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Questions Regarding a Type 38 Rifle

Article about: Hi there, I recently posted about looking for a helmet, but have decided for my first ww2 purchase to be a Arisaka Type 38 or Type 99 Rifle. However, I would like some help in determining th

  1. #11
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    I've seen examples marked on the side of butt stock, usually for a school. School marked rifles may have been worn out service rifles for demonstration purposes and not for live firing.

  2. #12
    MAP
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    Quote by relicz View Post
    I've seen examples marked on the side of butt stock, usually for a school. School marked rifles may have been worn out service rifles for demonstration purposes and not for live firing.
    Thanks. Will look on the stock.

    My Type 99 is in excellent shape despite being a school rifle. Bright bore and bluing. So definitely not worn out.
    "Please", Thank You" and proper manners appreciated

    My greatest fear is that one day I will die and my wife will sell my guns for what I told her I paid for them

    "Don't tell me these are investments if you never intend to sell anything" (Quote: Wife)

  3. #13
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    A couple examples of school markings on this page Michael.

    JAPANESE TRAINING RIFLES

  4. #14
    MAP
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    Quote by relicz View Post
    A couple examples of school markings on this page Michael.

    JAPANESE TRAINING RIFLES
    Great link. Thanks! Will check mine out tonight as I pass my war room before hitting the hay (which is in a few minutes...early morning tomorrow)
    "Please", Thank You" and proper manners appreciated

    My greatest fear is that one day I will die and my wife will sell my guns for what I told her I paid for them

    "Don't tell me these are investments if you never intend to sell anything" (Quote: Wife)

  5. #15

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    I found another link that may be of value! Markings on Japanese Arisaka Rifles and Bayonets of World War II

  6. #16
    MAP
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    Quote by Hoffmavl View Post
    I found another link that may be of value! Markings on Japanese Arisaka Rifles and Bayonets of World War II
    While no graphics or pictures, this is a site I have been using and recommending for years. Thanks!
    "Please", Thank You" and proper manners appreciated

    My greatest fear is that one day I will die and my wife will sell my guns for what I told her I paid for them

    "Don't tell me these are investments if you never intend to sell anything" (Quote: Wife)

  7. #17

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    Hey MAP, on this rifle it is supposed to list its manufacturer after the serial number, could you make out which manufacturer it is? I have a hard time telling based upon the picture listed!

  8. #18
    MAP
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    Kyle,

    From what I can see the maker of this rifle is Koishikawa (Tokyo). It could also have been the Kokura Arsenal as they used the same symbol, but the proof that this is an early production Koishikawa rifle (1906 to 1935) is that Kokura Arsenal rifles serial numbers stopped at 99,999 and were preceeded by a "series" character. Your rifles has no observable "Series" character and the serial number (201,376) exceeds the 99,999 range. So.....a nice early rifle. Given that Koishikawa serial numbers go up to over 2,000,000. I say you have a VERY early example.

    If there are others out there that know more, I'm happy to be corrected.

    Now the thought as to if this is a school training rifle is pretty convincing. First, Koishikawa (Tokyo) and Kokura Arsenal rifles that were taken out of service typically had 2 or 3 zero's added to the front of the serial number. The odd part is the it does not have the circles punched around the MuM. What is also odd is that below the Mum there should have been different Japanese character, not the "M". The "M" has been observed on Nagoya Arsenal rifles, not Koishikawa or Kokura rifles. That being said, it is possible that the "M" was also used by Koishikawa. I don't know, and we all know in this hobby that the exception is the rule...

    Another theory is that the "M" stood for Military reserve. Either way, you definitely have a rifle that was taken out of active service as either a school or military reserve rifle.

    You noted that you might have a gunsmith clean and check the rifle to see if it is safe. This is a must if you expect to fire it. Arisaka rifles are strong accurate weapons (despite old myths). The late war last ditch rifles are an exception of course. But given this is a very early rifle that was taken out of service (why? who knows) I would be very very careful. But that is just me. Listen to a qualified gunsmith.

    Hope this helps.

    Michael
    "Please", Thank You" and proper manners appreciated

    My greatest fear is that one day I will die and my wife will sell my guns for what I told her I paid for them

    "Don't tell me these are investments if you never intend to sell anything" (Quote: Wife)

  9. #19

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    Thanks for your help, I was hoping to be able to just shoot this rifle here and there, but the main purpose is to own one as part of a collection. I do plan on having a proper gunsmith taking it apart and checking it out before I fire it. The owner of the rifle said the gun will fire live ammunition and based upon the condition of the rifle I'd be inclined to agree that it is probably safe. However, I will not even attempt it until I have a certified gunsmith check it out. Here's hoping it fires properly! Thanks for your help now all I have to find is a matching bayonet :P!

  10. #20
    MAP
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    might be difficult to be sure if the "matching" bayonet is a Koishikawa or Kokura as they used the same symbol. But you should look for one with a hooked quillon as it is my understanding that these are the earlier version before they simplified them to a straight quillon and non-contoured grips
    "Please", Thank You" and proper manners appreciated

    My greatest fear is that one day I will die and my wife will sell my guns for what I told her I paid for them

    "Don't tell me these are investments if you never intend to sell anything" (Quote: Wife)

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