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7.7 Jap Rifle

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing and Repairs' started by boo586, Jan 3, 2003.

  1. boo586

    boo586 Well-Known Member

    I am going to be getting my father's 7.7 jap rifle that my grandfather brought back from WWII. I think it is one of the earlier production guns with the mum intact, monopod, sling, aircraft elevation sights, cleaning rod, bayonet and 5 original cartridges in a stripper clip. I want to turn this gun into a limited shooter and need to get her looked at by a smith to make sure she is operational order. What should it cost for a smith to look at her and let me know if the gun is in fine working order.

    What can I do to know if the gun is in working order?

    I have seen on the internet that I can buy 7.7 jap brass that was formed from 30-06 brass or .303 Brit brass. Is formed brass any good or should I shuck out the bucks for Norma 7.7 Jap brass? Does anyone here have any experience with reloading for this cartridge? Any help would be much appreciated.

    TFL Alumnus
  2. Mike Irwin

    Mike Irwin Well-Known Member

    I don't know what a look-see will cost you, but shell out the bucks for the Norma ammo.

    If you're looking for a "limited" shooter, by the time all is said and done you'll likely have spent the same amount of money, but a LOT more time, trying to form the ammo from another case.
  3. Penman

    Penman Well-Known Member

    Since the mum is intact, it should have a little more value as a collector's piece, so baby it.
  4. Gewehr98

    Gewehr98 Well-Known Member

    Stay with real 7.7mm Arisaka brass.

    .303 British is rimmed. You'd have to turn down the rim and deepen the extractor groove in the brass with a lathe to get it to work properly, among other problems.

    Lots of folks went with .30-06 brass to feed their 7.7mm Arisaka rifles. Problem is, the brass has to swell a LOT to fill out the 7.7mm chamber dimensions upon firing. Sometimes the .30-06 brass will hold up to this abuse, sometimes it won't.

    Doesn't sound like your particular rifle is gonna get fired every weekend. Get 100 pieces of good Norma brass, they'll last you a lifetime.
  5. clem

    clem Well-Known Member

    Leave the rifle as is, just clean it up. It is worth more because YOU know it's history and I'm sure your grandfather didn't just have it given to him.

    I've got a Walther PPK .32ACP with NAZI markings that my father in law took off of a German during WWII. It will stay as it is for my children to have and pass on.
  6. George Stringer

    George Stringer Active Member

    Boo, I'd think you could plan on $25 or so for checking the headspace and inspecting the rifle overall. George
  7. boo586

    boo586 Well-Known Member

    Thanks everyone!!

    The majority of the shooting that I will probably do with this gun will be downloaded cartridges with lead bullets. I will probably get some of the formed 30-06 brass and use with the downloaded information and get some of the norma brass for some full power stuff, just to have on hand!!

    My grandfather was in the Navy, trained as a torpedo-man, but fortunately for him they ran out of subs by the time he got out of basic in early 1944 from Chicago, Illinois. They ended up stationing him on an island in the Pacific growing food for the troops, as he was a farmer before he became a torpedo-man. I don't know if he saw any fighting. I wish he were still alive to ask him.

    Thanks again,

  8. Jim K

    Jim K Well-Known Member

    Your grandfather seems to have been honest about his contribution to the war effort. The Navy guys got a lot of Japanese war souvenir stuff, mainly because they had a place to stow it. A soldier or marine simply could not carry much and usually had all he could do to tote his own issue gear.
    So the actual battle souvenirs were gotten either as the guys were coming back or were bought by sailors or airmen who could carry them back.

    A lot of the Japanese rifles brought back came out of depots in Japan, where MacArthur allowed the Japanese workers to grind off the seal so the Emperor would not be dishonored by having his "mon" on surrendered weapons.

    Some owners and sellers, eager to claim combat capture, have told stories about Japanese troops filing off the crests before surrendering or the Army/Marines setting up grinding wheels to deface the crest on surrendered guns. All I can say is that they are interesting stories.

  9. Bainx

    Bainx member

    The 7.7 is notoriously a very strong action. I love the peep sight.
    Mine is quite accurate and like you say, an occasional shooter due to the ammo price.
    I always have my fingers crossed that some manufacturer will see fit to make a run of inexpensive 7.7. Dear Lord, I would buy a pallet of it.
  10. Mike Irwin

    Mike Irwin Well-Known Member


    "The 7.7 is notoriously a strong action."

