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Discussion Starter #361
1. The ZZS is made in 1947 by the 21st Arsenal.
2. The S/N of the first Hanyang rifle looks like 2E6250, if so it's made by Hanyang Arsenal in the late 1920s. The stock carving looks like "Hubei Security Dept."
3. The 2nd Han rifle is made by the 21st Arsenal in 1940s, the stock simply said "Militia".
 

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I have a few rifles I am trying to learn more about:

First is a Zhong Zheng Shi; does any one have any insights as to year/date of manufacture? My guess is post-WWII. Anything noteworthy on the small cartouche?
https://ibb.co/CHwRYwx
https://ibb.co/G09NH6c
https://ibb.co/pXP4Phk
https://ibb.co/tPfWkRQ
https://ibb.co/Snzjzkb

A Han Type; Any clues on the date and/or arsenal? The cartouche is a bit of a mess. The serial number is 2E6250?
https://ibb.co/CsTbxQz
https://ibb.co/fdvGnH1
https://ibb.co/XJ4qHrR
https://ibb.co/k2CZQ8K
https://ibb.co/TH4wkhF

Another Han Type; It's hard to read the receiver marking - 30? So 1941?
https://ibb.co/TYCHd8M
https://ibb.co/8PC9rfQ
https://ibb.co/Hrg2wkS
https://ibb.co/2sTVPY0
https://ibb.co/PQJsxgp

Finally, a (February?) 1940 dated Type Han; I friend of mine told the cartouch reads something like "Militia."
https://ibb.co/hg0fK6y
https://ibb.co/HY65hvK
https://ibb.co/c8nGLJc
https://ibb.co/hgf39kP

The only serial number you gave is 2E6250. I can't comment on the others because you gave no other serial numbers and your photos are not posted on Gunboards.

3Z4618 is September 1935 (marked 24-9)
4C3908 is June 1936 (marked 25-6)
4N6295 is May 1939 (marked 28-5)

Your 2E6250 would be earlier than these.

1941:
5A2631 is 1941 (marked 30)
 

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I have a few rifles I am trying to learn more about:

Another Han Type; It's hard to read the receiver marking - 30? So 1941?
https://ibb.co/TYCHd8M
https://ibb.co/8PC9rfQ
https://ibb.co/Hrg2wkS
https://ibb.co/2sTVPY0
https://ibb.co/PQJsxgp

Finally, a (February?) 1940 dated Type Han; I friend of mine told the cartouch reads something like "Militia."
https://ibb.co/hg0fK6y
https://ibb.co/HY65hvK
https://ibb.co/c8nGLJc
https://ibb.co/hgf39kP
The #5A85 would probably be year 30 (1941) since the 5A series were that year. On the stock, the small circle says "drill", the oblong says "Henan Militia", and the big circle with the geometric logo is unknown.

The last one is indeed dated February, year 29 (1940). The right side of the butt does say "militia" (as mentioned above), the left side stamp with the pick and spade suggests assignment to a labor organization or unit.

In case it is not clear, the oldest Hanyang rifle #2E6250 was made at the place called Hanyang Arsenal. The arsenal was evacuated to avoid capture by the Japanese, and when it was eventually re-activated it was called Arsenal 21. The other two were made at Arsenal 21 near Chongqing. I'm simplifying the history here, but that is the basics.
 

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The Mauser is W353; the three Hans are 2E6250, 4S96, and 5A85.
 

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The Mauser is W353; the three Hans are 2E6250, 4S96, and 5A85.
As posted before, your 2E6250 would be earlier than these:
3Z4618 was made in September 1935 (marked 24-9)
4C3908 was made in June 1936 (marked 25-6)
4N6295 was made in May 1939 (marked 28-5)
At a guess, your 2E6250 would have been made in the late 1920s or early 1930s.

Your 4S96 would be close to:
4S2396 was made in February 1940 (marked 29-2)

Your 5A85 would be close to:
5A2631 was made in 1941 (marked 30)

My only Hanyang rifle is 5E4324 made in 1942 (marked 31).

