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It's been awhile since I took the butt plate off. I bought this one at a gun show a couple of years ago and found this old WWII 6.5 round behind the butt plate as shown (I don't know if the picture shows the 3 spokes around the primer but they're there). Nasty looking bullet. Most popular theory is a returning GI used this method to smuggle a round home. Probably the case. I do know the hole is old and was filled with dry rot. The round itself is badly corroded and cleaned up to this condition.


Now let's see if an old non-techie can handle loading a couple of pics:
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I was wondering the same. By the way - good luck with your concealed carry efforts. I spent about 8 years stationed in CA and the politics drove me crazy. BEAUTIFUL state though.
 

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u2Pete, In my humble opinion this cartridge was cached into the stock by it`s original
Japanese military owner with only one purpose in mind,self-extinction.When the war ended
with Japan in 1945,within months of the signing of the peace treaty,my Brooklyn, NY,
neighborhood was teeming with all sorts of Japanese and German arms of all kinds,from
rifles to grenades,and all calibers of ammunition brought home by G.I.`S returning from
overseas.I was only thirteen then,but it was no big deal to go up on the roof and watch
the older 16 year old kids empty a luger or a .45 into the brick firewalls between the
brownstone buildings.Nobody ever complained,but eventually the cops had to get
involved when on the next block one kid lost his hand while playing catch with a Japanese
grenade.One of my uncles fought thru France and Belgium and was trapped in the Bulge
until Gen.Patton came to thier aid.He brought home a nice Luger as a souvenir.Another
relative was on an LST at the wars end, and they were off Japan dumping Japanese small
arms ammo into the sea,but it was cut short by a giant hurricane which cost us at least
10 destroyers and numerous small craft that couldn`t get away fast enough.He brought home all kinds of small caliber shells that were emptied and had them chrome plated for
his mantlepiece.So my point is,why would anyone go out of thier way to smuggle in one
6.5 mm round into a country tired of war and jubilant of victory.The viewpoint at that
time was "who cares?",we won.Years later,that attitude changed with that Texas sniper
massacre.
204 sailor
 

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Hidden ammo

My GUESS is that the American GIs were allowed to bring home the souvenier rifles but were often told no ammo could be brought aboard the ships taking them home. The thought was to prevent accidents. Pretty simple solution. Anyway, I think that the original bring back person wanted one round to make sure he had the caliber correct and/or just wanted an original round to go with his rifle. A simple drilled hole under his buttplate was the answer. My 2 cents anyway.

Frank
 

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Discussion Starter #6
After looking at the two posts I made on this rifle the "GI smuggles one round" theory leads by about 2 to 1 or so. I must say when I took the butt plate off for the first time my feeling was a Japanese troop had cached it for when the ammo was officially gone, the situation hopeless, and our guys were coming up the hill with the flamethrower. When surrender is not an option I think a 6.5 under the chin is a happier compromise than a self inflicted bayonet wound. But I may be guilty of speculative imagination.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Difficult but doable. This is obviously something that would be thought out. I see a couple of things around my room that could push a trigger that's out of reach if that's what you mean?
 

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This reminds me of an Enfield I bought a few years ago.When I peered down the trapdoor hole there was a wad of plaid(kilt?) colored rags stuffed in the hole.Tightly. So I jabbed a long screwdriver down an inch at a time to remove them,thinking I'd find a cleaning kit in there.Then I got a BOOM followed by cloth and wood shards all over me.My wrist was a little sprained,but it drew no blood.The bottom of the butt stock was blown out and the remains of a split open .303 round was impacted into the wood,the bullet itself was mashed into the steel but socket. Real funny Tommy! I guess the bloke was saving a spare round for one last charge.Bet I won't do THAT again....:D
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I'm glad the round I found was clearly visible. Being the curious type I can picture myself doing the same.
 

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ATS76, The Japanese soldier of ww2 had no problem using a 51'' rifle to commit hari-kari
even though by our standards he was of short stature.Pick up a book on "TAWARA",
otherwise known as BETIO ISLAND. You will see photos of what the remaining Japanese
soldiers did and how they did it once it was obvious our Marines had won the battle.

