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Found this number "44" on the heel of my type 24 Hanyang rifle. The rifle is 100 percent matching and the sn is an1072
Anyone have any idea what this 44 could mean? Potentially production year? Unfortunately the receiver marking is too worn for me to tell the production year so I can't confirm/deny it that way.
3777633
 

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Usually a number like that in that location on the stock is a rack number. Here is a 37 on the stock of a Brazilian M1907.

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I would say rack number would be the best assumption as well. I have a hanyang stamped nearly identical to yours on the side of the buttstock, except the number is in the 6,000,000 range. I'm not sure what that number means, but I do have a hard time imagining a rack of 6 million rifles. If I could imagine it, I'd wish it was mine! A double, triple, or even quadrouple digit number is what I would expect to be a rack number. Hopefully somebody will come along with something better than a guess
 

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I would say rack number would be the best assumption as well. I have a hanyang stamped nearly identical to yours on the side of the buttstock, except the number is in the 6,000,000 range. I'm not sure what that number means, but I do have a hard time imagining a rack of 6 million rifles. If I could imagine it, I'd wish it was mine! A double, triple, or even quadrouple digit number is what I would expect to be a rack number. Hopefully somebody will come along with something better than a guess
I would say that the 50056 was a later militia number.
 

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What’s rack number? Need an education. Thanks.
I spent 26 months at Phan Rang AB in Vietnam assigned to the ALCE (Airlift Control Element). I also spent a month at Hue-Phu Bai ALCE during Tet 68. At Hue we kept our M-16 rifles with us at all times, mine being signed out to me with a record back at Phan Rang.

At Phan Rang, our rifles were kept in a locked conex at the barracks and on an open wooden rack at the ALCE. Pistols were in an unlocked locker at the ALCE. I was assigned as Weapons Control NCO and would sign out rifles and pistols to those who wanted a weapon when they flew somewhere. I also took people to the range every 6 months to requalify. On the hand receipt, I used the serial number rather than a rack number. If I had wanted to, I could have put two-digit rack numbers on all the weapons. That would just make it easier to see the numbers and to sign them in and out using fewer digits. It would make sense to have rack numbers if they were being signed out at greater frequency. Of course, there would have to be a master list saying which serial numbers were assigned which rack numbers.

When needed under threat, the rifles on the rack at the ALCE could just be temporarily taken from the rack without signing them out. The barracks location was the same for emergencies but you had to first find the guy who had the key to the conex. He would be the honcho for the barracks, not connected to the ALCE.

I always took a rifle with me when I flew somewhere. The only time I took a pistol instead was when I went on a week in-country R&R at Nha Trang. I only recall one time I pulled a rifle from the rack at Phan Rang, thinking that I might use it. That was when VC sappers penetrated the perimeter one night. It was more common to take a rifle from the rack to take photos, like the one below. That was my personal rifle, as Weapons Control NCO I could do that. I put the OD duct tape on the rifle while at Hue.

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I spent 26 months at Phan Rang AB in Vietnam assigned to the ALCE (Airlift Control Element). I also spent a month at Hue-Phu Bai ALCE during Tet 68. At Hue we kept our M-16 rifles with us at all times, mine being signed out to me with a record back at Phan Rang.

At Phan Rang, our rifles were kept in a locked conex at the barracks and on an open wooden rack at the ALCE. Pistols were in an unlocked locker at the ALCE. I was assigned as Weapons Control NCO and would sign out rifles and pistols to those who wanted a weapon when they flew somewhere. I also took people to the range every 6 months to requalify. On the hand receipt, I used the serial number rather than a rack number. If I had wanted to, I could have put two-digit rack numbers on all the weapons. That would just make it easier to see the numbers and to sign them in and out using fewer digits. It would make sense to have rack numbers if they were being signed out at greater frequency. Of course, there would have to be a master list saying which serial numbers were assigned which rack numbers.

When needed under threat, the rifles on the rack at the ALCE could just be temporarily taken from the rack without signing them out. The barracks location was the same for emergencies but you had to first find the guy who had the key to the conex. He would be the honcho for the barracks, not connected to the ALCE.

I always took a rifle with me when I flew somewhere. The only time I took a pistol instead was when I went on a week in-country R&R at Nha Trang. I only recall one time I pulled a rifle from the rack at Phan Rang, thinking that I might use it. That was when VC sappers penetrated the perimeter one night. It was more common to take a rifle from the rack to take photos, like the one below. That was my personal rifle, as Weapons Control NCO I could do that. I put the OD duct tape on the rifle while at Hue.

View attachment 3777824
Thank you for sharing this!

Speaking of rack number, I saw some Mukden Type 13 has a 1 or 2-digit number under the wrist, that's probable a rack number as well?
 

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Thank you for sharing this!

Speaking of rack number, I saw some Mukden Type 13 has a 1 or 2-digit number under the wrist, that's probable a rack number as well?
Probably so. My Type 13 does not have a rack number. As a general rule, you would not see rack numbers on infantry weapons as they were permanently issued to individuals. It would be the specialty troops who would leave them on a rack until needed. I suppose also in a barracks situation you could have all the individually issued rifles kept on a common rack - then the rack numbers could be used to quickly identify your personal weapon by the highly visible rack number.
 

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Thinking about telling tales about rifles in Vietnam, I also bought an early M-1 carbine from an Army troop who had captured it from the VC. It was made by Winchester, with no bayonet lug and the early flip-flop rear sight. I could not legally take it back to the world because it was US manufacture. I also bought 30 round mags and ammo from a Vietnamese Army interpreter. I bought that because we were restricted from taking rifles off base at Phan Rang (except when flying).

I had a Honda 90 motorcycle which was USAF licensed for on base and Vietnamese licensed for off base use. I also rented a small one room apartment in the local town of Thap Cham. When not on duty I was usually off base. Normal duty hours were 8 hours per day, 6 days a week. The ALCE operated 24/7, day, swing, and mid shifts of 8 hours each. The reason I bought the M-1 was for personal protection downtown. The closest I came to using it was when the VC hit the police station on the corner, not far away. I was laying on the floor with the carbine but the bad guys did not come my way. I brought the M-1 downtown in pieces in the tripod case for my camera (on the Honda).

Phan Rang ALCE was awarded a captured NVA Chinese Type 56 assault rifle (AK-47). It was mounted on the wall with a brass plaque from the 101st Airborne Div. for recognition of our support. After the first year, we moved to a new building on the opposite side of the runway. The Type 56 did not go on the wall in the new building, instead I put it in the locker with the pistols. I really wanted to bring both the M-1 and Type 56 back but eventually decided not to, since I chose not to take the risk of going to jail. Many years later a friend found a captured VC Chinese Type 56 carbine (M1944) in a closet in an empty apartment. He gave that to me, so that is my 'war souvenir', along with my helmet cover, some pieces of 107mm and 122mm rockets, and a Chinese Type 56 (AK47) magazine. I also still have my jungle boots, which fit, and my jungle fatigues, which don't.
 
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