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JBreese1

my latest restoration

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I finally completed my most recent restoration this evening. I picked up an early war type 99 Arisaka WWII battle rifle at a good price. It was pretty beat up and missing a few parts. The early war models were the highest quality compared to the mid war and last ditch models which were manufactured when Japan was on the ropes after we destroyed their manufacturing capabilities. The early war models had an chrome lined barrel, machined bolt assemblies, anti-aircraft rear sights and an built in mono-pod. Many of these features were dropped mid war and eliminated completely on the last ditch models. Here are some before and after pic's.

Before   

 

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Edited by JBreese1

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Very nice!  I've got a Springfield '03 that has been "sporterized" that I want to restore to like issued condition.  I better get on it before it becomes an assault rifle and gets banned...

 

Jeff B.

 

 

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J, is that a Tipton vise?  I'm thinking a vise would make my life easier but different makes have prices all over the place...this one work fine for you?  Does it "firmly" lock in the firearm?

 

Great restoration....like to hear a bit more about what you did?  Mostly sanding and new finish or did you backyard any of the mechanicals?  Again, great job and thanks for posting.

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12 hours ago, Connetquot said:

Very nice!  I've got a Springfield '03 that has been "sporterized" that I want to restore to like issued condition.  I better get on it before it becomes an assault rifle and gets banned...

 

Jeff B.

 

 

The bayonet on this one gets it on the banned list in the commie republic of NJ.

Jimmy better watch out or he'll end up in the Murphy gulag. 

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Mako, Thanks for the kind words. The gun vice is made by MTM. If you google MTM gun vice it will come up. I am very happy with it. I use it to build AR's and do all my restoration work. It also can be bolted down to a bench to make it more secure.

   As far as the restorations, most involve a little bit of everything. Most require some minor gunsmithing and furniture re-finishing. I have the most fun hunting down the rifles at a cheap price [mostly sporterized or incomplete] Then tracking down the original parts to restore them to as issued condition.  The Arisaka's present their own special challenges. All military rifle stocks from various countries are easy to refinish and come out looking great except the Japanese rifle stocks. The Japanese T 99 was finished with a singular finish "urushi", which can't be duplicated by modern finishes. It is not readily available in the US and is is a derivative of poison oak sap and causes a virulent reaction similar to poison Ivy in most people. I use a modern spray lacquer over a dye. The dyes can easily be mixed to produce a very authentic looking finish. Dyes penetrate the open fissures of the surface and don't lay on the surface like stains. As for the lacquer, it can be sprayed on and then burnished down to a dull finish, very similar to urushi. 

I try to do as little sanding as possible. The big challenge in making an Arisaka stock look original is in preserving the sharp edges of the finger grooves, the little C shaped area behind the rear barrel band, etc. It's pretty easy to tell if a stock has been refinished when one sees these areas sanded into roundness. Sharpening these areas can be done with a Dremmel tool if you have the patience. Another area to avoid is the proof marks on the stock. You need know where these are and avoid sanding them away, thinking they are just another ding in the wood.

 I have all 3 variants of the type 99. (Early war, mid war and last ditch). I plan on restoring the mid war next, but will leave the last ditch alone.

Jim

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Mako, Here are some pic's of an Lee Enfield Jungle carbine clone I built from 7 different part sources. You can see the different colors of the wood pieces and the different finishes on the steel parts. On this build the reciever is from one rifle, the barrel from another, the bolt assembly, trigger assembly and magazine are all from other sources. I had to assemble and headspace the barrel to ensure it would be safe to fire. I still wyley coyote'd it for it's first shot. I clamped it down to the shooting bench and pulled the trigger with an lanyard. I was very pleased that it worked fine. I get a lot of pleasure doing this type of work and have a nice piece of history when I am done.

Jim

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5 hours ago, JBreese1 said:

Mako, Thanks for the kind words. The gun vice is made by MTM. If you google MTM gun vice it will come up. I am very happy with it. I use it to build AR's and do all my restoration work. It also can be bolted down to a bench to make it more secure.

