SOLD FOR: $2535
Model: Type 22 Murata Infantry Rifle
Serial Number: 16457
Year of Manufacture: 1889 to the Mid 1890’s
Caliber: 8x53R (8x53mm Rimmed)
Action Type: Bolt Action, Tube Magazine
Markings: The top of the barrel shank is marked with a “chrysanthemum” (the Imperial ownership seal) with the Murata family seal, and with a small Japanese stamping. The left side of the receiver, left side of the barrel shank, bottom metal (twice), and the bayonet lug are marked with the serial number. The bolt assembly is marked with numbers that do not correlate to the serial number. Both sides of the receiver are marked with small Japanese characters. The characters on the right rear translate to “Meiji 22 Year Adopted”. The left side of the butt is marked “37”. The right side of the stock is marked with a large circular cartouche and a large rectangular cartouche that each contain Japanese characters.
For more information on the markings see pages 198 – 202 of Joe Puleo’s book, Bolt Action Military Rifles of the World.
The Type 22 Bayonets cross piece is marked with a small “chrysanthemum” on one side and with a Japanese character on the other side. The Czechoslovakian VZ-22 replacement scabbard is marked “CSZ” on the frog stud.
Barrel Length: Approximately 29 Inches
Sights / Optics: The front sight is an inverted “V” post set atop a small base. The rear sight is a “V” notched blade attached to an escalator assembly. The left side of the rear sight base is marked “6 5 4” for use with the escalator. The sight flips up to become a sight ladder. The rear sight ladder uses a sliding “V” notched blade. The ladder is marked from “7 – 20”.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The hardwood stock has a straight grip, checkering, nosecap with bayonet lug, barrel band, 2 sling loops, and a metal buttplate with sliding metal door for storage in the butt. The buttplate & stock hardware show scratches, discoloration from oxidation, and light surface erosion. The wood shows numerous scrapes, scratches, and compression marks. Several have damaged or removed small areas of the surface wood. The left side of the checkering shows damage. Most of these marks have been oiled over. The LOP measures 13 inches from the front of the trigger to the back of the buttplate. The stock rates in about Very Good overall condition as an antique.
Type of Finish: Blue
Finish Originality: Original. The barrel has been treated with cold blue.
Bore Condition: The bore is grey and the rifling is deep. There is erosion in the bore; more prominent in the grooves and near the muzzle.
Overall Condition: This rifle retains about 25% of its current metal finish. The barrel has been treated with cold blue. Surface erosion is bleeding through the cold blue. The metal shows scrapes, scratches, discoloration from oxidation, and surface erosion. The screw heads show heavy use and oxidation. The markings are faded. Overall, this rifle rates in about Good condition as an antique.
Mechanics: This rifle was made without a safety. The action functions correctly. We have not fired this rifle. As with all previously owned firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.
The magazine cutoff functions and the magazine follower is still under tension.
The bayonet mounts the rifle properly. The scabbard loosely fits the bayonet.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: The rifle comes with a Second Version (Type B) Type 22 Murata Bayonet (page 30 of Larry Johnson’s book, Japanese Bayonets…1870 to the Present) and a Czechslovakian VZ-22 replacement scabbard. The bayonet metal shows discoloration and surface erosion. The wood on the handle shows scratches. The bayonet is in about Fair to Good condition as an antique. The scabbard shows scrapes, scratches and surface erosion. The scabbard is in about Good condition. A cleaning rod is stored in the butt. It shows scrapes & oxidation. It is in about Very Good condition.
Our Assessment: The Type 22 Murata Infantry Rifle was adopted in 1889. The 22 referred to the adoption date, the year 22 in the Meiji period according to the Japanese calendar. It was Japan’s first repeating military rifle. This antique Murata Rifle has seen some use but has lots of interesting markings on the metal and on the wood. This Type 22 Murata Infantry Rifle comes with a rare Second Version Type 22 Murata Bayonet. Good luck.