View Full Version : Need ID help

February 3, 2000, 07:50 PM
Hello everyone. I need to find out what this rifle is. It is a bold action, I think it is a military rifle due to the fact that it has stripper clip guides on top of the bolt. On top it has three asian symbols under something that looks like a cross between a flower and a cloud. The bolt release is on the left side of the receiver and it is a lever @ 2 inches long that swings backwards. The stock is a nice monte carlo that is probably not original. The rear sight has a crown over the letter 3. I think that the front sight had a hood over it, but it has been removed. I don't know what caliber it is, but it looks to be around .30. Does anyone have any idea what this could be? Thanks

Jim V
February 3, 2000, 08:34 PM
Not being able to see the rifle I can not make a positive ID but it sounds as if it may be a Japanese Arasaka with a different stock. The Arasaka had a MUM on the receiver. A lot of the rifles that made it here (US) had the MUM's ground off. The rifles were chambered in 6.5 and 7.5 "Jap".

Ne Conjuge Nobiscum
"If there be treachery, let there be jehad!"

Harley Nolden
February 4, 2000, 09:42 AM
I have to agree with Jim. One question.

What does the safety look like?

The Arisaka safety is the round knob on the back of the receiver. It should be serated, so as to grip with fingers, however, by pushing in with the palm of the hand, and rotating sets, or releases the trigger.

If this description fits your rifle, I have the assem/disassem instructions, with photos if you would like to have them.

If you have an email address, I could send you a photo and that would help you decide.


[This message has been edited by Harley Nolden (edited February 04, 2000).]

February 4, 2000, 12:40 PM
It is an arisaka, type 99. After getting Jim's advice I found a list of identifying marks on the net. Thanks for the help guys. Harley I would appreciate it if you would email me the assmbley instructions at [email protected]

February 4, 2000, 12:51 PM
I've got one of those - 7.7 mm and Japan's answer to the Mauser. A bit crude, but a nice shooting piece. Type 99 is the only model in 7.7; all others are 6.5.

The unusual object described is a chrysanthemum - the imperial flower. If it was still military, it would be a good collector piece, because the AOO ground the flower off the receiver of any rifles found there after VJ Day - like mine.


Die Wahrheit ist eine Perle. Werfen sie nicht vor die Säue.

February 4, 2000, 01:08 PM
Well, it's not gound off, but it does appear to be defaced. Which brings me to ask how much one of these is worth and where can I get some ammo for it. I only paid $50 for it, should make a good truck gun.

February 4, 2000, 01:20 PM
Sporterized it is probably not worth a heck of a lot; even the military ones are pretty cheap in gunshops. If you had an original in good shape with the flower intact, it might be worth some money to a collector, although your local gun shop might not give you much.
You won't go wrong in making this your truck gun. My 99 was brought back from Nippon by my Great Uncle after WWII, and has taken a ton of abuse since then. The 99 was a sniper's weapon. Does yours still have the BDC rear sight?
TMK, the only firm making the ammo currently is Norma in 130 and 180 gr., and it is not cheap. If you are a reloader, I think you can get the dies from Lyman. Make sure of your caliber though. If you can't tell, take it to a shop and have them measure the bore.
The 99 is the best of the lot, but the majority of Arisakas I havbe seen in shops were 6.5, and they are not as good a shooter.

Harley Nolden
February 4, 2000, 01:57 PM
Not to confuse the issue, but I think clairification should be addressed regarding the Aisaka 99. Jap equipment was dated according to the year in which it was introduced, but in the case of Jap the year was that of the current Emperor's reign. This "era" was given a distictive name, and there are three eras revelant to our period, the Meiju (1868-1912) the Taisho (1912-1926) and the Showa 1925-1989). Threfore the rifle introduced in 1897 became the Meiji 30th yrar, This system was used until 1931 when it was changed, due to the danger of confusing certain Taisho and Showa designations. From 1931 onwards the last two figures of the calender year were used, but his was complicated for Westerners by the use of the Jap year notation. In Jap form, 1939 was the year 2599, and thus any weapon introduced in 1939 became the Type 99, and the 1940 the type "0"

Based upon the above information, the Arisaka Sniper rifle was introduced in 1937, and this rifle featured a bipod and a telescopic sight off set to the left so the rifle could still be loaded by a charger. The bolt handle was turned down, (critical in identification) so as not to interfere with the sight when operated. it was otherwise similar to the 38th year Rifle.