204 sailor

Formerly Charlie Amato on the previous Gunboards
 

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Having a extra round under the butt plate isnt conductive to rapid suicide,you have to take the screws out to get to your "emergency round",not a very likely scenerio.the GI putting it there so he could know what was correct for it makes more sense. Most places the japanese still had ammo when they chose the "honorable path" instead of surrender,no need to horde one round,besides a bayonet or grenade work for suicide if your out of ammo, or just jump out and aim at a GI and he'll solve the problem for you,sort of like "suicide by cop" maybe call it suicide by Marine,much more efficient( and honorable) than setting down and removing the butt plate to do it.JMHO Dave
 

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Here's a thought.
The first time I came home from RVN on extension leave I spent a couple days at the processing center ar Cam Ranh Bay. I hung around with 4 guys from the 9th infantry, I think.
Fast forward 7 months and was at the same center processing out for good.
Ran into the same guys, only three, though. One had an SKS with a bullet crease down the stock, front to rear.
They surprised some NVA very close and one had shot and killed one of the 4 GIs.
He then swung on one of the others who beat him to the punch. The round that killed the NVA went down the stock and hit him in the face.
The GI had the rifle off the guy he killed who had killed his buddy and he also had the round that was in the chamber that was pointed at him.
Could be similar circumstance here, or some kid dicking around in the 50's wit an old junk japrifle. Never know.
 

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ATS76, The Japanese soldier of ww2 had no problem using a 51'' rifle to commit hari-kari even though by our standards he was of short stature.Pick up a book on "TAWARA", otherwise known as BETIO ISLAND. You will see photos of what the remaining Japanese soldiers did and how they did it once it was obvious our Marines had won the battle.

204 sailor

Formerly Charlie Amato on the previous Gunboards
I own a copy of that book you're referencing. IIRC, aren't the rifles shown in the suicide photo(s) T-99 rifles? I could be incorrect, but that's what I seem to recall.

C/
 

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What an excellent find!

The best thing I ever found under a plate was an oiler in a Garand...Not too thrilling..
 

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Seinen, will get back to you on whether they showed type 38`s or type 99`s in the
Tawara pix of dead Japanese troops in their gunpits.Have to go through boxes in my garage
where I stored all my military club books years ago.Also,take into account overall length
of the rifles used doesn`t enter into the activity,only the distance from the muzzle to the
trigger/triggerguard was required to get a "toehold" on things.

charlie(204sailor)
 

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I believe there is no way (= possiblility so remote it's close to nil) that some Japanese soldier would keep one cartridge buried underneath the buttplate to use it as a suicide last bullet. Suicide by placing a rifle muzzle under the chin and pulling the trigger with one's toe happened at the very last rare situation where even a last "Banzai charge" was not possible, and happened most likely at a spontaneous situation, such as in Iwo or Okinawa when the GI's overran the positions so fast there were no other options aside of surrender or kill one self on the spot. There is glory in a "last banzai charge" but no glory in "shooting oneself as a last resort", hence no soldier in his right mind would go through the trouble, way beforehand, to prepare a cartridge underneath a buttplate in case "he gets overrun by the enemy". That cartridge is most likely placed as a hidden good luck charm by a Japanese soldier, or was hidden away by the capturing GI for some reason or another.

Regarding the use of the word "hari-kari", the old samurai ritual of slitting one's stomach as show of taking the ultimate responsibility, is called, "Seppuku" and this word in Kanji can otherwise be read "Hara-kiri" but is never NEVER read that way in true Japanese. Moreover "hari-kari" isn't even spelled correctly of an incorrect word to start with.
 

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Wow, Edokko!!! Ive never saw you testy before. You sound about in the same mood as me this fine frigid morning,do you have to go wrangle horses all day after working all night too???
 

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As a combat vet I can tell you one thing, suicide is a cowardly way out.
I cannot believe a society was so gullible and malleable as the Japanese culture up to that time.
Hiding in a cave or bunker and doing yourself in rather than fight, no matter what the odds is simply unconcieveable.
I have studied military history all my life and did 2 combat tours in RVN.
Lying down and giving your life up like that is simply contrary to human nature.
Blind fanaticism is truly a dismal way of life.
Respect is something that must be earned, and those poor saps failed the test.
 
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