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Technically, the Naval-marked training rifle, serial number 18572, is a Type 99 long Naval training rifle, given it has a single gas port and the typical Type 99 long front end. As for numbers, I've recorded information on 82 examples of this particular Naval trainer, which spans the serial number range from 13,078 to 19,542.

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
OK, I am back on track. The store has one naval training rifle, which you indicate is paid for, one 6.5 mm Type 38 Infantry Rifle that was seconded to the Ministry of Education, and two late 7.7 mm Type 99 Short Rifles. I refer to the Type 99 Rifles as late as neither of them have type markings as far as I can tell. We will now go back to our regular programming.
Here's the Serial Number and Receiver on the other Type 38 Rifle. It's harder to make in the image but it's marked as 0029613 and we did a barrel check and can't tell if it's rifled

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
I also have images on the two Short Type 99s here the first appears to be a T99 with no ladder sight and no cleaning rod hole up front and the second appears to be a earlier T99
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OK, I am back on track. The store has one naval training rifle, which you indicate is paid for, one 6.5 mm Type 38 Infantry Rifle that was seconded to the Ministry of Education, and two late 7.7 mm Type 99 Short Rifles. I refer to the Type 99 Rifles as late as neither of them have type markings as far as I can tell. We will now go back to our regular programming.
Cherry blossom anchor stamped Japanese naval training rifle #15969 has a one-piece stock and is a smooth bore. The root on the bolt is blank. The stamp on the left side is the special naval characters meaning (For Education) or for training. This interesting training bayonet came with the rifle when I purchased it 35 years ago. Note the anchor proof mark stamped into the stock. With the high number 18572, one would think the Japanese company produced at least that many of them. During the occupied period of Japan, most arsenal rifles took an ocean voyage (straight down). They loaded them on barges and dumped them into the sea.
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
Cherry blossom anchor stamped Japanese naval training rifle #15969 has a one-piece stock and is a smooth bore. The root on the bolt is blank. The stamp on the left side is the special naval characters meaning (For Education) or for training. This interesting training bayonet came with the rifle when I purchased it 35 years ago. Note the anchor proof mark stamped into the stock. With the high number 18572, one would think the Japanese company produced at least that many of them. During the occupied period of Japan, most arsenal rifles took an ocean voyage (straight down). They loaded them on barges and dumped them into the sea.
How many of these made it overseas generally? and how much more rare are they when compared to other rifles
 

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How many of these made it overseas generally? and how much more rare are they when compared to other rifles
If by "made it overseas", you mean were postwar GI bring-backs, they aren't really rare by any means. At least four private companies made Naval trainers, including Heirnkan, Izawa, Hasegawa, etc. All makers had their own methods of serializing components and receiver anchor types.

I'm fairly certain the trainer you observed, serial number 18,572, was made by Izawa, based on the pistol grip proofs and other characteristics.

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
If by "made it overseas", you mean were postwar GI bring-backs, they aren't really rare by any means. At least four private companies made Naval trainers, including Heirnkan, Izawa, Hasegawa, etc. All makers had their own methods of serializing components and receiver anchor types.

I'm fairly certain the trainer you observed, serial number 18,572, was made by Izawa, based on the pistol grip proofs and other characteristics.

C/
That's interesting. Did they ever end up making any naval rifles meant to fire live ammo? Or did they never make it that far in production due to the war?


You mentioned a few posts up that the other Type38 the one marked with the Ministry of Education was that also a training rifle meant to fire blanks? Or was that like a ball ammo test rifle it seems to have a 00 before the serial which if im not remembering wrong was for reserve rifles?( I'm just looking into much of this now so I dont know much exactly about the rifles that wandered into my local dealer's area)
 

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Yes, several private training rifle producers and the Yokosuka Naval Arsenal made the "Type 99 Naval Special Rifles", which were designed to fire ball ammunition. Search the forum and at least some mention of these, along with photos, will be found.

The Type 38 rifle, with Ministry of Education markings. was a normal service rifle which was fully capable of firing ball ammunition. Blank ammunition was also potentially usable. Our current knowledge suggests that the "00" serial number prefix indicates likely education or training use, while a "000" prefix seems to indicate reserve use. Regardless, it's the receiver "文" kanji that confirms relegation for use as a trainer.

As I conclude, may I suggest your purchase of "Military Rifles of Japan/" Many of your above questions are answered in it, and it's a very valuable reference in any regard. The author is a regular contributor to this forum.

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
Yes, several private training rifle producers and the Yokosuka Naval Arsenal made the "Type 99 Naval Special Rifles", which were designed to fire ball ammunition. Search the forum and at least some mention of these, along with photos, will be found.

The Type 38 rifle, with Ministry of Education markings. was a normal service rifle which was fully capable of firing ball ammunition. Blank ammunition was also potentially usable. Our current knowledge suggests that the "00" serial number prefix indicates likely education or training use, while a "000" prefix seems to indicate reserve use. Regardless, it's the receiver "文" kanji that confirms relegation for use as a trainer.

As I conclude, may I suggest your purchase of "Military Rifles of Japan/" Many of your above questions are answered in it, and it's a very valuable reference in any regard. The author is a regular contributor to this forum.

C/

I do have one final question i also apologize if you maybe answered it already, i can be a tad thick.. Do you think the Type 38 w/ Ministry of Education markings is safe to fire ball since it relegated for education usage? I was thinking of picking it up as well since it is in great condition (wood wise) but if it is a blanks only trainer I only need one 😅.

