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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

View attachment 3704205

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

View attachment 3704213

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.

View attachment 3704321

Edit: added a picture
Sorry, but nothing is legible to me. The large oblong stamp with the star in the middle is typical of Guizhou (貴州) Province Communist era markings. The workshop (as opposed to arsenal) made Hanyang rifle has an extraordinarily nice stock.
 

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The workshop Hanyang rifle rear band spring screams "workshop". Also, the size and placement of the front band do not look like the front band would fit any standard bayonet. Maybe the guy who made the rifle also made a bayonet for it.
 

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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.
The character 州 (zhou) can be translated as "province", but the preferred Chinese word for "province" the administrative unit is 省 (sheng). What you are seeing is likely the 2nd character in 貴州 Guizhou, the name of the province. Guizhou Province is 貴州省 Guizhou Sheng.

I agree with Bill that serial# 2021 belongs to a very early Hanyang Arsenal production. The star next to the number is the logo for Hanyang Arsenal (other arsenals also made some Hanyangs). That rifle was probably made with original configuration (Gew88 exact copy) or the 1904 configuration (no barrel jacket) and was later upgraded to 1910 standards. I am not familiar with a 1930 update, and would like to know the source of this information (maybe I'm missing some info!). There were some workshop Hanyangs made with Mauser type magazines replacing the Mannlicher clip system. I don't think that was an official Chinese Army change; certainly, Hanyang Arsenal /Arsenal 21 never made that change.
 

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The workshop Hanyang rifle rear band spring screams "workshop". Also, the size and placement of the front band do not look like the front band would fit any standard bayonet. Maybe the guy who made the rifle also made a bayonet for it.
Being unable to take a bayonet was a problem with many workshop rifles. The soldiers who did not have one would carry swords, dadao type more common but also other types. Many soldiers carried both bayonet and sword.

ChineseSoldierTraditionalWeapons1.jpg
Probably a dadao. He carries a spear probably because there was a shortage of rifles.

ChineseTroops w Daidao 1.jpg
Dadaos.

ChineseSoldierQian1.jpg
Straight sword. The rifle seems to be a vz.24.

ChineseSoldier Dadao2 pinterest.jpg
Dadaos.
 

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Sorry, but nothing is legible to me. The large oblong stamp with the star in the middle is typical of Guizhou (貴州) Province Communist era markings. The workshop (as opposed to arsenal) made Hanyang rifle has an extraordinarily nice stock.
Thanks! Unfortunately, I suspect the stock is sanded down. Something about it just seems too nice, especially given the horrible condition of the metal on the rifle. The barrel is not even tight or properly timed in the action when its tightened down.

The whole story behind the workshop rifle is a mystery to me. It is a pipe bomb in its current condition and even if it were in proper shape everything about it is so poorly made, its a wonder if it ever function. The fact that the barrel is rifled and the bolt has functional parts that appear to be robbed from a Gew 88 or clone thereof makes me think though that this wasn't just some training rifle. Heck, the bore isn't concentric and the barrel has a noticeable bend in it.

All of this of course was so interesting to me, I had to take it home!
 

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The 1930 comes from the Wikipedia article on the Hanyang 88, and the source for that number is a dead link, so I wouldn't consider it terribly reliable, but I was leaving that open as a possibility. Based on some factoring (with very large margins of error) I think a 1910 date for production of serial number 2021 is plausible.

There are a lot of assumptions here, but assuming each a-z block represents 26 characters, that's 260,000 rifles in each group.
From one of the post above, Arming the Dragon (I don't have the book myself) states a production capacity of 6000 rifles per month at Hanyang as of 1924. To sanity check that number, I compared known years and serial number we had earlier:
3Z4618 is September 1935 (marked 24-9)
4C3908 is June 1936 (marked 25-6) - 30,000 rifles and 8 months later = ~3750 rifles per month
4N6295 is May 1939 (marked 28-5) - 130,000 rifles and 35 months later = ~3700 rifles per month

This would seem to indicate the a capacity of 6,000 rifles per month is a bit generous, or perhaps that Hanyang 88 rifles were only a portion of their total production.
So, at 3750 rifles per month, that's 45,000 rifles per year assuming the production was approximately the same over the period from 1910 to 1939 (a big assumption!)

3Z 4618 if converted to standard base-10 (again, assuming 260,000 rifles for each a-z, that you'd go from 1 to 9999, A 1 to Z 9999, 1A 1 to 1Z 9999, and so on as your numbering pattern) should be rifle number 1,044,618
Divide that number by 3750 rifles/month, that would represent about 278 months of production, or a bit over 23 years.
23 years prior to 1935 would be 1912, I'd think 1910 would be well within the very large margins of error for this calculation.

I wouldn't put too much faith into this calculation, and it's entirely possible I've made errors, but based on this I do think 1910 is a plausible date for construction of a low 4-digit serial number rifle.
 

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The 1930 comes from the Wikipedia article on the Hanyang 88, and the source for that number is a dead link, so I wouldn't consider it terribly reliable, but I was leaving that open as a possibility. Based on some factoring (with very large margins of error) I think a 1910 date for production of serial number 2021 is plausible.

There are a lot of assumptions here, but assuming each a-z block represents 26 characters, that's 260,000 rifles in each group.
From one of the post above, Arming the Dragon (I don't have the book myself) states a production capacity of 6000 rifles per month at Hanyang as of 1924. To sanity check that number, I compared known years and serial number we had earlier:
3Z4618 is September 1935 (marked 24-9)
4C3908 is June 1936 (marked 25-6) - 30,000 rifles and 8 months later = ~3750 rifles per month
4N6295 is May 1939 (marked 28-5) - 130,000 rifles and 35 months later = ~3700 rifles per month

This would seem to indicate the a capacity of 6,000 rifles per month is a bit generous, or perhaps that Hanyang 88 rifles were only a portion of their total production.
So, at 3750 rifles per month, that's 45,000 rifles per year assuming the production was approximately the same over the period from 1910 to 1939 (a big assumption!)

3Z 4618 if converted to standard base-10 (again, assuming 260,000 rifles for each a-z, that you'd go from 1 to 9999, A 1 to Z 9999, 1A 1 to 1Z 9999, and so on as your numbering pattern) should be rifle number 1,044,618
Divide that number by 3750 rifles/month, that would represent about 278 months of production, or a bit over 23 years.
23 years prior to 1935 would be 1912, I'd think 1910 would be well within the very large margins of error for this calculation.

I wouldn't put too much faith into this calculation, and it's entirely possible I've made errors, but based on this I do think 1910 is a plausible date for construction of a low 4-digit serial number rifle.
Your assumption is close to the real number, in 1936 Hanyang arsenal capacity is 3200 (basis) +1500 (overtime) per month. At peak Hanyang produced 5200-6000. During the warlord period production was not constantly over the month. Arming the dragon made a lot of mistakes on production capacity.
 
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