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Arisaka T-99, an excellent rifle.


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#1 dasreich

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Posted 09 November 2005 - 08:30 PM

My personal favorite in fact, as far as bolt-action rifles are concerned.

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A couple months ago I bought an oriental beauty, a mid-war T-99 from the Nagoya Arsenal. This gun was designed in 1939 and saw service as the primary Japanese battle rifle from then right to the end of war. Some of these, mine included, had AA sights mounted on them, since the Japanese figured a 7.7mm bullet had the capacity to take down aircraft (It did have such capacity, but the slow reload and re-acquisition of target precluded any meaningful AA use).

Where the rifle succeded, however, was its main use, that of an infantry weapon. The 7.7x58mm bullet, commonly known as 7.7 JAP, is a solid and powerful round, as my trip to the range proved. Its also very accurate, holding up with my Mauser and Nagant at both 50 and 100 yards. Where I place this rifle above its contemporaries is in the feel. It naturally fits into my hands, and the shot is solid but gentle against the shoulder; my Mauser leaves bruises.

The only downside to this rifle is the prohibitive cost of ammo at $1.20 per round. Reloading makes it cheaper, but still more so than buying bulk 8mm mauser or 7.62x54R Nagant. Still, I heartily recommend Arisakas to any firearms enthusiast, especially history buffs. One caveat: make sure it isn't late war issue, as they tended to be of poor quality and prone to accidents. This can be checked by looking at the bore and the design on the back of the bolt. If it is a parabollic pattern, excellent. If not, invest in a 1st aid kit.
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#2 bigiceman

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Posted 09 November 2005 - 09:05 PM

I don't have a favorite bolt action rifle, I have stayed with the auto-loaders. My favorite is the M-14. Given a choice of every rifle I have seen I would pick the M-14. It fires a .308 round with great ballistics and lots of power. The rifle is capable of great accuracy out to 1000+ yards. The recoil is comparable to my 7.62 X .39 SKS, which is negligible. The only drawback is the weight, but then again without that the recoil, it would tear you up. When you can reach out to those distances, it is worth it. Snipers are still using it, that has to say a lot. Oh yeah, I am a big guy and it is one of the few weapons I have picked up that has the right length for me. smile.gif
PEOPLE SLEEP PEACEABLY IN THEIR BEDS AT NIGHT ONLY BECAUSE ROUGH MEN STAND READY TO DO VIOLENCE ON THEIR BEHALF. GEORGE ORWELL

#3 T. A. Gardner

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Posted 09 November 2005 - 11:51 PM

Sorry, DR, but I for one have to disagree. The Japanese 7.7mm is a dog. I've fired a number of these over the years. My objections have consistantly been:

1. The bolt action is very stiff and slow.
2. The safety on the end of the bolt is usually difficult or impossible to operate.
3. The rifle is long, too long. It is, clumsy.
4. The monopod is worthless. It adds weight, is unstable, is unusable on soft ground and, often gets snagged on things in the field.
5. The AA sights are a useless feature.
6. When equipped with the dust cover for the bolt / breech the gun rattles when carried (not a good thing in combat), often interfers with shell extraction (they tend to hang up on the cover requiring a finger extraction to clear) and, makes reloading more difficult.
7. The small 5 round magazine requires frequent reloading. Again, in combat this is not a good thing.

For older military weapons I have a preference for the Lee-Enfield No 1 Mk 3. Cutting down the lumber on the barrel makes it a decent carry. The action is smooth and quick (unlike the Mauser action or derivatives thereof), accuracy is good and, the magazine is sufficently large to allow alot of shooting between reloads.
My second choice is something in 45/70 black powder. These are just alot of fun and you can switch to smokeless if you feel like it. The 350 grain ball round also has a nice satisfying impact on the target.
Big I, the M-14 isn't a bad choice except as you note its heavy. Lugging that b@#$t!@d around all day is no fun at all. Also, you have to watch the gas plug on the end of the collector tube under the barrel. It tends to work loose and if it falls out you are reduced to a bolt action rifle! That's not to mention serious trouble if you are in the military.....
The SKS? A gangsta gun. Cheap, cheap, cheap with lots of close up firepower. But, its accuracy is lousy.

#4 dasreich

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Posted 10 November 2005 - 01:40 AM

I have a short version of the T-99, so the size is actually pretty good on mine. And I gave her a good oil treatment too, so it wasn't too bad at all. Plus I don't have a monopod or dust cover, so they don't get in the way for me. But you're right as far as actual combat is concerned, the Enfield would be the best. For just shooting, I prefer the Arisaka because of its feel.

I agree with TA on the M-14, but even given all that I'd take it over the current M-16/M-4 our military uses now. I love .308, its fuel for my CETME.
"If your gonna buy the angel s**t, you might as well go for the zombie package as well."
-George Carlin

#5 bigiceman

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Posted 10 November 2005 - 03:57 PM

The M-14 is heavy, but you get a good power for the poundage. The SKS is a cheap gun. Cheap gun, cheap ammo, cheap fun!!!! I have gone through about 1200 rounds of ammo since the spring with no problems and plenty of smiles. A little more expensive than plinking with a .22 but a lot more fun.
PEOPLE SLEEP PEACEABLY IN THEIR BEDS AT NIGHT ONLY BECAUSE ROUGH MEN STAND READY TO DO VIOLENCE ON THEIR BEHALF. GEORGE ORWELL

#6 Ali Morshead

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Posted 11 November 2005 - 10:00 AM

The 7.7mm Rifle wasnt heavily used by the IJA.