Your Chiang Kai Shek W353 was made by the 21st Arsenal in 1947, the same as my U6875.
V5929 was made in 1947 (marked 36)
X2655 was made in 1947 (marked 36)

~~~

The reasons it is desirable to post the photos on Gunboards are:
1. Viruses can be picked up by going to an unknown site to view photos.
2. Photos posted on Gunboards stay on Gunboards. Far too many times a researcher will go to an old thread on Gunboards - only to find that the photo links to other sites no longer work. Had the photos been originally been posted to Gunboards, they would still be there.
3. It is asking a lot to request that other collectors answer your questions (which usually requires some research) when you are too lazy to post your photos on Gunboards.
 

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Hello all,

A Hanyang 88 I just saved from the rust pile. This is one of the Century rifles. I believe Springfield Sporters former stock. I think they are quite beautiful rifles even though the bore is kaput. Firearms, any idea on this marking? Do you have any information on this rifle for me? There is a small 3/4" character in a circle on the other side of the stock. I will try and get a photo. Thanks for your help. [Edit: I removed the Japanese word "kanji" to describe a Chinese character.]

image0 (4).jpeg image1 (1).jpeg image2 (1).jpeg image3 (1).jpeg image4 (1).jpeg
 

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Hello all,

A Hanyang 88 I just saved from the rust pile. This is one of the Century rifles. I believe Springfield Sporters former stock. I think they are quite beautiful rifles even though the bore is kaput. Firearms, any idea on this marking? Do you have any information on this rifle for me? There is a small 3/4" Kanji character in a circle on the other side of the stock. I will try and get a photo. Thanks for your help

View attachment 3703083
The 4C 3908 rifle was made in 1936 and the 4N 6295 rifle was made in 1939 by Hanyang Arsenal. Your 4M 7455 is marked 28 for 1939.

The large stock marking looks typical of the post civil war Militia markings.

Edit: The rifle production line from the Hanyang Arsenal was moved to the 21st Arsenal in July 1938. Rifle production resumed in January 1939, so your Hanyang rifle was made by the 21st Arsenal (swastika logo) rather than the Hanyang Arsenal.
 

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Hello all,

A Hanyang 88 I just saved from the rust pile. This is one of the Century rifles. I believe Springfield Sporters former stock. I think they are quite beautiful rifles even though the bore is kaput. Firearms, any idea on this marking? Do you have any information on this rifle for me? There is a small 3/4" Kanji character in a circle on the other side of the stock. I will try and get a photo. Thanks for your help

View attachment 3703077 View attachment 3703079 View attachment 3703081
The stock cartouche says "Henan Militia", Henan being a province. If you had checked previous entries on this thread, you would have seen it identified already.

The receiver marking shows:
2
8
wanzi (swastika)
4
The 2 8 stands for year 28 of the Republic of China, or 1939. The wanzi is the Arsenal 21 logo. 4 stands for April. So, it is dated April, 1939. Wanzi (swastika) is a Buddhist symbol in the Far East.

Let's not use a Japanese word, "kanji", to describe a Chinese word. It's as awkward as using German to describe an English word. Since we're using English, we should say "character", "ideograph", or just "word". If you want to be fancy use the Chinese word "hanzi" for Chinese words.
 

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The stock cartouche says "Henan Militia", Henan being a province. If you had checked previous entries on this thread, you would have seen it identified already.

The receiver marking shows:
2
8
wanzi (swastika)
4
The 2 8 stands for year 28 of the Republic of China, or 1939. The wanzi is the Arsenal 21 logo. 4 stands for April. So, it is dated April, 1939. Wanzi (swastika) is a Buddhist symbol in the Far East.

Let's not use a Japanese word, "kanji", to describe a Chinese word. It's as awkward as using German to describe an English word. Since we're using English, we should say "character", "ideograph", or just "word". If you want to be fancy use the Chinese word "hanzi" for Chinese words.
Thank you for the information and apologies if my attempts at being fancy were awkward. I was coming from a place of my own research in forums and saw that word used often to describe markings on rifles with Chinese characters. A victim of my own ignorance that will be corrected henceforth!

But I do apologize if my post was redundant, Ryg. I scoured through this thread before posting but wasn't sure that my markings matched up perfectly with those already identified. I don't speak Chinese so you and I see these markings very differently. I also figured that the point of this thread was to share examples even if they had been previously identified. So again - sorry about that. Lesson learned.
 

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The 4C 3908 rifle was made in 1936 and the 4N 6295 rifle was made in 1939 by Hanyang Arsenal. Your 4M 7455 is marked 28 for 1939.

The large stock marking looks typical of the post civil war Militia markings.

Edit: The rifle production line from the Hanyang Arsenal was moved to the 21st Arsenal in July 1938. Rifle production resumed in January 1939, so your Hanyang rifle was made by the 21st Arsenal (swastika logo) rather than the Hanyang Arsenal.
Thanks for the info, Bill. Fascinating history.
 

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I got my Century Hanyang 88s today as well, 3 of them. From this thread I can tell 2 are marked for Guizhou province People's Militia, still trying to determine the region/district after Guizhou. Still hunting on the other markings. One of the rifles is a Hanyang or 21st Arsenal rifle produced in July of 1938 - must have been pretty close to when they shut down and moved, or it was finished after the move.

Guizhou_1.jpg unknown 666_1.jpg unknown 666_2.jpg RedPaint.jpg
diamond.jpg diamond2.jpg Guizhou_2.jpg 21stArsenal.jpg

Two of them have no markings on the receiver aside from serial numbers:
4 digit serial number with what I presume is a Hanyang star:
Hanyang SN.jpg

6 Digit serial number prefixed by a "+", no idea what that indicates

Unknown_sn.jpg

Any input on these markings would be appreciated.
 

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I got my Century Hanyang 88s today as well, 3 of them. From this thread I can tell 2 are marked for Guizhou province People's Militia, still trying to determine the region/district after Guizhou. Still hunting on the other markings. One of the rifles is a Hanyang or 21st Arsenal rifle produced in July of 1938 - must have been pretty close to when they shut down and moved, or it was finished after the move.


View attachment 3704007

Two of them have no markings on the receiver aside from serial numbers:
4 digit serial number with what I presume is a Hanyang star:
View attachment 3704011

6 Digit serial number prefixed by a "+", no idea what that indicates

View attachment 3704013

Any input on these markings would be appreciated.
Your 29 - 7 is July 1940 21st Arsenal.

Your 3S 8283 is 1935 Hanyang Arsenal (3X 4618 is known to be 1935).

Your 2021 is probably very early Hanyang Arsenal.

Anything with a reverse swastika on it is 21st Arsenal.

