On an antique shotgun I was told had Korean origin I found the following (what I presume are Hanja?) characters. Four out of five I believe I have correctly identified. One character I could not find in the dictionary.

However, my only resources are Chinese and I know almost nothing about Chinese characters' usage in Korea.

Side A:


Side B:

絞 筒

The unknown character is three stacked components in this basic form


Though, the bottom component might well be , there is quite a bit of tarnish obscuring it.

On Side A, the two characters that follow the unknown one seem to indicate "special manufacture".

One Side B, I get the translation "hang" or "twist" for character one, and "tube" for character two. To me, this might indicate the process of rifling, but I could not find any use of these characters on the Chinese character entry for rifling, and the barrel is old and I couldn't tell conclusively if it'd ever undergone that process.

Can someone help me translate these characters?*

† I'm also not certain the Korean origin of this piece, but that is what I was told.
* Please let me know if this might be a better fit for the Chinese language stack. I ask here with the idea that Korean usage of these characters might be idiomatic and more suitable for this sub. Thanks.


I was able to take some acceptable close up imagery:

Side A

Side B

  • Welcome to the site. Questions about Hanja seem to be fine on Chinese.SE - relevant meta advice is on korean.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/178/… and chinese.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/1543/… - unfortunately as this is a Beta site, we can't migrate questions, so you would have to cross-post to Chinese.SE yourself if you want to. Of course as you say, there may be a uniquely Korean angle - a photo of the characters might be good! Commented Nov 22, 2018 at 21:30
  • 2
    @topomorto Updated.
    – 1252748
    Commented Nov 22, 2018 at 23:06
  • at least for the very first character the bottom component indeed does look like 中
    – user17915
    Commented Nov 23, 2018 at 0:21
  • 1
    The construction looks like ⿱人布.
    – dROOOze
    Commented Nov 23, 2018 at 0:36
  • Well, the existence of Arabic numerals would put this in a modern period (probably early 20th century, or late 19th at the latest). Considering the state of Korea during this era (in short: not good), I think it's pretty unlikely to be of Korean origin.
    – jick
    Commented Nov 23, 2018 at 3:11

1 Answer 1


In the second photo,「絞筒」refers to the barrel of the gun.

In the first photo, the unknown character looks like「⿱人布」. I suggest that this is a slightly altered way of writing 「⿱𠂉布」, since the shape「人」is sometimes altered to「𠂉」at the top of characters:

enter image description here

At least in Chinese records, this is a variant of either「布」or「希」.

enter image description here

enter image description here

  1. If it's「布」, it would be a phonetic transcription character「포」, and is a proper noun marking the person, organisation, or location which manufactured (製) the gun.

  2. If it's「希」, it may also be a proper noun, but alternatively you may choose to interpret this as「드물다・稀」(rare, scarce).「希特製」means something like rare and uniquely made or special edition; its semantic connection to antique would be obvious in this case.

Just from the photos, there's nothing unique that suggests that this is Korean; as an antique, it could be Chinese, Japanese, Korean, or Vietnamese.


  • Thanks! This sounds plausible. Have you got any ideas on the “Side B” writing?
    – 1252748
    Commented Nov 23, 2018 at 1:12
  • @1252748 updated answer.
    – dROOOze
    Commented Nov 23, 2018 at 1:20
  • Right, yeah I was pretty sure it refers to the barrel, but wondered what specifically it signifies.
    – 1252748
    Commented Nov 23, 2018 at 1:21
  • @1252748 絞筒20...maybe the measurements of the gun barrel?
    – dROOOze
    Commented Nov 23, 2018 at 1:24
  • I’ve confirmed that 20 does refer to the barrel’s measurement, but the first character, do you agree, is “hang” or “twist”? How do you think that could relate?
    – 1252748
    Commented Nov 23, 2018 at 1:27

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