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Old April 7, 2009, 09:07 AM   #1
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Last ditch rifle question

Theres this guy that responded to my CL ad that I collect military items. He asked if I would wants guns, absolutely! He has an Arisaka 99 last ditch rifle. It does not have the rope sling, nor a bayonet but he said its in good 'battle' used condition, without rust or pitting. The unique factor is that the rifle has the full MUM. I'm wondering first, how rare is one of those rifles to be found with the MUM intact and secondly, what do they sell for? He wants $350 which seems reasonable to me. What do you all who know more than I think? Thanks
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Old April 7, 2009, 07:26 PM   #2
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I've seen Arisaka prices range wildly but $350 is fairly in line. An intact Mum is not unheard of, it just means that it probably arrived in the US as a Bring-back weapon and was not in Japanese hands at the end of the war when they destroyed the Mum so the emblem of the emperor would not be dishonored in enemy hands. The grounded out Mum is more common, but intact ones can be readily found if you look enough. I've seen last ditch rifles go from as low as $100 to as high as $650 for one with battle damage and a 30-06 round still stuck in the stock (it also had the bring-back paperwork too).
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Old April 7, 2009, 09:07 PM   #3
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its hit and miss... I saw one at the last gun show that looked horrible and pitted BAD, but the guy was asking $400... i politely chuckled and walked away...
"Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it."
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Old April 8, 2009, 06:42 PM   #4
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If you are patient you can find a better deal than that, but good intact Arisakas are becoming harder to find.

Take a look at it. If it strikes your fancy, $350 is not a crazy price at this time. If you are hesitating after looking, then wait for a better one.
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Old April 8, 2009, 06:47 PM   #5
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At the end of the War we even ground off the Mum's on captured weapons but a lot got through.
Retired LE, M.P., Sr. M.P. Investigator F.B.I. Trained Rangemaster/Firearms Instructor & Armorer, Presently Forensic Document Examiner for D.H.S.
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Old April 8, 2009, 09:21 PM   #6
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I had a last ditch gun in perfect condition, but the mum was ground or defaced, I forget which. But I sure did not pay that kind of money for it. That seems high to me for a last ditch unless it was some kind of rare variation. If they are asking 350-400 for run of the mill 99's and Last ditch now, either the market has changed wildly in the last year or two to double prices, or they are speculators trying to rip people off. I guess you could hang a tag with 800$ on it and see if some idiot would bite. Worst they could do is take it home with them instead of selling it.
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Old April 9, 2009, 11:18 AM   #7
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I had a last ditch gun in perfect condition, but the mum was ground or defaced, I forget which. But I sure did not pay that kind of money for it.
Of course you paid less for your last ditch rifle if the mum was removed. The $350 price hinges on how rare an intact mum is if the rifle is in good overall condition.

There's a last ditch on gunbroker for $300 plus shipping BUT the stock has been refinished. I'd really like to find one with a rope sling but that's probably unrealistic. Another potential issue with the $350 price is whether or not the bolt matches, if it does not it is surely not worth $350. Without looking at a book, for a 60+ yr old rifle, in good overall condition, with a symbol that is most often ground off, I would think that the price is good.

Perhaps I should just be patient but I need to personally examine this rifle.

Before anyone pipes in, I know not to shoot it and I wouldn't regardless.
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Old April 18, 2009, 10:54 PM   #8
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why not shoot it???I have 5 in 7.7 cal and shoot them all. what is meant by last ditch??I have had a last ditch and it was safe to shoot which I did but if the gun is steel receiver its really not last ditch.most are like the 1903A4 rem they had manufacturing short did the japs.but the so called last ditch had cast receivers.
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Old April 18, 2009, 11:27 PM   #9
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I am not sure just what is meant by "last ditch". Some use the term to mean the incredibly cheap, almost toy-like rifles that were chambered for the 8mm pistol cartridge because the simple receiver couldn't support a rifle cartridge. Others mean the so-called Naval Special Type 99, which was made with a cast iron receiver, but those don't have "mums" and never did.

If the term means the Type 99s with wood buttplates, cylindrical bolt handles, and simple sights with no adjustment, I have never seen any that appeared to be cast; some receivers did not have the forging marks cleaned off and may look like castings, but they are not. Those had "mum"s originally, but they may have been ground off. They are crude, but quite serviceable, rifles.

The term certainly does not apply to the cast iron training rifles, many of which are quite well made and which were never intended for firing any kind of live ammunition. Except for the ones made from obsolete or scrapped rifles, they do not have the "mum" and even if the "mum" was on the rifle originally, it will have been defaced, but not ground.

Jim K
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