SOLD FOR: $2700
Make: Nagoya Arsenal, Japan
Model: Type 97 Sniper Rifle. A Type 38 style Arisaka fitted with a side mounted scope base.
Serial Number: 10126
Year of Manufacture: June 1939 through April 1943
Caliber: 6.5x50mm (6.5 Jap)
Action Type: Bolt Action, Internal Magazine
Barrel Length: Approximately 31 Inches
Sights / Optics: The front sight is an inverted V post set atop a small raised base and between 2 protective ears. The rear sight is a fixed aperture attached to a flip up sight ladder assembly. The ladder uses a sliding aperture.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The hardwood stock has a pistol grip, finger grooves, metal nosecap with bayonet lug, hole for the included cleaning rod, barrel band, two sling loops, and a metal buttplate. The buttplate shows surface erosion. The stock hardware shows scrapes and discoloration from oxidation. The wood shows several scrapes, scratches, and compression marks. The wood shows light sanding marks and has been oiled. The LOP measures 13 1/4 inches from the front of the trigger to the back of the buttplate. The stock rates in about Very Good Plus overall condition as refurbished.
Type of Finish: Blue
Finish Originality: Original
Bore Condition: The muzzle and grooves are dark. The polygonal rifling is deep; shallow at the muzzle. There is erosion in the bore; mostly in the grooves.
In this writer’s opinion, this bore rates a 6 out of 10.
Many military and C&R-eligible weapons have bores that will show erosion. This is not only due to age but to the fact that corrosive primers were commonly used in ammunition worldwide. For example, the U.S. used corrosive ammunition throughout WWII. The U.S. military did not begin to phase out corrosive-primed ammunition until the 1950s.
Overall Condition: This rifle has lost the majority of its metal finish. The metal shows scrapes, small scratches, and prominent discoloration from oxidation. The barrel shows a freckling of light surface erosion. The bottom metal shows surface erosion. The action shows operational wear. The screw heads show substantial use. The markings are well defined. Overall, this rifle rates in about Good condition.
Mechanics: 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.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: None
Our Assessment: The Japanese Type 97 Sniper Rifle is basically a Type 38 Arisaka with a side mounted scope base and a turned down bolt handle (to clear the scope). The Type 97 designation comes from the fact it was adopted in 1937, which was the year 2597 according to the Japanese koki calendar.
Kokura arsenal made about 8,000 Type 97 sniper rifles from 1937 to 1939 and Nagoya Arsenal made about 14,500 from 1938 to 1943.
This WWII Type 97 Sniper Rifle was made at the Nagoya Arsenal. It has good markings on the metal including its chrysanthemum and matching numbers on the receiver, bolt handle, safety, and firing pin. Chrysanthemums are scarce as most were removed or defaced from Japanese rifles before they were surrendered.
…Now go shoot something!