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Old September 15, 2012, 01:00 PM   #1
tahunua001
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can you learn me to arisaka?

hello all,
I have a gun show coming up soon and I am thinking of either grabbing a Steyr M95 or Japanese arisaka(leaning toward the jap).

I know a little bit about the markings and know where to go to research arsenol markings and such but I do have a couple questions.

what is the main difference between the type 38s and type 99s?

were they all done in 7.7x58 or were there other goof ball calibers to watch out for?

how do you tell the difference between the 99s and 38s? I can look at them and spot an arisaka pretty quickly but I can't really spot a difference in models.

how much should should they cost? I am not looking for sporterized or rechambered guns so I will be looking for original condition models.

were individual parts serialized or just the receivers?
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Old September 15, 2012, 01:42 PM   #2
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T-38 has 2 vent holes in the receiver ring/ T-99 has 1 hole
T-38 has ejector box milled in receiver/ T-99 E-box is screwed on

T-38 6.5x50
T-99 7.7x58

T-38 could have been converted to various calibers and would not be noticeable
T-99 most common conversion 30-06, but would have the receiver milled to fit longer cartridges--Many converted to .300 Savage, but the chamber area of the barrel is short from moving the barrel in.

T-38's are almost always non-matching. The MUM means nothing on T-38's the Chinese had tons of them and dumped them on the U.S. market over the years. I have had quite a few with really ugly barrels that shot really well. Check out what the receiver ring markings look like on the net. I had a lot that were modified for experiments and they stamped over the original markings. Stay away from those if you want a shooter.

Get online and look at some T-99 models. After 43' they started cutting corners. Try to buy something with a full stock and markings on the receiver above the MUM and stay away from the late war models if you want a shooter. Near the end they threw together "piecers". Usually if it has a chrome lined barrel it is early war production. It is common to find all matching numbers on a T-99, but if you are looking for a shooter it drives the price up and does not make them shoot any better.
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Old September 15, 2012, 02:05 PM   #3
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interesting, I am a bit confused though.

a while back I was reading a thread about a guy that inherited a "mauser" and a gun store owner told him it was chambered for 8mm mauser and it actually turned out to be a type 38 chambered in 7.7.

was that a product of late war piecers or did someone actually rechamber a t38 to 7.7? seems counter productive since they are both hard to find cartridges.
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Old September 15, 2012, 02:09 PM   #4
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Hey bro, I can teach you all about Arisaka.. but only if you call them Krupps JK haha
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Old September 15, 2012, 02:15 PM   #5
tahunua001
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haha ok I need krupps help lol.

ok scatch post #3, searching through the forum I found that the rifle in question was a type 99 rather than 38. that makes my confusion slightly less so now.

should I be looking for parkerizing or blueing?
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Old September 15, 2012, 07:08 PM   #6
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What you were reading was probably a rumor that went wild. The barrel threads do not interchange and a T-38 won't feed 7.7 ammo without opening up the magazine well area. I re-cut one(T-38) to 6.5x55 and had to open the well up. A 7.7 is 58 long.

P.O. Ackley wrote about re-cutting a chamber to a barrel under the new chamber size and if I remember correctly it involved an 8MM mauser round. That could be where that came from.


There is an interesting old story from the NRA magazine about a guy that recut a T-38 to 30.06 thinking it was a .311/.312 bore and firing it. Needless to say he had problems, wrote to the NRA magazine for help, and it was soon discovered what a mistake he had made.
I try to keep an open mind when I hear stories, it is unreal what people do sometimes.
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Old September 15, 2012, 07:27 PM   #7
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The easy way to tell is to just read what is on the receiver.

Look at the numbers. If the mark reads sideways and says 9 9 (type), it is (wow!) a Type 99 and unless altered should be in 7.7. If the mark reads in line with the barrel and says 3 8 (type) it is a Type 38 and should be in 6.5.

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Old September 15, 2012, 10:44 PM   #8
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Not really. I used to collect them and the T-38's really had a lot of variation. Many times the 38 was untouched and the mum stamped over with an experimental mark added. A lot were done the same way allegedly because they were unsafe to be shipped out and marked for training purposes only. There are "Stamp overs" that nobody knows what they were intended for. There are hundreds of thousands of T-99's with no model number at all. I have owned 1 "Peicer" with no serial number and have seen many others.
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Old September 16, 2012, 12:50 AM   #9
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I think that gunplummer has this one nailed for a thumbnail summary.
Personally, I've had both type 38, 6.5mm, Arisakas and Type 99, 7.7mm, arisakas. I liked them both. I'm taking my T99 elk hunting with me this fall.

I don't know much about the Steyrs, but I can't imagine that the on line support for Steyr runs deeper than for Arisaka. There are a lot of people that want to see these rifles keep humming. Ammo for the Arisaka isn't like finding sand in the sahara, but it's not hard to find nor find info for reloading. I have only seen one source for the Steyr 8mm rimmed ammo.

