Please help me ID this Japanese rifle!


February 6, 2011, 06:52 PM
I've been a long-time lurker on this site, and I've found it invaluable for all things gun. This is my first post, and I'm trying to ID a rifle.

This rifle was owned my an uncle I never met -- he was killed in Vietnam. My grandmother recently passed away and the family has been cleaning out the house. Among other guns (all of which are relatively easily identified), we found this Japanese-made rifle.

The only real markings on it are on top. I've included pics from the top and both sides. The serial number is 53256.

Does anyone know what this is? What kind of ammo does it take? Is there anything special about it?

Thanks in advance!


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February 6, 2011, 07:00 PM
That's a Type 99 Arisaka, the standard Japanese infantry rifle of WWII. It originally had a full-length wood stock, which has been cut down. It was made to fire 7.7 Japanese ammo, but it is possible that it was rebarrelled or rechambered at some point - no way to tell for sure from your photos.

The circular stamp on top of the receiver is a chrysanthemum, the equivalent of a Japanese royal crest. Guns surrendered at the end of the war has the stamp defaced or ground away to save face for the Emperor, so your was brought back less officially. That intact stamp is a nice thing, but the cut down stock pretty much wipes out the collector value (and it's not uncommon on bring-back guns).

BTW, that's an American military sling on it.

February 6, 2011, 09:31 PM
You might also check gunboards dot com as there are a bunch of Japanese military firearms guys there. Several real experts that frequent that board. I think Fred Honeycutt used to post there.

Some pics that would help an Arisasaka collector would be close up of rear sight from the top and side, cocking knob from the rear, markings next to the serial number. Also buttplate if it had a wooden plate, but yours does not look to be "last ditch".

February 7, 2011, 11:35 AM
Actually pretty nice for a quick "Sporter" job. It should clean up and oil well. They are usually pretty good shooters. You'll need to have a smith look at it if it's been tamper with? Obviously cut down stock, but what else has been done?

If it's still 7.7 JAP, you can get ammo (when available) from Graf & Son and Able Ammo. I just shot Pops "bring-back" after cleaning it. Decent rifle and actually pretty well thought out :)

Looks like it still has the battle sight. They were zero'd for 300 yds, so your sight picture will be at the base of the target circle and the pattern will be high on the bull at 100 yds.

February 7, 2011, 12:34 PM (

I didn't take care of this over the years--good bore --lots of rust on exterior.

February 7, 2011, 08:17 PM
thanks all for the replies! i'll post up some more pics when my wife brings the camera home. thanks for listing the important items, lathe. it has a metal butt plate.

February 7, 2011, 10:56 PM
That's a decent lasting memento of your family's lost Hero. A little oil and TLC will make it whole again, or at least a wonderful example of an Arisaka with a MUM.


February 7, 2011, 11:34 PM
With the oval bolt knob, it is more likely a type 38, the six point five but I can't tell for sure about the it oval, or is it barrel shaped with rounded ends?

February 7, 2011, 11:42 PM
Here's what it would look like if in it's original configuration.
PapaG, you can see that the 99 has an oval bolt handle also.

February 8, 2011, 07:19 AM
You can tell that it is a Type 99 because it says "9 9 Type" on the top of the receiver. :)

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