Arisaka Type 99 Find

East of Here
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Arisaka Type 99 Find

Post #1 by East of Here » September 3rd, 2013, 12:42 am

I had a great Labor Day. Mainly due to finding this beauty:

Image

It is an early model, World War 2 Japanese Arisaka Type 99, Nagoya Arsenal series 1, with a serial number under 13000. It was a battlefield pickup (GI bring back) so it has no import marks, and it is just as it was taken/dropped roughly 70 years ago. Best of all, it is mainly complete, only missing the bayonet, the sling and the action cover (which is common, because the cover rattled, so most of the Japanese soldiers took them off and threw them away).

In any event, that weird Greatful Dead looking symbol on the right is the Nagoya Arsenal stamp:

[thumbnail]http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d22/JFK1969/japmanumark_zps2e7275e3.jpg[/thumbnail]

This symbol (I enhanced in red) is the stamp for the first series:

[thumbnail]http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d22/JFK1969/japseriesmark_zpsc4c213c0.jpg[/thumbnail]

Those marks tell the tale for identifying and dating this rifle. It was made in late 1941. Probably shortly before Pearl Harbor.

East of Here
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Re: Arisaka Type 99 Find

Post #2 by East of Here » September 3rd, 2013, 12:48 am

This rifle, being an early model, had all the bells and whistles. This is an attached, folding bipod:

Image

The bipods are often missing on these old rifles. Like the dust covers, they had a tendency to "disappear" in the field. Luckily, this one didn't go missing!

Also, this rifle has the "flowered" bolt knob:

[thumbnail]http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d22/JFK1969/japboltback_zps08bed352.jpg[/thumbnail]

You have to admire the Japanese sense of aesthetic, in that instead of simply checkering the thing for functionality, they also add artistic value to the piece.

East of Here
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Re: Arisaka Type 99 Find

Post #3 by East of Here » September 3rd, 2013, 1:02 am

This rifle also still had its complete anti-aircraft sights! These are often missing, as well:

Image

That'll sure keep those pesky Corsairs and Hellcats at bay! (Not!) But innovative, nonetheless.

And finally, the coup de grace...

As the end of the war neared, the Japanese sensed the end was near. But these rifles all bore the Chrysanthemum, a symbol of the Emperor. Well, the Japanese ground the mum off of most of these rifles, in order to "save face" for the Emperor, in case of surrender. I have also heard, anecdotally, that MacArthur also gave a general order that any captured/trophy weapons had to have the mum ground off before approval for bringing them back. Thus, the vast majority of these rifles had the mum ground off. Only a few (relative to the number produced) survived intact. Nearly all of those were battlefield pickups, because otherwise, the mum would have been destroyed. Well, this bad boy just happens to be one of those intact few:

Image

Needless to say, this will get a light cleaning, but no "restoration". It will be kept "as is". Tomorrow, I will post the strange (and lucky) story that led to this discovery.

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The Oracle
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Re: Arisaka Type 99 Find

Post #4 by The Oracle » September 3rd, 2013, 9:41 am

lovely rifle.... American walnut?.. ?( ...... never seen an anti-aircraft sight

wonder what would differentiate the 2 from the 3 besides the obvious... speed of lateral movement? Distance out?

Number of wings! :lol:


Love stories!!! Give us the story!

East of Here
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Re: Arisaka Type 99 Find

Post #5 by East of Here » September 3rd, 2013, 8:09 pm

The Oracle wrote:lovely rifle.... American walnut?.. ?( ...... never seen an anti-aircraft sight

wonder what would differentiate the 2 from the 3 besides the obvious... speed of lateral movement? Distance out?

Number of wings! :lol:


Love stories!!! Give us the story!


As I understand it, the AA sights are for estimating speed and lead when firing on a moving aircraft. Though, I don't know the exact methodology for using them yet.

In any event, my current collecting project is collecting one of each of the major WW2 powers' bolt action actions. These are:

1.) Russia - Mosin Nagant action
2.) Germany - Mauser action
3.) Britain - Enfield action
4.) U.S. - 1903 Springfield action
5.) Japan - Arisaka action

Yes, there were others, but these were the main players. In any event, I have the Chinese type 53, which is a Mosin Nagant action (though I will also add a full sized Russian Mosin once the wife isn't looking...). I also have a British Enfield No. 5. I have a source for a Mauser (Yugo, not German). And I have a plan to find/obtain a decent 1903. That'll be another thread/project, but I'll save that for another day.

In any event, I was on a gun group on Facebook, and a guy in Wilmington was selling a numbers matching Arisaka type 99 (Nagoya 5th series) with the AA sights and an intact mum. It was missing the bipod and the action cover. And, it is in GREAT cosmetic shape. Too good maybe. It might've been "restored", though this guy bought it years ago, it was not a family heirloom with a documented history. Not that it matters much for my purposes, as I want a "shooter", not a safe queen. But, I suspect that it has been refinished, though it might just be in incredible shape. In any event, on Friday, I sent the guy a message, and expressed interest. I then waited for a response.