Take your time, do some research and find a solid Arisaka that will last.
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Old September 16, 2012, 07:29 AM   #10
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Surplusrifle.com has a great Arisaka forum, check it out.

I'm new to the Arisaka's, I recently picked up a Nagoya Arsenal Series 5 Type 99. I've added the repro sling and muzzle cover until I can find originals. The aircraft sights are interesting, thinking out of the box for sure.

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Old September 16, 2012, 08:43 AM   #11
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They are still fun to collect. When I started, people would literally give them to you. You can still buy the common models at a reasonable price and half the parts have no numbers. It makes it easier to replace parts. For a shooter, look around for a rifle that was cut down to a "Camp gun". They are not as common as they used to be because the dealers are grabbing them up for parts, but there are still quite a few around. Japanese rifle collecting is starting to take off. If you want one look now. Last year I had a couple auctions and was surprised at what some of the stuff went for. I had a type 30 that was burned on one side and it went pretty high. Some of the 99's with schrapnel damage went pretty high too. Study some of the pictures on the net. I bought a lot of type "I" rifles cheap because the owners did not know what they were.
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Old September 16, 2012, 10:47 AM   #12
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so are they kindof like mosin nagants where every part has matching serials or, or like springfields where barrels have dates and everything has manufacturers marks or am I just worried about what's on the reciever?
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Old September 16, 2012, 10:56 AM   #13
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Many parts have matching serials. Someone else will answer for all of the parts but IIRC all of the bolt parts, the end cap for the stock, barrel, receiver, floor plate and the dust cover. The butt plate could have, if metal, I don't know about that.
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Old September 16, 2012, 12:31 PM   #14
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Those rifles with the "mum" overstamped (usually with a circle) are surplus guns that were transferred to schools (college level). In pre-WWII Japan, military training was required in all schools from the primary grades through college. The smaller children used sticks or wooden rifles; the high school level used those rifles we call "training rifles" that fired blanks. College level students graduated to firing live ammunition from real rifles. Since the Type 38 was made obsolescent by the adoption of the Type 99, many were transferred to the college level training program. Since they were no longer in Imperial service, the Emperor's family "mon", the chrysanthemum, was overstamped. (The same idea is shown by the British "double broad arrow", which looks like an asterisk.)

Watch those "Arisakas" without a Type marking and with one piece stocks; those are two of the signs of training rifles, some of which are thought by collectors to be "variations" of the Type 99 or Type 38. One was offered to me not long ago at a high price as an "experimental" rifle because of the low serial number and lack of markings.

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Old September 16, 2012, 02:34 PM   #15
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Japanese Mauser...

The Arisakas are, essentually Mauser pattern rifles. There are lots of deviations from the Mauser, most notably the safety and action tangs, but it is the mauser system at its heart.

Many Arisakas were converted to other calibers in the US, because Jap ammo was non-existant, and commercial ammo in the Jap calibers was very scarce, and expensive. Today, you can get new brass for both calibers, so we don't have to form cases from .30-06 anymore.

Ballistically, the 7.7mm Jap is equal to the .303 British (same size bullet, same speeds), and good for anything the .303 is.

Prices on all the milsurps are going nowhere but up, and even poor condition rifles, unaltered, are bringing more than they used to. A complete "issue condition" type 99 (7.7mm) will have the monopod, action dust cover, and AA sights (except for the very late war variants), but are rarely found complete, and bring a premium price when they are.

Normal is a two or three piece stock (plus handguard), and the dust covers were often removed by Japanese troops (they tend to rattle).

An intact Crysanthamum "usually" indicated a captured rifle, not one formally surrendered, but there are apparently numbers of surrendered rifles that did not have the 'mum" defaced, so unless you have some history of the individual rifle ("dad/grandpa brought it back from Saipan", etc....) you can't really be certain.

Bores on the 6.5s have a reputation for varying widely from standard 6.5mm dimensions, so if you get one of these, check it carefully. Old loading manuals warn of gas blow by (always, ALWAYS wear shooting glasses) if the bores are oversize for the bullets used.
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Old September 16, 2012, 07:46 PM   #16
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Good stuff 44. I never had a T-38 6.5 with an oversize bore that I know of. The early 6.5's had a different twist rate and would usually shoot wild with standard(Norma) ammo. Loading up to a heavier bullet which it was originally designed for usually helps that. I think they were using 190 grain bullets in the beginning.

There are hundreds of thousands of T-99's with no model markings. These are commonly known as "Last Ditch" rifles and if you want a shooter, I would avoid them. The barrel steel was down graded, the stocks were downgraded and had less wood. The buttplates were wood. In general, everything was cheapened. I would consider them safe to shoot, but would check it out good. I had Korean made T-99's that were pretty scarey looking.They are not true "Last ditch" rifles. I only ever saw one and it had an oversize cast iron receiver with navel markings.

Markings: used last three numbers from serial #. The T-38 could have double markings-many were factory rebuilt.

