View Full Version : Arisaka type 99

March 17, 2012, 06:42 AM
My Aunt called me last week and asked my to stop by. I have not seen her in a few years and has concerned as she is 90+. I made the three hour trip yesterday and found she is doing well and she wanted me to have "this old rifle" she found in some of my late uncles effects.

My aunt recalls my uncle brought it home from the war but wasn't 100% sure. I can't recall my uncle ever saying anything about it. He was a hunter and had nice bolt guns in his day. I've asked her to look for any war time papers from my uncle. Bring back documentation would be very cool to have.

It's an Arisaka type 99, series 5 from what I can tell. Still trying to find info on the markings. Rifle and small parts are matching, bolt and bolt parts are matching. The wood appears to be bone dry. It does not look like it has ever been oiled. Has the cleaning rod, non monopod lower band and no bolt cover. Photo's soon.

I would sure take any advise on a good site for Arisaka info.

March 17, 2012, 08:16 AM
Try here to ID your rifle:


March 17, 2012, 08:30 AM
It was nice of her to remember you and give you a shout when she ran across the rifle.

My guess is that few of the Arisakas brought home after or during the war have any kind of papers. I know my dad didn't get any paperwork on the one he shipped home.

They are fun to shoot but you pretty much have to reload to be economical. Mine likes the 174gr .312" Hornady bullets and it takes a pretty stiff load to get the elevation right at 100 yards with the sight folded down. 190gr Cast bullets with about the same charge of pistol powder you'd use under a 200gr .45 lswc does well at 50 yards with the sight up and kids can have a blast with it too.

March 17, 2012, 04:39 PM
The biggest plus for your rifle would be an intact chrysanthemum on top of the receiver. Those with the mum ground off were surrendered.
The monopods and boltcovers were removed by the soldiers because they rattled. As the war progressed and material became short, the quality of type 99s diminshed. Early models were blued and well made. The later models are called "Last ditch" models. Last ditch models had a rough finish, fixed rear site, and wood buttplate on the stock among other shortcuts.
I enjoy shooting mine. It will shoots exellent groups.

March 17, 2012, 06:17 PM
Or captured.

Our Club Potshots are still run by a veteran of the Iwo and Okinawa invasions.

He also was part of the peace keeping force in Japan and was at Nagasaki. He said walking across the nuclear blast area was like walking on broken glass.

Anyway when his ship arrived in San Pedro Harbor all American soldiers were required to open their duffle bags. There was a large pile of confiscated grenades, land mines, and mortar shells, :D:D off to the side. If you had a Japanese rifle with an intact crest you were told to get in a line and the crest was ground off on American soil by an American.

They were told it was because of an agreement with the Emperor.

James K
March 17, 2012, 08:11 PM
Well, that is the story, and I am sure that after all these years, the teller believes it, but Japanese rifles with the crest ground were taken out of depots in Japan, where the crest had been ground by Japanese before the rifles were turned over to the former enemy.

There actually are very few real combat capture Japanese rifles (there are a good number of combat capture pistols). There was simply no way that an American soldier or Marine was going to be able to carry around his issue rifle plus a captured Japanese rifle; combat troops travel light. On the rare occasion when they did get them back onto a ship, they usually sold them for a few dollars or a carton of cigarettes to a sailor or someone who could bring the stuff back, since the ground pounder was going on to the next island.


March 18, 2012, 05:38 AM

James nailed it...again;)

The crest was removed by the Japanese before turning them over to the American forces after the surrender.

Gi's didn't need to smuggle these home. All they needed was a simple letter that originated at Company level to legally return war prizes. There are so many "bring back" stories around that you think the only way these got here was by smuggling.

Typical "bring back" letter.

March 18, 2012, 01:19 PM
Well, that is the story, and I am sure that after all these years, the teller believes it, but Japanese rifles with the crest ground were taken out of depots in Japan, where the crest had been ground by Japanese before the rifles were turned over to the former enemy.

My Dad brought back rifles from Japan, Feb 46. These rifles were surrender rifles and had been collected and were on some island in Tokyo bay. He had been told the Japanese ground the crests.

The gentleman, Sammy, who had his rifles crests ground in San Pedro, I found that story from him after I told him of a Japanese Paratrooper rifle, a very rare rifle which the barrel unscrews from the receiver, at our Club Range. I mentioned that it had the crest. Sammy then said "how did he get that rifle in?" And that is how I got Sammy to tell me about his experience.

The past is very complicated, and people make up memories, but I believe Sammy.

And I have handled his rifles. Crests were ground.

March 18, 2012, 03:05 PM
Years ago, I met a guy who collected Japanese rifles and swords. He must of had 50 type 99s alone. He also had quite a few 38s and some rare ones.
I remember examining some of his early 99s which were finely crafted and progressed to some of his last ditch rifles. The last ditch rifles were crude. Some were not even heat treated and would be dangerous to fire; or at least that is what he told me. Seems about 1/2 of his collection had intact mums. I also remember him saying those with the intact mums were worth much more to collectors.

Having said all of that, I bought one of the common varieties from him as a shooter. The mum ground off. It had and excellent bore and was a great shooter. I ended up selling it several years later. I still have a habit of examining every type 99 I see at gun shows or dealers looking to see if the mum is there. I have found very few over the years. Those with the mum intact seem to go for at least $100 over those without.

James K
March 18, 2012, 03:39 PM
The Type 99 was a simplified and less expensive rifle from the beginning, but Type 38's were well made and equal in workmanship to anything turned out at Oberndorf, Enfield Lock, or Springfield. I have a Type 38 short rifle that I defy anyone to find fault with in regard to quality. Everything is forged and machined, the rust bluing is perfect. But the "mum" is ground!


March 19, 2012, 06:31 AM
After a careful cleaning of the Type 99 I think I'll look for a Type 38. The barrel on my 99 is almost as new, they did a nice job on the chrome lining.

From my research over the past few days I think the rifles with the "Mum" are more than likely battle field pick ups. The Mum does raise the price and I've seen what look to me to be refinished rifles sell for four digit prices.

My wood still has the Urushi finish with some honest wear on the metal. It cleaned up much better than anticipated.

March 19, 2012, 10:05 AM
You need to send some bullets down range with your type 99. About a couple of years ago, I ended up with a type 99 in a trade. (I owned one several years back and regrettably sold it). The one I currenty have is a great shooter, however it likes bullets of 175 or 180 grains.
150 grains are not accurate -- at least in my rifle.