~~~

My Hanyang rifle is 5E 4324, 1942, 21st Arsenal.
 

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View attachment 3703983
貴州 安龍縣 Guizhou Anlong Xian - Guizhou (Province), Anlong County. Written in traditional characters, so the stamp was probably made before the 60's.

人民武装 Ren Min Wu Zhuang - People's Armed Forces (Department). A higher level organization than a militia. It handles military recruitment, veterans affairs, as well as conduct paramilitary training for the militia.

View attachment 3703989

The character on the left is 西 Xi - west. Can't make out the other. Can't really figure out any of the others either.
 

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Thanks so much Bill and ryg!
I'll see if I can figure out anything more and see what you think. I'll also try to get better photos as I clean these up.
 

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Below is the serial number for the July 1940 21st Arsenal rifle for your reference. I would have gotten the correct date if I hadn't been in such a hurry and remembered it as 27-7 when reviewing this thread and so got the math wrong, but such is life. In any case, thanks for the correction and all the info.
1940-7.jpg
As mentioned in my earlier thread reply, I'll work on getting better photos of the remainder. If there is anything else I should be looking for as I take each of these filthy things down for cleaning, let me know.
These are all (barely) marked indicating they are old Springfield Sporters imports - no surprise since Century bought them out last year. I'm guessing that's where a lot of their new inventory of old parts and rifles is coming from.
I do so love the history that can be gleaned from old guns like these.
 

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3 Chinese Rifles, Hanyang 88, Chinese Type 24 Mauser, and "warlord" rifle.

I've got a few Chinese rifles to add to the mix. I've not been able to translate their stocks well as they're quite worn, maybe some of you all would know more than I do or recognize the marks I've got Dolf Goldsmith's Arming the Dragon as my only reference on Chinese rifles, and am aware of the errors with dates of productions.

