N. Korean Tok?


I recently received this fired brass 7.62 Tokarev case of undetermined origin. I’m trying to get more info on it, but its headstamp looks very North Korean to me. Any thoughts or comments? Anyone have a similar or related example? Other known dates are 80, 85, and 87.


I am not an expert in foreign languages but what I do have for charts, I do not see anything that looks like this symbol in Korean. It does look like the same character (but upside down) that is like an A in Chinese. (Basically our letter Y). My guess is Chinese but this is just a guess. Anyone out there fluent in Chinese or Korean?


Possible of course, but it is very different from any current PRC headstamp style.


Jon - that looks pretty much like the Korea consonant “S, Sh” (siot). From my copy of the
alphabet, it is missing only a very tiny little hook going off to the left at the top of the letter.
Very possibly such a tiny nuance might be left off this type of metal stamp (bunter). It is not
uncommon in Japanese Seal writing, for instance, to simplify characters in making metal or wood

If not that, then I have no clue. I seriously doubt that it is Chinese due to headstamp style.
That is, if the numerals are correctly identified as standing for 1986 and are not from some
different calender. The format, though, is pretty typical of North Korean ammo, isn’t it?


I agree. The shaping of the numbers also hits me as more Korean than Chinese.


I agree as well the casing and all does not resemble any modern Chinese manufacture…Just the character does not ring a bell. It could be as John says…a version of a Korean marking for simplicity.This is a new headstamp to me.


This letter maybe either Korean or Chinese. But it can also mean number “7” in Korean. I work in a company which is like mini-UN, so I can refer to native speakers in languages I did not know existed.


Jon & Vlad - I did not look up Korean numbers. I should have. I have not verified that “7” but
it may be more logical, considering the overall Communist system of numbering arsenals.


Well, its me again! I just spent some time researching both Korean numbers and the
Korean alphabet, and will change my mind again. Based on what I found on the net, and
there are dozens of sites showing the Korean numbering system and alphabet, all of which
I looked at showed the same characters. this should be the letter “S”.

There are three forms of Korean Numbers in two basic categories. The two categories are “Native
Korean” and “Ordinal.” Native Korean is used to express numbers of items (quantity) or age. “Ordinal"
is used to express dates, money, addresses, phone numbers, and numbers above 100. Numbers in sequence
like serial numbers are usually expressed in Arabic numbers (our system), but sometimes"Hanja” is used for prices. I couldn’t discern quite where “Hanja” fits into the above two categories.

That marking on the Tokarev cartridge cannot, in my opinion, be a “7” in any of those. It resembles the number
"8" in “Hanja” a little bit, but that character has a flat top - it does not come to a point - sitting on two curved

However, in the very simple Korean alphabet, it is almost identical to what every set I looked at shows as the
letter “S.”

The question is, some of you guys have lots of N. Korean cartridges in .32 auto, 7.62 x 39 mm, etc. Why don’t you look at them and see if the top character is normally a number in any of the Korean systems, or is it a letter from
the Korea Alphabet? I have almost no N. Korean cartridges or I would try my own collection, but the sampling would be too small to be meaningful.


See the other Post on North Korean ammo…viewtopic.php?f=8&t=9754
Ron has a chart with date codes and this same symbol with a triangle was used for 1961 ammo as a year code. So the number idea may be right on.


If someone can find that symbol as a number, they are a better man than I. Of course, not hard to be

A date code is something else again. A date code is seldom totally numerical, and often not numerical at all,
but rather just an arbitrary letter or comination thereof, or arbitrary symbol assigned a certain numerical value.

The ONLY thing I can find on dozens of Korean number lists and alphabets that the symbol resembles, and it is almost identical, is the letter “S,” as outlined earlier in my answers. Could that be a date could - sure it could. However, in the cartridge headstamp that the question was about, why would it be? The cartridge is dated in the other entry!