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Thread: Help identifying an Arisaka rifle

  1. #1
    Boolit Mold
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    Help identifying an Arisaka rifle

    Hi,

    My lady has an Arisaka rifle that she inherited from an uncle who has since passed. The story I got was that the uncle had picked up the rifle while on occupation duty.

    I believe that it's a Type 98, but it has VERY few markings. There's no sign of a chrysanthemum on the receiver (or any other identifying mark) nor does it seem to have been removed. The only markings I've found are "30" near where the serial number should be and 579 on the stock.

    The rifle is about 50 1/2 inches long, the peep/ladder sight is graduated from 3 to 17 (no wing extensions) and the front sight is a single blade. The dust cover is still present. The stock and metalwork all appear to be well manufactured and finished.

    I'm not sure of the caliber but according to my gauge, the muzzle is approximately 7mm in diameter.

    I can provide pictures upon request.

    Thanks,

    Kit

  2. #2
    Boolit Bub Trapdoor's Avatar
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    With few makings I can't help but wonder if you have a Type I. The Type I Italian built rifle looks similar to the Type 38 rifle, except it uses a Carcano action. They have no vent holes, and lack any markings except a serial number. Pics would be helpful.
    "Stand your ground. Don't fire unless fired upon. But if they mean to have a war, let it begin here." Captain John Parker at Lexington

    """WTB""" Arisaka 38 Dust cover #653.

  3. #3
    Boolit Mold
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    I'll upload some pictures tonight. One clarification, there is one vent hole on the receiver of this rifle.

  4. #4
    Boolit Bub Trapdoor's Avatar
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    Kit, One vent hole more than likely makes it a 99. Should be a 7.7 caliber. If I can't identify it for you, I know who to put you in contact with.
    "Stand your ground. Don't fire unless fired upon. But if they mean to have a war, let it begin here." Captain John Parker at Lexington

    """WTB""" Arisaka 38 Dust cover #653.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    it should be either a 6.5, about 267 or a 7.7, about 311. the jap rifles had a palm safety that enclosed the rear of the bolt. you pushed it forward and turned it. the carcano made one had a safety on the right side of the bolt. there were training rifles that had cast receivers and were not meant to be fired. As I understand it, some or all of them were not rifled, and they were cruder made. really need a picture.

  6. #6
    Boolit Designer 45 2.1's Avatar
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    We need to see some good pictures of that "30" and where its at. You could have a quite rare rifle there......... not in its original caliber either.
    45 2.1

    Knowledge without understanding is a dangerous thing. For a little knowledge entices us to walk its path, a bit more provides the foundation on which we take our stand, and a sufficient amount can erect a wall of knowledge around us, trapping us in our own ignorance.

    Never sleep, never die

    Knowledge is easy to get, but worthless if you never use it. However the info is free, so the only person you have to blame is yourself if you chose not to use the information.

  7. #7
    Boolit Mold
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    Arisaka Pictures


  8. #8
    Boolit Master

    Dutchman's Avatar
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    I suspect it may be a non-firing drill rifle made from genuine gun parts and non-real gun parts. These were not uncommon in the 50s and 60s. I owned one that was beautiful but it wasn't a real rifle though it was made from rifle parts.

    The rear sight elevator is suspect to my eye.

    The rifle mimics the Type 38 (model 1905) 6.5 Arisaka.

    Dutch

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    I think you will find it is a 7.7 jap. why there is no mum or grind marks, I don't know. the ones captured in the field still had the mums.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    I thought the rear sight didn't look right

  11. #11
    Boolit Bub Trapdoor's Avatar
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    looks like a 99 to me but I cannot explain the no markings thing. Sent a pm to someone who I hope can solve this puzzle.
    "Stand your ground. Don't fire unless fired upon. But if they mean to have a war, let it begin here." Captain John Parker at Lexington

    """WTB""" Arisaka 38 Dust cover #653.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master


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    I'm pretty sure Dutchman nailed it.

