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Old September 23, 2011, 08:36 PM   #1
Junior Member
Join Date: September 23, 2011
Posts: 1
Arisaka Rifle Questions

Greetings all,

Some years ago, my family inherited a Japanese rifle from my grandfather, who was in the navy during WW2. We don't know much about the history of how or when he got it, though. The metal parts are generally rusty and in poor shape, and the sights are missing the fold-out calipers. I took it to a gunsmith on Thursday to have it evaluated and he said it would fire, but he wouldn't recommend it until the barrel was cleaned, the receiver oiled, etc. Also, he told me it used a 7.7x58mm cartridge (which I already suspected) but later told me it was a Type 38. I thought the 99 was the only version to use the 7.7; what are the differences between the 38 and 99 I should know about?

Anyway, he seemed to look in great detail at the receiver, then immediately told me that there should be papers for the weapon from the quartermaster's office. Does that have anything to do with the mum being removed? And what would those "papers" be able to tell me, and who do I contact to get them, or more information about it. I'm primarily interested in finding out when or where my grandfather got it and things of that nature.

Thanks in advance!
Devsk is offline  
Old September 23, 2011, 10:14 PM   #2
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Join Date: May 25, 1999
Location: Too close to Houston
Posts: 4,196
Welcome to The Firing Line!

Here are a couple links to some good info on Japanese rifles of WWII


Markings on Japanese Arisaka Rifles and Bayonets of World War II

The easy way to tell the difference between the common Type 38 and 99 rifles is the 99 (7.7 x 58mm) will have one vent hole above the chamber where the 38 (6.5 x 50mm) has two vent holes.

Ammo for either can be found at for a reasonable price.

Don't sweat the papers business. Many, if not most of the Arisakas brought back did not come with any. If the mum is intact it generally means the gun was a battlefield pick-up. A ground mum typically indicated the rifle was surrendered after the war.
Proud member of the NRA and Texas State Rifle Association. Registered and active voter.
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Old September 24, 2011, 10:58 AM   #3
TX Hunter
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Join Date: February 11, 2010
Location: East Texas USA
Posts: 1,805
Congratulations, I hope you find all of the information you need about this rifle, it is great that you are interested in it, and I hope you keep it in your family as part of your family history.
We had an old barber here in our town years ago, that was a World War Two Navy Veteran, In his shop he had a Japanese Arisaka hanging on the wall that he had brought back from the war. I respected that old Gentleman.
I respect your Grandfather as well, and am thankfull for his service to our country.
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