Inherited WW2 Japanese Rifle

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by Aimeriffic, Sep 28, 2012.

  1. Aimeriffic

    Aimeriffic New Member

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    Hi I just wanted to get a sense if what the value of the rifle I inherited is, and what else I may need to get so I can have it be complete. As of now all I have is the rifle and cleaning rod. Nothing has been done to change the rifle since my grandpa came home with it after the war. We do not have the strap or the bayonette. He also took pretty good care of it, although he didn't shoot it, he did keep it oiled over the years. The bolt action works great and I would like to keep it and bring it up to collector standard with all the accessories. The chrysanthemum has an x across it but is not filed off, nothing is rusted at all but the wood is kinda scratched. The number on the side is 98642.. Along with some Asian symbols. All numbered parts have 642 on them. I am having an issue uploading photos...
  2. CHW2021

    CHW2021 Member

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    What you have is a Arisaka rifle. From your description it is hard to guess more, pictures will help identify which model. Look at posts for the Arisaka for an idea of value.
  3. Aimeriffic

    Aimeriffic New Member

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  4. Aimeriffic

    Aimeriffic New Member

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  5. soundguy

    soundguy Well-Known Member

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    the shorter carbines are type 38 6.5 jap the longer ones are type 99 7.7 jap
  6. Aimeriffic

    Aimeriffic New Member

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    The ammo he had from the same time frame is 7.7... So I'm guessing it must be 99 then... If I bought new ammo... After having the gun looked over would it be bad to shoot it?
  7. hunter29180

    hunter29180 Well-Known Member

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    just a bit of history for you... the 7.7 was the standard sniper rifle..also when lead became scarce the Japanese carved wooden bullets and reloaded their emptys sometimes using powder from american shells! many GI's were shot and killed with these carved bullets! My father was shot twice with wooden bullets..the 2nd time he managed to get the sniper and his buddys scooped the rifle and they later sent it back to the states for him. I still regret allowing that rifle out of my hands. it was very accurate! recoil wasnt bad and would take about any game in North America. it was a 7.7..would love to get my hands on another!
  8. Aimeriffic

    Aimeriffic New Member

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    I definitely plan on making sure it doesn't go anywhere... Mainly I'm just curious about how to make it complete with all the missing pieces, we pulled out the cleaning rod and apparently that is broken so I guess I need that too... Basically my grandpa said its missing the bayonet, the strap and needs a new cleaning rod, he also said it has the option for the anti aircraft sites. I just have no clue where to find stuff that is authentic... I basically want to make it as close to what it was when it was new without changing it too much... And of course we want to shoot it... I am kinda leery of the ammo he gave me as its about the same age as the gun is... And I was curious of the value because I didn't want to decrease the value by shooting it...
  9. soundguy

    soundguy Well-Known Member

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    it's pretty common to find the 'aa' sights missing the fold out arms....
  10. Buffalochip

    Buffalochip Active Member

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    You won't decrease the value of the gun by shooting it, but if the ammo is ww2 vintage, I'd save it. You have a type 99 rifle, in 7.7 Jap. It appears to be in decent shape. The value is in the $300 to $400 range. Bayonets can be had for $100-$125. An original monopod will set you back a couple hundred dollars as will an original strap. You do have the dust cover, which is usually missing because they rattle, as I'm sure you noticed, and were often discarded in the field. Need a better image of the stamping to the left of the serial number to give the year of manufacture.
  11. Aimeriffic

    Aimeriffic New Member

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    Her are some pics of the ammo... It would be great to get info about it:

    http://pbckt.com/pU.RpMAGh

    Box 1
    http://pbckt.com/pU.RpMAmC

    http://pbckt.com/pU.RpMAIT

    http://pbckt.com/pU.RpMW79

    Box 2
    http://pbckt.com/pU.RpMiLB

    http://pbckt.com/pU.RpM4Gy

    http://pbckt.com/pU.RpMWzK

    http://pbckt.com/pU.RpMWy1

    I have no idea what year the ammo is from could be anything from 1942-1980?

    Thank you for your input!