    That needs some additional explanation.

    The DESIGN of the Arisaka action is very very strong, especially the 6.5mm rifle. There's a thread over in the rifle section discussing this.

    However, the 7.7 Arisaka action was apparently slightly modified when it was designed to reduce the amount of steel needed to construct it, but if made to the same quality as most of the 6.5mm Arisakas, that wouldn't be a problem at all.

    The kicker for the 7.7 is, though, that by the time a lot of the 7.7s were made, the war was going VERY badly for the Japanese, and quality of the actions had started to slip drastically.

    Some of the last ditch 7.7s are truly frightening.

    Any 7.7 Arisaka should be checked over by a competent gunsmith before being shot.
  11. Bainx

    Bainx member

    Glad you brought up the variance in quality of the 7.7, Mike.
    I recall seeing photos of the "Last Ditch" model and it was absolutely scary, the crude sights and welds.
  12. silvrtungdevl

    silvrtungdevl New Member

    7.7 jap

    I have a 7.7 jap and love the gun. it is as accurate as can be. love shooting with it. I recently found ammo for it made by Hornady in 150 grain SP and is about 25.00 a box. It shoots just fine in this gun. It is also not as expensive as the ammo from NORMA. Although Norma is superior in quality it is also about 49.00 a box. Also can anyone tell me where I can find the cross bar for the peep sight as mine is missing. Any information will be greatly appreciated.
  13. clem

    clem Well-Known Member

  14. Clemson

    Clemson Well-Known Member

  15. clem

    clem Well-Known Member

    Are these other parts from gunpartscorp defective or bad?
  16. Sunray

    Sunray Well-Known Member

    "...the extractor groove in the brass..." There is no extractor groove on a .303 Brit case. The rim is the extractor groove.
    Midway wants $86.99 per 100 of Norma brass. $19.99 per 20. They appear to be the only game in town. However, you should look into a copy of Cartridge Conversions. It'll tell you everything you need to know to make your own brass. Mind you, for occasional shooting of a rather highly valued milsurp collector's piece, buying 20 from Midway will likely be less expensive in the long run.
  17. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Well-Known Member

    Buffalo Arms lists 7.7 Jap brass from Hornady for $34 a hundred, $.45 each in smaller lots. Only question is whether they actually have any to sell.

    I think if you have one with monopod and anti-aircraft sights that it is an early enough rifle to be of decent quality. My boss had one similar and to calm him we testfired it with a long string the first shot. The gun didn't blow up and the brass looked good so we figured it was OK and it shot fine thereafter for all the Norma he cared to pay for. But we didn't have the Internet to send us off for a gunsmith at the mere sight of a secondhand gun in those days.
  18. Jim K

    Jim K Well-Known Member

    Just for historical interest, there were three Japanese 7.7mm cartridges. The standard rifle cartridge was the 7.7mm rimless, also known as the 7.7x58.

    Then there is the semi-rimmed 7.7mm Type 92 cartridge for use in the Type 92 heavy machinegun, a Hotchkiss copy that used feed strips. Although otherwise identical to the rifle cartridge, it will not work in the Type 99 rifle because the bolt face prevents the larger rim from feeding, and the bolt won't close if hand fed. The rifle round will function in the machinegun, but will malfunction because of the lack of the rim.

    The third 7.7 is the 7.7 Navy, a Japanese copy of the .303 British, used by the Japanese Navy in license-built copies of British Lewis guns. The guns were used as anti-personnel weapons on ships, as aircraft guns on flexible mounts, and by Naval Landing Parties (sometimes erroneously called "Japanese Marines" by Americans) on land.

  19. Clemson

    Clemson Well-Known Member

    Clem: The Numrich parts are fine as far as functionality goes, and if you cannot get an original spring or screw, they are just about the only game in town. The caution was centered around those who collect and wish to keep the rifle "original." I bought a group of parts for a Type 38, and I got an original firing pin spring, and a reproduction cocking knob. In discussions with Japanese weapons collectors, this is pretty much to be expected. I am not always good enough (knowledgeable enough) to tell the difference in the parts. The collectors look for arsenal marks in certain places, etc.

  20. clem

    clem Well-Known Member

    Okay, so just be warned that the part(s) may not be original, if that is your goal in rebuilding a weapon.

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