   As far as the restorations, most involve a little bit of everything. Most require some minor gunsmithing and furniture re-finishing. I have the most fun hunting down the rifles at a cheap price [mostly sporterized or incomplete] Then tracking down the original parts to restore them to as issued condition.  The Arisaka's present their own special challenges. All military rifle stocks from various countries are easy to refinish and come out looking great except the Japanese rifle stocks. The Japanese T 99 was finished with a singular finish "urushi", which can't be duplicated by modern finishes. It is not readily available in the US and is is a derivative of poison oak sap and causes a virulent reaction similar to poison Ivy in most people. I use a modern spray lacquer over a dye. The dyes can easily be mixed to produce a very authentic looking finish. Dyes penetrate the open fissures of the surface and don't lay on the surface like stains. As for the lacquer, it can be sprayed on and then burnished down to a dull finish, very similar to urushi. 

I try to do as little sanding as possible. The big challenge in making an Arisaka stock look original is in preserving the sharp edges of the finger grooves, the little C shaped area behind the rear barrel band, etc. It's pretty easy to tell if a stock has been refinished when one sees these areas sanded into roundness. Sharpening these areas can be done with a Dremmel tool if you have the patience. Another area to avoid is the proof marks on the stock. You need know where these are and avoid sanding them away, thinking they are just another ding in the wood.

 I have all 3 variants of the type 99. (Early war, mid war and last ditch). I plan on restoring the mid war next, but will leave the last ditch alone.

Jim

 

Jim, my name is Dutch...pleasure reading the above.  I'm a carpenter by trade that has transitioned into building components engineering.  Anyway, as I've grown old(er) metallurgy and associated have drawn my eye...devil is in the details as it were.  The very first thing I caught on to was (your original pics) for wartime steel, it appears in remarkably good condition..."wonder if he caught a diamond in the rough"?  Your explanation now in hand I see you've taken the considerable effort to "restore" to period condition.

 

I tear apart and fiddle even with what I find new.  No effort to "improve" but rather understand the motivation behind a design.  Your idea to leave the end of war production piece well enough alone is precisely something I would do...there were reasons why that rifle's appearance is "rough".  Stories go with those reasons and THAT'S what gets my attention.

 

Well done sir.  If you find time I'd enjoy a few pics of that "last of the line" Japanese rifle. If time allows maybe you could share just what was sacrificed regards features and finish.

 

Again, thank you.

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O.K. Dutch, I took a few pic's of the main differences between the early war and last ditch rifles. The first and foremost is the omitting of the chrome lined barrel. This cant be readily seen, but was important since the rifles were meant to be used in highly corrosive environments [think jungles].

   The most obvious change can be seen in the butt plate. The last ditch has an crudely constructed wood plate nailed in place on the stock. Next is the machined bolt assembly. They went from a cast then machined bolt with the large plum shaped knob to a crude, welded assembly with a cylindrical  piece of steel welded to the bolt.  The rear sight was changed from an distance adjustable ladder arrangement with fold out wings for leading aircraft to a simple fixed peep sight set at 300 meters. The front site was cheapened by removing the protective ears that protect the sight blade from damage or being moved out of adjustment inadvertently. The barrel bands went from cast, machined units to rolled and welded flat steel. Finally, the top hand guards were eliminated to save additional fitting work. Even after all these cost and material saving changes the Type 99 last ditch rifles were safe to use. Every Type 99 from the first to the last underwent the same proof tests and was built to fire many, many rounds.

  I have added the pic's below to illustrate these changes.

  Jim

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sorry, The order of the pic's seem to have been scrambled. Also forgot to mention that cleaning rods and the built in storage was eliminated completely on the last ditch type 99's.

Jim

Edited by JBreese1

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40 mins ago, JBreese1 said:

The rear sight was changed from an distance adjustable ladder arrangement with fold out wings for leading aircraft to a simple fixed peep sight set at 300 meters.

 

My goodness...that is really something.  I'll take time later (prepping for SB party tomorrow) to dive into what you've posted.  Those sights...  Just think, some 16yr old trying to use those as a P38 Lightning was strafing his squad's position, all the while knowing the effort was lost.  Makes you grasp the extraordinary devotion those Japanese troops had...

 

Stories...

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I believe that it looks like the chrysanthemum stamping is in place and not defaced on  the top of the receiver. Supposedly that increases the collector value of the rifle.

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