    Here are pictures the symbols that were hard to see in the previous post:

    http://pbckt.com/pU.RpMfn7

    http://pbckt.com/pU.RpMH20

    Part of the reason I was given this rifle is because I own firearms and I am really interested in history and the stories about rifles like these (thank you hunter). Any anecdotal information about ww2, these rifles and others like it, how they came to be, etc is amazing...
    I spoke with a friend this evening who also has an arisaka rifle, however the chrysanthemum on his was machined off whereas mine is crossed off... He said that had to do with how they were attained... Surrendered rifles had been machined, but McCarthy asked American soldiers who had aquired them in battle and were bringing them home as souveniers, to make a mark on the chrysanthemum out of respect for Japan's Emperor and as part of their peace agreement... Is this true? And if so is there anymore information about this anyone has?

    Also I would like to find the following parts:
    Monopod
    Strap
    Anti-aircraft sights
    Cleaning rod (mine is broken ~3/4 down the rod)
    Bayonet
    Shootable Ammo

    I would like to know where a good place is online to start searching for authentic items for a fair price. I live in CA so gun stores arent exactly that common. Thank you for the general pricing for most of this stuff... Any recommended resources for acquiring these items is wonderful!

    Thank you!

  12. RJay

    RJay Well-Known Member

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    You would think, that the Japanese would have a hard time resizing the cartridge and getting primers. Also since a wood bullet would only travel a few feet ( because of the density or rather the lack of density ) the sniper would have to be very close, perhaps only a few feet away, wood bullets were used for indoor training and for enclosed ranges for that very reason. If IRC that the training loads ( wooden bullets ) were fired with reduced loads because with normal loads nothing left the barrel but toothpicks, but I could be wrong, been wrong before. Just wondering.
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2012
  13. Danjet500

    Danjet500 Member

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    Here is the place to ask your questions about Japanese rifles. There is also a classifieds for Japanese military items.

    http://forums.gunboards.com/forumdisplay.php?52-Firearms-Of-The-Rising-Sun
  14. Aimeriffic

    Aimeriffic New Member

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  15. WHSmithIV

    WHSmithIV Well-Known Member

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    The ammo will be fine if it was stored in a dry place. I just fired off some quite old black powder rounds - no problem.
  16. hunter29180

    hunter29180 Well-Known Member

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    Rjay here are a few links to show you the error of thy ways.....

    http://www.trailblazersww2.org/history_woodenbullets.htm

    http://suite101.com/article/wooden-bullets-used-in-peace-and-war-a141786

    http://www.militaryhistoryonline.com/forums/ViewPost.aspx?ForumID=30&ID=25176

    some hardwoods are very dense and after being carved were fire hardened. these were the bullets used by Japaneese Island snipers. once fire hardened the wood was able to withstand a greater velocity. My father said some of these snipers easily got within 100 to 150 ft (not yards) they really did not expect to survive the shot, but were trying to kill high ranking officers. if you doubt the ability of a sniper to get that close, just go to any Army or better yet Marine base and dare any sniper to hit you with a paintball without being seen at under 100 ft! you will have seveal nice bruses to remind you of the experience!
  17. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    There was a common belief among GIs in the PTO that the Japanese, always thought capable of any dirty tricks, loaded their ammunition with wooden bullets so that when Americans were shot, the bullet could not be detected by X-ray and the American would die of gangrene. No one seemed to consider that a wooden bullet would have short range, poor accuracy and little power.

    While there is no doubt about the cruelty of some Japanese officers and soldiers, and the war crimes committed by them, the "wooden bullet" story is not true. The Japanese (also Germans, Swedes, and other countries) used hollow wooden bullets as training blanks, and the Japanese also used them as grenade launcher blanks. Since part of the powder charge filled the hollow in the wood bullet and ignited, the bullet simply blew to powder even before it left the barrel.

    But Americans who captured some of that ammunition had no idea what it was for (U.S. grenade launcher blanks used a crimped case mouth) and invented the "wooden bullet" story.

