1. Does anyone know of any ‘firm’ info.on the intriguing story of Chinese 88s – I having seen (in print) reports that they bought 300,000 (date?) + ‘possibly’ more later on and of their later (licensed / unlicensed?) later production (where, from when, how many, use etc?). Hopefully with the ‘opening up of China;,someone has stumbled upon or sought out this information. If so please enlighten me and the wider interested community – I will be (if not eternally) grateful and it would be a valued contribution.

    • Here’s the Wikipedia entry on the “Hanyang 88” rifle;


      Basically, it was a slightly-modified copy of the Gewehr 1888, made in China at the Hanyang Arsenal. Adopted as the standard Chinese National Army rifle by the Qing Dynasty, it remained in production and service through several changes of government right up to the 1950s.

      While it was supposed to be superseded by the Type 79, a copy of the Kar 98k made at the Mukden Arsenal beginning in 1934, the latter was never available in sufficient quantities to fully replace the “88”.

      Both remained in service with reserve and militia units of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army until at least the mid-1970s.

      Many turned up in the hands of “liberation movements” all over Asia from the late 1950s on.



  2. “Mannlicher 1888(…)Type 30 Japanese Arisaka bayonet.(…)Most likely done in China in the teens or twenties, but impossible to say for sure.(…)”
    I would say Russia is also distinct possibility.
    Imperial Russia captured numerous Austria-Hungarian during Great War (especially during Brusilov Offensive)) and also used Japanese Arisaka rifles (acquired from Great Britain and Japanese Empire). Usage of that was so serious, that 660000000 cartridge were order from Great Britain, 124000000 were ordered from Japanese Empire and in 1915…1916 adjective(Petersbug) ammunition plant produced up to 200000 cartridge per month. This same cartridge was making 8×50 R Mannlicher cartridge, though I do not know how much.

  3. Let’s see, the Mannlicher 1888 rifle was shamelessly copied by the Qing armories as the Kuaili 1888 Kiangnan and it was then inherited by the early Chinese Republican armies. We might be looking at a case of a local quartermaster trying to compensate for the lack of production of more modern weaponry by cutting down an old Kiangnan and then making it accept a Japanese surplus bayonet. However, by this point, such a conversion was rendered moot by the fact that the rifle’s magazine would have to be modified to accept a different cartridge and/or loading clip (as 7.62×55 Kiangnan was being phased out). Did I mess up?

    • Nope. Keep in mind Ian’s previous videos on Chinese-made “mystery pistols”. Starting with the “warlord” era between the Boxer Rebellion and the rise of Chiang kai-Shek’s Nationalists, then on into World War Two and finally the Communist revolution, there was always a need for infantry and cavalry weapons that outstripped the supply of the latest and most state of the art weaponry available.

      As such, improvisation by local sources such as whatever gunsmiths the local warlord or etc. had “on retainer” would have been the order of the day.

      As the old saying goes, in a “come as you are” war you “run what you brung”.

      If you needed something that wasn’t quite what you had, you went by the Bugs Bunny rule; cut to fit, bend to meet, and paint to suit.



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