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I want to share with my good friends on DC a recently completed project: refurbishment of my father's Arisaka Type 38 carbine. Here's the background.

My father was a rifleman with the 37th Div, 129th Inf Regt, Co C. He was drafted in the spring of '42 and, upon completion of basic and AIT, shipped out for an all expense paid tour of the south pacific. During his tour he participated in two major campaigns - the Solomon Islands campaign where he was on the front lines at Bougainville, and Luzon where his unit was the first to enter Manila from the north after crossing the Pasig river. Right after the city was cleared he found an Arisaka Type 38 carbine and bayonet, which he brought home.

Fast forward to 1950 when Dad married the love of his life and 3 years later saw the arrival of the first of four children - me. Sometime around 1960 I became aware of Dad's war souvenirs and he let me touch them. By the time I was ten years old in 1963 he would let me use the Arisaka to play army with the neighborhood kids. Back then it was not unusual, at least in our neighborhood. Several of my friends also used their fathers' war souvenirs to play army so we didn't think much about it. In any case, that Arisaka saw harder use in my hands than it ever did in the hands of the Imperial Japanese Army!

One day I climbed about thirty feet up a tree to play sniper, but lost my balance and dropped the rifle. When it hit the ground the stock broke in two places! Needless to say I was devastated and immediately went to work stapling and taping it back together as only a twelve year old can. It wasn't pretty but I stayed in the game. LOL!

The rifle remained in decrepit condition until this past summer when I decided it was time to refurbish it in my Dad's honor. My first stop was Gunbroker, where I monitored Arisaka's for some time until I found a Type 38 carbine with the Mum ground off but everything else in good condition. Part of the reason it took a little time to find this was that I wanted it to have originated from the Nagoya arsenal and have a serial number reasonably close to the one my father brought back.

When the rifle arrived I stripped all the metal parts from the stock except for the butt plate. After a light cleaning and oiling, I transferred all the metal parts from my father's rifle to the new stock. The result is an original Type 38 with an intact Mum and a great story behind it.

What do you think?

ArisakaType38.jpg
 

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Very nice!

If it could talk!

Good cartridge for shooting if one can feed the rifle. My brother-in-law has a few, one of which was made up into a scoped sporter by his dad for his deer hunting use when he was a kid. Worked well for him.
 

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Nice.... And a great project...
 

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Great story, thanks for sharing. You did good.
 

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Good story. My own father also fought in the Pacific. He was an Army Combat Engineer that also built runways for the B29's. He told me about bulldozing big piles of Japanese rifles on Okinawa after the surrender. I've also seen pictures of a barge loaded with mostly Arisakas dumped at sea. What a shame.

Although my dad did not bring back any rifles, I do have a couple given to me by a Soldier and Marine Raider who have since passed away. The Soldier's is a Type 99 with mum found on Guam that I cleaned up. The Marine's is a Type I found on Okinawa. Someday I might take them out to the range since they haven't been shot in over 70 years.
 

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My little brother sold me a 98 Mauser that someone had messed up by putting polyurethane on the stock. It's a good shooter and I'm thinking of replacing the stock to make it look original again.

You did a nice job on that piece. I love the old historical firearms and I'm glad people take the time and effort to keep them looking original.
 

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Good story...Someday I might take them out to the range since they haven't been shot in over 70 years.
Part 2 of the story will be forthcoming and will include some range pics!
 
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