    There were other common myths about the Japanese, some believed even by Americans who faced them. One that seems to be true, or at least could have been true, is that Japanese 7.7 ammunition could be loaded and fired in U.S. rifles and that the Japanese clip would even work in the M1903 Springfield. Having heard that from what I considered a reliable source, I tried it. Sure enough, the clip worked, the 7.7 rounds (Norma) fed perfectly and fired without even any serious signs of high pressure. The necks are short, but otherwise the fired cases look normal.

    Edited to add: I just read the post by Hunter and can only say that the sources cited are examples of the way a story builds, with a kernel of truth and a lot of inventiveness, from "I heard" to "Joe said" to "I was there" to "I was shot with..." The usual progress of the rumor and myth. FWIW, the use of blanks for executions was common with both the Germans and the Russians. The powder charge does the job at close range, and there is no need to worry about danger to anyone except the poor victim.

    Jim
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2012
  18. hunter29180

    hunter29180 Well-Known Member

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    While I greatly respect you Jim, I must say this..I really do not believe my Father LIED to me! He had the scars and the medical reports to prove he had been shot with a wooden bullet..TWICE! so for you to so blatently state that this is not TRUE? I take offense!! now if you wish to state that in ypour opinion, you find it hard to believe..I could accept that. but not what and how you have stated it.

    and remember I read the medical reports when I was 14 yrs old.I do not think that 2 diffrent doctors, on 2 separate occasions would lie in a report for a simple soldier. AND I HAVE NEVER FOUND MY FATHER EVER TO HAVE LIED OR EMBELLISHED THE CIRCUMSTANCES ON ANY OF HIS LIFE EXPERIENCES!
    He was a decorated officer for the Ocean View Police Dept. A decorated U.S. Marshal and also ran a detective agency proving security for many businesses including the Amusement Part in Ocean View.

    UNFOURTUNATLY I was overseas when he died and I recieved almost none of his property. I was suppose to get all his militaty items, including his records from the Army, Police and Marshals. by the time I was able to return all I got was 2 firearms ( his 38 service revolver and the japanese rifle he was shot with the second time) the person who was suppose to make sure I got all his property ended up spending 15 yrs in jail for desposing of it. then I got my oppertunaty to square accounts with that thief. NUFF SAID!
  19. soundguy

    soundguy Well-Known Member

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    I think both of you are missing the obvious.

    BOTH situations can be TRUE. they do not HAVE to be mutually explusive.

    for instance.. we KNOW wood bullets existed. there is a plausible use for them.. IE.. grenade launchine.. so a field trooper IS likely to have some.

    Now.. we also have a report of someone's father being wounded by a wooden bullet. for now lets take that as fact also.

    where does that leave us?

    consider this.

    you are a jap service man.. and are OUT of ammo. the yanks have landed and advancing on your position. darn.. no grenades left either... but hey.. i've got these not so cool wood bullets.

    about that time a yank patrol walk by your position .. you are hid in the thicket, but 'close enough'

    you pop one off and well.. wood fragments hit a gi..

    seems plausible to me.... no?

    if someone is attacking me and I have rubber bullets.. i shoot them with rubber bullets.

    if someone is attacking me and I have target low power rounds, I shoot them with target rounds.

    if someone is attacking me and I have frangible range ammo, I shoot them with frangible ammo.

    if someone is attacking me and I have birdshot.. I shoot them with birdshot.

    if someone is attacking me and I have wood bullets.. I shoot them with wood bullets.

    eh?
  20. deadin

    deadin Well-Known Member

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    Back to the rifle itself.... The markings put it as a Nagoya arsenal 4th series and right at the tail end of that series. (The serials for the 4th series ran from 10,000 to 99,999) Nagoya started making Type 99 in 1939 and ran through about a dozen series by 1945. (Each series had app. 99,999 each.)

    As for the ammo you pictured, it's shooting stuff and reloadable. (post war commercial).

    Personally, I put the story of the wooden sniper bullets in the same category as the "poison bullets" used by the Spanish during the Sp. Am. War. (Turns out it was just verdigris forming on the brass plated bullets on the 11mm Spanish Reformado used in their rolling blocks.)
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