post and where where the cursor is, is where the picture will land when you click & drag the picture into the post.
easy - peazy
There is a limit on the size of the file & it will not load if too big.