    The ejector box looks like a type 38, while the rest of the gun has type 38 characteristics.....a little difficult to tell from the photos. There are no kanji markings that I can see to determine "type", no mum, and I don't seem to see a serial number....a real one anyway....but it's hard to tell from the photos. The serial number should be on the left side of the receiver and at least five numbers long. Good chance it's a training rifle and therefor a wall hanger. Do NOT attempt to fire it until it's properly identified. Another tip, don't remove any of the stock screws in an attempt to disassemble the rifle. The screws were originally "staked" in place to prevent turning and if disturbed the value will drop considerably.

    It's best if someone knowledgeable sees this in person. I have a type 38 trainer that looks like the real McCoy to an untrained eye......and eye which will be lost if it ever fired live ammo!

  13. #13
    Boolit Mold
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    When my lady first got the rifle, she took it to a gunsmith near her home to clean, inspect and test fire the weapon. Of course, that was 15+ years ago and neither she or her mother remembers the caliber.

    I ran a few oiled patches through the barrel and they came out pretty rusty, so I won't try firing it until its been checked out.

    I haven't been able to find any kanji on the rifle at all. The "579" mark on the stock feels to me like a school/gun club ID marking, but that's just a guess.

  14. #14
    Boolit Mold
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    More than likely this is a drill rifle. It is a type 38 in Jap 6.5. However the rear sight looks like every trainer I have ever seen. Don't be fooled by rifling in the barrel, some will even be smooth bores. Alot of these trainers were made with rifles that were out of spec and past their service lifes. Keep in mind as far as the caliber most type 38 rifles are 6.5 jap however the Japanese did make small amounts of 7.7 type 38's. You need to have a gunsmith look this rifle over before going to the range.

  15. #15
    Boolit Bub Trapdoor's Avatar
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    I agree with bigmark but even trainers had markings on the receiver and stock. This is indeed most probably what it is.
    "Stand your ground. Don't fire unless fired upon. But if they mean to have a war, let it begin here." Captain John Parker at Lexington

    """WTB""" Arisaka 38 Dust cover #653.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master

    curator's Avatar
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    Google "Italian made" Arisaka rifles and see if they don't match up better. In the 1930s Japan "outsourced" Type 38 rifle contracts to the Carcarno rifle works in Italy. These rifles usually had no markings and were a combination of Carcarno and Arisaka parts. The stock looks more like the Italian ones as the Jap rifles mostly had two-piece butt stocks.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
    Ed in North Texas's Avatar
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    Odd stock, no joint in the butt where the standard two pieces of wood are joined.

    Didn't mean to step on Curator's comment - I went back to double check the picture and get a cup of coffee before posting.

    Ed

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    Looks a lot like the smoothbore drill rifle I used to have, I gave it to my brother so I don't have it here to compare.
    My drill rifle is missing the rear sight so the threaded joining of the smooth tube barrel to the chamber lump is visible.
    These rifles were capable of firing blanks and may chamber a live round.

    Some Japanese training rifles could fire a low powered cartridge with aerodynamically stabilized bullet for indoor target practice.

    The pictured example looks very nice, it should have some decent value as a collectable.

  19. #19
    Boolit Bub Trapdoor's Avatar
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    I contacted Don Voight author of "The Type 99 Arisaka Rifle" for verification and he was kind enough to answer back relatively quickly. It is indeed a trainer as suspected, meant exclusively for firing blanks. I had not sen one prior to this with only one vent hole and all that I have seen had some markings on the stock or receiver. Either way, we now know for sure.
    "Stand your ground. Don't fire unless fired upon. But if they mean to have a war, let it begin here." Captain John Parker at Lexington

    """WTB""" Arisaka 38 Dust cover #653.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master

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    Having cataloged a fair numberof Arisaka rifles at various museums where I have worked, I have not come across a Jap trainer without markings, nor one with only one vent hole. The workmanship on this example appears very good but not much can be told from the pictures the OP sent. The nice thing about Arisakas is there is always a varient you haven't encountered before. I would like to see better pictures if I can't inspect the rifle first hand.

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