Siamese 8mm charger clips


#1

I’ve thought for a long time that Siamese 8mm charger clips were most probably made in Japan. Not that there are overt markings that say as much, just the general way in which they are formed that share many similarities with Japanese made Arisaka chargers. The sidewall lugs have the same press tool marks as have the sidewalls themselves.

My only doubt had been that Arisaka clips have their cartridge retaining flange made as a ‘recurve’ where the side is bent down by 180 degrees before being folded outwards to form the flange. Until now the only Siamese clips I’d seen had the retaining flange simply formed by bending the sides over by 90 degrees to make a channel.

Here is a Siamese charger ( the top one in the pictures) that I’ve found that is just like an Arisaka one, only longer as you would expect from the rimmed base of the Siamese cartridge. I’ve included one of the more often seen ‘simple’ Siamese ones as well as the shorter Arisaka one.

Has anyone got packaging from Japanese made 8mm Siamese ammunition?

Peter


#2

Peter –

Re your Siamese Mauser chargers, the one with the recurved flanges is a rare find.

But note that the base diameter of the original Type 45 8x50R cartridge is 12.4mm while that for the later Type 66 8x52R cartridge is 12.8mm. The late Ken Crane told me that he had specimens of Siamese Mauser chargers that differed slightly in flange-flange width, the ones with the narrower width only accepting Type 66 cartridges with some difficulty – being too stiff a fit for easy stripping. This led him to postulate that the charger was deliberately redesigned for use with the Type 66 rifle’s cartridge. Unfortunately he didn’t specify whether his chargers had simple or recurved rims.

I only have one Siamese Mauser charger at the moment and this will accept both cartridge types satisfactorily, so cannot comment on his theory. But it would be interesting to see if there are any differences in fit between your types.

John


#3

John,

In the bottom picture, the central charger is for the later Type 66 cartridge (I believe) … one of the flanges is slightly wider than the other. I have a Siamese charger, of the simple channel sort, that has both flanges of the same width, this will only fit the earlier Type 45 cartridge, with its smaller base diameter. I don’t know if the charger I show in the bottom picture has had one flange reduced in width to fit the later cartridge, or whether it was made that way…

The new charger, with the recurve flanges, fits an Austrian 8x50R cartridge (I don’t have a Siamese Type 45) very well, my Kynoch made Type 66 cartridge will definitely not fit it.

Peter


#4

Very interesting, Peter –

Comparatively little is known about the history of the Siamese Mauser cartridges, and even less about their chargers. However it is known that final development and manufacture of the Type 45 (1902) rifle was transferred by Mauser to the Koishikawa Arsenal, Tokyo, and that development and early production of the Type 45 8x50R cartridge also took place in Japan.

It is also known that production of the Type 45 8x50R round was eventually transferred to the Siamese arsenal at Bangkok. It therefore seems probable that charger manufacture started in Japan but was also later transferred to Siam. The close similarity of its design detail to that of Arisaka chargers that you mention, of course indicates that the charger-manufacturing plant, both in Japan and Siam, was modified from the original Japanese Arisaka plant design.

It is tempting to speculate that as it accepts Type 45 cartridges, your charger with the recurved flanges similar to Arisaka chargers was an early one made in Japan, whereas the turned-over flanged chargers which will accept the Type 66 cartridge are later ones manufactured in Siam. However, at this stage that is probably a guess too far!

John


#5

Hey guys, sorry to dig up an old thread. A guy on eBay is selling Siamese strippers. I bought a set and they don’t fit the 8x50 or 52. Anyone have an idea what these are for? They would fit the Siamese if I trimmed that inner lip so they are about .030 too narrow inside. Don’t worry, not gonna cut them!


#6

Here is a drawing that gives dimensions for a Siamese 8mm charger;

Peter


#7

I compared them to a Japanese 7.7 stripper clip and they look the same only these are wider and don’t have any divots on the side. They have that same lip in the inside.


#8

The Japanese clip lacking the stop lugs on the sides should be for the 7.7 m/m semi-rimmed cartridge as used in the Type 89 flexible IJAAF machine gun. Jack


#9

I pulled a round of 7.7 from a Hotchkiss strip and it fits perfect. Did that 7.7 semi Japanese come in stripper clips like this?


#10

Yes, the semi-rimmed cartridge was loaded in these. The clips are known to have been employed in the complex feed system of the multi-gun turret unit, and may also have been used in conjunction with a magazine loader for the pan-fed single Type 89. There is, however, no direct evidence known to me that a loader along the lines of the one used in the Type 96 and 99 LMG was created for the pan-fed Type 89 flexible gun. Jack


#11

Thanks for the info. I’ll let the seller on eBay know. Not sure how rare these strippers are but now I still need to find a couple for my Siamese!

Michael


#12

Your clips are definitely for the Type 89 machine-gun, the lack of sidewall lugs is the giveaway and it seems have the little triangular arsenal mark seen on many Japanese made clips;

It’s definitely not for the Siamese 8mm rimmed round.

Peter


#13

I have a Type 45 rifle in the original caliber. I make cartridges from new, unfired Lapua 7.62x54R cases. Case forming does nothing to the rims. The formed cases function very well in the rifle. You might try those when testing for fit in a charger. Easier to find than Type 45.