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I am interest in buying an Arisaka rifle either the 6.5 or 7.7 cal; but I know the Japanese military issued training versions of these rifles for school kids in both calibers which shot blanks and used a wooden bullet. My question is this: How can one tell the difference in the actual military rifle from the school training rifle? Are there certain markings to give a clue? What should I look for.

I found a couple guys for example at last gun show that had one. One had the 6.5, the other the 7.7 but both confessed they knew nothing at all about the rifles and could not tell me a thing about them, so I hated on gambling and buy the trainer by mistake. Any help is greatly appreciated. Gunboards is my #1 stop for assistance as there are lots of helpful people here and willing to share what they know. I hope this is not a hard question to answer.
 

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Look for a mum or place where mum was removed on the receiver front. Military Arisakas had two piece butt stocks. A few 99 trainers used reject military stocks, these are rare, if you find one buy it.
 

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It boils down to: you got to do your research.
Get some good reference books. Use the internet. Search past posts on the forum. Join Banzai.
In general, you can easily spot a common trainer compared to a Type 99 or Type 38. The problem lies when you come across an uncommon variant and don't recognize arsenal or factory markings. Teaching you what to look for and what to avoid won't happen in a single post or be cooked down to a few simple words to remember. I'd say I took a whole year of participating and reading the forums before I got serious about buying an Arisaka. Even after all that, I ended up PMing one wise individual with questions and pictures before I decided to buy. Don't make any snap purchases, take your time and read up! :)

^^^ Or you can listen to the wise man above. He knows what he's talking about. ^^^^
 

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Generally, trainers had smooth bores and the mums were over struck with circles. (Before anybody flames me, I said "Generally".) If you come across one like this, it's likely a trainer. ...and that's my contribution to your year of research.
 

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Usually, trainers have very low serial numbers 3 or less. Workmanship is crude. The receiver is cast so look for pits in the non machined areas. Like others have said ground mums are a good indication the it's a true service rifle.
 

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Service rifles have "99 Type" or "38 Type" kanji stamped into the receivers, regardless of whether the mum is present or not. Many trainers have manufacturer's trademarks or logos stamped on the receivers.

C/
 
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