Arisaka T 38 Help


May 19, 2011, 11:51 PM
Here's what I think I know about it:
Early Tokyo arsenal - no series marking & low SN#
Reassigned as a (real shooting) trainer - circle of circles over mum, "00" prefix later stamped before SN, training stamp between mum & type 38 markings (also... sorry no pics... but "161" and 3 Japanese characters stamped into the stock)
non matching SNs on ANYTHING - which I suppose if in the trainer amory parts would/ could be swapped with great enthusiasm....
I also have the/ a bayonette with the same armory mark - but this mark was reused later at a different armory and bayonettes aren't serialized so I don't think there's any telling for sure?

I think that covers the basics but other than that I'm at a bit of a loss. is there any way to find out more? theres all sorts of little markings here and there but I'm really interested in if there's anything to learn from all the markings underneath the receiver ?!? maybe QC checks? gunsmith IDs?
I get the barrel alignment mark but the rest is such a mystery to me.

If anyone want to gander on a value I'd appreciate that as well

Please feel free to correct me on anything or add info!


Images Here:

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May 20, 2011, 06:44 AM
You seem to have a handle on the 'removed from service' issue. Value is tough to estimate given no photos.

The assembly number on the bottom of the receiver - under the stock - was used to 'match up' some of the parts of the rifle, not the serial number. The rear sight assembly had it's own numbers.

The pic I see is not close enough to make out the inspection stamps behind the Arsenal mark.

Also look to see if there is a small marking on the rear of the bolt release. That is the early test fire stamp location.

Lets see a pic of the stock '161' marking and the characters with it. Some of the schools and training facilities have been identified.

After the move to Kokura in 1933, inspection marking locations on the receiver and stock changed.

The markings under the receiver are indeed inspection stamps for the rifle as well. No picture. While some have been identified, most have not and the info has long been lost or destroyed.

We did bomb the heck out of Tokyo and it's old Arsenal.
And Kokura was the primary target for the plutonium bomb we dropped. Heavy cloud cover that day made the B-29 named 'Bockscar' detour about 100 miles due South to Nagasaki, the back up target, instead.


May 20, 2011, 08:54 PM
mortomr, check here:

That should tell you all you need.

May 21, 2011, 02:55 AM
@ WW -Thanks W Wolf - great site -that's where I got most of my info :)

@ JT - You're a wealth of insight, great point on records/ arsenals being atomized those fateful days, good reminder that I need to check the "if I can't Google it it doesn't exist" thinking at the door sometimes. Original post had a link to a web gallery at the very bottom but a mod gave me some pointers I'll try out here - wish me luck...

##Edit it didn't work out so well...##
Trying again below

May 21, 2011, 02:57 AM
REMOVED - about pictures removed above

May 21, 2011, 09:56 AM

Thanks. Pics are too big for my dial up though. I 'time out' before they load.

Interesting that you mention your bayonet is not numbered.

The vast majority of Type 30 bayonets are numbered on the pommel, although no effort was made to match them to rifles other than the early Type 30 hook safety rifles in the late 1890's and early 1900.

Some of the earliest bayonets are only marked with an 'M' on the pommel without a number. They are considered rare along with the blade numbered variation (also turn of the century manufacture) and those with the throat numbered scabbard.

My brother has high speed and will see him next weekend where I can see the pictures.

Given the three digit 'rack number', chances are yours went to a larger institution. Looking forward to seeing it.


May 21, 2011, 11:06 PM
These are a bit more reasonable:

May 21, 2011, 11:13 PM
I had only remembered seeing the Tokyo arsenal marking and M with the arrow through it on the blade of the bayonet but I just dug it out and lo and behold a serial on the pommel, darn, had me excited there for a minute.

May 22, 2011, 12:33 PM

Thanks for making the pics viewable to a dial up. Here is what I think I know about it from the photos and I stand ready to be corrected.

The markings on the stock are the characters for the arabic 161 stamped below them.

With the rifle standing on it's buttstock you are reading down 'one-six-one' or in Japanese 'ichi-roku-ichi'. Also stated as 'one sixty one' or 'ichi rokujuichi'.

These numbered stocks are normally attributed to 'rack numbers' to help in identifying a soldier's individual rifle out of the barracks racks. I can't recall seeing one with both the Japanese and Arabic though. Kinda neat.

To the right of the Arsenal mark is stamped the second completion mark and to it's right is the first completion mark.

On the rear of the bolt release should be the test fire proof and on the bottom of the stock you should see a proof forward of the sling swivel. That is the accuracy test proof.

If there are any characters stamped into the stock below the swivel, they are indicators of repair work. Given it's age, There might be several.

I do not recognize the prefix mark with the assembly number.

You know the receiver was taken out of service by canceling the mum.

The 'school' mark below the mum translates as 'mon' or 'bun'. It is believed that it's use stems from 'MON-BU-SHO' or 'Ministry of Education'.

Below that is of course 3 - 'SAN' , 8 - 'Pachi' , and Type - 'SHIKI'. The Japanese never refered to the rifles as 'thirty-eight' type. So reading down its 'Mon San Pachi Shiki'.

I included a few pics of my purpose built school rifle made without a mum at all. At least one other (8 numbers away) has been observed like it. Built at the Nagoya complex in their intial 38 production.

The proof on the buttstock (and receiver) are attributed to the Chigusa ( part of the Nagoya Arsenal complex) manufacturing plant Inspection office. Chigusa did most of the rebuild work on Type 38's, so I included the picture for you to see if yours was sent in or not.

Way too long, JT

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