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Japanese Type 18 1885 11mm black powder cartridge rifle


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Old 09-12-2017, 03:26 PM   #1
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Default Japanese Type 18 1885 11mm black powder cartridge rifle

Here's my Japanese MURATA Type 18 bolt action rifle chambered in 11mm. This is the first bolt action rifle manufactured in Japan and was the precursor to the famous Arisaka rifle. It mostly matching numbers; bolt, receiver, barrel, rear sight and trigger guard all match. Stock still retains its cartouche. 32” barrel is very good with some surface wear; strong rifling remains. Rear ladder sight. Bore is good with some surface wear; strong rifling remains. Original cleaning rod intact. Matching numbers receiver shows same brown patina; Bolt action works smoothly and flawlessly. Bolt numbers match; Firing pin mechanism numbers do not. Trigger guard very good with matching numbers. The only numbers I see that do not match are on the middle barrel band. Full length stock remains quite attractive with shoulder stock cartouche. Small repaired crack left side along rear tang; barely noticeable. Original metal butt plate very good. Does anyone make brass for this rifle or have any reloading hints?
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Old 09-12-2017, 03:29 PM   #2
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A few more photos to show details.
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Old 09-12-2017, 05:55 PM   #3
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Pretty nice looking for such a old arm, from what I could find about the Type 13 and Type 18 is It was not a first-line weapon in any major conflict, but I think it would have seen a fair bit of use in the Sino-Japanese War of 1894-1895 and some sources indicate it was in second-line service as late as the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-05. After being retired from service, most either served as training rifles in Japan's schools or ended up on the civilian market where many were converted to shotguns in 32, 30 or 28 gauge.


http://www.nambuworld.com/muratat18pix.htm

To further quote nambuworld.
Now, is that a hefty bolt handle or what? The reason it is so large is that the Type 13 and 18 Muratas used a V-shaped flat spring to drive the firing pin rather than the coil springs we are more accustomed to seeing. This feature is thought to have been borrowed from the Dutch Beaumont rifle, to which the designer was exposed during a study trip to Europe. It is a weak feature since flat springs provide less motive force, but it may have appealed to Murata since Japanese gunsmiths had used pretty much only this type of spring in the highly refined matchlocks they were making well into the 19th century. Besides the Beaumont, other rifles often identified as having had an influence on the design are the French Gras and Chassepot, the Portuguese Kropatchek and the Here is a picture of the bolt with the extractor attached. Well, maybe "attached" is not the right word. "In place" might be better. There is nothing holding the extractor onto the bolt, so it easily falls off when the bolt is removed. This may be the reason why the extractors are usually missing from these rifles. Here is the same shot with the extractor off. You can see the little guide towards the right end of the extractor that slides into the groove on the bolt just above it.

There is quite a bit in the nambuworld link pertaining to markings.
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File Type: jpg muratat18bolt3.jpg (30.5 KB, 7 views)

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Old 09-12-2017, 10:56 PM   #4
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That is a heck of a nice rifle Rex. Congrats!

I would give Dallas's Stetson for one of those.
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Old 09-12-2017, 11:13 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chainfire View Post
That is a heck of a nice rifle Rex. Congrats!

I would give Dallas's Stetson for one of those.
my Stetson would buy you a truck load of those rifles sir!

i'm surprised you don't have couple of those old relics stashed away somewhere.
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Old 09-13-2017, 01:04 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by varifleman View Post
Here's my Japanese MURATA Type 18 bolt action rifle chambered in 11mm. This is the first bolt action rifle manufactured in Japan and was the precursor to the famous Arisaka rifle. It mostly matching numbers; bolt, receiver, barrel, rear sight and trigger guard all match. Stock still retains its cartouche. 32” barrel is very good with some surface wear; strong rifling remains. Rear ladder sight. Bore is good with some surface wear; strong rifling remains. Original cleaning rod intact. Matching numbers receiver shows same brown patina; Bolt action works smoothly and flawlessly. Bolt numbers match; Firing pin mechanism numbers do not. Trigger guard very good with matching numbers. The only numbers I see that do not match are on the middle barrel band. Full length stock remains quite attractive with shoulder stock cartouche. Small repaired crack left side along rear tang; barely noticeable. Original metal butt plate very good. Does anyone make brass for this rifle or have any reloading hints?

If you look close you can make out the stamp below the mum.
Below the mum is a rather faint, larger marking. This is the kanji character hai(an obsolete version of the character listed as #1526 in the Nelson kanji dictionary). Literally this character means "obsolete", or "discarded". In this case it can be interpreted as "withdrawn from service".
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Old 09-13-2017, 02:42 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rex in OTZ View Post
If you look close you can make out the stamp below the mum.
Below the mum is a rather faint, larger marking. This is the kanji character hai(an obsolete version of the character listed as #1526 in the Nelson kanji dictionary). Literally this character means "obsolete", or "discarded". In this case it can be interpreted as "withdrawn from service".

Thanks to ghp95134 on War Relics Forum characters on stock indicate that this rifle was used as a training rifle after it was withdrawn from service:

I cannot clearly see the brand. Is it
内日青校
Utsui Junior High School
From what I recall Nick saying, in those days "youth schools" were the equivalent of our high school, and "high school" was the equivalent of college-prep/junior college.
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