The first is from one of the Century Arms Hanyang 88 rifles which are clearly old Springfield Sporter imports. This one appears to be a 1942 production rifle. Here's more details in an imgur album: https://imgur.com/a/aNB16Tq

R9DFNsR.jpg

The Second is a Omega Weapon Systems "Chaing Kai Shek" Mauser Type 24. It appears to be a 1945 production rifle. All I have been able to ID is “人民武装” = people's armed forces. Here is an album with more pictures and details on that rifle. https://imgur.com/a/gPEQE

uvdfSjP.jpg

The third has no stock markings but I thought it would be of interest. As best I can tell, it is a Warlord Hanyang 88 clone. Here is a comparison with a true Hanyang 88: https://imgur.com/a/27oYfZB . Here is an album that shows how crudely the gun was made: https://imgur.com/a/tZX0J . It was 100 bucks at a local shop and I bought it as a curiosity several years ago. Note that the lighter colored gun is the copy and the darker gun is the original.

e63I4Gk.jpg

Edit: added a picture
 

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I'm not a translator on here, but I'm reasonably confident the large oval stamp is like mine, I can just make out the last character on the bottom line as matching and it otherwise looks similar.
Per ryg: "人民武装 Ren Min Wu Zhuang - People's Armed Forces (Department). A higher level organization than a militia. It handles military recruitment, veterans affairs, as well as conduct paramilitary training for the militia."
A closer look or photo from a different angle may help discern the exact location. I think the 2nd character is 州 or "province" but I certainly don't stand a chance on the rest of it.

If you have "Arming the Dragon", does it give any indication of when a 2021 Hanyang serial number may date from? Bill describes it as likely "very early production" but I'm not sure what that might mean in terms of date. I've read about model updates in 1910 and 1930 and I suppose either of those could have resulted in starting new serial numbers, but I have absolutely no good information myself.
 

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does it give any indication of when a 2021 Hanyang serial number may date from? Bill describes it as likely "very early production" but I'm not sure what that might mean in terms of date. I've read about model updates in 1910 and 1930 and I suppose either of those could have resulted in starting new serial numbers, but I have absolutely no good information myself.
The Hanyang arsenal would produce direct copies of the Gew 88 rifles until 1904 when the barrel sleeve was eliminated. In 1910 they would again modify the rifle to have a mauser type handguard and use the newer tangent curve sight and replace the folding leaf sight previously used. The rifle would remain in this configuration until the end of production in 1944. I'm not familiar with the 1930 revision.

Dolf Goldsmith's book is lacking a lot of data as it was one of the very early publications on Chinese rifles. The only serial number data I've seen with dates referenced have at least some letter prefixes.
 

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I'm not a translator on here, but I'm reasonably confident the large oval stamp is like mine, I can just make out the last character on the bottom line as matching and it otherwise looks similar.
Per ryg: "人民武装 Ren Min Wu Zhuang - People's Armed Forces (Department). A higher level organization than a militia. It handles military recruitment, veterans affairs, as well as conduct paramilitary training for the militia."
A closer look or photo from a different angle may help discern the exact location. I think the 2nd character is 州 or "province" but I certainly don't stand a chance on the rest of it.

If you have "Arming the Dragon", does it give any indication of when a 2021 Hanyang serial number may date from? Bill describes it as likely "very early production" but I'm not sure what that might mean in terms of date. I've read about model updates in 1910 and 1930 and I suppose either of those could have resulted in starting new serial numbers, but I have absolutely no good information myself.
My reference books are Arming the Dragon (It contains an 11 year date error on Hanyang and 21st Arsenal rifles therein) and China's Small Arms of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945). As I wrote before, (from China's) The rifle production line from the Hanyang Arsenal was moved to the 21st Arsenal in July 1938. Rifle production resumed in January 1939. . .

Arming said "The (Hanyang) Arsenal by 1924 had 4500 workers and was said to be capable of producing 6000 rifles per month". The earliest serial number dates given are 1935 and 1936 for Hanyang Arsenal and 1939 for 21st Arsenal. Assumed prefixes given for Hanyang rifles are 1A through 1Z, 2A through 2Z, 3A through 3Z, 4A through 4Z, 5A through 5Z, and 6A through at least 6D (assuming 26 letters in each block). No s/n lacking a prefix were given. The earliest dated rifle given was the September 1935 s/n 3Z 4618 rifle.

China's said the Hanyang Arsenal (later 1st Arsenal) was established in 1894. Production started in 1895. It seems probable that rifles produced at Hanyang first has a no prefix run of s/n and then an A through Z prefix series before the 1A through 1Z prefix series.

From that you can make your own guess as to when a s/n 2021 rifle would have been made. Serial numbers may have started over with the 1904, 1910, or 1930(?) model changes.
 
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