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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Is there any value/ interest in a Type 38 sporterized bring back? Rifle dates to ~1915 by serial number. Has a canceled mum, and a school symbol between the mum and the three. Also has 2 zeroes before serial number. Sports a Williams peep sight and a Reinhardt Fajen semi-finished stock. Stock was completed by me (it was 96% shaped) and finished with multiple coats of Brownell's BLO. May sell it, doesn't have any value around here.

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Type 38 that would be a 6.5 mm - is the caliber original or has it been reamed to 6.5-257? Is barrel full length or cut? - is front sight original or replaced? I have a couple of these in various configurations - including one that I had re barreled to 300 Savage that has a Dayton Traister trigger.
 

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Everything has interest and value, the question is how much.
I have seven of the type 38s. Only one has the original chambering, although four have original barrels. The three with original barrels and new chambers were reamed and/or completely rebored. I had to slug the barrels and cast the chambers on all of mine, even the three with aftermarket barrels weren’t marked, as to caliber…shade tree gunsmithing, I suppose. All are great rifles and are true workhorses. I bought five of the seven at gun shows and two at gun shops, on the gunsmith special rack. Since the caliber was a variable, for all of them, I paid $100 for the prettiest specimen and $30 for the ugliest. If the caliber was known, I am certain that I would not have been able to get them, at the prices that I did.
I don’t know if my ramblings help but you should definitely determine the caliber. An unknown caliber; even on a beautiful rifle, will drop the value to gunsmith special range.
Many thanks
Hoss
 

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Is there any value/ interest in a Type 38 sporterized bring back? Rifle dates to ~1915 by serial number. Has a canceled mum, and a school symbol between the mum and the three. Also has 2 zeroes before serial number. Sports a Williams peep sight and a Reinhardt Fajen semi-finished stock. Stock was completed by me (it was 96% shaped) and finished with multiple coats of Brownell's BLO. May sell it, doesn't have any value around here.

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If you are interested in selling, put a price on it and list it properly.
 

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If you put a price on it in a for sale you you will soon find out if you value it more than others. With it being an unknown chamber, I'd say the interest would be limited to a pretty small group of people.
 
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Pics of the rifle


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The Japanese were no slouches in their steelwork , particularly in the years prior to WW2. The type 38 other than having some quirky Asian touches proved a solid and strong rifle. Renowned barrel maker P.O. Ackley conducted tests on all major military rifles after the war by rebarrelling to shoot one of his calibers and using increasingly high pressure loads until they blew up (sounds fun !). He covered all the majors - U.S Springfield's & Enfield's, Mausers, British Enfield's and so on. He was surprised that the last man standing was the 38 Arisaka. I own an early type 99 which in 7.7 Japanese was a caliber upgrade and much the same design though late war versions were crude and often unsafe. Mine is original with goofy anti aircraft sights, mono pod and sliding action cover - intact Mum probably means it was a battle-field trophy. I would have no reservations about shooting yours if caliber was determined and headspace checked. My Dad was a gifted gunsmith and altered way too many old Springfield's and Mausers that should have been left intact but heck; back then they were plentiful and cheap ! (and my safes are overflowing with them, beautifully done with new barrels and awesome woodwork) If I were you I wouldn't let go of it on the cheap as they seem rare these days even sporterized....
 

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I have one similar to yours in 6.5 Roberts. The barrel is chopped at 20". I had a buyer at $500 shipped, but he backed out. I should also mention that mine included 100rds of ammo, which, right now, might be worth the $500 by itself!!
 

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Sporterized milsurps generally run in the "few" to "several" hundred dollars range. The Arisakas seem to be more toward the bottom of the range, compared to others, like Mauser. This is true for both unmodified examples and modified examples. This is not an offer, just my observations from collecting both original and sporterized milsurp rifles. As was noted in a previous post, in the 50s and 60s, the market was flooded with these WWII surplus bolt action rifles. They were very plentiful, very cheap. The big thing back then was to increase their value by sporterizing them. Now the originals are worth about double what a sporterized example, especially if they don't have importer marks.
 

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I've loved the Arisakas since my teen years- a friend's Dad had a bring-back he won from a Marine in an on-ship poker game of Saipan, if memory serves. It was a carbine and a real snap-shooter in spite of it's somewhat "rugged" appearance.
That's a very nice looking Ari as shown in the pics. Determine the caliber and shoot the thing if possible, they were well-made rifles. That caliber - if it is 6.5 Ari- is a dead nuts deer and even bear and elk rifle. A 1915- would have been a dream-gun to some of us :::::Heavy sigh::::: How much of the metal has been altered or reblued, and will you be listing it in the "for sale" adverts? Thanks, Dun
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Well, I picked up some 6.5x50r snap caps and they chamber just fine. My question now is will they chamber in a 257 conversion. Saami specs look like they might. And for the people who say "post it for sale properly", if I ever find out what it is, I might just sell it.

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Well, I picked up some 6.5x50r snap caps and they chamber just fine. My question now is will they chamber in a 257 conversion. Saami specs look like they might. And for the people who say "post it for sale properly", if I ever find out what it is, I might just sell it.

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See if you can find a .257 Roberts fired case or even loaded round - remove the firing pin if it is a loaded round - then see if it will chamber.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Wolfgang, one 257 dummy round would be awesome. I'm assuming that the bolt won't close on a 257 if it is an original 6.5. I don't intend to ever shoot it, but it's eating me up to know what it really is. Gunsmiths around here are booked up for months, and at least one testicle is part of the going rate.

FWIW, the 6.5 passed the plunk test. Looks like it chambered solid.

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You are correct assuming the bolt won't close on a .257 round in a 6.5 chamber. Live round is fine if you remove the firing pin. Very easy to do without tools - just remove the rear safety cap on the bolt and the firing pin and spring come right out the back of the bolt.
 
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