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Re: Arisaka Type 99 Find

Post #6 by East of Here » September 3rd, 2013, 9:02 pm

The guy had indicated that he really didn't want to sell it, but he wanted something else, and wanted to sell one before getting another (or something to that effect). But his post set a price (in the ballpark, on the high end, but not unreasonable), or best offer (obo). He also indicated in our first PM exchange that he might be willing to meet in Wilmington on Sunday or Monday to make a deal though he was actually down around the SC border, in Brunswick County. So in my last PM on Saturday afternoon, I told him where I wanted to be pricewise on the rife, and gave a justification for my "counteroffer".

Well, I expected a response, but got nothing else - no response. Then on Sunday, I got no response. By noon, I figured I must've insulted the guy by asking him to travel to meet AND countering his price because at this point, I had heard nothing since 6:00 or so on Saturday, when a deal, or at least a final negotiation had seemed imminent. Sadly, I concluded the deal was probably dead, which is a shame because push come to shove, if the rifle was in as good a shape as advertised, I would probably have given him his asking price. Yes, it was close to "retail" price, but how often does one come by in good shape with an intact mum?

Well, the rifle in the Wilmington area was missing the bipod, and I would also have liked to add a bayonet (original, if possible), so I started looking around for replacement parts. Even if this deal was dead, the odds were that these things (or some combination of them) would be missing on any subsequent rifle that might pop up. Plus, I had anticipated making a deal and riding to Wilmington to buy the rifle on Sunday - and now had nothing better to do. On a whim, I started searching Craigslist for the term "Arisaka", hoping to luck into a bayonet or some random parts/literature/whatever - because Craigslist doesn't allow firearms ads, but will allow parts. In Craigslist Charlotte, I typed in "Arisaka" and hit enter. I could not believe what came up. The first ad heading indicated a whole Type 99 rifle for sale. I figured it must've been welded shut or made inert or be a reproduction/prop gun. I clicked the link, and there it was - a real, unmolested battlefield pickup.

Holy shit...

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Re: Arisaka Type 99 Find

Post #7 by The Oracle » September 4th, 2013, 8:51 am

Great story. I would imagine you did not argue with the Charlotte price.

My experience with Craigslist is similar. Half the time you deal with a seller who sucks at communication or is simply a small time flim-flam type jerk.

I've got a new story...........

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Re: Arisaka Type 99 Find

Post #8 by East of Here » September 4th, 2013, 8:30 pm

The Oracle wrote:Great story. I would imagine you did not argue with the Charlotte price.


Well, that is where it gets fun. I didn't argue with the "Charlotte" price (it was actually more towards Gastonia/Shelby), because it was unquestionably a deal. I e-mailed the person asking if they still had the rifle, and they promptly e-mailed back that they did. The price was so low, that I was NOT gonna negotiate further on money, but I did ask if they could meet me at a slightly closer location, to save me time. Basically, they met me 30 miles closer (Hickory), which cut an hour or so off of my trip, and I paid full price.

So, I got in the car at 2:30 and took off for the western part of the state. And, once I passed Durham, the next 2 and a half hours was like driving through a hurricane/monsoon. Good lord, those were some torrential downpours and some bad thunderstorms. Driving was sketchy as hell. At one point, everybody around me on I-40 just pulled over and stopped off the side of the road, it was THAT bad. But not me, I had a mission and a deadline. The guy was nice enough to drive 30 minutes to meet me for my convenience, I'll be damned if I was gonna keep him waiting.

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Re: Arisaka Type 99 Find

Post #9 by East of Here » September 4th, 2013, 8:52 pm

Finally, I got to the meeting spot, and found the guy. We exchanged pleasantries, and he opened his trunk and pulled out the rifle. The ad had pictures, which made the rifle look very rough (which is to be expected on these old rifles). However, it was immediately apparent that the pictures didn't do the rifle justice. It was clearly in MUCH better shape than the pictures suggested. I tried the action, and it would barely move. I asked him if he had worked the action, and he told me that he hadn't done anything to it, as he did not like guns and didn't know how it worked. He had looked up "Japanese rifle" on the internet, and found out what it was, and that was about it. I looked closely at the action and realized it was very dusty and dry. Not rusty, but clearly it hadn't been played with in a VERY, VERY long time.

