View Poll Results: Should I shoot this rifle?

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Thread: Should I shoot it or not?

  1. #1
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    Should I shoot it or not?

    My Uncle was a Sea Bee in WWII and was in Tokyo after the surrender setting up potable water plants. He was told that if he got permission from his CO he could bring home a firearm from one of the arsenals. He asked for a Nambu pistol and had his name put on the list. When they shipped out for home the pistol was to be given to him. When the day came to go home he was told all the pistols were gone and he'd have to take a rifle. He was not happy.
    He did end up being given a Type 38 rifle that was war booty from the arsenal and brought it home. There was no Japanese ammo in the states at that time so he never shot it.
    I saw the rifle 50 years ago and told him I thought it was cool as I was just getting into surplus firearm collecting. When he passed away I found out he had willed the rifle to me. I have had it for 20 years now and have never shot the rifle.
    Now here's my dilemma. The rifle my uncle was given does not appear to have ever been fired once it left the factory.
    Before the trolls jump on me let me say this. There is not a mark on this rifle. The finish on the bolt body and it's face show not even a hint of scratches. The guide rails in the receiver as well as the locking lugs show no signs of cycling rounds.
    The follower also is pristine. The bore is bright and shiny. All parts match.
    I do not plan to ever sell this rifle as it means a lot to me being brought back by my uncle. He thought enough of me to will me this rifle. His son got all the other firearms.
    I now have access to a long range. I'd like to try a Type 38 rifle at long range but have not been able to find one with a very good or better bore.
    Should I shoot this rifle or keep it in the condition it is in for my family to sell to a collector after I'm gone? There is nothing special about this rifle other than it's condition.
    Thank you.
    Last edited by Rapidrob; 02-20-2016 at 07:44 PM.

  2. #2
    Contributor 02/2014 FunkyPertwee's Avatar

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    I don't believe that shooting it responsibly would put the kind of wear on it that would harm the value.

    Also, if you don't plan to sell it, the real value is in how you enjoy it.
    "I'm fucking furious, I'm violently angry, and I like it. If you don't know what that feels like then I feel bad for you"

  3. #3
    Team Gunsnet Platinum 06/2016 ltorlo64's Avatar

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    I agree. You will not be shooting it in adverse conditions, except maybe rain, and that is nothing compared to what it was designed for. Also, you have no way of proving if it was unfired before you shoot it. I don't like the idea of guns that you can't shoot and don't think you will harm this one by shooting it. If you get a chance post a picture of two of it.
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  4. #4
    Site Admin & **Team Gunsnet Silver 12/2012** Richard Simmons's Avatar

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    Welcome to the forum. I'm hesitant to suggest you fire it. I mean how many unfired Type 38's can there be in the world? Is the mum intact? Is it a short rifle or standard? What I would suggest is that you get as much info as possible as to the current value and the value reduction, if any after firing and then decide what you want to do.
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  5. #5
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    I was asked for some photos. Here they are. The only thing I have ever done to the rife was to keep CLP in the bore. Then back into the vault.
    Here is a right side view

    Left side view. Sun played havoc with camera.Stock is not that dark

    A better view. Tang edges are sharp.Not crude but can almost cut your hand

    receiver markings

    Bolt number and receiver. I sort of remembering we played with this rifle and cycled the bolt many times. I know my uncle and my cousin did many times while I was at their house. We caused the bluing wear marks.

    Bolt face

    Magazine follower

    Butt plate

    Front sight .It still has cosmoline or whatever in the spring.

    Bore shot. Sorry for the yellow background.(my shop) I could not get the camera to focus if I had it pointing to the sky.

    Here is a Kroil soaked patch run through the bore. For those of you who know anything about the oil called Kroil you know it will remove any remnant of powder or bullet jacket from the bore and turn the patch black/green.

    As I wrote,I'm not trying to pass this rifle off to get some money. I would just hate to fire the rifle if it is really unfired from the factory. I'd rather it go to an advanced collector or a museum after I'm gone.
    Last edited by Rapidrob; 02-20-2016 at 07:39 PM.

  6. #6
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    Welcome to the forum. Beautiful rifle! I agree with Richard on this. You have had the rifle for 20 years
    so holding back until you get more info shouldn't be hard.

    There wasn't a hold off/wait option so I voted no.
    While no one ever listens to me,
    I am constantly being told to be quiet.

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    be the heat..

