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View Full Version : old .410 shotgun & WWII Japanese rifle I.D.



DICKEYBIRD
12-05-2009, 09:28 PM
I mistakenly posted this in the General section first but I'll re-post it here.

Did some Mr. Fixit jobs at my sweet Mom & sister's house today and sis' drug out 2 old firearms that belonged to my father and gave them to me.

The .410 breechloader is marked "Volunteer Arms Co." and the s/n is 756717. The barrel is stamped "Genuine Armory Steel." My dad taught me to shoot it in about 1956. He was (I'm told by family) a talented hunter in the 1920's & 30's but never hunted again after returning from WWII. He let me shoot a half box of shells at coffee cans but wouldn't let me even aim at a bird or a squirrel. War changes people.

He brought the Japanese rifle home with him from the Pacific as a souvenir but it stayed up in the attic as long as I can remember. I used to sneak up there and play with it for hours when I was a kid. Must'a dry-fired a thousand rounds through it. The stock was already broken when he got it. Don't know or want to know the story behind that.

Any of you firearms experts know anything about either of them? I plan to just clean them up and display them.

http://i57.photobucket.com/albums/g227/DBAviation/Rifle-Shotgun.jpg

http://i57.photobucket.com/albums/g227/DBAviation/Shotgun410.jpg

http://i57.photobucket.com/albums/g227/DBAviation/Rifle.jpg

http://i57.photobucket.com/albums/g227/DBAviation/Rifle2.jpg

kurt w
12-05-2009, 10:11 PM
On your shotgun see here
http://www.voy.com/104863/52.html

RetiredFAE
12-06-2009, 03:37 PM
Can't tell for certain from the angle of the photos, but the rifle appears to be a
Japanese Arisaka Type 38, in 6.5mm X 50mm caliber.
It still has the Chrysanthemum on the receiver, which adds to the value by the way, as most were ground off at the end of the war when they were surrendered, by order of the US. The "Mum" was the Emperor's symbol.

The "Type 38" refers to it being introduced in the 38th year of the reign of an Emperor, in this rifles case I believe that was about 1905. They were made up through the end of the war, and were supposed to be a replaced by the Type 99.
Despite what some folks will say, the Arisaka action, which is based on the Mauser action, is one of the strongest bolt actions ever built.
Several companies and gunsmiths of note over the years have tested it "to destruction" , or should I say, they tried to, and failed.

I believe it was Harry Pope, a famous gunsmith and barrel maker, who barreled one with a barrel blank with no bore drilled in it (solid steel bar in other words) and then loaded a proofing round (3x normal pressure load) and fired it.
The threads on the barrel gave way, and the barrel was propelled violently away from the receiver, but the receiver itself and the threads in it were undamaged.

In a lifetime of working on guns I have never had one brought to me that was damaged, all were just looking to be sporterized.
You've got a nice heirloom there, enjoy it, and thanks to your Dad for his service to our country.

mcskipper
12-06-2009, 09:28 PM
The Arisaka could be a 7.7mm so check.
Bullet is .311" Dia.
Loaded properly it is very close to a 30-06

Yankee1
12-06-2009, 09:30 PM
Hi
I have one also with the chrysanthemum on it in very good condition.
I have not fired mine yet. I also have a 6.5 Swedish Mauser which I do fire
it is a very nice caliber. Has a very mild recoil and is accurate.
Yankee1

BigBoy1
12-07-2009, 03:14 PM
Your Japanese rifle was manufactured by the Nagoya Arsenal. It is late war production rifle because of the triangular rear sight and the notched cocking knob. These features were found on the late war rifles produced by Nagoya. The character in front of the serial number, very difficult to read in the photo could indicate that the rifle was made in series 27 or 28, which were at the end of the war. Every 100,000 rifles produced had a new series indicator placed in front of the serial number. The characters under the chrysanthemum are " 3, 8, Type", reading top to bottom. The Type 38 rifle fired the 6.5mm ammunition. On the colletor's market, the rifle would sell in the $150 to $225 range. The broken/repaired with tape stock is a big downer for the price.

dockterj
12-07-2009, 04:30 PM
but on the positive side (value wise) is the sliding dirt cover on the receiver. I'm missing that on my type 99.

