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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
New here, looks like some knowledgeable members here so I signed up. Have had quite a few WWII arms over the years but this is my first Araisaka. While in a local gun store I came across a crusty type 99 missing the safety, striker and spring. Bolt was stuck with thick old cosmoline and it looked like it needed a new home. Trigger was stuck as well, didnt budge. It didnt cost much so I brought it home. It looked like it was hanging on a wall for quite a few years, had at least two different colors of house paint roller spots on the top, all exposed metal had light surface rust, a ton of dust in every crevice but the barrel was chrome lined and it looked good.

Once apart it was easy to figure out why the bolt and trigger didnt move, all the cosmoline (or some sort of grease) was dried almost rock hard. Same with some cosmoline at the bottom of the magwell. Heat gun and a lot labor got it all cleaned out.

After cleaning the bolt (non chrome face) I noticed the bolt face has zero wear on the bluing, only a small spot where it hits the mag follower when the mag is empty. Bore has no fouling at all, not a bit of copper on the high spots, looks like a brand new chrome bore. It appears to me that it has never been fired, who knows. Not sure why the cosmoline, there was none on or in the stock. Just the bolt, mag follower and trigger group was coated in it.

Anyhow, from what I have learned so far from the internet its a 6th series Nagoya, 88K serial. All parts that are numbered match, mum is enthusiastically ground off Full stock is nice and I cant find any marks except a large W or M by the recoil lug, has the tall ladder sight, no AA wings, short cleaning rod, front sight guard, ugly stamped rear band w/o monopod lug, cylinder shaped bolt handle, metal buttplate, chrome bore, non chrome bolt.

I know its not worth much, I will probably pay more for the three bolt parts than I did for the whole rifle but thats OK. It cleaned up surprisingly well and will reside in my sons WWII rifle display so it will have a nice home, and it will get fired at least a couple times. Gun store owner gave me 1/2 a box of 7.7 Hornady with it :)

I have seen four different safeties for sale, curious which this would/could have had, I have seen the knurled, what looks like horizontal lines, smooth and blob of weld. Just a guess which is correct would be great :)
 

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Not having a memory (possible factory defect), I consulted Don Voigt's excellent book, "The Japanese Type 99 Arisaka Rifle". It says "a change occurred to the safety knob in the 88,600-88,900 s/n range when the grooved safety, type B, replaced the knurled knob, type A. The grooved safety was used in the transition configuration Type 99 production until the welded safety was adopted".

Your report is another example of why it's important to list the entire serial number for reference purposes. I know it's often the fashion not to report a serial number, I used to do it also, when I first started in 1998. But I have yet to read of someone accusing someone else of having a stolen firearm.

Your rifle is an example of the changes that were occurring during this time period (fourth quarter, 1943). It's another factor of why Japanese rifles are interesting to collect. (There were a lot of changes in four years)

If you have the chance to get a grooved safety, I would get it. If for no other reason than they aren't as common, and would probably be correct for your rifle.

Dean (the other one)

And welcome to the best forum for Japanese firearms on the net! There are many experts including the ones that have written the books (I'm not one of them), that visit here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Understood on the serial number but I dont have the rifle here at the moment, pretty sure its 88,8xx (I remember the three 8's) so I'll keep an eye out for a grooved. All the used bolts I have seen with the cylinder style handle had the smooth or welded safety so I was going in that direction. Shame the original parts werent there, pretty close to the cutoff. Thank you very much for the info.

I am more into USGI stuff, never even thought I'd buy an Arisaka but it looked so bad and for 50.00 I figured if I didnt clean it up I'd find someone who would appreciate it. After doing a day of reading about it is amazing how much these rifles changed in the four years it was in production. It is pretty interesting, I may pick up another now that I know what I'm looking at. It was worth the 50.00 I spent on it just to learn about them, same with my son.
 

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The grooved safety came into play @89,000 but there is no exact cut off serial number. So in reality the early safety would work. If you put a grooved safety on your still going to have a non matching gun. The early safety would be much easier to find IMO.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The grooved safety came into play @89,000 but there is no exact cut off serial number. So in reality the early safety would work. If you put a grooved safety on your still going to have a non matching gun. The early safety would be much easier to find IMO.
You are correct, have not seen any grooved safeties for sale but a few knurled, smoothed and weld blob. I figured those parts would not be expensive but I was wrong lol. Like you said whatever I put in there will not be matching anyways, whatever of the two I run across first at a fair price it will get.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
You did well on the Arisaka. Sounds like a great project for dad and son!

Chuck
Yea, my kid has really latched on to WWII rifles for some odd reason. Every one we buy from a different country is a history lesson, he has about 20 hours into cleaning this one up. Its his first 'untouched in many years' rifle and he did a great job of cleaning it up without removing any patina.
 
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