View Full Version : New Guy with a Type 38
07-29-2011, 10:23 AM
Hi Guys, just wanted to say hi. I was given the rifle below when I was around 13yrs old by my dad. He told me it was brought back from the Pacific by his uncle. I can't verify that because they are all dead now but it's a great rifle. I use to take it deer hunting when I was a teen. I haven't shot it in a while though. The pictures below aren't the best but they show what I have.
07-31-2011, 05:05 AM
OK, it's an Arisaka Type 38. But you knew that. As new, it would have had a sliding sleeve that acted as a protective cover over the bolt and action. However, these were apparently an unloved accessory that in fact acted as a dirt and mud trap, so many Japanese soldiers simply disposed of them in wartime. Or it simply got lost later. The surface of receiver body behind the two vent holes is in very good condition, but in front, around the "mum" (the imperial chrysanthemum symbol) it is sharply pitted. Either it rusted in this area while the bolt cover was still in place, or the mum was deliberately defaced with a pointed object. The daefacement of the mum when the rifles were surrenederd ws so common that it is the usual condition, undamaged mums adding to collector value (but, of ourse, being totally irrelevant for shooting).
It would be useful if you could take some trouble to get a clear photo of the markings on the left hand receiver wall. At present, I can just make out a 6-digit number without any preceding symbol. Such a symbol would indicate the production series of the arsenal where it was made. The symbol for following the number would indicate the arsenal.
However, in this case the negative evidence is helpful. The first 2 million Type 38s were made at Koishikawa Arsenal (Tokyo) from 1906 to 1935, and did not have a series symbol.
So number 173362 (if that is correct, and there is not in fact a weakly stamped 7th digit) would put the date of manufacture right back to 1906-8. A rather early Type 38.
Source books, if you would like to know more:
Honeycutt "Military Rifles of Japan"
McCollum "Japanese Rifles of World War II"
07-31-2011, 07:10 AM
Koishikawa started using the ''S'' barrel proof mark in the late 800,000 sn range according to the information I have and if accurate that would rule out any chance of this rifle having a 6 digit s/n in the 100,000 range. A Koishikawa arsenal T-38 with seven digit s/n in the 1.7 range would have been made around 1930-31 if yearly production numbers were fairly consisient.
07-31-2011, 03:13 PM
Koishikawa started using the ''S'' barrel proof mark in the late 800,000 sn range according to the information I have and if accurate that would rule out any chance of this rifle having a 6 digit s/n in the 100,000 range.
You are quite correct. I did not spot the "S" mark. Where is it?
Ok, got it, so the number must be 173362x.
Thanks for the correction!
08-01-2011, 09:22 AM
Thanks for the info guys. The s/n on the left reads: 1733528 and has the three rings stamped together in a triangle pattern sort of like a 3 leafed clover after the number 8. Then aft of that are what appear to be two Japanese characters but I can't make them out with these old eyes... Also in front of the S on the barrel is a circle with a triangle in it but it's not the same as is stamped aft of the s/n. The chrysanthemum on top of the reciever looks like it may have been punched with a small punch but not very well, but there is some pitting there from rust.
Thanks again for the great info.:thup:
08-01-2011, 06:53 PM
I have what looks like a Type-38 Carbine. It has no Mum and no markings where the Mum should be. It was never there. The front sight has rectangular cutouts on either side. It's all matching and says "35" on everything. There is a Circle with a triangle on it on the rear of the receiver on the top (near where the bolt handle is). There is the same mark on the left side of the barrel just ahead of where it screws into the receiver. The stock is beat to hell, but the metal still has very good bluing and the bore is pretty good (and is rifled).
There are serial numbers > 1923560 with three rings after it in a triangle (12 O'clock, 5 O'clock and 7 O'clock), then a small Japanese character and after that what appears to be an "X". I'm assuming of course all the "35" markings on all the parts correspond to the "35" in the middle of the serial number.
Any Idea what this thing is?
08-01-2011, 08:10 PM
I will be easier to tell what you have if you post some pictures of at least the left side and top of the receiver and one of the whole thing. Whatever it may be, rifle or carbine, with a 7 digit s/n it was most likely made by the Koishikawa (Tokyo) arsenal. Kokura has the same symbol but IIRC all of those were 5 digit s/n's.
08-06-2011, 01:37 PM
Ok, here are the pics.
08-06-2011, 02:18 PM
From the looks of it your gun started out as a rifle made at the Koishikawa Arsenal around 1933 or so. It appears to have been cut down to carbine length at some point as the upper band and rear sight are from a rifle, or else judging by the wrench marks on the barrel it's a put together using rifle and carbine parts. To my knowledge all carbines made by Koishikawa Arsenal were 6 digit s/n's. The #238 on the trigger and the bottom of the receiver is an assembly number,don't know about the ''35''it does't seem to be of Japanese origin. There's a lot of markings on the knox form I've never seen on an Arisaka before, Russian maybe? Someone wot knows more than me will be alone shortly and shed some more light on them, just hang on.
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