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Discussion Starter #1
Question for ya'll, we know during production of items the serial number range would run to 99999 then a new series would be started. I had always thought that serial number range ran from 1 to 99999 however, I have recently learned that a fellow board member picked up a bayonet with serial number “0.” Personally I have never seen or heard of a rifle, pistol, bayonet and any other Japanese serialized item that has serial number zero “0”. So my questions for the members are, did the serial number range from 0 to 99999 and do any of you have any item (rifle, pistol, bayonet e.g.) that bears the serial number of “0”?
 

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SN range

T 14. Some fellow in CA wrote some type of paper, Master's thesis (?) on Japanese rifles (?) and he had a receiver with a "0" serial number. I have never seen the paper, I corresponded with him once or twice and I was told that a few copies of his paper are/were floating around. Perhaps someone more knowledgable who has read the manuscript or has examined the receiver can add to this. R48
 

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I have read that a 100,000 series was '0' to 99,999; though I have never seen a '0'.

Neither have I seen anything under a three digit number, except for those low single digit T14's.
 

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T 14. Some fellow in CA wrote some type of paper, Master's thesis (?) on Japanese rifles (?) and he had a receiver with a "0" serial number. I have never seen the paper, I corresponded with him once or twice and I was told that a few copies of his paper are/were floating around. R48
Was this the thesis detailing metallurgical properties of Japanese rifle receivers? If so, it was written by a guy named "Doug Sasse." I used to have a copy somewhere, but I'll have to see if I kept it our not.

C/
 

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Seinen, The name sounds familiar. R48
 

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The late Richard Deville had one of the Nambu shop T14s with "0" serial number. There're a half dozen or so of those around, and I think the highest serial number reported to me was still a single digit, like "9" or so. And one T99 with a "0" serial number was reported to me a few years ago. Don't know where the data is now.
 

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Some training rifle companies were also adherents of the practice of starting rifle serialization at the number zero. I have a Kaneyama T-38 training rifle with a single zero as the serial number.

C/
 

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the first production rifle, bayonet etc., is "1" and runs through 99,999. Once the series is added in lieu of the extra digit, the new series starts at "0" (actually 100,000) At least that is how the regulation lays it out, and it may only apply to military production.
 

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Mike,
what is the reference for this regulation?
 

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03man, I think it's in "Separate Volume of Instructions Regarding Regulation and Use of Identification Marks, rev July 3, 1943." I used that IJA publication in putting MROJ together. One of the former ordnance officers retrieved it from JSDF archives for me back in the '70s. I can't get to it right now. My den is torn apart as I remodel this part of the house.
 

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I have read that a 100,000 series was '0' to 99,999; though I have never seen a '0'.

Neither have I seen anything under a three digit number, except for those low single digit T14's.
Ive never saw a "0" either but have saw several rifles with 2 digit and even one digit serial numbers Trey Stancil owns 2 rifles serial number 5 (actually 2 rifles and a trainer I think,tho may be mistaken),and another collection Im familiar with has some low ones as well.
 

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Hi Dave,
Your are correct, I remember a post of the #5 rifles.

Too bad Trey doesn't come here anymore.
 

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Fred nailed it. I am not sure where my copy is(only like a page or so of the manual), and it isn't translated but it lays out the method of serializing and how kana and hirangana are to be used as part of serial numbers.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Fred, I found where you make note of the new series starting with "0" and not "1" some how I missed that in MRoJ fifth edition. And I found a very small note about it in JMCH 1893-1945 by Derby and Brown. Maybe it is just me who missed it. Anyway on that Type-14 that had been reported to you as having serial "0" I would love to see it to check inspection marks and such. Any idea which series it was or where it might be today? Our fellow collector who picked up the bayonet with serial number “0” is having access problems with the new system but I’m sure once he gains access he will jump in. Hopefully he will post a photo of his new find.
 

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T14, I remember reading the IJA ordnance directive back in the '70s and noting the requirement to number series from 0-99999, etc. I thought it had to be a misprint or meant to be interpreted as numerals between 0-99999. At the same time I could not understand turning out a series of 99,999 rifles. Nobody but nobody serialized a rifle with a "0." Then when one showed up I felt pretty stupid, and it caused me a lot of extra work revising the book to correct something I'd already been told about. That's probably the only time I took exception with provided data. Actually, use of the numeral
"0" to round the series out to 100,000 examples is pretty clever.

The disposal of Richard's collection is a pretty sad story. I really shouldn't say anything. Richard's wife called me about it, and I encouraged her to honor Richard's wishes to not do anything for a year or so, but she had people beating the door down to get it and just let it go. This I was told second hand and really never heard another word from her about it. So where that stuff is I aint got a clue. Man, Richard had quality everything. He kept coming up to the house with items to tease me with. I reckon there was no other collection of the type he had of the same quantity and quality. It was just awesome.
 

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Hey fellows :
Testing, testing 1, 2, 3, I just posted an answer ok, so figured I try again giving you the rest of the story and the darn system dropped me out and so my answer is in cyber space for the second time today. Vic Thomas HELP !!!!!!, the darn thing hates me .
Vicasoto
 

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Victor,
that post seemed to work ok. Maybe it is you or your computer. Login has been the hard part of using these boards.

If you can be more specific with your experience it would help.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Well can you guys guess who found bayonet #0 and has had no end of trouble trying to get onto the new boards? ;-)
 

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Sorry fellows must do this !!!
Ok Vic T second try ok so far, am going to try and send ananswer on my 3rd try in a minute. Thanks.
Vicasoto
 
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