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T-97 Sniper
arisakadogs Posted - 12/07/2006

Doss mentioned the two T-97 snipers we saw at the Phoenix show this past weekend & how they both had "shiney" barrel finishes. Mine does too, so I took it apart this evening. The barrel does have an assembly number that differs from the one on the receiver. The high quality of the barrel finish caused me to check my Nagoya T-38s & none of them have this quality of bluing. It reminds me of the finish on TK T-99 long rifles. The step of the barrel is Chigusa marked. It doesn't show any sign of being a recent change. Also interesting is the stock. It is milled away from the barrel between the lower band and the front sight and there are numerous slots cut in the bottom along the barrel length. Maybe to lighten the stock to make up for the added weight of the scope & base?? Here's some quick shots.










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mike radford

My late Nagoya T-97 has the same cut outs in the stock and the same theory came to my mind when I noted it. Neither of my Kokura T-97s have the cut out slots, I think there are 9, in their stocks and both have original stocks. Got to say that the Kokuras seem to be of a higher quality.

57v
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BIG ED

Perhaps sniper barrels where made to a higher standard than regular rifle barrels
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arisakadogs

On the barrel thing - I really now wish I'd have recorded the serial numbers of the two at the show. Hopefully Victor saw them. My S/N is 13868, which puts it around 400 units from the end of production. The ones at the show both had the roughly machined receiver, like mine, and had the undrilled monopod style lower bands. If these barrels were changed, that brings up more questions - when, by who & why? Although more nicely finished than the receiver, my barrel has the same spots of rust here & there as the receiver and the bands. If changed, I'd like to know where someone found these Chigusa marked barrels that have a different original finish than any of the other Nagoya T-38s?? Then, too, if done by the Japanese, why don't the numbers match??
It would be helpful if any of you with late Nagoyas could check your barrel finish & see if your numbers match the barrel to the receiver.
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Frappe72

I have a late Nagoya T97 that sounds the same, great shiney finish on the barrel but rough receiver. It was explained to me by Mr. Allen that the barrels were made earlier when the need for war materials was not so pressing and that the receiver was made much later in the war obviously when things were a bit more stressed. I'll take a look though and see of the numbers on the barrel and receiver match but if I remember correctly I think they do.
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mike radford

My Nogoya is 11214. I am near sure the barrel and receiver are reblued and certain the small parts are. The Metal was not heavily re-polished and the receiver is very much rougher in polish than the barrel. My barrel and reciever have a 1 above the number 578 on the bottom of each were they come together. I assume that means they were originally assembled together. The majority of the parts are not numbered, unlike my Kokuras. The stock, handguard, rear band, trigger guard, magazine well, follower and both tangs are not numbered. The bolt handle is number 214 as is the front barrel band(bottom). The safety, firing pin and magazine floor plate are all numbered 959. The rear band has a retainer screw, no drill for monopod and has an open slot on the top. Butt plate is cupped. Sling is dirty white cotton with wire at each sling attachment point. That is about all I can find to tell on this rifle. Mum hit twice with chizel. Vic, feel free to add to you data.

Scope does not match, but is minty, with nice late style green rubberized canvas case as in your text. All the straps are on the case. Tokyo Dai-Ichi Rikugun #9459. Hope this helps.

57v
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JWMWITZ

I checked the bottom of my 29th series Nagoya #1697 and it has an assembly number on both the barrel and receiver #246. The finish on the metal appears to have flaked off it patches, almost like paint.

I have never taken my Nagoya Type 97 (#321) apart because I don't think it ever was apart. So, I can't tell if the early Nagoya Type 97's had assembly numbers on them, but I bet they did. I think too, that the numbers should be matching as they are on my 29th series.

John in Charlotte, NC
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03man

Latest 97 I have is 10,789 it has its original barrel, assembly number same as receiver.

My earlier 97 #2441, had its original assembly number barrel when I got it, though it was cut to 20".
Now it has a mismatched barrel. Could be what happend to others. Bubba had no compunction about butchering a sniper.

03man
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Vicasoto

Afternoon Mr. A-D:
Yes I got the data on the 2 Phoenix rigs, you cannot judge all others with shinny barrels by yours, they may be matching while yours is not, on the other hand a poor firing action may have necessitated a barrel change while test firing and that could explain the different assy. numbers. Nagoya until the mid 5th Sr. 99s had a separate assembly number matching a barrel and receiver to themselves, standard rifles as well as snipers.
Mike :
Thankyou for the information on your 97, it is new info for the files, no issued scope is anywhere near your rifle. By your description the bolt matches as well as the front band, the bolt guts are 959 as well as the floor plate.There are many rifles that came into the country without firing pins or safeties, this was done during the trip home to keep the GIs from firing their souveniers. Floor plates are easy to mix up or loose along the way, nothing wrong with yours. Typical of the later production with the unfinished monopod band, I have seen one rifle in the 11200 range that had the finished monopod band but without any marks on the stock, there are a couple more later ones as well off and on, but the majority (99%) have the unfinished band.
Now regarding the 97 scope Tokyo 1st Arsenal #9459, what is the rifle number above the locking lever ?, if it has the encircled "i" kana before the issue number, then it was issued to a Nagoya 97 rifle and can be 1 to 5 digits long in 5/32 inch numbers. If it doesnot have the kana and it is 1 to 4 digits long in 3/32 numbers it was issued to a Kokura 97, but if there is no issue number then it is an unissued scope.
Vicasoto
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mike radford

