View Full Version : Arisaka M38

December 10, 2008, 11:55 PM
I have an Arisaka M38 with the Mum intact. The blueing is in bad shape and the stock appears to have been refinished (poorly). Would it be a bad idea to reblue? I know it usually detracts from the value but doesn't it get to a point where the blueing can be so bad that a re-blue could actually add to or at least not hurt the value? Oh, and does anyone know where I could get a stock that isn't outrageously expensive?

James K
December 11, 2008, 04:40 PM
I can't help with a stock, but the answer to your other question is yes. For anything but a very high ticket item, there is a point were a good rebluing job is (IMHO) preferable to a ruined finish. If you do the polishing yourself or find a gunsmith who knows what he is doing, you can get a blue job that will look like the original. The trick is to use a coarse grit wheel or emery cloth and NOT try for a high gloss finish.


December 11, 2008, 10:00 PM
try gun parts, or sarco, or springfield sporters.GRAFS.com has ammo or brass.
it uses 303 bullet.:rolleyes::D

James K
December 12, 2008, 04:20 PM
The Type 38 is 6.5 caliber; the Type 99 is 7.7 (.303).


December 12, 2008, 11:34 PM
Thank you Jim,
I thought that it would be OK to reblue if done correctly. I have heard that the M38 with Mum intact was worth a good deal of money? I do have ammo and have fired it several times.

James K
December 13, 2008, 11:21 PM
I don't know about "a great deal of money" but the price of an average condition Type 38 rifle would be around $175-250, with 20-25% off if the "mum" is ground. Top value for one in like new condition with the "mum" would be around $600, again with 20-25% off for the ground receiver.

A few Japanese rifles, like sniper rifles, paratrooper rifles, or the Type 44 carbine are in enough demand that removal of the "mum" will matter less.

(The above prices are retail, in other words what you would expect to pay when buying from a dealer. What a dealer will pay you is a different story.)


December 13, 2008, 11:43 PM
Thanks for the info Jim. Guess I didn't really mean 'great deal". I did think rifles with the mum were pretty rare and were worth around 1K. Guess i was a little high. Until fairly recently though I didn't even know about the chrysanthemums being ground off the seized weapons at the end of the war. I learn something new every day, especially on TFL.

December 14, 2008, 12:43 AM
I have had them with the mum on them and without the mum and it never made any difference to me.

This 7.7x58mm has the mum on it but the scope mount covers it up.


This one has the mum ground off of it and shoots just as good.


The last one I saw for sale at a gun show was selling for $200 and had the mum on it.

It also had a cracked mil stock and what looked like a 2x4 nailed onto the butt end of the stock for an extension :barf:

I would not have even paid more then $50 for a piece of junk like that mum or no mum.

You can go to this site to learn more about the markings on your rifle


If you reload for these Japanese rifles you will find that they are extremely accurate with 150-180 grain Sierra pro hunters and even with a 125 grain .311 caliber bullet when you use a little math to do it with.


My rifles can easily shoot three bullets thru the same hole at 100 yards with my reloads but if I loaded them with factory ammo it would probably increase the groups to a 1-inch.

The ammo factories use some math to set up I think then from then on out they depend on machines subject to human error run by people that failed their high school math courses LOL

December 14, 2008, 02:16 AM
The one model 99 Japanese rifle I had before that had the mum in tact and all of the military stocks in nice enough shape that I could also refinish them to look like factory new along with the barrel and receiver sold for $600 in 1998

Took about a ½ year worth of spare time to do it all but it was well worth it considering I got it free from an uncle and got to see what one probably looked like just as it looked when it came out of the factory in WW2.

I told the guy who bought it I had refinished it and he just looked at it and said it was the most amazing refinish job he had ever seen on one of those rifles because had I not told him he never would have even known.

It looked like one in perfect mint shape to him and everyone else that saw it after I finished it.

No telling what he resold it for if he ever did but I’m sure he got more than $600 for it if he did.

There is a way to refinish them to look like brand new but in every case it will depend on the shape they are in to begin with and how careful and meticulously they are refinished.

The ones I have got since then had a bad stock on the sport rifle shown or in the last case no stock at all on the pistol grip rifle so I refinished them in a different way that worked good enough for me.

A rifle with a crummy stock or no stock that has a brand new looking barrel has always been a fun hobby for me to use up some spare time on.

The last two proved to be well worth all the spare time I spent on them and turned into tack drivers I’m going to keep for a long time.

The Japanese had a good ideal how to build those rifles in WW2 and I just took it to another level is all.

Now if I can just find someone to give me a Springfield 1903 LOL