They started off with a lower calibre weapon and slowly upgraded with the 7.7mm, starting in Manchuria and Home Islands. I believe few of the 7.7mm made it to the Islands (maybe late in the war)
Whe're off to see the Wizard, the wonderful wizard of OZ - 6 Australian Infantry Div, Bardia January 1941

#7 dasreich

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Posted 11 November 2005 - 04:49 PM

They started off with the T-38, which fired 6.5 JAP. The island garrisons may have been slow to upgrade, but China saw a quick upgrade as it was the only Japanese engagement at the time the T-99 came out. Once there was war with the USA the Japanese government began hurried replacement of the T-38, but never completed the job.
"If your gonna buy the angel s**t, you might as well go for the zombie package as well."
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#8 T. A. Gardner

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Posted 12 November 2005 - 03:05 AM

One of the ones I fired was obtained by a SeeBee on Russell Island in the Solomons during the war. Some had to make it there.

#9 5 0 Deuce

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Posted 01 July 2006 - 12:37 AM

my uncle has that gun and its in a lot better condition
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To St. Peter He Will Tell
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I've Served My Time In Hell

#10 Ratzaroony

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Posted 29 July 2006 - 08:41 AM

Perhaps the 7.7 bullets they make today are accurate, but the ones they made during WWII weren't. During jungle fighting, water would get into the cartridges and ruin most of them. Towards the end of the war, they started running out of copper and had to use low quality copper looted from towns (pots, pans etc). After they ran out of that low quality stuff, they used iron to make the casings, causing an even greater loss in reliability. Also, the AA sights were totally useless since no one had the time to calculate plane speed, adjust the AA sights, aim and fire in the heat of battle. If you just look at the rifle, some are great, some are horrible. Last ditch models are probably the ugliest, least reliable bolt action rifles ever made. A significant percentage of them didn't function at all. The early war rifles are really works of art, but still not as good as the M1. .30-06 will beat 7.7 any day tongue.gif
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#11 bromhead79

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Posted 25 October 2009 - 06:37 PM

I agree, dasreich, the T-99 can be a consistant, competitive rifle in the CMP Vintage Rifle catagory. I compete in CMP and regional Vintage Service matches with the Enfields (No1's and No4's), the k98K Mauser, 1903 Springfield, M1 Garand, and "Little Iwo", my Series 2 Nagoya non-import "bring-back" from that tiny island of WWII fame.

Taking the "Gold" with "Little Iwo" at a spring regional 3-Position match was a treat; shooting against:
5 - M1 Garands
1 - M1903 Remington
1 - U.S. Model 1917 30.06
1 - K31 Swiss
1 - T-38 Arisaka
2 - Mosin Nagants

At 6'1, the stock felt short, but after adding on a 10lb. shooting jacket...the length was fine. I have had consistant, favorable results with the 174 gr Sierra HPBT "Match King" in the T-99 Arisaka and my .303 British Enfields.

"Little Iwo" sure causes a "stir" when we shoot well at those matches attended by a large number of "maturing" post WWII and Korean veterans/ competitors with their 1903's and M1's...still good fellowship, great fun! The little guy is sure "beat-to-heck" cosmetically from it's time in the caves, but delivers where it counts...on the target!
all the best,
Ron

Edited by bromhead79, 11 November 2009 - 04:58 AM.


#12 luketdrifter

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Posted 25 October 2009 - 10:26 PM

The Arisaka is my least favorite rifle that I own, in terms of shooting it. It's ignorant to handle, expensive as hell, and as far as accuracy is concerned, yes it's comparable to the K98 and the M91. But I got my M91 for $80.00. The Mauser I don't shoot too often due to it's grade...it's a realllly nice gun though. I like to show the Arisaka off, but I don't shoot it anymore.
Kicking up dust since 1978

#13 STURMTRUPPEN

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Posted 30 October 2009 - 10:21 PM

the t-99 was an ok rifle but for quality you cant go past the the lee enfield mk4
at the end of the night i wont be reaching for the brass ring i'll be reaching for your wwe championship
jeff hardy

#14 bromhead79

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Posted 11 November 2009 - 05:21 AM

Please let me suggest you shoot and enjoy these rifles as much as possible...

In 2009, I competed with my 1907 Sht LE I*** Enfield, 1918 BSA No1 MkIII, 1944 dou.44 k98 Mauser, M1903 Remington 30.06, 1949 South Africa issue No4 Mk2 Enfield, 1955 M1 Garand, and as mentioned...my 7.7 Jap Arisaka, "Little Iwo".
In 2010, I will also be competing with my "new kids on the block"...
a 1914 LSA Sht LE III (Gallipoli survivor) and my 1933 Tula 91/30 Mosin Nagant. With proper care and feeding, any of these can be competitive in
the 200 yard CMP Vintage Service Rifle matches.

I'm afraid the current generation may not appreciate or enjoy shooting these "old soldiers" as we do.
all the best,
Ron

Edited by bromhead79, 23 November 2009 - 01:59 PM.





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