Make: Nagoya Arsenal, Japan
Model: Arisaka Type 38 Carbine
Serial Number: 91530
Year of Manufacture: 1905 -1945
Caliber: 6.5x50mm (6.5 Jap)
Action Type: Bolt Action, Internal Magazine
Markings: There is no visible import mark. The top of the receiver is marked with the Imperial Chrysanthemum and with the Japanese symbols for “Type 38”. The “chrysanthemum” is partially ground off. The left side of the receiver is marked with the “5th series” symbol, the serial number and the symbol for the Nagoya Arsenal. The bottom of the bayonet lug is marked with the last 3 numbers of the serial number. The bottom of the bolt handle, the firing pin and the bottom of the safety are all marked “532”. The safety is covered in decorative metal work. The bottom of the buttstock is marked with two small Japanese stampings.
Barrel Length: Approximately 19 Inches
Sights / Optics: The front sight is an inverted “V” post set between two protective ears. The top of the left sight ear is bent inward. The rear sight is a “V” notched blade that flips up to become a sliding sight ladder marked from “4 -20”.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The two piece stock has a pistol grip, finger grooves, metal nosecap, barrel band, two sling loops and a metal buttplate. The buttplate shows scratches and thinning. The stock has had a piece of edge wood cut out at the right front of the receiver. The stock has several deep compression marks, deep scrapes and scratches. Many have removed small pieces of surface wood. 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 overall condition.
Type of Finish: Blue
Finish Originality: Original
Bore Condition: The bore is semi bright and the rifling is deep. There is no visible erosion.
Overall Condition: This rifle retains about 95% of its metal finish. The top of the receiver has been ground, removing the finish and part of the markings. The barrel & front sight show scrapes & light thinning. The bottom metal shows scrapes, thinning and some pin prick surface erosion. The screw heads show light use. The remaining markings are deep. Overall, this rifle rates in about Very Good Plus 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: The rifle comes with copies of paperwork issued to William Felsman. One of the copies is of a certificate issued to him. It is marked “1ST CAVALRY DIVISION / APO 201 / CERTIFICATE “ and “the bearer William O Felsman, PFC, 35851907 is entitled to retain in his possession…the following items of enemy equipment. 1 Jap Carbine”. A second certificate has been copied. It is for “1 Saber”. The second certificate is similar to the first but has a line added; “I certify that the above EM was in the theater prior to V-J Day”. These copies appear to be of the original documents. We do not have the originals.
Our Assessment: This Japanese Type 38 Carbine was made by the Nagoya Arsenal and was around during WWII. It has a partial chrysanthemum and deep Japanese characters on the top of the receiver. These Type 38 carbines were meant for cavalry, engineers and other non-front line troops. We see Arisakas come in the shop regularly, but we don’t see many Arisaka carbines, as they are much harder to find. According to our consignor this Type 38 Carbine was brought to the U.S. from Japan after WWII ended. The soldier who brought it back kept his paperwork. The auction includes copies of the paperwork. The paperwork adds to the rifles historical value. Good luck.