February 4, 2000, 04:12 PM
From what I have, this is a type 99 built in the Nagoya Arsenal. The bolt handle is turned down, but appears to have been drilled for a scope on top of the receiver. As far as the rear sight goes, it looks to have been broken off and then stuck back on with JB weld or something. I intend to see what kind of groups I can get before doing any work to it. Harley, the email you sent helped a lot and the quality of the photos was good. Thanks again.

Jim V
February 4, 2000, 06:25 PM
Glad to have been of help. :)

Ne Conjuge Nobiscum
"If there be treachery, let there be jehad!"

James K
February 4, 2000, 10:22 PM
Hi, Chadintex,

Thousands of those rifles were subjected to some degree of "sporterizing" after having been brought back by GIs. This often involved drilling for a scope and turning down the bolt handle. Sometimes, instead of forging down the bolt handle, it was cut off and a new "sporter" type bolt handle welded on. It sounds like that is what you have.


Harley Nolden
February 5, 2000, 05:44 AM
Here is some infor that may help you on the caliber.

Introduced: 1939
Other names: 7.7mm Jap
7.7mm Arisaka
7.7mm Type 99
Jap 31
Dimentional Data:
Bullet: .311
Neck: .338
Shoulder: .431
Base: .472
Rim: .474
Case Length: 2.28
Ctge length: 3.13
Twist: 9.8

Factory Ballistics:

Bullet: MV: ME:
175gr (military) 2400 2237
Chamber Pressure: 42,000 psi (approximately)
The 7.7mm was adopted by the japanese to replace the older 6.5mm, however ended up using both calibers during WWII. They also adopted a new rifle, the Model 99 Arisaka, which was
a modification of the earlier 1905 version.

This cartridge is very similar to the 303 British cartridge and uses the same .311" diameter bullets. However, it is a rimless type whereas the British is rimmed. The two are identical in power and performance and the 7.7mm Jap can be used for the same kind and size of game


May 20, 2001, 02:11 PM
I was doing some "web research" (;)) today, and read that the Arisakas were the strongest actions of the day. Something I read later was that quality declined toward the end of the war.

How useable would an Arisaka be as a basis for a very powerful round? I recently began thinking of having a "truck gun" made in the very high pressure .454 Casull. If you gentlemen believe it would be strong enough, how ergonomic would it be? For example, I don't believe the Nagants have a real safety,whereas there are aftermarket safeties one can use on standard Mausers...

James K
May 21, 2001, 03:23 PM

Many of those rifles were "sporterized" and rechambered to more available calibers, mostly .30-'06. The chamber is a bit large for that caliber but normally all that happens is that the case swells. Accuracy is poor because the bullet is undersize. But check out the rifle before firing.


May 21, 2001, 09:12 PM
Thanks for the word of advice, Jim. I would be rebarreling mine if I got one- I just want to know if the action is suited for a really nice (but working, not "best" quality) rifle.

May 22, 2001, 05:14 PM
One of the gun rags did a test in the sixty's of all the WW 2 bolt action rifles to see which was the strongest.To make a long story short the Japanese action was the only one they couldn't blow up.A work of caution as said in a previous post the late production ones where of very poor quility so make sure that you have a early one.

James K
May 24, 2001, 12:24 AM
Hi, Spectre,

The drawbacks of sporterizing the Arisaka action are not in its strength (except for very late ones) but in the action design itself. It is difficult to bend the bolt down thin enough to use low scope rings because of the split receiver bridge, and the safety is not the best for handling (it is reliable enough) though it works under a scope OK. The bolt handling is hard to really smooth up. As others have said, the action is good and strong. The Japanese, AFAIK, were the only ones to heat treat their actions to three hardness levels at the front, center and rear.

In all honesty, unless this is a "wanna" project of sorts, I would buy one of the cheap Yugo Mausers or VZ 24's on the market and start there. If you get one with a good barrel, the 8mm is a powerful round (at least equal to the .30-'06) or you can get barrels in any caliber, many pre-threaded. There are after-market parts and gadgets for the Mauser by the ton everywhere.

It is sort of fun to work over a Type 99 (yes, I have done it) but you don't end up with much. Worse, Japanese rifles today have a lot of collector interest and sporterizing a good one could be a big mistake in dollar/investment terms.