Well, you never find a rifle in this good a condition, still covered in 50 years of dust. This is the firearms equivalent of that mythical "barn find" 1960's Corvette. So, I asked him the story on the rifle. Basically, his grandfather fought in the Pacific in World War 2. After he came home from the war, he had all of his old military stuff/souvenirs in a footlocker/trunk in the attic. And apparently, there it stayed. Nobody ever went into it, that they knew of. Well, his grandfather passed away and the footlocker came to him (I think as the only male heir). Well, he opened it up, and inside was (among other things) this rifle. As he indicated before, he has kids, is not into guns, and had no use/desire for it. Basically, he just wanted to get rid of it. In fact, he was just going to carry it to the local pawn shop and sell it there for whatever they would give him for it. But his wife talked him into posting it on Craigslist, and getting a bit more money than the pawn shop would offer.

Luckily, I happened onto his ad by sheer luck, and saved this rifle from being banished to pawn shop hell. And, that night, about 10:00 pm, I got a message from the Wilmington guy, apologizing for the delay, but asking if I was still interested in HIS rifle. OOPS, too late! #-o :point:

Oh, if only the wife would let me...

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Re: Arisaka Type 99 Find

Post #10 by The Oracle » September 5th, 2013, 7:40 am

:D

Dang... great... There's a magic point. We may have discussed this at a Carolina Hurricanes game....

Where you gun collection grows into something which your wife can't keep track of. It's simply another gun you've pulled out of the man closet. Old or new... she can't tell anymore.

Win!

:-bd

Disclaimer: obviously this means you already bought the groceries, all medicines, paid the house bill, fixed the car and all that other shit first. You just don't buy guns and hang deer heads all around the house and forget about the other stuff. And honestly, Lola or Janeybell would probably like to play with those guns if the sex was good afterwards. Who knows. I've met them and they do seem quite capable.

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Re: Arisaka Type 99 Find

Post #11 by Bill Bryan » September 10th, 2013, 7:20 am

That's an awesome beautiful rifle, East. Wow.
"My presidency is entering the fourth quarter. Interesting stuff happens in the fourth quarter."
- President Barack Obama

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Re: Arisaka Type 99 Find

Post #12 by The Oracle » September 10th, 2013, 8:16 am

The word on those rifles by veterans were: They were not very good rifles.

Through the looking glass of time. They were good enough to kill many of our soldiers. And almost undoubtedly, this rifle has killed Allied troops. It will be interesting for you to report the range characteristics.

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Re: Arisaka Type 99 Find

Post #13 by East of Here » September 11th, 2013, 10:12 pm

Foggy wrote:That's an awesome beautiful rifle, East. Wow.


Thanks. I love the historic rifles. It is amazing to imagine the stories this rifle could possibly tell, if it could talk. Just think of the history, horror and tragedy to which this rifle may have born witness. Maybe it was on Iwo Jima. Or at Bataan. Or Bougainville. Or Guadalcanal. Or...

When I fire these old weapons, I often look down the barrel at my target and wonder what (or who) the original "owner" saw when he last looked through those sights.

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Re: Arisaka Type 99 Find

Post #14 by East of Here » September 11th, 2013, 10:41 pm

The Oracle wrote:The word on those rifles by veterans were: They were not very good rifles.


Actually, my "research" on these rifles indicates that they are actually very underrated. Apparently, there was a good bit of propagandistic smearing done on these rifles. History is written by winners, and what have you.

The reality is that the early to mid war production models of these rifles were very good weapons. They are a bit "crude" as compared to the manufacturing quality of early to mid war German K98 Mausers, British Enfields and U.S. 1903 Springfields, to be sure. However, the Arisaka was actually a much stronger receiver than any of the rest. Apparently, it is quite hard to blow one of these rifles up, even if you put the wrong (and oversized) ammunition in them.

As for accuracy, it appears anecdotally that the early to mid production model Arisakas are comparable to Mausers and the average Enfield. Though, the 1903 Springfield is uniformly heralded as the cream of the crop. I asked my gunsmith, a friend who is also a longtime firearms dealer and shooter, and a buddy who shoots 1000 yard matches with a modified 1903 Springfield - what they each thought of these Japanese rifles. They all said the same basic things I turned up online: These rifles are just as good as their historical counterparts, if not better, depending on the man pulling the trigger. But because they are Japanese, and not German (read: "white"), they get the historical shit-shafting treatment.

The Oracle wrote:Through the looking glass of time. They were good enough to kill many of our soldiers. And almost undoubtedly, this rifle has killed Allied troops. It will be interesting for you to report the range characteristics.


Yeah. That was a strange thought to digest way back in the day when I first got into the historical weapons - that this weapon in my hands was used by the enemy, and may have killed on the "wrong" side of history. But truthfully, is that really any worse/different than owning a CMP Garand that probably killed many enemy soldiers who were no more responsible for their eventual place in history than our guys? I don't think so. At their core, I'd guess that the average Japanese soldier, German soldier, British soldier and American soldier were all the same basic creature - with little of the moral blame for their general actions to be laid at their feet. The true right and wrong of it all is more properly laid with their respective governments/leaders.

