Value of Japanese Arisaka rifle?


January 8, 2013, 11:41 PM
I have looked at a rifle that could be for sale, I just need to make an offer.
A concentric circle 6.6mm bolt action long rifle.
I lost my paper upon which I had recorded markings that would indicate the manufacturing arsenal, serial number and series number.

There appeared to be a cleaning rod in the front of the stock.
The stock was not cracked, but had a few dings in it.
There was an attached bayonet, which he said was likely not original.
There was no gouged out or overstamped remarks on the receiver.
The bolt is there.
It has been sitting in a closet for about 30 years.

If: The barrel is rifled, the bore cleans up and looks ok ,the actions of firing-feeding-extraction-safety all function, etc.,
Is $150.00 or $200.00 a reasonable offer for what I have described?
What else should be noted about such a surplus rifle?
Could I make a snap-cap for function testing?

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January 9, 2013, 12:42 AM
Here's a website with all the marking info:

Arisakas tend to go for around $150 to $200, so that's a fair offer. The caliber is 6.5mm Jap. Hornady makes it as part of their metric line.

What should be noted is that if you reload for it, don't be afraid to go nuclear. You'll never blow the receiver. Ever. P.O. Ackley tried and failed.

January 9, 2013, 12:57 AM
I'm not entirely certain but.
1. Jap rifles were Chambered either in 6.5x50 or 7.7x58, none where 6.6, if it did measure out to that then you would probably have to reload using .268 diameter bullets(6.5 carcano) rather than 264(all other 6.5s that I know of).

I know of 3 Japanese Arisakas that were Chambered in 6.5x50. first is the Type 38, I know little of this but believe that they were done in both long and carbine versions with the carbine being more prevalent.

Navy rifle(forget number) but there is one on Gunbroker right now. it was made in Italy rather than Japan and shares a lot in common with both carcanos and Arisakas with the bolt being a very different design from other arisakas but the muzzle and stock looking very japanese.

then there is the type 44 cavalry carbine which I recently acquired. does the rifle you describe have a muzzle and bayonet that looks like either of these?
the bottom is a type 44 while the top is a type 99, chambered in 7.7 but from my very limited understanding the type 38 had similar muzzle/bayonet setup.

January 9, 2013, 01:19 AM
If the bayonet is original (not to the gun, but to the time period, at least) they go for $150 themselves. If it is a modern reproduction, they retail new at around $65 last I checked.

If it has an intact Chrysanthemum emblem, those can go for a bit more, so maybe add $50 or so.

My type 38 is in pretty good condition, ammo is on the expensive side, but they are accurate if well maintained. Mine shoots a laser beam out to a few hundred meters.

The type 38 and the type 99 are more common, and retail in the $150-200 range. Other models are a little more expensive due to their rarity. As a shooter, rather than a collector, it's not a gun I would have sought out to purchase, but as mine has a family history, it is a rarely shot safe queen that will continue to be passed on to family.

January 9, 2013, 09:48 AM
What do you mean by "concentric circle"?

January 9, 2013, 09:48 AM
Another thing to look for is if it still has the original dust cover with it. It was a curved piece of sheet metal that was designed to keep dirt and debris out of the action. It rode on grooves that were cut in the receiver and was retracted everytime the bolt was used to chamber a round. What most Japanese soldiers discovered once they went into actual combat situations however was that the dust cover was cumbersome to use and frequently hung up or became stuck in the less than ideal environments they fought in. Many soldiers simply discarded them so finding an Arisaka with the mum intact and with a dust cover is rather uncommon and adds some extra value to the gun.

Steel Horse Rider
January 9, 2013, 09:51 AM
According to the Arisaka identification website, some were stamped with concentric circles instead of the mum because they were sold, given, or used by other than Imperial Japanese troops so they were not allowed to have a weapon with the sign of the Emporer.

January 9, 2013, 05:39 PM
Looking at the picture provided in post number 3, I would say that it looked like the one on the top. I thank all of you for your responses. On Friday I will visit the gentleman. Perhaps the rifle may find a new home! Pictures to follow.

January 9, 2013, 09:03 PM
Let's wait for the pictures so we can hash this one out.

You mentioned in your earliest post that it was a 6.5, which would make the gun a Type 38, but then you say it looks like the 7.7 Type 99 of tahunua.

Either rifle, if it is indeed a CC rifle, would easily be worth more than 200.
Even without the bayonet.

Mums on the CC rifles are always ground if they were present to begin with. The left and right edges of the mum are often still visible though.

There several theories as to the issue and use of the CC rifles.

Now fetch it up, or give me his number. I'll take it for two sight unseen and you can keep the bayonet!;)

Sounds like a nice find, JT

January 13, 2013, 12:19 AM
It appears that there is no dust cover, but here it is.
Rifle and bayonet both hail from Toyoda Arsenal, I think.

There is no symbol to left of serial number which would indicate the series number. The serial number is below 2,000.
To right of the serial number is the symbol like an upside down numeral eight within a circle, to elaborate: an upper case circle atop a lowercase circle, both of which are within a third circle. That indicates the Toyoda Arsenal I believe.
To right of that is a much smaller stamping of a Japanese symbol that I have yet to cross reference.

