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Old September 8, 2022, 11:32 AM   #1
mfreem08
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Type 99 last ditch 7.7

Any input on the going rate for these? Seems the one I found is in Good condition. I did not hold it therefore I cant confirm Mum but for $350 I'd bet it doesnt have one
. Wood looked to be in good or appropriate for age, not dinged up or painted or cut/bubba'd.

Edit: photo
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Last edited by mfreem08; September 8, 2022 at 11:45 AM.
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Old September 8, 2022, 01:43 PM   #2
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Are you sure it's a "last ditch" model? Some of the later production models had rough finish but were safe to fire.

Many of the so called last ditch models were training rifles meant to shoot a low powered round with a wood or bamboo bullet.

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Old September 8, 2022, 02:01 PM   #3
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Unsure I didnt ask them to get it down. Definitely would have to examine closer
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Old September 8, 2022, 02:38 PM   #4
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Looks pretty late, if not last ditch; fixed rear sight, no forward hand guard, no monopod mount.
Common to have mismatched bolts, but not an issue for a wall-hanger.
$350 seems like a lot, but everything gun-related (other than things I want to sell . . .) are 2x or 3x what they were just a few years ago.
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Old September 8, 2022, 03:32 PM   #5
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The actual dangerous to fire "last ditch" rifles are talked about a lot, and very rarely seen. The training rifles and even some reportedly made of cast iron did exist, but actual examples are rare.

Some Japanese arsenals were producing entirely serviceable rifles right up to the last day of the war. Many features of the earlier versions had been dropped and the finish might not be as good, but mechanically, they were sound.

An unground "Mum" indicates the rifle was captured, not surrendered, but is not conclusive proof by itself.
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Old September 8, 2022, 04:00 PM   #6
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In addition to the simplified and cheapened "last ditch" rifles - kind of an Oriental 03A3, what? - there was one redesigned for even faster manufacture. It had a cast receiver and might be mistaken for one of the blank firing "training rifles" but the barrel has an extension that the bolt locks into, so they could be shot with ball ammo. Kind of an early M16, eh?
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Old September 8, 2022, 06:44 PM   #7
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"Last ditch" and training rifles are different. Last ditch rifles are safe to fire, assuming in safe condition in the first place. Training rifles are not safe to fire with live ammunition, they are smooth bore and made for blanks. On top of those two types there are also school rifles, ones that have been retired from service due to isuues, headspace ect.
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Old September 8, 2022, 10:18 PM   #8
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I'll have to stop back in & take a closer look at it then.
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Old September 9, 2022, 11:26 AM   #9
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Just as nearly every German pistol brought back from WWII was always "teken off a dead Nasi offzer" nearly every Arisaka not made with the monopod, AA sight and dust cover is named a "last ditch" rifle, by someone....

Go back and take a look at it, Take note of the markings, Take pics, if you can, there are people here who can identify which arsenal made it, and most likely when.
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Old September 14, 2022, 05:20 PM   #10
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If you get a clear photo of the markings on the left side of the receiver I will tell exactly what it is . Also see if the bolt matches , that will really effect the worth . It looks good with the wood looking correct , plus it could also be a rarer maker . By the features shown it is a substitute standard Type 99 [ last ditch ] .
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Old September 14, 2022, 10:06 PM   #11
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Nobody has yet mentioned the late wood butt-plate.
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Old September 15, 2022, 01:22 PM   #12
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I don't know of any "standard definition" that defines the difference between a "last ditch" rifle and a late production rifle.

people can, and do call any Arisaka lacking all the initial features "last ditch", but to me "last ditch" means exactly that, the very last ones made, in desperation, substandard and dangerous to the user.

Late production rifles, without the early rifle features are not, to me, "last ditch", but lots of people call them that.

If you know a reference that states "type 99s made after XX/XX/45 are "last ditch" please share it. Otherwise, its just the opinion of the guy writing the hang tag to sell it....

I've read (somewhere,,,,) that there was one Japanese arsenal that was still producing type38 6.5s at the end, or nearly to the end of the war....

like a lot of things, different arsenals made changes at different times, some only dropped a feature when they ran out of the needed parts.

One thing to be aware of, if you're actually shooting Arisakas, is the multi-piece wood stocks. The wood may look good, and actually be ok, but sometimes, the old glue lets go, like during recoil. I've had this happen. Not saying it will, but its something that can happen.

Elmer's carpenter's wood glue, some clamps and proper curing time returns them to shootable condition.
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Old September 15, 2022, 04:31 PM   #13
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No arsenal make any type 38 anywhere close to the end of the war . Production stopped with the adoption of the Type 99 short rifle in about 1940 . A substitute standard is a type 99 with a wooden butt plate , a three piece stock , a fixed rear sight . Commonly called the last ditch by US collectors . A Nagoya Series 8 made in 1944 will have the exact same features as a Nagoya series 11 made right at the end of the war . The latest made rifle is just as safe to fire as the 1944 rifle . Several other makers switched to the sub standard at about the same time . A rifle made without some of the early parts is not a sub standard nor last ditch . Deleting parts is not the same as changing them to different parts . So yes each maker switched to the sub standard about the same time , when the standard was changed , and there is a serial number range and series when it happened at each maker . The OP's rifle is a sub standard [ last ditch ] by features and definition . Period .
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Old September 16, 2022, 08:01 PM   #14
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I'm not a "Arisaka expert" by any measure, but I owned 5 Type 99s at one time - used to buy them at gun showa years ago because they were cheap - I think the most I ever paid was $40. There were differences in them all - some had monopods, some aircraft sights, etc. One was a "last ditch" - wood buttplate, crude fixed rear sight, rough, not smooth machining on the barrel, bolt handle, etc. But, the bore was nice and the bolt locked up like a vault. I never shot any of them as I wasn't in to reloading then, but I am sure that it would have been safe to fire. Buttstock had some scorching on it that would lead a person to believe that it may have been near a flame thrower.

