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Why do people who advertise selling these rifles always seem to state how rare they are?? I see them all over the place and just wondering if that's a sales pitch or if they are truly a rare rifle. I have 5 Japanese rifles (not last ditch) but still learing alot and sorry about my lack of knowledge on the subject. Any experts out there?

Thanks in advance, Eric
 

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On the same subject...well, sort of. Why were so many Japanese rifles "sporterized"?? What a downright shame to ruin such a fine historical rifle! They would have been better off tossing them in the ocean...I cringe every time I see a "sporterized" example...

-Eric
 

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Why were so many Japanese rifles "sporterized"?? What a downright shame to ruin such a fine historical rifle! -Eric
Because at the time the majority were sporterized (50s, 60's and early 70s), they were not recognized as "fine historical rifles", only as starting points for something ostensibly more useful.

C/
 

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Kind of like "Black Widow" Lugers.
Back in the 70s or so when original lugers were still common and reasonable, the byf 41s with black finish, grips and plastic mag bottoms were considered uninteresting, crude, and languished on dealer's racks.
Some say Shattuck coined the phrase as a selling point and today they are hot items.
Last ditch or late war Arisakas are interesting and true variations.
As prices continue to rise on all original unmolested pieces, these are comig into focus.
Especially the price of late bayonets.
Kind of funny how you can never convince the youngsters how low on the totem pole Japanese items were until relatively recently.
I think mosins were the only ones considered worse as hardly any of them were sporterised.
I enjoyed the milsurp heydey of the 60s when you went to shows and there were literally heaps of anything you wanted for 10-30 bucks.
A good one was the piles of G/K 43s they couldn't get a hundred for.
 

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Eric,

Some per-se "last ditch" examples are rare or scarce depending on the variation, but by and large, what the seller maitains as "rare last ditch" are as you say nothing but a common transitional Type 99 rifle. To spot out the real rare or scarce out of the chaff is the fun of the hunt !
 

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Why do people who advertise selling these rifles always seem to state how rare they are?? I see them all over the place and just wondering if that's a sales pitch or if they are truly a rare rifle.Thanks in advance, Eric
It depends on the series of T-99 rifle. Some (9th, late 11th, 12th, and 45th Series, for example) are seldom encountered.

C/
 

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7.00 would get you 3-4 full paper bags of groceries back then
 

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A lot of what is being said in respect to the rifles can also be said for the Nambu pistols as well. Seems that some folks think that just because a Type-14 has slab girps or that a Type-94 is has a square back cocking knob they are last ditch. To some any thing with a 20 date are last ditch as well. Sure wish I could find a nice type-14 today at 1960 prices, in fact I'd settle for 1970 prices.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks guys for the interesting comments. I remember seeing and reading about the so called "last ditch" rifles as a kid who often frequented gun shows. Wish I would have grabbed them back then but had limited funds at that time...

Thanks again, Eric
 

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Hello Eric :
It is funny how certain phrases become catchy or else define a whole era. There were much cruder German made "last ditch" arms, yet they are always called VG 1s & 98s, as Mike said the "black widows" were considered crude stuff. Now 40 years later some of these arms command very high prices and are considered desirable arms. Those late German rifles are all in the thousands of Dollars and there are more collectors than rifles.
The late / substitute / simplified / last ditch manufacture of Type 99 rifles consists of over a half million rifles by all the Arsenals and sub-contractors. There is a variety of variations by markings, parts usage and other features that makes for tremendous variety for the savvy collector.
In a way it has been a benefit that these rifles have been so degraded in the market place, it has kept them priced quite reasonable all these years, you still find them in the 100 to 150 Dollar range. Since most sellers are not aware of the real gems one is still able to find gems among the sows.
When you think about it most WW 2 rifles went through a simplification / cheapening process to increase production in all countries, examples abound : 03-A3, No. 4 *, K-43, Krieg K-98. They were not unsafe by any means, all the frills, metal quality and finish were lowered to decrease the unit cost and the man hours spent making a rifle.
Other examples of cheaper production in the same vein are the MG-42, MP-40, the US Grease Gun, Britain's Sten.
Vicasoto
 

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I remember seeing and reading about the so called "last ditch" rifles as a kid who often frequented gun shows. Wish I would have grabbed them back then but had limited funds at that time...Thanks again, Eric
When I was a kid back in the early 60s, our local K-Mart had pickle barrels containing Japanese T-38 and 99 rifles for $4 each. Bayonets were in another barrel - $1 each. Sears had similar deals, if I recall correctly.

C/
 

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Vic, I think you can add the Type-100 to your list as well, but I sure wish I had one.
 

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When I was a kid back in the early 60s, our local K-Mart had pickle barrels containing Japanese T-38 and 99 rifles for $4 each. Bayonets were in another barrel - $1 each. Sears had similar deals, if I recall correctly.

C/
Wow has K-Mart sure gone downhill since. They won't even put out lead fishing weights anymore.
 

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Probably a liability thing :) .
"My duaghter cant play pee wee lacross for 13 months because she ate a handfull of your hurtfull lead sinkers. I'm therefore entitled to my very own K-mart."
 

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I remember the racks /bins of surplus arms at the local gambles store. Half the "kids" around here had a enfeild as a deer rifle,think they sold for $19 with a sling and bayonet,$5 would buy more ammo than you could shoot up in a lifetime of hunting..of course back then you could walk into the gas station and buy 5 shotguns shells loose if you couldnt afford the $2-3 for a full box.One of my early arms purchases was 3 gew 98's from the back of some magizine, set of 3 differnt ones for $69 as I recall, they couldnt give long gews away hardly,only thing anyone wanted was "genuine nazi K98's". stuff like dutch mannlichers and those itty bitty swedes (the M94 maybe) were almost given away (some outfits sold them ,you bought a hundred rounds or so of ammo and they gave you the rifle) If only a guy had known then. who'd have thought we'd see this stuff reach the prices it does today.
 
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