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Re: Arisaka Type 99 Find

Post #15 by East of Here » September 12th, 2013, 7:59 pm

The Old North State Antique Rifle and Military Antique Show is at the fairgrounds this weekend. I simply must attend. I just need to figure out a plan for getting free of the wife and son for a while. Hopefully, I can get there early on Saturday and beat the rush. The best selection of merchandise tends to be early on that first day (before the masses panic buy the good stuff). However, I've found the best deals are found late on the second day (when the dealer's don't want to carry the leftover shit home again).

Decisions, decisions...

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Re: Arisaka Type 99 Find

Post #16 by John Thomas8 » September 12th, 2013, 8:31 pm

If it's anything like the past half-dozen gun shows at the fairgrounds, you're going to have do your ditching and line standing much earlier than normal.

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Re: Arisaka Type 99 Find

Post #17 by East of Here » September 12th, 2013, 8:45 pm

John Thomas8 wrote:If it's anything like the past half-dozen gun shows at the fairgrounds, you're going to have do your ditching and line standing much earlier than normal.


Probably so. What I am curious about is whether or not the title of the show will be accurate, or whether it will just be rows and rows of newly minted AR-15 manufacturers like the rest tend to be now. In any event, the lucky thing is that I am going to be primarily looking for rather obscure things (Arisaka parts/accessories, 7.7 X 58 Jap ammo, Chinese Type 53 accessories, etc.) which most people will not be interested in. Therefore, I should have the potential to make a score. Unless, that is, it is just row after row of newly minted AR-15 manufacturers...

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Re: Arisaka Type 99 Find

Post #18 by John Thomas8 » September 12th, 2013, 9:03 pm

These shows in the past have tended to be true to their title. There's going to be a subset of modern stuff available, the market is too hot to not allow it. But I've seen a fully functional 1943 M1919 air-cooled machine gun at this show, too. These dealers do charge retail. Not much discounting going on now.

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Re: Arisaka Type 99 Find

Post #19 by East of Here » September 12th, 2013, 9:45 pm

John Thomas8 wrote:These shows in the past have tended to be true to their title. There's going to be a subset of modern stuff available, the market is too hot to not allow it. But I've seen a fully functional 1943 M1919 air-cooled machine gun at this show, too. These dealers do charge retail. Not much discounting going on now.


Well, the antique market was not generally as volatile as the panic prone "tactical" scene. At least it hasn't been to date. But that might be about to change also. Pres. Obama just issued that stupid executive order banning the re-importation of historic US military rifles - which effectively kills the Civilian Marksmanship Program in the not too distant future. The measure does nothing whatsoever to reduce crime, and he is clearly smart enough to know that. This was just a calculated, petty and spiteful maneuver to "punish" the law abiding shooting enthusiasts and collectors for not backing his gun control agenda. What a sorry, petulant prick. But, I digress...

The problem is, this has now started the ripples of panic in the Curio and Relic collector circles. The price of Garands and M1 Carbines will begin to rise at an accelerated rate. They are already going at $800 and up right now in less than average condition. Once the CMP runs out of existing stocks of Garands, prices will go through the roof. Hell, even basic Mosin Nagants are tipping over $180 a pop now. While those dealers charge retail, they don't generally GOUGE like the tactical whoremongers. Their base clientele is generally too sophisticated for them to make a living being grossly overpriced. However, if/when the profiteers sense that prices on C&R weapons are going to spike, they will jump in and destroy the market for everyone.

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Re: Arisaka Type 99 Find

Post #20 by The Oracle » September 13th, 2013, 1:30 pm

which effectively kills the Civilian Marksmanship Program in the not too distant future.


You may be right. However;the CMP reported by e-mail Wednesday otherwise. I deleted my email from them. So I can't paste it here for you.

Those Korean M1 Garands were also reported to be in poor condition. I would hope that there are enough domestic warehouses full of old stock to keep us going. Maybe they'll demil the M1a's?

I wonder how many 1911a1's are left?

I could have obtained a CMP/ range issued M1A a few years back. I think I still could. Maybe we'll just have to get Class 3 firearms license. :mrgreen:


But... on the Ariska. The sight is obsolete. That sight was replaced on the Springfield 03's when they made 03-a3's. As you well know. They were prone to get bumped and bent.

:evil: The Old North State gun show (in days of old) had a lot of people strutting around in Nazi uniform and gear. I don't care for that at all. :crazy:

I'd guess that the average Japanese soldier, German soldier, British soldier and American soldier were all the same basic creature -


I know you don't really believe that. The average Japanese soldier was a maniacal murderous bastard. Their training created monsters. As were the SS troops. The old men I spoke with simply believed their equipment was inferior. And a lot of them used these pick-up weapons in the 50's. The Jap pistol in particular was very poorly made.


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