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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited by Moderator)
I've had my dad's WWI souvenir rifle since he passed away about 25 years ago. He never told me anything about it and unfortunately I never asked. He did serve in the Philippines so I assume he brought it home with him from that area. I also have his Type 14 Nambu pistol (minus the clip) and a Japanese sword.

I recently got an urge to research it's history and would love to fire it. I cleaned it up and learned it is a model 99. However I've not been able to identify what series it is or when it was made. I know it's not a training rifle as I can see the groves in the bore. The kana symbol before the serial number does not seem to match any on the cruffler website.

If anyone could help me identify the correct arsenal, series, value and possibly the age of the weapon I would really appreciate it. Also I have not been able to locate any 7.7x58mm ammo anywhere. I don't have equipment to reload though I may get into that someday. If anyone knows of someone that might be willing to sell me a few rounds of ammo that would be huge.

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Can't help with the marking identification, but maybe some on the ammo and the Nambu "clip" (magazine). A guy I used to work with made 7.7 Japanese ammunition by reforming .30-06 cases. Bullets are available that fit both the .303 British and the 7.7 Japanese in 174 grain FMJ, and those are either Speer or Hornady. You'll either have to learn reloading or find someone in your area who does reload. Sometimes small gun shops in your area can steer you to someone willing to reload for you.

As far as the Nambu magazine, you can check with Gun Parts Corp (Numrich), and sometimes they offer them. Another source - but it will be costly - is the check *bay or gun auctions on line. Heck - if it were mine, I'd just 'fat finger' the keyboard and do on line searches for type 14 Nambu parts and magazines. You might get lucky. It will make your wallet a lot lighter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I'll try to take some better pics of the symbols in natural light tomorrow. I read about modifying the .30-06 cases but since I don't yet have the equipment or skills was hoping to find someone on the forum that might be willing to sell me a few reloaded rounds now. One question, will they start manufacturing new 7.7 rounds again when the current ammo shortage is over or will the only source be reloading?

Also thanks for telling me about the Gun Parts Corp website. I did check with them but no clips listed for the Nambu pistol. I am watching one on eBay but it's $200 plus shipping and thought I might look around for a better price/source.
 

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I'll try to take some better pics of the symbols in natural light tomorrow. I read about modifying the .30-06 cases but since I don't yet have the equipment or skills was hoping to find someone on the forum that might be willing to sell me a few reloaded rounds now. One question, will they start manufacturing new 7.7 rounds again when the current ammo shortage is over or will the only source be reloading?

Also thanks for telling me about the Gun Parts Corp website. I did check with them but no clips listed for the Nambu pistol. I am watching one on eBay but it's $200 plus shipping and thought I might look around for a better price/source.
Japanese magazines are really high.....when guys walked on boats to come home,they had a choice-throw the weapon in the water or the magazine---heard the story many times...I found and paid 995$ for a Jap Type99 Nambu machine gun mag for a good friend that has owned it 40 years and only done single shot until I dredged up that magazine.
 

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I'll try to take some better pics of the symbols in natural light tomorrow. I read about modifying the .30-06 cases but since I don't yet have the equipment or skills was hoping to find someone on the forum that might be willing to sell me a few reloaded rounds now. One question, will they start manufacturing new 7.7 rounds again when the current ammo shortage is over or will the only source be reloading?

Also thanks for telling me about the Gun Parts Corp website. I did check with them but no clips listed for the Nambu pistol. I am watching one on eBay but it's $200 plus shipping and thought I might look around for a better price/source.
Nambu mags have always been very expensive. I went thru sort of what you are in looking for a replacement SKS 10 round military mag. Those used to sell for about $25 - but I watched *bay listings and - WOW!!! - they are pricey now. I bid on a nice one finally and I paid about $75 total for it. Some are going for close to $100 (Lets Go Brandon!). Heck - I only paid $125 for the rifle when I bought it new. I did pay more for a 1954 Russian ($300) but it was a collectible even then.

Sorry to say that you may not do any better than that $200. They aren't making Nambus anymore, and collectors are snatching them up. Back in the 80s many, many people removed those 10 round SKS mags and bought hi-capacity detachable mags - then tossed or stashed the original mags. Now many places are banning any mags with over 10 round capacity, so people are scrambling to get the 10 rounders.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks Firedog for posting that chart! From my interpretation of the markings on my dad's gun, it's a Kokura and the kana symbol is the very first one in blue on the far left, so that would likely make it a 1942 since the serial number is 99,051, one of the last ones in that series. I hope it's not considered one of the "last ditch" models of poor quality as I do plan on shooting it when I can get my hands on some 7.7 ammo. Please let me know if anyone can put me in contact with a reloader that might be willing to help. I'm also going to visit a local gunsmith today in the Atlanta area for assistance.

