Please forgive the late response to your post, but I was just going back through some of the old posts and saw yours.
Regarding the .44 Russian cartridge in Japanese service; Honeycutt says on page 161 of his book "Military Pistols of Japan", "...Ammunition made in Japan for these pistols was termed "No. 1 Completely New Type Handgun Cartridge"
Well...., that's kind of odd. I must admit I did not expect that kind of name. I wonder what the "old type handgun cartridge" was? Did they call the S&W revolver the "No.1 completely new type handgun"? Sounds like they did. Thanks for the information. I need to get Derby's new book.
As well you should! Derby and Brown's new effort, entitled Japanese Military Cartridge Handguns 1893-1945, now reports that the S&W .44 caliber Russian cartridge manufactured in Japan was "definitively labeled by the Japanese as the 'Type 1 Top Break Pistol Loaded Cartridge.' ". Reckon the authors consulted a different interpreter.
Actually, the interpretation found in Honeycutt's reference and Derby's first book were not that far off the mark. As I understand it, the .44 cartridge was the first modern centerfire cartridge produced in Japan. Prior to that, cartridges were of the rimfire type.
What does a Japanese made .44 round look like? I have a round which came from Korea after WWII, and it may have been Russian made or Japanese. The ammo was in an arsinal which had Japanese arms in it as well as weapons captured from the Russians in 1904.
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