DICKEYBIRD
12-08-2009, 09:14 PM
Thanks for all the info gentlemen; it's very much appreciated!:)

My plan is to carefully take it apart for cleaning & oiling and hopefully remove the surface rust in a non-abrasive manner. I found a .pdf download on how to properly take it apart and put it back together.

Obviously I need to study up on how to reduce or remove the rust without ruining the finish that's still on it. My weapons restoring experience is limited to say the least. What say ye on applying a "plaster" of cloth soaked in Evapo-Rust in the rusty areas and letting that work for a couple hours?

The goal for right now is to get it looking as good as possible and put it in a display case.

tdmidget
12-09-2009, 04:44 PM
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
Do not use ANY rust remover products on ANY firearm. It will remove the original finish. The original finish , whatever is lefty of it IS the value of the piece. rub the rust off with steel wool and oil. If the nstock pieces are all there, repair with a VERY good glue job. Missing chips may be filled with epoxy colored with the sanding dust from the stock or similar wood.

packrat
02-24-2010, 09:20 AM
Having the mum and the dust cover is a real plus..type 38 was 6.5 mm and the type 99 was 7.7 mm. I would not do anything to the finish....Japanese collectors would say do not touch finish or turn any screws that are staked...check and see if the # on the dust cover and bolt and receiver match, like BigBoy1 said the stock is the bad news..go to gunboards.com and the Japanese trader you may get lucky and find a type 38 stock, they show up from time to time..good luck packrat1

Al Messer
02-24-2010, 12:48 PM
The gunsmith that tested the Ariska was P.O. Ackley. The existance of the "mum" on the receiver means that the Japanese soldier that carried it was killed in action rather than surrendering and the "mum" were ground off if the weapon was to be surrendered.

recoilless
02-25-2010, 09:27 PM
Dbird:

My grandfather (Lt.jg USN), brought back the same 6.5mm rifle. I can literally smell it thru the screen. Like you, I probably dry fired sveral thousands of rounds,too. Hell I used to just stare at it as a kid!
IIRC, he tied a rope around the rifle somwhere on Saipan and drug it to defeat any booby traps (none turned up).
It sat on a gun rack next to an old sawed off dbl barrel shotgun in the basement of their house in Pittsburgh.

Like I said , memories...enjoy!

RetiredFAE
02-26-2010, 12:08 AM
The gunsmith that tested the Ariska was P.O. Ackley. The existance of the "mum" on the receiver means that the Japanese soldier that carried it was killed in action rather than surrendering and the "mum" were ground off if the weapon was to be surrendered.

You are correct sir in that Pope did the destruction testing on a number of surplus military actions in the 1950's to see which would hold up to various re-chamberings of higher pressure cartridges.

I believe as the story goes, that he loaded a pair of 150 or 160 grain bullets into the barrel just a head of the chamber, then fired a proof round behind it. The barrel bulged at the point of the obstruction, but didn't burst.

The story I remember reading about Pope was that he threaded a solid steel blank, drilled it just far enough to allow it to be chambered, loaded a proof round and fired it.
The barrel departed from the action, the threads on it being stripped off the barrel shank, but the action was undamaged.
I read somewhere that this test by Pope was actually done prior to WWII at the request of the government, but I can't find that reference at the moment, so it may be a figment of my imagination for all I know.

ulav8r
02-26-2010, 12:43 PM
So far as I know, P.O. Ackley was never known as "Pope". I have Ackleys' books and read them years ago. He described his tests of many different actions. The Jap actions were the strongest one tested.

RetiredFAE
02-26-2010, 05:50 PM
So far as I know, P.O. Ackley was never known as "Pope". I have Ackleys' books and read them years ago. He described his tests of many different actions. The Jap actions were the strongest one tested.

Sorry if I confused anyone. Harry M. Pope was a noted gunsmith and barrel maker, completely different individual from Parker Otto Ackley.
Both Pope and Ackley tested actions, and both concluded (independently and at different times) that the Arisaka was the strongest action they had ever run across.

packrat
02-27-2010, 12:17 PM
I see a type 38 series 27 Japanese rifle up for sale on gunboards today for $375.00, stock is good but the MUM is not as good as yours..regards packrat