Type 38

            Here are right and left side photos of the Type 38 with and without the dust cover.

Right side with dust cover:


Right side without dust cover:


Left side with dust cover:


Left side without dust cover:


            Here are the markings on the top of the front of the action just where it joins the barrel. The marking at the top of the photo is the Imperial Chrysanthemum. As with most surrendered weapons, it has been defaced. Usually it was ground off as on my Type 99 (see T99 section), but here it was defaced with the stamping of eight zeroes around the outside circumference. The two holes are for venting gas in case of a cartridge rupture (better upwards than back in the firerfs face). Below that are three kanji characters: san-pachi-shiki, gthree eight typeh, or Type 38. The Japanese soldiers usually called this rifle the sanpachiju (38 gun) for short.


            The serial number is on the left side of the action. In front of it is the series marking, the katana symbol goh, which looks like a lower case t in a circle with a leg pointing downwards towards 7 ofclock from the intersection of the horizontal and vertical strokes. That designates the series, which is 27 (goh is the 27th katakana symbol in the traditional arrangement of the Japanese syllabary/halphabeth). The symbol on the far right is the Nagoya arsenal marking.


This is a clearer shot of just the series marking, the katakana goh, as it appears on the gun and below that, a print out of the symbol.


This is the right side of the action with the dust cover in place.


Here is a close-up of the right side of the action without the dust cover.


Herefs the left side with the dust cover in place. You can see where the serial number is on the frame just above the stock and just forward of the trigger guard.


Herefs the left side without the dust cover. Note the bolt release lever on the receiver just above the trigger guard.


                                                                                    Herefs the top of the action with the dust cover:


Herefs the top of the action without the dust cover:


This one shows the bottom of the dust cover. The gun is missing a screw that goes in behind the trigger guard.


            On the left side of the receiver, just above the bolt handle in the photo above, is the bolt release lever. Here is a shot of how you move it to get the bolt to come out the back (i.e. towards the left in this photo).


            This is the back of the safety. Note the fine knurling in contrast to the rough finish on the rear of the safety on my Type 99. The bolt and gun numbers do not match. I think this is a later bolt and safety since it has a notch rather than a tang.


Here is the sight, graduated up to a rather optimistic 2,400 metres.


The bottom of the gun up by the muzzle shows the cleaning rod release lever just below the bayonet lug. Unfortunately this gun is missing the cleaning rod.


            If you have been wondering just what a dust cover is, here is one for a Type 38. During the early years of fighting in northern China, the Japanese had problems with dust clogging their rifles, so they started putting dust covers on them. A good idea in that environment, perhaps, but they were often thrown away by soldiers in other theatres becuase they were a bit loose and rattled, which could be fatal when stealth was required.


This is the bottom, showing the tab inside. This one is a bit rusty and needs a little TLC.


The back edge has a serial number. I understand that some also had an arsenal marking, but I donft see one on mine.



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Last updated: February 24, 2004. All contents are copyright Teri unless otherwise specified and may not be used elsewhere in any form without prior permission.