  7. #7
    Team GunsNetwork PLATINUM 10/2012 rci2950's Avatar

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    find another one and shoot the crap out of it. Keep that one safe and sound.
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  8. #8
    Forum Administrator Schuetzenman's Avatar

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    My 2 cents is it looks unfired. The bolt face is quite telling in this IMO. Once you shoot them the blue would quickly wear off the bolt face. You might be able to do 5 or 10 rounds with minimal impact. Oh and welcome to Gunsnet. It is a Museum grade piece IMO. It has cycling wear for the bolt but I doubt more than the proof firing was done to it. If you do shoot it try and do a video to document the event.

    I've seen rusty crusty 38's with 450 buck prices on them. That one is worth soooo much more, how much depends on who you can find that want's it bad enough.
    Last edited by Schuetzenman; 02-21-2016 at 07:59 AM.

  9. #9
    Wow probably the nicest Japanese rifle that I have ever seen !!!!
    My two cents for what it's worth,
    I think that market is a little thin for Japanese rifles today. So I don't think that shooting a few rounds out of it would detract very much from us monetary value. Of course you do risk damaging a part.
    You risk nothing by leaving it unfired

  10. #10
    Wow probably the nicest Japanese rifle that I have ever seen !!!!
    My two cents for what it's worth,
    I think that market is a little thin for Japanese rifles today. So I don't think that shooting a few rounds out of it would detract very much from us monetary value. Of course you do risk damaging a part.
    You risk nothing by leaving it unfired

  11. #11
    Administrator imanaknut's Avatar

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    Welcome to the group !!!

    I don't think I have ever seen a Japanese WWII bring back in such good condition. I would agree that it is unfired and from the photos, museum quality. It took my breath away looking at your pictures, perfect bore, bolt face and markings, not to mention bluing still nearly perfect and the wood just beautiful.

    While there are times it is hard to keep from enjoying a shooting arm for what it was designed to do, with something like your museum piece, I would recommend against it. Keep it perfect and honor your Uncle for his service.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Helen Keller's Avatar

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    based on the bolt face it's unfired.


    dont change a thing.
    PRAISE KEK
    FATHER OF CHAOS
    BRINGER OF DAY
    IN THY WEBBED HANDS WE PLACE OUR FAITH
    SHADILAY, SHADILAY!

  13. #13
    Senior Member Aggressive Perfector's Avatar

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    As much as it pains me to say... Don't fire it. Clearly this thing has never seen a round through the chamber, it could be worth a good chunk of change, and whoever you pass it on to may appreciate it that much more. Besides, how many people can say they have an arisaka, let alone an unfired arisaka.
    "Never take pity on a blind man. He may not be able to see, but he saves a fortune by getting the butt ugly hookers".

  14. #14
    Moderator & Team Gunsnet Platinum 07/2011 O.S.O.K.'s Avatar

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    Reading the OP, it sounds like you really want to shoot it. Since you're not interested in selling it ever, I say do what makes you happy. Shoot it!
    ~Nemo me impune lacessit~




  15. #15
    Senior Member tank_monkey's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by O.S.O.K. View Post
    Reading the OP, it sounds like you really want to shoot it. Since you're not interested in selling it ever, I say do what makes you happy. Shoot it!
    I would normally tell folks "do what makes you happy", but to find an UNFIRED specimen of this type of firearm is like finding an unknown Da Vinci painting in your attic.

    It's WORTH TONS OF MONEY UNFIRED. Let me say that again. IT'S WORTH TONS OF MONEY UNFIRED.

    The moment you start running ammo through it, you just burned hundreds of dollars in value (like taking cash money and throwing it into the fireplace).

    Think if it as GOLD. It's an investment. WHO KNOWS when you'll need funds in the future.

  16. #16
    Senior Member NAPOTS's Avatar

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    I hate the idea of guns you can't shoot but I feel like these are so rare in this sort of condition that it warrants an exception

  17. #17
    Guns Network Contributor 04/2013 El Laton Caliente's Avatar

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    That's one rifle that would be welcome in the Winchester Museum. I wouldn't shoot it.
    We found out what "dealing" with progressive lefties is all about. Our side gives up something, they give up nothing and the progressives come back in a month or a year and want us to give up more... rinse and repeat...

  18. #18
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    Thank you to all who have responded so far. The consensus is trending towards leaving the rifle alone. The members of a shooting club I run threatened to shoot me if I shot the rifle. Ha!

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