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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Over the holidays I got a vet-bringback Type I rifle with leather sling along with a training bayonet and scabbard, from the vet's son. According to the son the rifle, sling and bayonet had been sitting in the vet's garage for about 60 years, never fired. I can believe it, since all exposed metal parts were covered with a fine layer of surface rust, the stock and leather sling were very, very dry, and the sling has several surface cracks and one partial tear.

The training bayonet most closely resembles LaBar's variation T-I, with a cast crossguard secured to the tang with a pin that protrudes out the other side.

Underneath the surface rust the rifle metal is actually in pretty good condition, and the non-exposed metal still has most of the blueing intact. The exposed metal shows some browning, since I wasn't aggressive in removing the surface rust.

I applied 4 coats of Watco exterior natural finish to the wood, followed by one coat of Briwax. At least now the wood isn't so dry.

I wiped down the sling and have started several applications of Pecard's to retard the inevitable deterioration of the leather. On the inner surface of the sling are a series of Japanese characters, somehow embedded into the leather (paint? sewn?). The only one I recognize is the character for "3".

Would some kind soul please translate the characters for me?

Thanks,

Bryan
 

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Thats a pretty nice looking rifle. You are lucky I noticed the rifle still has the rod, a lot of times the rods are missing and are almost impossiable to find. Sorry I can't tell you about the writing on the sling. Good catch !!!
 

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Hello Bryan :

A very nice find. The letter and 1 to 4 digit serial number may tell us who of 3 makers made the main components.
The sling characters on top will tell more, I can read 231 and the bottom one may be a 5.
Vicasoto
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hello Bryan :

A very nice find. The letter and 1 to 4 digit serial number may tell us who of 3 makers made the main components.
The sling characters on top will tell more, I can read 231 and the bottom one may be a 5.
Vicasoto
The serial number is L 7035, and there are several sets of crown/PB stamped on the metal under the wood, presumably for P. Beretta.

Bryan
 

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Hello Bryan :

Thank you for the reply, yes your rifle is part of the Contract made by Beretta factory in Gardone Italy. The serial with letter "L" has been reported with a low #4836 to a high #8708, so your falls within the known range.
Wishing you and yours a great New Year.
Vicasoto
 

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Bbrown,

Nice rifle - great find. Type I with marked slings are a real find.

As Doss says, "no vice, like advice"..... using Pecards or any other treatment on leather is usually counterproductive. It is usually best to leave leather in whatever state you find it in. Leather essentially stabilizes and again, is best left as it is found. I'll see if I can dig up any literature on this, as I am going from memory. If anybody can add or contradict - please do.

Enjoy, Shannon
 

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Type i

KUDOS on a fine addition. They are hard to find with the sling and the training bayonet is a big plus, I would remove the sling and store it separately in a loose curl, maybe in a freezer bag. It is valuable and lends a lot to the rifle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
KUDOS on a fine addition. They are hard to find with the sling and the training bayonet is a big plus, I would remove the sling and store it separately in a loose curl, maybe in a freezer bag. It is valuable and lends a lot to the rifle.
Here's a picture of the training bayonet crossguard with the pin extruding from the side. You can also just make out the flash at the end of the quillon from the casting process. There's also some remnants of white/yellow lettering on the left grip, but it was not legible when I received it.

BTW, the cleaning rod is the expected long one, as pictured in specimen 6 on page 194 of Honeycutt. The other end is threaded, but it doesn't seem to screw into anything. I guess I'll disassemble the rifle again to see what's going on with that.

As for the sling, well, Pecard's has made it a little more pliant, as expected, but it was getting powdery in places when I got it so at least that's been retarded for a while. I'll probably take your advice about storing it in a freezer bag.

Bryan
 

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Retread,

I have to disagree with your advice. By separating the sling from the rifle, regardless of the intention, we've separated the rifle from its history. Slings are the most common place to find names and unit markings. It would only be a matter of time, before the gun and sling are separated for good - unintentionally or intentionlly. I know it's not my gun and who the hell am I to suggest.....

