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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello. I’m looking for help identifying a Japanese rifle I inherited from my grandfather. He served in WWII aboard the Missouri and was a Seabee. The story goes that he acquired the rifle in New Guinea during a campaign and brought it back to the states.

I’ve done some preliminary research, however the rifle doesn’t seem to fit readily into any of the Model 38 or 99 identifications I found, there are no markings on the top of the receiver such as the Emperor’s symbol of the chrysantamum and there are no grind marks. There is on the left side of the receiver a serial number (45396) but no emblems to denote location of manufacture, the left side of the butt stock has the number 38 stamped into it, the right side of the butt stock has two Japanese characters stamped inside a box. The bolt has an end knob that looks like it’s either the rising sun emblem or a chrysantamum. Not sure which. On the magazine receiver located on the bottom of the rifle the number 22 and a Japanese character is stamped.

After bore scoping, I noted that there doesn't seem to be any rifling. No lands, no grooves. However, the bore is significantly corroded and pitted. Any remnants of grooves could have been erased over time.

I've included pics of the rifle and markings if that will help. I'd appreciate any insight that you can provide.

Thank you for any help you can provide.

Jim

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Those are nice pics. Better than a lot that we see. I'm leaning toward an Arisaka Type 99 but a lot of the people in here (like Popeye) are much better at rifle identification than I am. Also, welcome to the forum from Arizona.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for the reply. And thanks for the welcome(y)

I just updated my post with info about what my bore scope revealed. I'm wondering if this was a training rifle as those rifles were smooth bore. But that begs the question of what is a training rifle doing in New Guinea? Love a good mystery. :)

Jim
 

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No extractor? No locking lugs on the bolt? Training rifle. There are actually a couple of
videos on YouTube about Arisaka trainers.
How it got to New Guinea? No idea. Maybe someone brought it home as a war trophy.
It has been over 75 years since WWII, lots of ways it could have migrated that direction.
 

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My vote goes for training rifle too. See if the bore has any rifling or if its smooth. Do you have any idea if anyone in your family has ever used it? If it is a training rifle they are not made to shoot and are dangerous if someone does try shooting it. Lots of them were brought back from the war and many were blown up from people trying to shoot them which is how the Arisaka got a bad name for being unsafe when in fact they are probably one of the safest WWII rifles to shoot. I always heard most training rifles came directly from Japan when we occupied it though. GI's couldnt read Japanese which is why they couldn't tell the difference between a real rifle and the trainers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
No extractor? No locking lugs on the bolt? Training rifle. There are actually a couple of
videos on YouTube about Arisaka trainers.
How it got to New Guinea? No idea. Maybe someone brought it home as a war trophy.
It has been over 75 years since WWII, lots of ways it could have migrated that direction.
Hi Bill. Thanks for the feedback and insight. The bolt does have a lug and extractor. I've included photos of same. I'm of the same opinion as you that this is the classic training rifle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
My vote goes for training rifle too. See if the bore has any rifling or if its smooth. Do you have any idea if anyone in your family has ever used it? If it is a training rifle they are not made to shoot and are dangerous if someone does try shooting it. Lots of them were brought back from the war and many were blown up from people trying to shoot them which is how the Arisaka got a bad name for being unsafe when in fact they are probably one of the safest WWII rifles to shoot. I always heard most training rifles came directly from Japan when we occupied it though. GI's couldnt read Japanese which is why they couldn't tell the difference between a real rifle and the trainers.
Thanks for the response. That's my opinion as well, training rifle. I did scope the bore and there is no indication that the rifle had lands and grooves. Although the barrel is severely pitted and corroded (no TLC whatsoever). The rifle will not be fired, and will remain in the family and now with some background about its use and history. And I guess it'll have to remain a mystery as to how it ended up in New Guinea during the middle of the war. Gramps brought it back along with numerous New Guinea artifacts (spears, clubs, etc.). I was with him at a flea market in San Jose, CA when a guy bought the artifacts for $100. No one wanted to buy the rifle, so he gave it to his family. Now I've aquired it. Anyway, thanks again for taking the time to respond. (y)
 

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I would like to pick up a magazine for this rifle to complete it. Any ideas about where I may find one?
The magazine is there but it's missing the floor plate, spring and follower. Those have a fixed magazine. You can check a place called liberty tree collectors, ebay or numrich arms for parts but first you'll have to pin down which rifle it is. To me it doesn't look like a 99 as there are too many differences and i don't know the other models well enough to know without looking at pictures online which i don;t have right now. Also i can't say for sure if all the parts are interchangeable from regular guns to trainer rifles so you'll also have to find that out as well and find out for sure what yours is. Good luck!
 

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Ok so i poked around for a bit. Just some differences in your rifle that i noticed. No groove on the receiver for the dust cover, missing mum, odd/different looking step in the barrel and the bolt cap shape and pattern and rear locking lug on the bolt. I found this rifle which says it's a type 99 and almost matches your rifle except for the bolt cap and can't tell on the locking lug. No mum, weird step in barrel and no dust cover groove. So all i can say is you may have a strange rifle. whether it's a trainer, real gun, valuable or not i can say. Post some more pictures if you can of the entire rifle and of each side of the receiver.
Japanese Arisaka Type 99 Rifle Never Marked with Chrysanthemum, other differences.
 

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Also found some mentions of Chinese copies of Arisaka's but i think they were Type 30 or 38. They also would not have the mum but have a cherry blossom on the stock. Another thing i read is most trainers wont have the mum but will have some Japanese characters in it's spot that translate to trainer rifle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Also found some mentions of Chinese copies of Arisaka's but i think they were Type 30 or 38. They also would not have the mum but have a cherry blossom on the stock. Another thing i read is most trainers wont have the mum but will have some Japanese characters in it's spot that translate to trainer rifle.
Wow! Lot of good information. Thank you.
I've included additional pics of the receiver, side views and top view. Notice that the trigger, receiver and bottom all have the same stamp. A character and the number 22.
I did see the various floor plates and found it odd that the floor plate/trigger guard assembly didn't have a means to attach a floor plate with spring and follower. The link you provided is an awfully close example of the rifle and it appears the bolt cap is the same, but without a rear view pic I can't be certain. All stamps on the rifle appear to be Japanese and not Chinese as depicted in the sideview of the pic in the link you provided. But this is one step closer. Thanks again for your research and time. :)(y)
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Your bolt face picture pretty much confirms it's a trainer (or possibly drill?) rifle.
Yours has one lug on the side. A regular Arisaka has 2 lugs at the front of the
bolt---similar to a Mauser/1903 springfield etc.
View attachment 129965

Interesting short article on training rifles---
Hi Bill. Thanks for the reply and infomation. Most helpful. It's an odd duck that's for certain. But most certainly a training rifle or, as you suggest for drill. Also thought it might have been used for ceremonial purposes.

Thank you again for taking the time and helping me sort this out.

Jim
 
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