Gunboards Forums banner
1 - 4 of 4 Posts

· Administrator
10,478 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
During a catalogueing and relocation of a Battalion Memorial Museum, I came across two Arisaka rifles, one Mummed and marked "38 Shiki" (Type 38) the other Mummed and marked "97 Shiki "(Type 97) Both had side screwed Scope mount bases, the T38 had a standard T38 Bolt handle, the T97 had a lengthened and swept down Bolt handle...also the side mounts were different; the T38 had a Long Mount base, with an enlargement in the middle, the 97 had a short base, with a retaining leaf spring and a front-end opening.

Numbering: the T38 was a Koishikawa made , early style(pre-1923) Long rifle ( "S" and Triangle/circle marks,) and was numbered 2xx on the Scope base mount. ( original rifle number covered).
The T97 was Kokura made, late model long rifle, with 4xxx serial on receiver ring, left side, forward of the Scope base.

NO scopes on either of them, and condition otherwise "grotty". Most Army Museums collections in Australia have been heavily varnished to cut down maintenance from our tropical humidity etc. Both guns definitely Pacific Islands/New Guinea bringbacks...who knows where the scopes went???

Can anybody enlighten me as to when Japan started making "sniper" rifles using standard T38s, rather than the Type-cast T97 rifle with the different bolt handle?

Can't get Photos right now, but I think the descriptions cover the variants.

AV Ballistics.

· Platinum Bullet Member with clusters
2,328 Posts
Doc, you might want to read the Type 97 section of the MROJ copy that I sent you. I've naturally got more info today than in that edition, but that will put your feet on the ground. The T38 sniper had a turned-down bolt handle also. The bolt on your T38 sniper must be a replacement.

· Gold Bullet Member
3,430 Posts
Morning DocAV :

The T-38 sniper rifle was part of a Japanese series of tests done in the early 1930s to see the feasability of adapting a scope onto the Arisaka action. Since the tests involved 200 to 300 rifles, already made Tokyo actions were used to create these snipers.
I have data on 7 reported rifles # 118, 127, 183, 188, 218, 368, 388. The correct scope for these is a Nikko made 4 power and know of 4 issued to rifles 176, 177, 186, & 218.
Since the items you describe are in a museum setting and so accessible to the public, hiding the actual serial numbers as 2xx and 4xxx are really not necessary and no help to our research, even if I had the matching scope to one of those rifles I could do nothing without the full serial number.
These T-38 snipers had a new bolt made with a longer bolt handle, a feature that was carried over into the actual snipers produced by Kokura and Nagoya arsenals. So the rifle you saw has a mismatched regular T-38 bolt in it. Doss White some years back acquired # 218 and it too had a mismatch 38 bolt. It is possible that these Test Type 38 rifles might have been recycled into service as standard rifles later in the war.
The Kokura 97 was the initial production sniper after the Test series, being produced in the 1938-40 appx., does the rifle have a monopod on the forend ?, is it matching ?.
Any additional info you can share will be most appreciated. If for some reason you cannot reveal the serial numbers publicly, but can privately for research purposes you can reach me at :
Victor A. Soto
570 E. Van Koevering St.
Rialto, CA 92376-5236
e-mail : [email protected]

· Administrator
10,478 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
T97 Monopod fixture etc.

Yes,Vic, you have a point, I just wrote the article with-out the detailled Serials at hand. The T97 does have the remains of the "T99 type Monopod" band (no actual Pod.), and the swept bolt is "assembly marked" match to the receiver etc.
The T38 is a mismatched bolt. (Short, straight handle.). I will post the complete numbers for all to see.

Thanks all,
Doc AV
AV Ballistics
Brisbane, Australia.
1 - 4 of 4 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.