One issue on Arisaka rifled that I have heard of often is that the chambers can be on the generous side and/or not always concentric (i.e. a bit egg shaped) not always but something to be aware of regardless of the arsenal.

Right now, I am working with two Type 38 Arisaka rifles - of course chambered in 6.5 X 50, not 7.7 like the 99s. Both of the rifles are first year production - 1905 at the Tokyo Arsenal. One has the serial number 6X and the other 2XX. My uncle was a Navy Surgeon - his ship was anchored in Tokyo Bay during the surrender. Afterwards, when he was allowed to go ashore, he pulled them out of a large pile of surrenders rifles as well as 3 bayonets that I have. The rifles are in extremely nice shape, excellent bores and very well made.

I have read in a number of places that after the war, the govt. and the NRA tested the various bolt action rifles used in the war, and that the Arisakas had the strongest action of any of them. Working on and with these two Type 38s has given me a whole new outlook and respect for the Arisaka rifles - and that's saying a lot for me and my age as I am of the generation whose fathers were fighting the Japanese armed with them just a few years before we were born. I sold the 99s a number of years ago, but after working with the two 38s, I have developed an interest in them and if I run across another good one, in original state or sporterized, it will come home with me.
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Old September 16, 2022, 08:22 PM   #15
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Do you have a photo of the left side of the receiver of your 6x serial number rifle ? It is the earliest Type 38 I have ever heard of . I have been collecting Arisakas for over 40 years [ I liked paying $ 40 back then also ! ] and have over 280 now .
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Old September 17, 2022, 02:53 PM   #16
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ernie - I don't want to hi-jack this thread but will post a photo of the 2 digit serial number Type 38 - I'll use the excuse that it is at the opposite end of the "last ditch" models - either 38s or 99s - and someday be interested in seeing it.

This one is 67. The other one is 21X - the third digit is not clear due to what looks like the stamp being angled a little when the serial nub4r was stamped. I'm going to take photos of the rifles and do a write up on them - hopefully in the near future. Both of course are identical and complete. One had an original heavy web sling on it. They both hung over my aunt and uncle's fireplace from about 1958 or so until two years ago. Both my aunt and uncle were deceased, having assed a number of years ago, but their daughter (my cousin) lived sin the house until several years ago when she passed away. Her brother (my cousin) didn't know what to do with them when he was settling her estate so I told him I would take them - mostly for the sentimental reasons but I also though I could cklen them up and shoot then for enjoyment. I was much surprised when I got then and as to their low serial numbers and did some research on the Type 38s, which of course, were originally made at the Tokyo Arsenal.

Although they are very early, neither show what I would call "battle usage" and they are in overall very good condition with decent bores. The buttstocks are typical - the one with the serial number 67 had a crack in the buttstock originating from the lower butt place screw - not at a joint where the stocked was was joined as is typical of Arisaka buttstocks. However, it appears that the crack was there from the very beginning as on the underside of the buttstock, it had a dowel placed running up parrallel to the butt plate - I am assuming a "Arsenal repair". I am a retired cabinetmaker and I was able to repair the crack without any major issues.

As far as shooting them - neither will ever be pushed hard. I have cast for 60 years and will be using cast bullets in both with reduced loads. I completely disassembled both of them for cleaning as they had hung over the mantel for so many years and basically, were just "dirty" from dust. Both cleaned up very well and a couple applications of BLO thinned down with turpentine applied with 0000 steel wool and rubbed into the stocks brought them back to life.

Forgot to add: Mums are undisturbed as these were picked up shortly after the surrender.
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Old September 17, 2022, 08:14 PM   #17
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Your 67 is not first year production . It is a Mukden rifle made about 1934 .
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Old September 18, 2022, 08:51 AM   #18
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ernie - I was going by a reference chart of Arsenal markings that I ran across - can you be more specific as to the markings and your conclusion - any info would be greatly appreciated. Mukden, - Arsenal? Thanks.
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Old September 18, 2022, 09:22 AM   #19
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It is a Mukden arsenal made rifle . They started production in 1934 . Yours was one of the first they made . They made about 117,000 rifles , so not too many as total production goes . It is a nice rifle with the 2 digit # , first day or so of line production in 1934 at Mukden , not 1905 at Tokyo .
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Old September 18, 2022, 12:34 PM   #20
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Thank you ernie - much appreciated! I did some more looking and did find a good reference on the arsenal markings - I had checked with a friend who collect MilSurp and he had drawn the wrong symbol as far as identifying it. So, from what I found - the Mukden Arsenal was in Manchuria? The source also stated that the Mukden Arsenal did not produce any "Series" but rather they produionx was consecutive serial numbered - is that correct? Explaining why thee is no "Series" symbol to the left of the serial number?

I greatly appreciate your help and information - they are what they are and it is all interesting - to me, the greatest value of them is sentimental due to my uncle bringing them back I'm too old to start collecting them, but could you recommend a good book on the Arisakas as far ass history, types, etc.?

Thank you again - greatly appreciated and thanks for straightening me out on them!
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Old September 18, 2022, 12:45 PM   #21
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They did no series , but a weird serial number pattern . First - 0 - 38,000 , then - 5,000,000 to 5,065,000 [ why ????? ] then last - i ro 65,000 - 79,000 .
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