Also, I took some of the other folks advice on getting a clip for the Nambu and went ahead and dropped the hammer on the $200 magazine from eBay. Appreciate Zant for the info about how soldiers coming back had to either toss the weapon or clip in the ocean, never heard that before.
 

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I think you will be very glad you ordered that magazine for the Nambu. You might want to ask that gunsmith in Atlanta about anyone they know who is into reloading ammunition. That may be the only way for you to obtain any at the moment.

I'd stay away from trying to find any original surplus 7.7 ammo. It will be expensive for one thing - the other is that due to age that ammo will be either hang-fire or misfires. I bought 6 cases of 1935 - 1936 German ball ammo (at a great price), and although it was properly stored about 20% were hang fires from age. The powder was still "fresh" but the primers were unreliable, so I just pulled some of them down and reloaded into modern cases with commercial primers.
 

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One last question for you, is the mum intact or has it been defaced? I didn't see any pictures of it in your pictures.
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks Jim, good info. I did visit the gunsmith this morning and believe it or not they had one box of Norma 7.7 ammo on the shelf! Quite pricy at $95 for 20 rounds but I snapped it up. Tried a couple of rounds in the magazine box and they did feed with a little effort and ejected easily. The bullets are very round on top, I think if they were more pointed they might feed better when hitting the barrel ramp. Will try to shoot a few rounds in the next few days and see how it goes.

Also, the mum has been filed off my dad's rifle. While at the gunsmith this morning they had a couple of Arisaka rifles for sale, one with the mum intact.
 

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The surrendered rifles shoot just as well as the ones taken from dead Japanese soldiers. Sorry to hear about the price of the ammo you just bought - just be sure to save the fired cases. The price goes down every time you recycle them. I gotta hunch there will a new reloader before very long. Lee makes a simple - and cheap - tool to reload ammunition. It is slow, but does produce quite shootable ammo. When Dopey leaves office and we all return to being Americans again, reloading components and ammo will again be available. You just might find shooting that Arisaka and the Nambu very addictive (and great fun).

In case I forgot - welcome to TFF, Tracker - and keep us posted - Jim
 

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Thanks Firedog for posting that chart! From my interpretation of the markings on my dad's gun, it's a Kokura and the kana symbol is the very first one in blue on the far left, so that would likely make it a 1942 since the serial number is 99,051, one of the last ones in that series. I hope it's not considered one of the "last ditch" models of poor quality as I do plan on shooting it when I can get my hands on some 7.7 ammo. Please let me know if anyone can put me in contact with a reloader that might be willing to help. I'm also going to visit a local gunsmith today in the Atlanta area for assistance.

Also, I took some of the other folks advice on getting a clip for the Nambu and went ahead and dropped the hammer on the $200 magazine from eBay. Appreciate Zant for the info about how soldiers coming back had to either toss the weapon or clip in the ocean, never heard that before.
Norma, graf and son are the 2 who I have found ammo. Actually, a little hole in the wall GS in Charlestown NH had 3 boxes a few months ago so I bought some.
As I call this GS a hole in the wall, they have a little of everything in there, I stop every time I drive by, almost went over today I was a couple miles from it but my job lasted to long.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Received the Nambu Type 14 magazine today from an eBay seller named koolstuff1958. Was very impressed with the condition of the magazine and it fit perfectly. Very cool feeling sliding the clip in a wartime gun that's been sitting in a drawer since the war! Now need o find some 8 x 22 ammo. Had planned to shoot the Arisaka this weekend but am now isolating as my granddaughter tested positive for covid today!

BTW the eBay seller above has some cool items for sale, lots of army surplus and other Japanese items.

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Now that you've done the easy part of finding that super-rare WW2 Japanese pistol magazine - now comes the HARD part - finding even more super rare hard-to-find ammunition to fire in it. Unless you just want to fire it once to see what it is like, you will need to either start robbing banks, become a Democrat Politician or learn how to reload your own ammo. If your goal is to only shoot it once, you could buy a couple rounds from a cartridge collector - but they will be OLD, very expensive and may not even fire due to age.

You might start by doing some research on reloading dies. Then a source for brass cases. Midway and Starline are two possible sources. There is another - Buffalo Arms - but they are hit-or-miss as to what they stock. By the time you gather all of this, maybe primers and powder may once again become available.
 

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Thanks, do they produce it as soon as you place a backorder?
They're one of two that I know of, and the other guy is out of business. Like any place that loads obsolete ammo, when they have enough orders to justify a production run, they set up and do it. The more orders/ quantity, the quicker they get to it.
 
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