T-38 parts marked: bayonet lug, receiver, bolt, F/pin, safety, dust cover
*more parts could be marked if it was rebuilt

T-99 Parts marked: Bayonet stud, receiver, bolt, F/pin, safety, dust cover
*Late war guns could be missing a lot of markings

It is too hard to just give a solid answer. As you get more familiar with them, you will start to see some weird stuff. I had loaded ball 6.5 ammo made by KYNOCH (England) and nobody seems to know why. There are thousands of T-38's with the mum intact. I know China dumped a load on us when the import laws changed. I would not pay more for a T-38 with an intact MUM.

Last edited by Gunplummer; September 16, 2012 at 07:54 PM.
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Old September 16, 2012, 07:55 PM   #17
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Good stuff 44. I never had a T-38 6.5 with an oversize bore that I know of. The early 6.5's had a different twist rate and would usually shoot wild with standard(Norma) ammo. Loading up to a heavier bullet which it was originally designed for usually helps that. I think they were using 190 grain bullets in the beginning.

There are hundreds of thousands of T-99's with no model markings. These are commonly known as "Last Ditch" rifles and if you want a shooter, I would avoid them. The barrel steel was down graded, the stocks were downgraded and had less wood. The buttplates were wood. In general, everything was cheapened. I would consider them safe to shoot, but would check it out good. I had Korean made T-99's that were pretty scarey looking.They are not true "Last ditch" rifles. I only ever saw one and it had an oversize cast iron receiver with navel markings.

Markings: used last three numbers from serial #. The T-38 could have double markings-many were factory rebuilt.

T-38 parts marked: bayonet lug, receiver, bolt, F/pin, safety, dust cover
*more parts could be marked if it was rebuilt

T-99 Parts marked: Bayonet stud, receiver, bolt, F/pin, safety, dust cover
*Late war guns could be missing a lot of markings

It is too hard to just give a solid answer. As you get more familiar with them, you will start to see some weird stuff.
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Old September 16, 2012, 10:21 PM   #18
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The reason Kynoch loaded 6.5 x 50 Japanese ammo is that the British bought some 150,000 Type 30 and 38 rifles from Japan during WWI, something I thought everyone interested in those rifles knew.

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Old September 17, 2012, 09:11 AM   #19
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I did not know that, but because you were wrong on so many other things, I will take it as a theory. I also heard Lawrence of Arabia and his bandits were armed with them, but nobody claims it as fact. There are so many myths flying about Japanese rifles for so long that the myth has become fact.
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Old September 17, 2012, 09:39 AM   #20
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http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=348258

Not all of em are original, I actually enjoy this one alot, first post in this thread
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Old September 17, 2012, 11:05 AM   #21
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Quote:
There are so many myths flying about Japanese rifles for so long that the myth has become fact.
I've heard they also had the strongest action of anything in WWII but I know that the Remington rolling block was stronger.
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Old September 17, 2012, 11:24 AM   #22
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I am not a wildcatter and if it has any collectors value at all I would never even consider sporterizing/rechambering it.

I learned my lesson with sporterizing a mosin nagant, if you want it to be decent when you're done then you have to fork out quite a bit of money and things rarely go as expected.

as long as the action can handle the round it's chambered for then I could really care less about how strong the action is compared to a carcano or enfield.
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Old September 17, 2012, 04:17 PM   #23
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Nothing wrong with going "Deer Rifle" with an Arisaka. There used to be a lot of guns out there that were already chopped. Now I think a sporter stock is cheaper than an original wood set. I like semi-sporter. I still have 2 that are basically original looking, but with short scopes and bent bolt handels. I bought new replacement stocks and made carbines out of them. (These are Chinese made stocks and don't fit too well) I made everything I could out of aluminum and titanium to lighten them up. One is 7x57 and one is 6MM. I kept one that is cut and welded for 7.62x39 and uses Mini 30 magazines. One that I re-cut to 6.5x55, one I bought at a yard sale that was converted to .300 Savage. It sounds like I never even had auctions to scale back, but I sold off my originals. Sounds like a lot but I used to run into guys at shows that had a lot more than I did.
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Old September 17, 2012, 06:05 PM   #24
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I have Japanese 7.7 Arasaka in new & unfired condition . Has the Mum & dust cover, chrome lined bore. My wife's uncle was the XO on LST 973 when WWII ended. The T docked at an island formerly Japanese occupied to meet with the Governor. After the meeting, the Gov. Escorted the Co and XO back to the ship. As they walked down the pier, the Gov. asked if they needed anything. Uncle told the Gov. that he'd like to have a Japanese weapon. The Gov. walked over to a pier sentry and took his rifle & and gave it to wife's uncle.
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Old September 17, 2012, 08:10 PM   #25
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Gunplummer wrote, "...because you were wrong on so many other things, I will take it as a theory."

Same way I took that business about hundreds of thousands of unmarked Type 99s and all those that were "modified for experiments."

Jim
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