Hi Vic, I hope you and Linda are well. Sounds like you are making progress. I had hoped to be in Louisville, are you there?

I was not precise in my data. The number at the locking lever is--series one symbol 9459 and the number at the eye piece is 8115. The only other number is a sideways 4 on the rear of the matting surface. Feel free to share this and the data I will send you on the 2 Kukuras and the other 2 scopes, with Francis Allen.

57v
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Vicasoto

Thank you Mike for sharing the information and clarification on the scope, after looking at my files I was intending to ask for clarification on the scope. I will be most appreciated knowing all about your other two Kokuras, throw all the details you think are relevant no matter how small. I keep index cards on each reported rifle and scope, that way I can cross check for matches, the accumulated information is updated one or more times a year by Linda and we send a copy of every report into Banzai to help them in the publishing of the sniper booklet, copies go out to Fred Honeycutt, Frank Allan, Trey Stancil for their research files.
What you can do if you haven't already done so is to down load from the Banzai website the data reporting sheets on Type 97 snipers, fill those out and send them to Frank.
I do have one additional question that has arisen from Trey's research, please look at the bolt face of your Nagoya bolt, does it have a "semi-chrome face" ?. By that we mean that we have noticed the bolt face has a shiny chrome middle surrounded by blue ring, this appears to have been the first use of chromium to protect the bolt face and firing pin hole from the pitting caused by faulty leaky primers. This same semi-chrome face occurs on the Toyo 99 long rifle bolts, shortly after that the entire bolt face was chromed on all 99s up until the begining of the transition period/
Vicasoto
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mike radford

Vic, I emailed data on the two Kokuras. Did you get it? I will check the Nagoya bolt next time I dig in that sardine can safe.

57v
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arisakadogs
quote:
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Originally posted by Vicasoto

Afternoon Mr. A-D:
Yes I got the data on the 2 Phoenix rigs, you cannot judge all others with shinny barrels by yours, they may be matching while yours is not
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I'm fully aware of that - I'd just like to know if there are others that don't match?
This rifle also has the often seen Nagoya numbering mistake/correction in the serial number. It looks like the second digit '3' was stamped over the number '5'. Can't help but wonder if this had might have had something to do with it.



And what is the deal with the barrel finish? Why are these different than the T-38 barrels that tend to have more of a "flat" blue?
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Vicasoto

Mike Radfor :
I just checked my e-mail address, none from you so far. To be on the safe side I checked the Banzai directory but did not see any info on you. Regardless of membership or not I deal with all folks who are into Japanese snipers and will serve one and all equally. Just to be on the safe side here is my e-mail: [email protected] What has happened is that the Banzai website has not been changed to reflect us going from aol to yahoo, nor for that matter that we moved from San Bernardino to Rialto. Computers are nice but people are constantly changing or else servers come and go, are swallowed by bigger mergers, etc. all sign of the times. If you know who "Frappe 72" is could you have him send me the data on his sniper?, as is I don't know how to start a conversation with all the names and handles I see, guess it will take time to learn all that.
Vicasoto
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Franchi

ADogs, I have T-97 #14142. It has highly polished barrel with roughly machined receiver and mismatched bar/rec assembly numbers. Stock also is like yours with many extra routered out areas in the stock barrel channel and extra wood removed around the rear sight to rear band area. I have enclosed photos for comparison.

Hi Vic, glad too see you are recuperating and getting back into your research.

Gary Franchi


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Stock rear
http://pic50.picturetrail.com/VOL439/2051017/4554207/212017000.jpg

http://pic50.picturetrail.com/VOL439/2051017/4554207/212016994.jpg
.
Stock front
http://pic50.picturetrail.com/VOL439/2051017/4554207/212017004.jpg
.
Reciever/barrel
http://pic50.picturetrail.com/VOL439/2051017/4554207/212016991.jpg
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arisakadogs

Interesting! Thanks for posting!
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mike radford

Vic, I will send the Kokura data again when I get a chance. I spent more than an hour on it the first time. Wish I had notes on the 2 scopes. I would have been longer if I had not used my notes. The Nagoya bolt face is not chrome. I am not a Banzai member. I am more of a sniper collector and 1911 collector, than Japanese collector. I am a bit weak on Japanese stuff.

57v
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