January 13, 2013, 01:19 AM
Well, I know exactly poo-diddly about Arisaka rifles, but I'd have given $200 for that in a heartbeat! Even without having a clue what it was. Bayonet came with it too?

January 13, 2013, 01:27 AM
Just make sure it is not a training rifle. Those are not safe to fire.

January 13, 2013, 02:49 AM
That is a nice looking Type 38. And it looks straight.

How about a close shot of the top of the receiver? I'm betting it's got a quality ground mum with traces remaining on the edges and a Mon stamped between the circles and the three.

From the serial number with no series stamp, which is in the correct CC range, it looks like it can only be a CC rifle.
A standard Type 38 with a four digit serial number would not have that front sight and a trainer would not have the two piece stock or that trigger guard assembly.

All known CC rifles were in their own serial number sequence with each manufacturer using their own.

From your description of the arsenal mark, the gun was made at the Chigusa manufacturing plant located in the Nagoya National Arsenal.
3000 CC rifles made there during March of 1942.
They are considered the last of the Type 38 long rifles made at the Nagoya arsenal complex.

The bolt body(with an un-numbered extractor), front band, and magazine floorplate should all match the serial no.s last three numbers. This is a quick and usually reliable way to check the originality of the rifle without completely taking it down.
There should be a small stamp to the right of the arsenal mark that looks like a diamond sitting on the left corner of a rectangular box. Look for that same marking on the wrist area of the stock. It's presence - not always found though - would verify the stock originality.

The bayonet with it's straight quillon would be considered correct for a 38 rifle from that date. No Type 30 bayonets were issued during the war with matching numbers to either the Type 38 or 99.

Looking forward to that photo of the breech top.


January 13, 2013, 11:23 AM
I would have dropped $200 on that in a heartbeat.

If the sale falls through let me know, I'll buy it on my C&R. He can ship it to my house. :)

January 14, 2013, 09:20 PM
Considering whatever he had into it 30+ years ago, he thought I was crazy to offer such a high amount as $200. He was willing to accept it, but it was more than he would have asked. As an added bonus, I also threw in about an hour of my time to perform a simple home repair for him. Him getting a strong value is important to me... he has other "bargaining chips" to redeem in the future!
My photography skills are "developing", so please excuse the photos.

Top of receiver

Serial Number, Arsenal & that little obscure stamp

Detail notes of the above picture

Bayonet, bayonet mount lug, bolt & magazine floorplate

Closeup of the bolt, reads like <18 instead of 918

Bayonet lug

Australian Shepherd herding rifle & bayonet

January 14, 2013, 11:11 PM

January 14, 2013, 11:40 PM
Oh wow.

January 15, 2013, 08:29 AM
Thought it looked straight.
Fake CCs have been applied to ground mum rifles, but that 'obscure little stamp' which is the final inspection stamp, was unique and only used on the Chigusa/Nagoya Concentric Circle Type 38 rifles.
Confirms the originality.
The underside of the barrel and receiver have a sub assembly number which will match the bolt release lever parts. Rear sight parts have their own number.

The 'Mon', which is short for Mon-Bu-Sho - translates as Ministry of Education - indicates where the rifle went.
A lot of collectors feel the CC rifles were made for Japanese Civil use (Post Office, Railroads, and Civil Defense etc.) of which the Ministry of Education was a part of.
The Concentric Circles also mimic the two circles - not zeros - that were added to 'school rifles' serial numbers when they were removed from service and given to the Education ministry.
The fact that most CC rifles are found in pretty good shape and that none have been reported as battlefield pick ups supports this as well.

I can appreciate learned camera skills. I still have good and bad sessions with the macro setting on mine.
Does the breech top look polished/ground in the area where the mum would be?

Maybe look for small inspection stamps on some of the parts and the interior of the stock channel -which is also numbered to the rifles serial - if you yard it apart for cleaning.
Either small concentric circles and/or a 'T' with what look like a slash and backslash coming down off the vertical line on the T. Both of these marks indicate previously rejected parts.

Here is a photograph of the stamp that the Chigusa plant used on their stocks. Found on the underside, usually between the grip and sling swivel.

Your memory was correct about the Toyoda Loom Works bayonet.

If I was walking through a show and saw that for 6 or 7, I'd probably take it. And that's without the bayonet.
Congratulations on a collectible and uncommon Type 38.
Give it a cleaning, get some ammo, and enjoy it,


January 17, 2013, 01:07 PM
that's quite a buy, I would love to get my hands on a rifle like that for those prices. she's seen better day's but considering that it's all parts matching and a fairly rare rifle to begin with and the fact that you payed half of what I did for a not so rare arisaka of my own...I would say you did very nice.

January 17, 2013, 08:29 PM
Thank You to everyone for your input. Having looked at the outside of the stock, I don't notice any deliberate stamp markings, other than a few dents. Having taken off the wooden front top barrel cover, there is two or three stamp markings there. I will post back with pictures when I discover more.
Again, thanks for helping me understand this rifle.

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