Need help to ID and value an older rifle

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by Awake in Alabama, Oct 13, 2012.

  1. Awake in Alabama

    Awake in Alabama New Member

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    My father in law over the past week has been showing me a number of the guns that he has put away. Many of these came from his father who ran a watch / gun repair shop from the 30's thru the 70's. At 84, he is starting to give thought to how to divide up his accumulation of weapons.

    Please excuse my lack of weapon terminology. This rifle is in rough shape with no discernible markings other than the one number grouping of R4110 with circle within a circle symbol after it. It appears designed to accept a stripper clip from the top. Within the trigger loop is a small sliding release that opens the spring loaded plate in fromt of the trigger loop.

    Any assistance in identifying the maker/model and it's value would be greatly appreciated.

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  2. BillM

    BillM Active Member

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    Do a Google for "last ditch arisaka".

    Welcome to the forum:)
  3. Awake in Alabama

    Awake in Alabama New Member

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    Bill,

    Thank you for the quick response. That explains much about the condition (machining marks and the crudeness of the sights). I did find the following on a website concerning the concentric circle mark.

    A small number of Type 38 and Type 99 rifles had two concentric circles on the receiver in place of the chrysanthemum. The purpose of these specially-marked rifles is not known, although it is speculated that they were issued to paramilitary forces such as the Kempei Tai (Japanese Secret Police), other military police, and guards at prisons, embassies, and other civil instillations. Some concentric circle rifles were remarked standard issue Type 38 and Type 99 rifles that had the chrysanthemum completely or partially removed and replaced with the concentric circle marking. These rifles were serialized separately from regular production pieces. Other rifles apparently were originally manufactured and marked with concentric circles.

    I'll continue my research. Thanks again for your assistance.

    Mark
  4. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    The concentric circles marking is not on the side of the rifle but, as the paragraph says, on the top of the receiver ring, substituting for the chrysanthemum indicating Imperial property. There has been much speculation as to the use of the concentric circles instead of the "mum" but the indication is that the rifles were marked/re-marked to indicate use by some organization not considered servants of the Emperor (as soldiers were). Among the possibilities were those you mention as well as military academies. One source says that the highest numbers seen were 621 (Kokura) and 2598 (Nagoya), so that would rule out any large organization.

    But your rifle is not one of those. The mark on the side of yours appears to be the normal Nagoya arsenal mark. The series symbol (posibly "ri") appears to have been partly obliterated when the receiver was polished at some point. In any case the rifle is very late wartime, though the term "last ditch" is rather widely misused.

    It would not seem to be exceptional in that many thousands identical rifles were made, but Japanese rifles are only now being considered as "legitimate" collectors' items.

    Jim
  5. BillM

    BillM Active Member

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  6. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    Just a note about "training rifles". The Japanese, like other dictatorships before and after WWII, initiated military training for young males, even down to the grade school level. In furtherance of that program, the Japanese army contracted a number of companies to produce inexpensive copies of the Type 38 service rifle which would be used to fire blank cartridges. Those "rifles" were generally of cast iron or low grade steel (though a few were worn out service rifles), and had smooth bores with crude copies of the standard military sight. They often had small or no locking lugs, normal lugs not being needed for blanks. For safety reasons in case a live round was fired, the bores are usually way oversize for the 6.5 bullet. AFAIK, no "training rifles" were made to accept a 7.7mm blank.

    While some effort was made to allow a live round to be fired without danger, anyone owning one of those rifles should be aware what they are and not even attempt to fire live ammo in them.

    Common characteristics are:

    1. No chrysanthemum and no sign of one being ground off.
    2. No Model number marking on the receiver ring.
    3. No serial number or a very low number on the left side; no series mark or maker's mark.
    4. Top receiver tang cast as part of the receiver.
    5. Bottom receiver tang cast as part of the receiver.
    6. Trigger guard cast and differently shaped than the standard trigger guard.
    7. Chamber area of the barrel cast as part of the reciever or a short "stub".
    8. Barrel is straight tube and screws into the chamber piece, not into the receiver.
    9. Stock is one piece, rather than the standard two piece stock.
    10. Rear sight is crude and loose.
    11. Bolt is crude with small or no locking lugs (locking is by the bolt handle).
    12. Extractor different from the normal Mauser type.

    Jim
  7. Buffalochip

    Buffalochip Active Member

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    Value will depend on whether the chrysanthemum is ground off or present--sounds like yours is missing, whether or not it has the original finish, condition of bore, and if it has been "duffle cut" or not. To fit inside a duffle bag, returning GIs would remove the barrel and action from the stock and cut the stock into two pieces. The cut was made by removing the barrel band and cutting it at that point so when reassembled, the cut wouldn't show. I'd value yours at $150-$200. The 2-piece stock mentioned in Jim K's message refers to the bottom half of the buttstock--yours clearly shows it is 2-piece construction. Some guns show an obvious crack from shrinkage.
  8. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    I apologize for confusion. My traning rifle post was the result of a PM suggesting that the rifle in question is a training rifle. It is not, but I decided to post how to identify them and failed to establish the connection or lack thereof.

    Jim
  9. Dpro_45

    Dpro_45 New Member

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    I just picked this Arisaka up and a gun show. I don't know what type it is can anyone give me a hand sorry for the poor pics

    Attached Files:

  10. Diamondback

    Diamondback Active Member

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    The two vent holes on the receiver would make it a Type 38, which should make it what is called a 6.5 Jap. I believe the correct caliber designation is 6.5x51.
  11. Dpro_45

    Dpro_45 New Member

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    That's what I thought when I bought it but I have a barreled action 38 at home and the vent holes are closer together and it doesn't fit in the stock of the other
  12. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    Hi, Dpro 45,

    The receiver is unmarked and as you say those vent holes are too far apart for a Type 38. I think it might be a training rifle, but I would like to see more and better pictures. That at least would explain the fact that a Type 38 barrelled action won't fit the stock.

    (Unlike regular rifles, training rifles were not standardized, except possibly for one manufacturer's output. It is uncommon to find two that even have any interchangeable parts.)

    Jim
  13. Dpro_45

    Dpro_45 New Member

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    Hey Jim

    Well I will tell you more about it the upper tang is a solid piece with the receiver the lower tang is solid with the trigger guard the serial number is in the five hundreds the rear sight is loose the barrel and receiver are hand tight no other markings on the receiver just serial number and jap writing on the top of receiver which is different from my other 38. Thanks for the help
  14. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    See my post #6. You have a training rifle. Your picture is too blurred to read the markings but some are marked "For Blank Ammunition Only" in Japanese.

    Jim
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