View Full Version : Type 99 Arisaka

December 13, 2007, 11:40 PM
I identified my Dad's Arisaka as a concentric circle Type 99, made by the Nagoya Arsenal, serial number 529 - doesn't have a date of manufacture on it that I can find.

Anybody come across what the concentric circle rifles were made for or how many were made?

Doesn't have the monopod, but it has the serrated safety knob, metal butt-plate and flip-up aircraft sights, so it shouldn't be a "last ditch" rifle.


December 14, 2007, 07:04 PM
Well, if you are talking concentric circle instead of mum on the receiver, apparently they are rather rare articles. Seems no one knows for sure who they were for, possibly paramilitary groups or something. They are referred to in Duncan O. McCollums book JAPANESE RIFLES OF WORLD WAR II on page 49 (Excalibur Publications, Latham, N.Y.) and the serial number range from Nagoya seems to be appx. 1-2,600. Possibly as many as 5,300 were made at 3 arsenals and it appears that all were either early configuration like yours, or a few thousand late config. If early, it indicates it should have the monopod, or at least the hole to mount one. There is no way to precisely date Japanese rifles, so they are typified by having early-mid-late features, and a mixture of those in some cases(transitional). The Japanese pistols are nice in that they have dates of a sort stamped on them. So, yours seems to be a rarity, don't take low offers if you had ever considered trading it.

December 14, 2007, 10:12 PM
I took a few pictures today of the rifle - not sure if it falls into the early or intermediate patterns for 99's.

December 14, 2007, 10:14 PM
Some more.

December 14, 2007, 10:19 PM
And a few more.

I cleaned up the bolt last night, but I've yet to dive into the rifle itself - any idea on what to use to get all the surface oxidation off of with? I was thinking a greenie pad, or maybe some steel wool. Bore seems pretty smooth and it only had some dust in it. Rifling is well-defined. Action is sort of stiff, but I can maipulate it with without binding. Dad even got a few boxes of the proper 7.7 ammunition for it...

James K
December 14, 2007, 11:26 PM
FWIW, it is quite apparent to me that the "ring" marking was put on after the "mum" was removed. The appearance of the receiver ring, plus the shallowness of the marking make that pretty obvious.

The shallow depth is because the marking was applied, perhaps by hand, on a hardened receiver. The "Type 99" marking was, like the original "mum" applied by a roll stamp while the receiver was "in the white" and soft.

What the "ring" may mean, I have no idea, but I suspect that some country or organization wanted to use the rifles but remove the symbol of the hated Japanese (as countries that acquired German weapons obliterated the Swastika markings).


December 15, 2007, 08:50 AM
Well according to the book, they were intentionally made that way by the Japanese. They fall within a specified range by specified makers. It is a recongnised subvariation according to him. IF was some arbitrary thing by some non Japanese user, you would expect it to be random and not be able to classify a serial range or maker, they would be all types of makers and models? I also read that there were numeral "2" inspection stamps on alot of the smaller parts that were not usually inspection marked on the rifles. See if that is present.

December 15, 2007, 03:00 PM
Okay, I see '2' stamped on the receiver, the bolt, the safety knob and the striker. I didn't take the extractor off ot see if it was on there anywhere. The bolt has a bunch of small marks on it by the '2'. Picture included.

December 15, 2007, 04:53 PM
Well I would do a search and see if there is a forum for collectors of Japanese stuff like that. Seems to be an uncommon gun to me. Not one of the usual 150-250$ model 99's you see at the gunshows. Still if it is rare, it depends on desireability to collectors to affect the value. Just being an oddity is sometimes not enough for a large increase.

James K
December 15, 2007, 07:43 PM
One book says that the ring marking indicates government (non-military) ownership and that rifles with the "ring" marking were designated for some kind of government service in Japan, like police or building guards. That would explain rifles taken from certain serial number ranges.

It would not necessarily mean that the rings were put on new rifles instead of the mum; the mum could have been removed from finished rifles at the factory or in a depot and the ring marking put in its place. For the reasons I stated, I still believe that the rifle shown had had the mum removed and the rings stamped on. (Some good receiver ring measurements would show if anything as deep as the normal mum had been ground off.)

Anyway, speculation is fun, but we really need better info.


December 16, 2007, 08:12 AM
IF the concern was about the mum being ground instead of the stamp on a new receiver, I suppose that might be considered a worry if it was just purchased for a premium as a rarity but it sounds like the gun is a bringback or a long ago purchase. Anyway I was trying to track down the group that put out a magazine called Banzai, for collectors of Japanese militaria. Found something on a website that someone else was apparently operating. They had a copy of a survey form for this particular rifle variation and they wanted the details to add to their files. Apparently Banzai is trying to get a good survey of the things. Tried to find a specific website for Banzai but nothing. Maybe the folks at www.surplusrifle.com might have links or contacts? They have a Japanese rifle forum there and there are apparently other sites for collectors of these rifles and related.

December 16, 2007, 03:01 PM
My Paternal Grandfather was attached to the occupation forces prior to his discharge. The story he told his kids was something like this: He had some bolt cutters (master keys!) and they came across a warehouse that had not been touched yet. They broke in and they helped themselves to some trinkets in the warehouse. My Dad seems to think that he also took a carbine of some sort, but it's still buried under the old house. My Dad had always wanted the 99, so he offered 125 bucks to his sister's husband who was using it as a wall hanger.

I cleaned up the bolt from all the grease that was packed into it as well as scrubbed the sights clean, but I haven't taken the barrel-receiver out of the stock yet. surplusrifle.com was helpful as it showed me how to take the bolt apart - much simpler weapon then my old M16 and M249 SAW.

Lots of surface rust on the receiver and outer parts, how would I go about cleaning that up? The action is rust-free, so that's the important part, it just doens't look very good. What was the finish the factory originally placed on these weapons? Blued, browned, parkerized? Should I even bother trying to restore it?

December 22, 2007, 06:21 PM
Cleaning as far as removing any dirt grease etc, and removing any loose rust might be called for. I am talking removing loose rust, not polishing down till the rusted spots look like bare shiny metal. You will have to just leave a brown color on the metal. The gun is blued but if there is pitting from the rust it would look crappy with new blue over that, or take a lot of sanding and polishing to remove and prep the surface for reblue. I might use 0000 steel wool and oil to clean it up, as it will remove loose rust but not cut into the metal easily and shine it up. Presumably you will be having to take it all apart completely to clean it fully, and you don't want steel wool fragments and stuff getting into the gun fully assembled. Otherwise, just put a thin coat of oil on it to preserve it. Or if it is gonna hang on a wall, a thin coat of wax will protect the metal and wood and not collect dust like grease or oil would.

January 2, 2008, 08:52 PM
I believe it was a school gun.the mum was ground off and the rings signified it was no longer used by the military.your no. is early configure from nagoya
about 5300 made.in all arsenals.about 2600 made atnagoya.
duncan o mccollum :D:rolleyes:

January 2, 2008, 09:05 PM
the rear sight screw is shown on left in book.