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I'm sure most Japanese weapons were GI bring backs, but were any others brought in during the post war period like other Milsurps? I don't remember seeing ads for these say from the 60's. Were any ever declared "surplus" from anywhere? I'm also assuming most are not import marked. Thanks in advance.
 

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Some Japanese rifles were imported from China along with the flood of Chinese rifles. I bought a Type 38 with dust cover and ground mum, imported by Century, from Springfield Sporters in November 1992 for $72. I also heard of a few Japanese pistols imported.
 

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I have a pile of old gun magazines from the 1950's that belonged to my Dad-I used to page through them when I was a kid. They are full of ads for WW1 and WW2 rifles, from Germany, Italy, England, and most other places in Europe, but I can't recall ever seeing an ad for Japanese rifles. Based on local gunshows, somehow there are still a lot of Japanese rifles for sale here, so they got here somehow. I find it hard to believe that they were all GI bringbacks.
 

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"I find it hard to believe that they were all GI bringbacks."

Considering the fact that, according to many stories from returning GIs, the rifles were stacked up near the docks, for anyone who wanted one for a souvenir, I would say most of them were GI bring-backs, from all branches of the service.

Dean(the other one)
 

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At the time in WWII, all a soldier needed to do to mail a rifle back to their home address was to wrap the rifle in whatever paper they could come up with, write their home address on the paper, and drop it off with the people who were handling the mail. I am pretty sure that GI's in combat zones didn't even need to come up with postage.

They would ship just about anything. You just need to remember the scene in Band of Brothers where one of the GI's was looking for a box to send silver dinnerware sets home. They would ship ANYTHING.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I have a pile of old gun magazines from the 1950's that belonged to my Dad-I used to page through them when I was a kid. They are full of ads for WW1 and WW2 rifles, from Germany, Italy, England, and most other places in Europe, but I can't recall ever seeing an ad for Japanese rifles. Based on local gunshows, somehow there are still a lot of Japanese rifles for sale here, so they got here somehow. I find it hard to believe that they were all GI bringbacks.

This was my exact experience also.I know as a kid everybody had one from an ex GI. Geladen,and Panzerfaust, I was not aware of the Chinese connection.Thanks.
 

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I have related this information in the past concerning this exact same question.

Some 25+ years ago, I was talking with a WWII vet named Zane Wilson. When he came home from the war in 1946, he started a gun shop on North High street in Columbus, Oh. Some of you old timers might remember his shop was called Zane's Gun Rack.

He told me he couldn't remember the exact year, but knew it was before 1950, that he ordered 2 pallets of Japanese rifles through one of the big importers of that era, Bannerman's, Interarmco? (there were several companies right after the war that brought in all kind of war booty) They were delivered buy truck and the pallets were wrapped in burlap. He said the few rifles I bought from him in the late 1980's were from that same shipment. He said it took him 40 years to sell all those rifles "cause know body wanted that Japanese junk".
 

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Supposedly it is estimated that over 2 million type 99 rifles were made. Roughly 1 million made it back to the USA VIA US veteran souvenir rifles. The Chinese imports came in during the mid to late '80's. A local guy I knew made a large purchase of the Chinese import rifles. I got to see them in his warehouse. Roughly 40-50 rifles in a burlap bundle. He bought them by the pound. He was selling them at shows for 99 bucks each. I would look at them at the shows. Mostly they were type 38 style rifles. It took him quite a few years to get rid of them all. There were no nice ones.
 

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Saw a Carcano once (here?) sent home by a GI with just shipping information on a piece of paper attached to the butt stock.
Can you imagine walking into the post office with that today?

At the time in WWII, all a soldier needed to do to mail a rifle back to their home address was to wrap the rifle in whatever paper they could come up with, write their home address on the paper, and drop it off with the people who were handling the mail. I am pretty sure that GI's in combat zones didn't even need to come up with postage.

They would ship just about anything. You just need to remember the scene in Band of Brothers where one of the GI's was looking for a box to send silver dinnerware sets home. They would ship ANYTHING.
 

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At the time in WWII, all a soldier needed to do to mail a rifle back to their home address was to wrap the rifle in whatever paper they could come up with, write their home address on the paper, and drop it off with the people who were handling the mail. I am pretty sure that GI's in combat zones didn't even need to come up with postage.

They would ship just about anything. You just need to remember the scene in Band of Brothers where one of the GI's was looking for a box to send silver dinnerware sets home. They would ship ANYTHING.
All the cargo ships heading back to the US were empty-no worrys about too much mail, or not enough room for it.
 

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Does anyone know why all the pacific theater soldiers were able to grab a rifle and go, and the european theater had to cut them for a duffel bag?
 

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There were Jap rifles imported in the 1960s by Interams from the following sources:

1) Indonesia

2) Siam/Thailand.

The Siam rifles were identified as coming from that source in the ads, mostly because there was a cut down police version in with the 99s and 38s. The ones from Indonesia were not identified as to the source in the ads.

Some place in my old American rifleman collection form the late 1950s to the end of the import era I have the ads.

My Grandfather was a Seabee and as an old guy (~44) he was sent home in mid August of 1945 from Guam. His rifles were confiscated at San Francisco on or around 20~28 August 1945. My father, who was not all that much into guns seemed to recall that was the policy during the war as a lot of sailors coming back from the pacific had such loot, and it was not allowed in during the war. The sailors were fairly adept at trading food to marines/soldiers for weapons and customs was equally adept at taking them away when they got to port, at least until August of 1945.

Roy Dunlop says in his book "Ordnance Went Up Front" and was with the 1st Cav division when it occupied Toyko Japan in September of 1945 that each man was allowed to take one rifle or pistol back home as a souvenir,starting around that month or shortly after. These were all surrendered arms. He also says when he came back into the US from the middle east in middle-late 43, he was able to smuggle in a number of pistols and actions, but hat he flew back in via South America, so I am not sure how this would apply in the pacific.

A Sailor I knew in the 1988s who had been part of the detail who in 1946/47 was taking war material out to sea to dump it said they all could take a rifle or bayonet prior to dumping, at least the petty officers could. He brought two back, a carbine and a long rifle. I am not sure if he was merchant marine or Navy.

One of the gun dealer I know was given the chest of a Marine officer who came back from the war and it had evidence of several arms in it, including some US arms (stolen) and some trophies. According to the family no one would check the luggage of an officer so they could get away with that. hearsay but I saw the chest.

Also hearsay, but was told by a certain old sheriff that had been in the army of occupation that when they were giving out trophies, at one point they were breaking the firing pins off prior to handing them out. This would have been for the occupation troops that had never fought, as a lot of them were sent out to replace the guys with sufficient points to go home in the late 1945 early 1946 time frame, and returned home again in around 18 months. Sure enough I have seen a few such rifles that had the tips remedied to make them shootable, which tends to back up that story.
 

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The bit about the firing pins being broken off is because there was an order given to deactivate all ordnance to be brought back as trophies. What the order meant was grenades and artillery shells should have their explosives taken out, but some officers took the order to the extreme.

It also wouldn't surprise me that some rifles were imported out of Japan even into the 1950s. The occupation authorities still must have had a sizeable number of them to convert some to .30-06 for the Koreans in the Korean War.
 
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