Japanese Military Arisaka Rifle

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by Slowhand, Jun 11, 2012.

  1. Slowhand

    Slowhand Member

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    [​IMG]

    I bought a Japanese Military Arisaka Rifle, Type 38 (1905) Design.

    [​IMG]

    It’s in reasonable shape for its age. It just needs a bit of cleaning and should be ready to roll.

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    I get the thing home and pop off the dust cover. The Mum is of course missing. That was a 16 Petal Chrysanthemum stamped on rifle to identify it as belonging to the Japanese Army and symbolized the Emperor. Loads of Mums got chiseled off after WWII.

    I also note that the Shiki calligraphy says that it’s a Type 38. I measure the bore and it’s a 6.5mm, the rifle is 50 ¼ inches long, with a 31 ½ in barrel. It’s been reasonably maintained but needs some cleaning.

    The Serial Number is s a problem. 5,054,xxx, none of the Japanese Armories produced that volume before or during WWII, unless it was the Manchurian Armory. It was estimated that over 3,400,000 Type 38’s were produced.

    The Arsenal Stamp is unknown in any of my research. The closest symbol is the Nagoya Armory but that would have to be an upside down stamp.

    It also needs cleaning rod and a bayonet but that can wait.

    Loads of interesting stuff at the gun show. But the prices were high.

    I’m just curious if anyone recognizes the Arsenal Stamp.
  2. deadin

    deadin Well-Known Member

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    I think your guess is right. The mark appears to be for the Mukden (Manchuria) arsenal and the serial range is right for that arsenal.
  3. Slowhand

    Slowhand Member

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    I put this on a couple of oter forums and the common consensus is that it was the Mukden Arsenal. The smaller symbol to the right is also on the bolt ( More clearly seen). It the series marking for 6.

    Thanks for the response.
  4. Detroit-1

    Detroit-1 Member

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    The marking on the right of the Mudken mark is the proof mark for Mudken not series 6. It should be on many parts. Is the gun matching? I sold one like yours but it had a good mum and was matching but the bolt was not.
  5. Hammerslagger

    Hammerslagger New Member

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    Look at the bottom surfaces of the receiver and see if any Latin Alphabet characters (stampings) are visible.
  6. Slowhand

    Slowhand Member

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    [​IMG]

    It turns out she is what some folks call a “Mukden Type 38” which are described as hard or difficult to find since they only made 65,000 before 1940. In my research I found out a lot of history about the Arsenal and the raid against the place in WWII.

    I picked up a book on Japanese Rifles of WWII, by Duncan O. McCollum from Amazon, they delivered a couple days later. Great Stuff.

    I have a few other antiques that are lying around that have gone through the usual modifications and changes. So far several of the parts look like they have been changed out, let’s call it refurbishment. History on these things is always sketchy to say the least.

    [​IMG]

    There are no Latin Alphabet marks under the receiver.

    So far so good. Thanks for the responses.
  7. 3/2 STA SS

    3/2 STA SS Active Member

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    Does the bolt serial # match the reciever? Mine didn't bu the "mum" was intact on mine and had the bayonet.
  8. Slowhand

    Slowhand Member

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    The Mum is long gone on mine. No bayonet. The Bolt and Ejector Number is #746 which does not match the last three numbers of the SN.. 118. The Bayonet lug is marked 118. That's it.

    I ordered a replacement cleaning rod.
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