Translation help needed - N. Korean Tokarev Ctg Board

I have a photo of a North Korean Tokarev cartridge board that was at
Aberdeen Proving Ground as of 1951. I have given scans to both Korean and Chinese readers/speakers and so far no one has been able to translate it. Apparently it is in some form of archaic-technical Korean mixed with some Chinese.
Does anyone have an old/technical Korean-Chinese friend that might be able to provide some translation help? If so, send an e-mail and I’ll send you the scans.

I live in Thailand and it is people from all over Asia her, I can try if you want, but no promise.

Sent, thanks.

Just looked over the the Aberdeen sheet on the 1951 Tokarev ammo types.
It is a North Korean training circular that from the top reads as such;


from the office of technical branch chief
3435th Tech bulletin of the cultural affairs bureau
Visual sheet display of the 7.62m/m (tae tae caliber) [note the NKs knew well that the 7.62 was also called the thirty caliber thus calling it the tae tae for “30” like pidgin english ‘terty’ ]

COMPARISON of cartridges and imperfections
Military Inspection Receipt Bureau

[the rest below is all technical aspects of soviet ammunition written with mixed in Chinese characters and Korean]

What you have is a North Korean training circular that is REALLY early because it uses a lot of the Japanese style Chinese characters but is mixed up with Korean Hangul, much like Japanese blend in the Kana syllablery. thats probably the reason nobody could figure this out. Its hard to read a lot of the letters as its so faint, but it was truly captured early in time by the US as since the mid 1950s, north Korea never used chinese characters mixed in with the native script and tried vainly to discourage and simplify the language.

Not “Thirty” but “TT” as in Tula Tokarev, the Issue Pistol calibre. The cartridge is also known in Russian publications as the TT30 or TT33 (both Pistols were chambered for this cartridge initially, well before any Subguns were made for it (earliest is the PP?34 (forget whether PPS or PPD).

Since the documentation is derived from Russian, as mentioned, the “TT” would be the obvious translitteration ( Korean, like Chinese, transliterates rather than translates a lot of Foreign terminology into its own characters, on a purely phonetic basis. remember, that supplies of ammo came from both China and the Soviet Union, and at least the Soviet packs would carry the “TT” marking

Korean used Ancient Chinese Characters mixed with the native Hangul script;( designed in the 1300’s). Only in the Post-Korean War era has the Korean printed language gone over almost completly to Hangul, and the Chinese characters have been abandoned for vernacular use.(both in Nth and Sth Korea).

Regards, Doc AV
AV Ballistics.

There must be something out-of-the-ordinary or “technical” about the script, as I had 2 40-50 year-old native-born Koreans try unsuccessfully to read the document.

Jon C.
Not necessarily…your friends would have learnt the “New Korean” (Hangul exclusively)if they are now 40-50 years old…they would have gone to school in the late 60s early 70s…when the “New language” was well and truely established, at least at school level, and in the daily press.

A Lot of the technical terms may have been “Transliterated Phonetically” as there may not have been any comparative technical tewrms in Korean as a Language. The Chinese and Japanese had the same problems back in the 1880s and early 1900s, adopting “phonetic” renditions of English and other terms to carry the meaning across. The Japanese even used exclusively their katakana Syllabary to transliterate Foreign Words ( is, “Ta-n-ku ka-ru” for Tankcar in Railroad terms.; although, Ki-kan-sha for Locomotive is an adaptation of Powered mechanical vehicle ( in proper Japanese);

The Koreans did the same.

Chinese used the characters for a “sinified” pronunciation of Foreign words eg: Li-ming-ton is Remington reduced to three characters (found on Remington-Lee Chinese contract rifles (1884); another, more common rendition is Mao-zha (Mauser), a word which became sinonimous with “Rifle” during much of the 20th century in China.

Maybe you should consult an educated Korean in his 80s, who would have learnt the old (classical) system at school before WW II, or a younger person who is a student of Classical Korean, and assit with the “transliterated” Russian

The Korean manual obviously deals with Russian Supplied ammo, as China only started making 7,62x25 (proper Tokarev and Sub-gun ammo) in 1952, also experimentally (I have several cans of this early ammo…it is labeled as “Experimental Pistol/SMG ammo”, Factory 121.)

That brings me back to the “TT” reference.( found on Russian/Soviet made ammo.

Regards, Doc AV
AV Ballistics.

Regards, Doc AV

There’s a Korean church not far from me, maybe I’ll stop by and look for an octogenarian(sp?).

Doc, we spoke a bit ago about those early Chinese “121” Tokarev boxes. Any chance you can send me an empty box (50 round I think) with a note on the headstamps in it?

Dear Jon C, contact me on direct email and we will discuss the matter…I have so many requests I will have to dismantle an entire spam can of ammo to supply boxes…LOL.

AV Ballistics, just google and find this reference, go to my web page and use the “info” link to my email. Seems this board will not accept e-mail addresses…

Best regards,
Doc AV
AV Ballistics.

Will-do, thanks.