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Kryptonite member
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Rifle is a 25th series, ground, matching with original grease in the bolt. The stock has been lightly refinished a light tan color and varnished/shellaced on both metal and wood. The blue was removed from all metal surfaces except the striker and the varnish/shellac gave the metal a bronze appearance. Under the shellac/varnish, extending from the butt to immediately behind the rear band is:

"JAPANESE RIFLE CALIBER 31 FROM DISARMED TROOPS OF NAGASAKI JAPAN CITY BLASTED BY THE SECOND ATOMIC BOMB AUG 8 1945. SHORTLY AFTER THIS LAND OF THE RISING SUN SUFFERED A TOTAL ECLIPSE. LETS MAKE SURE SHE NEVER RISES MILITARISTICLY AGAIN!"

The cap. letters, all in red, are 3/4" high and very well done. The rifle without the "history" would be less than $200. The seller thought the metal had been "bronzed" and that figured into the price. When I received the rifle and realized what the metal finish was I informed the seller and his answer was "Pay me what you think is fair."

That puts me in one hell of a bind. The rifle is from an old collection and I don't doubt the authenticity of the "history." But how much does the history add to the value of a $150-$200 rifle? Don't tell me "whatever it's worth to you." I told the seller I would post this on the Board and give him an average of your estimates. Your help with this is appreciated.
 

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That's something anyone at anytime could do to one of these rifles. Worth about $25 to me without supporting documentation, and that's generous from me on a refinished rifle!
 

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I said I wouldn't do this, but since you need a price.

Ground, matching, no metal finish, refinished stock = parts rifle; only part thats good is the bolt and it has no finish. $75 rifle to me.

History? Adogs is right, could be done anywhere anytime; but if you like it $50, so now it is a $125 rifle, IMO.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
You guys are something. One can fake "bring back" papers which many of you lust after(original lost in a fire, but here is a copy.) , or over the years I've been offered many originals that were seperated from their bring-back rifles, etc., stamp "Peleleu, Gene Sledge, Sledgehammer" on a stock, etc. The rifle in question was purchased years ago when an added notation on a stock added no value. I guess it comes down to whether you have an interest in history or just a "pretty" rifle.

Sometime back I posted a question on the value of a rifle brought back from Iwo by Ivan Prall, Banzai member and writer of an article on the last Banzai on Iwo for "WW II Magazine." Ivan was there from the 2nd or 3rd day on, he has an article in this month's B'ZAI on Japanese weapons on Iwo. The rifle had wrench marks on the receiver and a mm bolt. Think the highest est. was $150-$175. I'd been trying to get one of his Iwo rifles for years, he sent home four, sporterized two. He finally sold me the one with wrench marks and the mm bolt, said to send him what I thought it was worth. Before I asked my question I had $350 in mind, that's what I paid despite the low estimates/ideas I received on this Board. Feel like I shorted him.

The Iwo rifle is a long handguard Howa, grenade fragments in the stock which damaged the original bolt so Ivan pulled one from a discarded rifle. A cartridge was partially jammed in the chamber so the barrel was removed on Iwo by an ordnance person. It and my Tarawa rifle are priceless to me, the Tarawa rifle came from the son of the Marine who picked it up as he left the island. Different strokes for different folks, I guess.
 

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I guess it comes down to whether you have an interest in history or just a "pretty" rifle.
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We all like the "pretty rifles" but verifiable history is very nice to have. You can say so & so told you this or that and no matter how much you may believe it, there is always the next guy in line that's a little more skeptical. This affects the VALUE you're looking to determine. Documented bring backs are way cool & the one I recently bought is the first & only one I've ever had. Not a "combat piece" just an after the war pickup at an airbase in occupied Japan.
 

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Dossoronine, I tend to agree with the general sentiment here. Without bringback papers, vet's sworn statements or other evidence (photos etc), any post arsenal addition on a rifle, whether it be a flame thrower looking burn mark, a bullet hole or writings on the stock will only enhance the value to the person who believes in the prominence. If the buyer intends to sell at some later date, the prominence part should be discounted off of the sell value, because it now becomes second-hand info to the next buyer and it becomes a tough sell. But if you really like it and believe in it, you shouldn't care.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The only way a "bring back" paper is worth extra money is if it has the rifles serial number on it or, you can track down the vet who brought it back from the name on the paper as was done with the 38 carbine reported in B'zai a few years back, or there are other circumstances as noted below. Otherwise it could be one of those bring back papers I've been offered at shows. Just as easily put a loose bring back paper with a rifle and raise the price. Without being too far off, when I was one of the few displaying Japanese rifles at Birmingham back in the 80s, early 90s I was probably offered a loose bring back paper at one show in three. Those papers went somewhere!

I bought Bill Taylor's rifle in the ship home box with bring back papers, no rifle number, but the paper was from Yokosuka, had been in a Navy envelope and the rifle has a round Japanese Navy (anchor with a character over the anchor "shaft") nailed to the butt. Rifle is unground, but vet "pretted up" the stock, a.k.a refinished. So guess it's a $100 or so rifle and I paid several hundred too much. My son has three rifles in the ship home box and this will be for his Christmas, no regrets as to what I paid. As I said, different strokes for different folks.

