Japanese Type 38 Rifle
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Thread: Japanese Type 38 Rifle

  1. #1
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    Japanese Type 38 Rifle

    Cruised into a local gun store today and spotted this Type 38 rifle sitting there. I will be the first to admit that I don't know as much about Japanese rifles as I should, but I do like military surplus guns and will always buy one if the price is right. In this case, after a bit of negotiation, I got it for $150, so I am very happy.


    My research tells me that this one was made around 1914 or so and has matching numbers. The bluing is in pretty decent condition and even though the mum has been struck, it is not too bad. The bore is perfect.














    As an added bonus, as I was walking out, I noticed some AK magazines and upon closer inspection I realized they were Chinese. One was marked 'Poly China' and the other two were still new in their original packaging and were just marked 'Made in China'. The Poly one has a chrome follower and the others are blued. I got them for 20 bucks apiece.








    BR7.62, Thrasher, Walleye and 5 others like this.

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    Nice!!!

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    Nicely done!
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    I really like those old Arisakaís. My Dad brought one back from Japan where he was in the US Army 24 Division as occupation troops. He gave the rifle to my Momís half brother. I never knew what happened to that rifle as my uncle has since passed. At that price I wouldíve bought that rifle in a heart beat. Very nice find. The 6.5x50 caliber shorter barreled carbines are great shooters and the ballistics of the 7.7 Jap (Type 99) are very close to the British 303. Ammunition is readily available for the Type 38 Arisakaís 6.5x50 cartridge. Iím afraid Iíd have to shoot it if it were mine.

    Thanks for posting!
    Last edited by VASCAR2; 11-10-2018 at 10:47 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by VASCAR2 View Post
    I really like those old Arisaka’s. My Dad brought one back from Japan where he was in the US Army 24 Division as occupation troops. He gave the rifle to my Mom’s half brother. I never knew what happened to that rifle as my uncle has since passed. At that price I would’ve bought that rifle in a heart beat. Very nice find. The 6.5x50 caliber shorter barreled carbines are great shooters and the ballistics of the 7.7 Jap (Type 99) are very close to the British 303. Ammunition is readily available for the Type 38 Arisaka’s 6.5x50 cartridge. I’m afraid I’d have to shoot it if it were mine.

    Thanks for posting!

    Once I had my hands on this rifle, I wouldn't let go of it until I left the shop.

    It is by far the nicest type 38 I have ever seen, most look beat to death with nothing but patina for the finish. Another thing I didn't really pay attention to until I got it home is that none of the screws have buggered heads. Usually when I see these old rifles, the screws look as though they were attacked by a numbskull with the wrong screwdriver. The screwheads on this one are perfect and the finish is flawless inside the screwdriver slot. The bluing is perfect even under the wood line and as I mentioned all the assembly numbers match on the various pieces. It's hard to see in the pictures, but the trigger is strawed and the bolt races on the receiver are polished.

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    That's a gorgeous example, nice score!
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    Steal of a deal. Congrats.

    I made a post about 6.5x50 case forming a while back. You may find it helpful in getting that nice rifle to send rounds downrange again.
    https://www.theakforum.net/forums/19...ome-brass.html
    10Gauge likes this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Highpower View Post
    Partial Mum. Definitely better than many if not most you'll see out there.



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    Nice snag sir, the Arisakas are a very under apricated rifle in some circles of the collecting community even though they have probably the stoutest action of any WW2 bolt action rifle.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JeepFan View Post
    Steal of a deal. Congrats.

    I made a post about 6.5x50 case forming a while back. You may find it helpful in getting that nice rifle to send rounds downrange again.
    https://www.theakforum.net/forums/19...ome-brass.html

    Thanks for the link. Oddly enough, I have a Yugo barrel stub in my box of junk.
    JeepFan likes this.

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    Congrats nice score.

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    You really made out on that deal! I've always wanted to shoot one of those, but don't know anyone who has one in good enough condition. That, and the scarcity of the ammo.
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    Nice rifle and at a bargain price to boot! I have two T38s and this is my earlier one (Nagoya). Rifle has brass muzzle cover, sling & bayonet. Bought this at a Fresno, Ca. show in 2007 for $265. Rifle is matching except dust cover (which as one can see, has been with this rifle for a long time). Seller said rifle was a Vet bring-back and received from a relative whom resided & had passed away in Hawaii. The bore is excellent and I have shot it a couple of times. My impressions were it was very accurate and quite pleasant to fire (perhaps most similar to a Swede M96 long). I also felt for the Marines and Soldiers whom had to go up against the Japanese armed with these rifles. My guess is this one was brought back from one of the earlier island battles since the mum escaped being defaced...
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    Last edited by pwcosol; 11-12-2018 at 03:37 PM.
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    AFAIK if you have a Imperial Japanese weapon from WW2 that has an intact Mum it was likely captured or recovered in a battlefield situation at any point prior to VJ-Day. The ones w/ ground, stricken, or otherwise defaced Mums were pretty much turned over after the surrender was signed and the Japanese military was ordered to disarm. Supposedly as per terms of the surrender both Japanese as well as The Allies removed Mums before any weapons were stockpiled and inventoried, made their way back to The States(or elsewhere), or believe it or not in some cases put back into circulation. Many Japanese servicemen in the fringes of the former Empire at the end of the war were rearmed and made into temporary de facto policemen and constables, esp. in SE Asia, much to the disbelief of the locals. I don't know the specifics to the stipulation other than that the symbol of The Emperor(chrysanthemum) could not desecrated.

    I also read somewhere that if IJA troops knew their situation was hopeless and they were ordered to fight to the last man, which was typically the case, they would deface the Mum before the final engagement. Don't know how true that is but it's definitely a reasonable possibility given their reputation.
    Last edited by YankeeZulu; 11-12-2018 at 09:48 PM.



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    Nice score! Someone was lazy grinding off the mum

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