I'll also look into that book you mentioned, I see there is a copy on Amazon published in 1996 by Fred L. Honeycutt and a F. Patt Anthony? (Making sure it's the right book and edition if multiple do exist). I'm not sure I can acquire one soon to answer any immediate questions but I do think I can acquire before years end.


Thank you for your time and help with all of my questions. And I wish you a happy thanks giving
 

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I cannot (and will not) make any representations as to whether or not its serviceable, given that I haven't personally examined it. Perhaps other posters will have more in the way of commentary.

On the latest edition of MRJ, mine is the 1996 Edition also. FredH will know.

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Discussion Starter · #31 · (Edited)
I cannot (and will not) make any representations as to whether or not its serviceable, given that I haven't personally examined it. Perhaps other posters will have more in the way of commentary.

On the latest edition of MRJ, mine is the 1996 Edition also. FredH will know.

C/
Alright, I hate to ask another followup but do you know what we should be looking for on the Type38 if its fireable or not? I read that barrels had metford rifling grooves so I guess to check for rifling would be the first step?

Again, i apologize. They have a gunsmith at the dealer who can do an indepth inquiring into the rifle it's just hard to know what it is we want to be seeing in these rifles.
 

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The Type 38 that you are asking about is approximately 113 years old. It is one of the rifles that came off the assembly line in the first year or two. We are talking circa 1907! This rifle is older that World War I, which my grandfather just about got drafted into, the day to be inducted was November 11, 1918. Please keep this in mind, the age of the rifle that is, and do consider the advice about purchasing a copy of MRoJ or some other related treatise.
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
The Type 38 that you are asking about is approximately 113 years old. It is one of the rifles that came off the assembly line in the first year or two. We are talking circa 1907! This rifle is older that World War I, which my grandfather just about got drafted into, the day to be inducted was November 11, 1918. Please keep this in mind, the age of the rifle that is, and do consider the advice about purchasing a copy of MRoJ or some other related treatise.
Wow that is an incredibly old rifle.

Also I wouldn't ever consider refinishing or changing the rifle in any permanent way if that was a concern.

I think I'm getting the vibe that even though it was a service rifle it probably may no longer be safe to shoot without being refurbished in some way. Which is a bummer if true.
 

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Alright, I hate to ask another followup but do you know what we should be looking for on the Type38 if its fireable or not? I read that barrels had metford rifling grooves so I guess to check for rifling would be the first step?

Again, i apologize. They have a gunsmith at the dealer who can do an indepth inquiring into the rifle it's just hard to know what it is we want to be seeing in these rifles.
pvt8000, I have a copy of the MROJ that I just picked up from a fellow board member that he included with a rifle sale. I sent you a pm regarding this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
I cannot (and will not) make any representations as to whether or not its serviceable, given that I haven't personally examined it. Perhaps other posters will have more in the way of commentary.

On the latest edition of MRJ, mine is the 1996 Edition also. FredH will know.

C/
You mentioned not knowing if it's Serviceable.

I guess my question is where can I start to find that information? Currently, I'm awaiting a copy of the MROJ to arrive but I would hope to have more questions asked in the meantime (I apologize if I sound like a broken record or ask too many questions, I hope to find a lot out about this gun and about its operability.

Now, this is where I stand now:

I'm kind of at confusion if the Ministry of education rifles were supposed to be able to take live Ammo as it isn't marked on the stock like the Naval Trainer was and it has both locking lugs and rifling in the barrel. From what I've read thus far is that it was built and then relegated to Education hence the 文 stamp. I did see the rifles with Elongated Ms are in the should be okay to fire category as they are reserve rifles based on another post I found here. This rifle has the Ministry of Education Stamp which I can't find many comments on besides a photo that was shared on this forum a few years back and what you mentioned earlier about it being relegated for training/education purposes at some point. I guess what I'm asking isn't that is it serviceable in its current condition but rather that if introduced to a few rounds of 6.5 Arisaka could it hypothetically be used to fire them assuming all is in optimal condition.

Now if that is still a hard question because of more factors I am ignorant too, is there any way we can discuss discovering these factors for myself either when I obtain MROJ or prior? I hate to pry but I also am one part nerding out about the rifle and curious if it can fit in the functional category as I would like to add it to my Christmas list.


Currently, my understanding of the Rifle is so:

Someone Mentioned the Serial based its Assembly around 1907 if I understand him right so the rifle is quite old.
It has locking lugs on the bolt and the bolt appears to function without any hangups or sticking.
The barrel has polygonal rifling and still has the rifling inside and it's only really dirty towards the end of the barrel and closer to the bolt it is a bit cleaner (not much but not like night and day)
The wood is in okay condition and hasn't been replaced as to my knowledge.
I haven't checked the headspace but I'll have the dealer's gunsmith check it as someone mentioned headspace would be a factory to examine
It's missing its Cleaning Rod and Dust Cover and other accessories (bummer)
The Receiver is Stamped with the Ministry of Education 文 and is Identified as a Type 38 by the proceeding kanji
It has two vent holes on the receiver which are typical of the Type 38s
The Mum appears to be intact and undefaced as far as I can tell.
The screws and bands appear to be holding the rifle together with little corrosion/rust
It doesn't have Aircraft sights but has ladder sights
The sights appear to be undamaged.




Again, I apologize for repeat questions, dumb questions, and general ignorance/thickness. All of the help and time is very much so appreciated, I know I come off a bit annoyingly thick but it is because I wish to learn and make sure that I know what I am learning!.
 
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