More on the 6,8mm Chinese

And More on the development of the .270 Winchester.
I found this text on Internet and as you can see general Liu was in U.S.A. before Winchester develops the .27 W.C.F. (then the .270 Win.) in 1917.

General T. E. Liu (10 October 1869 - April, 1929) studied arms manufacturing at Tokyo imperial University. He worked at the Hanyang Arsenal (the Chinese city of Hanyang is now part of


That is some great information. Thanks for sharing it.

I know that you intend to publish your research somewhere, but have you considered writing up an article for the IAA JOURNAL?


We know that in 1907, the Chinese started taking delivery of Mauser Oberndorf M1904/07 Rifles in 6,8mm calibre, and ammo to suit.
Ammunition of 6,8 was also made IN China from aboiut 1912-13, from samples seen in advanced collections.
In the meantime, Imperial China’s standard calibre was still the 7,9J cartridge for the various “Hanyang” Rifles.

So the question arises, in which calibre did General Liu make his 1914-15 prototype auto-rifles?(7,9mm or 6,8mm?).
The 6,8mm cartridge had been adopted for the NEW design Mauser rifle, and Rifles were delivered to China up till the beginning of WW I (August 1914)…remaining inventory in Germany was re-directed to several Wurttemburg regiments( Oberndorf’s Lande) and some rebarrelled to 7,9mm by Mauser, for general Issue.

IN 1916-17, the Republican Army decided that 7,9mm ammo was the way to go, and M1907 rifles commenced to be made in China in that calibre ( actually, sighted for the 7,9J cartridge at the time being made in China…supplies of 7,9S ammo was necessarily out of reach, as Germany was an Opponent…
It is assumed that existing 6,8 calibre rifles were bored out to 7,9mm and refurbed for issue in the beginnings of “The Warlord Period” 1917-1927.

After WW I ended, large quantities of 7,9mm calibre rifles were dumped on the World market, and eager merchants in China snapped them up for various Warlord factions squabbling amongst themselves and the central Kuomintang Government in Nanking (the “southern capital”). This cemented the position of 7,9 as the major Chinese calibre.

Other WW I surplus was also acquired, such as .303 (Ross Rifles), 8x50R Austrian (M95 Rifles), 7,62x54R (Mosin Nagants, out of Russia & Japan, and also Western Europe) and even 6,5 Italian ( over 80,000 M91 rifles in 1924-27 period, to a Warlord in Fujian province). And of course 6,5 Arisaka.

Chinese-made ammo of the 1920s for some of these calibres is Known and recorded ( 8x50R, 6,5mm Arisaka,) whilst others are rumoured but unsighted.

Liu did make another visit to the USA in the early 1920s, where his rifle was again placed in early tests for a US Auto rifle ( along with Garand’s primer actuated, Pederson’s Toggle lock, etc; these were the early “elimination” trials of 1923-25, before the real battle between Garand’s Turnbolt design (Gas trap) and Pedersons “T-1” rifle design both in cal. 276, came about.

Here again, the calibre of Liu’s offering was unknown, although an example is reputedly in the Springfield Armory collection. ( 6,8x57 or .276 Pedersen?
or even 7,9x57?).

Doc AV
AV Ballistics

It is difficult to really know what happens.
For me it is very important that general Liu was in U.S.A. three years before Winchester first register on the .270 Win…
Liu took at least one of his rifles to Pratt & Whitney on September 1914, before trials. We dont know if Liu

I know (knew) of two Liu rifles in US collections (this was in the early 1990s). One was in a collection in Ohio and one in the SE. I was told both were in 7.92x57mm.

The US made gun is pictured assembled and disassembled in Accuracy for Seventy Years 1860-1930 Pratt & Whitney. My memory is that there was a small amount of information in the original book, but in the reprint by Lindsay there is only a half page of moderately poor quality photos.

I was told by someone who was close to the Ohio collector that it was a quite nice weapon. Too bad it never reached production.

The only Chinese made 6.8 cartridges I know of were made by the Shanghai Arsenal and Yunnan Arsenal. The headstamp of the Shanghai is illustrated in the article on Chinese headstamps that Bin Shih and I did some years ago for the IAA Journal. "Provincial Militarism and the Chinese Republic (the Yunnan Army, 1905-25) by Donald S Sutton states that the Yunnan 19th Division was equiped with German made Mausers, Caliber 6.8mm, Model 1908, and further stated that “…the arsenal whose outmoded equipment could not manufacture cartridges for the new Mausers.” A previous statement indicates the Yunnanfu Arsenal made both Mauser rifles and ammunition, but because of the poor quality of the rifles rifle production was stopped and only ammunition (presumable 7.92mm) was produced after ~1907-1908). This book also talkes about “…six mm bore Mannlicher rifles.” ca’ 1907. I have no idea what these are???

Does anyone have examples of the Chinese made 6.8 Mauser cartridges except for the two specimens I have seen (which are now both in the Woodin Lab collection)???



Thank you very much for all the information.
The Liu

The mention of a “6mm” Mannlicher can only be a reference to either the Mannlicher-Schoenauer M1906 China trials rifle, in either 6,8 or 7mm (supplied by Steyr for a possible China order,) or the Haenel M88/07, also in 6,8/7mm for similar trials…as it was, the Chinese chose the Mauser M1904/07.

These rifles are all mentioned in Olsen’s Book, and ?Walter?. with photos of the Haenel rifle (looks very similar to the Hanyang rifle as finally made in the late 1910 period)

Interesting where the 6,8x57 thread has led, with more information coming out.

Doc AV
AV Ballistics

Doc AV,
I have seen the Haenel rifle for China in the Pattern Room, but thought it was a larger caliber than 6.8mm. I’m probably wrong.

There is a Shanghai made rifle that looks like a Mannilicher that was chambered for a unique Chinese 7.65mm version of the 8mm Mannlicher cartridge. The documentation indicates the Chinese were going to copy the Enfield in 303, but then got hold of a Mannilicher and liked the design but decided to retain the 7.65mm of the 303. Details are in an IAA Journal from a few years back (2 articles I think). Woodin labs has some of the cartridges.