Respectfully, Shannon
 

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Retread,

I have to disagree with your advice. By separating the sling from the rifle, regardless of the intention, we've separated the rifle from its history. Slings are the most common place to find names and unit markings. It would only be a matter of time, before the gun and sling are separated for good - unintentionally or intentionlly. I know it's not my gun and who the hell am I to suggest.....

Respectfully, Shannon
+1
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
So, if I keep the sling on the rifle, how do I keep it from drying out, cracking and "dusting" again? I don't have access to a museum quality controlled storage environment. [smile]

I normally keep my more historical slings slung from pegs and labeled with shipping tags (the kind with strings). With leather bayonet frogs I keep them on the scabbards they came with, of course, but as I understand it they're not so uncommon as rifle slings.

Actually, I realize that's a more general question than just for rifle slings.

TIA,

Bryan
 

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Sling

I think I garbled my idea. It is not to say to discard the sling. Merely to preserve it from furthur deterioration. I have some nice Trapdoors that were equipped with original slings, but were dry and fragile. I tore one and was lucky enough to repair it, but it is a non- armory repair.

Keeping the sling with the rifle , but not installed on the rifle would still be my first choice. There should be plenty of Japanese enthusiasts who could readily translate the kanjii on the sling.
 

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So, if I keep the sling on the rifle, how do I keep it from drying out, cracking and "dusting" again? I don't have access to a museum quality controlled storage environment. [smile]
Thats Okay none of us do. As long as it is clean and dry and stored at room temperature, its as good as it will get. There is no real (that I am aware of) solution to keeping leather forever. It may out last your lifetime but its not going to last forever, no matter what you do. Pecards and the like may keep it from drying out, but it will not perserve it in the long haul. If you stick it in a bag then it will be just a rolled up sling in a bag, that in order to enjoy it or show it off must be constantly unrolled and handled, none of which improve its chance of survival. Hang it on a peg if you want to, but I think the bast way to keep a sling is on the rifle, not only does it preserve the history and integrity of the entire piece, it also give the viewer a better understanding of the 2 together. Its not like it is a $500 or thousand dollar item, its a sling $150 or so tops.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
So, nobody knows what the characters on the sling mean? Some are numbers, sure, but what about the others?

Thanks,

Bryan
 

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Didn't even read this thread until now since I have no interest in Type Is, but that sling marking is VERY interesting. The marking reads 防通校二三一七 (Ho-Tsu-Ko 2317), the number 2317 obviously some assigned rack number or other control number for the rifle, but what's cool is the "Ho-Tsu-Ko" part, being a shortened acronym for 海軍防府通信学校 (Kaigun Hofu Tsushin Gakko) and translates to Navy Hofu Communications School. This school resided in Hofu city of Yamaguchi prefecture and was an important naval school teaching the wireless and other forms of navy communications, alongwith the other communications school in Yokosuka. Further evidence that the Type I was used extensively by the IJN.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Didn't even read this thread until now since I have no interest in Type Is, but that sling marking is VERY interesting. The marking reads 防通校二三一七 (Ho-Tsu-Ko 2317), the number 2317 obviously some assigned rack number or other control number for the rifle, but what's cool is the "Ho-Tsu-Ko" part, being a shortened acronym for 海軍防府通信学校 (Kaigun Hofu Tsushin Gakko) and translates to Navy Hofu Communications School. This school resided in Hofu city of Yamaguchi prefecture and was an important naval school teaching the wireless and other forms of navy communications, alongwith the other communications school in Yokosuka. Further evidence that the Type I was used extensively by the IJN.
Edokko,

many, many thanks for the translation. Sorry if I came across as strident. [sigh]

Honeycutt makes the IJN connection, of course, but additional information is always a good thing. :)

Plus, now the rifle has a sort of provenance, a documented connection to a specific place. Now that's very cool.

Bryan
 
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