As to the subject of this post, the seller has now offered me the rifle for $150, I think that is too low, will have to come up a price since I can't rely on you "Doubting Thomas's."
 

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As to the subject of this post, the seller has now offered me the rifle for $150, I think that is too low, will have to come up a price since I can't rely on you "Doubting Thomas's."
Rodent, don't blame us that have pissed away our brain cells on better beer than yours! ;)
Also, If you'll talk to me about that Nagoya Long maybe you can feel better about offering more.
 

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The rifles in shipping boxes are a whole other story; bringback papers have some intrinsic value of their own.

If you have made up your mind, why try to convince us? Send the guy $200 and both of you will be happy.
 

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"Rifle is from an old collection". That just means that the markings are old too... doesn't mean they weren't added by the vet's brother-in-law in 1955 when they "spiffed up" the rifle as a favor after the vet let it get rusty in the garage. No provenance, ALWAYS buy the gun. Bullet marks and shrapnel have a forensic aspect that you can ID. Burns? Could have been a house fire as likely as a bunker... unless there is the outline of a hand or something. This one under discussion is a shiny, graffiti covered eyesore with zippo interest to me. That's good news for lots of folks because it means less competition to buy... but guess what? It also means a LOT of folks also won't be interested in chasing it later on if you have to sell it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Okiedokee, You only get cookies if you bring the dried squid that looks like a run-over/stomped frog. None of that ground up, cookie crumb crap you brought last year. Rodent48
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Didn't see the 4-5 posts between Okiedokees and my last. As I said, different strokes...

Last year (?) ran across a decently priced, actually underpriced Type I at a small Tulsa show, tag said from Attu. Several dealers were friendly with the dealer selling the I and I talked to a couple who said he was an "Honest Abe." Talked to him about the I's history (would have purchased for resale without history.) From what he told me I have no doubt it DID come from an anti-aircraft emplacement on Attu. Documentation?, I ain't got no stinking documentation other than the story above which I put in B'zai for future reference for whoever ends up with the rifle when I'm on the brown side of the grass. They, like Ripley, can believe it or not. The I is now with my "Known location" rifles and referenced to the B'zai "article".

But, my fellow collectors, with WW II vets dropping like flys it's worth asking about a rifles history when you buy. History is worth preserving even if it is word of mouth, if it is recorded as such.
 

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Can't say I don't agree Doss... but the rifle in this post with the history of "came from an old collection" is several owners removed from provenance or even second hand contact with original owner.
 

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Didn't see the 4-5 posts between Okiedokees and my last. As I said, different strokes...
But, my fellow collectors, with WW II vets dropping like flys it's worth asking about a rifles history when you buy. History is worth preserving even if it is word of mouth, if it is recorded as such.
You betcha! I do ask every time there seems to be some, any connection to it's "capture". Other than my 20th series Kokura my only other piece with "history" is my Baby Nambu that has it's holster numbered to the pistol, is dated Taisho 3 (1914). The pistol is numbered 1786. It also has a block stamp that reads "Army Infantry Captain Miyake Katsumi". With the amazing help of Teri Bryant, (as well as Shin Nimura, & Edokko), I've learned about this fella's graduation from "Army Officers School" and to learn that he, apparently, survived the war. So much more to know!
 

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Okay Doss-o-ronine, I'll have some "flattened frog" brand dried squid with your name on it at Pheonix. I'll even go one further and bring a bagful where you can have the thrill of finding real dried squids from the dried toads I scraped off my driveway and included in the bag.
 

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IN Seoul you can buy squid right off grill tops on the street. Comes like a bag of fries with all the tentacles sticking out of the top. Half the bag ends up stuck between your teeth!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Tain't Japanese related, guess it is since it kept B'ZAI going, but after Ruth's split with her hubby her sister told her she would have to kiss a lot of frogs before she found her prince.
When she was visiting a castle in Austria there was a flattrened frog (dried) in the parking area. She scooped him into an envelope and sent it to her sis in Houston with a note, "I found the prince, but it was too late." Sis spray painted the lil fellow gold, framed it and sent it back to her at Christmas. Frogs have been a source of merryment within their family since then.

When I decided I was tired of living alone, I looked at the "Partners Wanted" section in one of the B'ham papers. Under "Men seeking Women" there were all types of headings, "Handsome Young Stud," "Trustworthy Male," "Honest and Dependable..."etc. At 61 years young, the "Handsome Stud" just didn't seem to fit. So my ad read something like the following, "ARTHRITIC OLD FROG, 61 years young, retired, home owner, interests include Japanese militaria and Miatas, would like to meet attractive woman is the same age bracket for that one sweet kiss to turn me into an arthritic old prince." I had 42 responses.

Someone at Ruth's office saw the ad, knew about Ruth's family thing with frogs and called her attention to the ad. After two weeks of "should I call or shouldn't I" she did and as Paul H says, "And now you know the rest of the story."

Except, without Ruth, I would have let BANZAI go several years back, and finding someone to take it on and keep it going takes that special person, i.e. FOOL! It's like the albatross around the Ancient Mariner's neck, it has to be mailed once a month, rain or shine, and you plan your month around getting the master completed, printed, folded/stapled and the copies mailed. And Ruth never did get her prince, just asks her, just another frog!
 
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