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Rattler

My Old 7.7 Jap Deer Rifle

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When I was 17 I had my first opportunity to hunt deer in the rifle zone of upstate NY.  I didn't have a deer rifle or a lot of cash at the time.  I found this semi sporterized Arisaka 7.7 Jap rifle in a gun shop for $45.  My Dad had to buy it for me as I was only 17 then.  It came with the scope mount, so I only needed to add sling studs, a scope and sight it in and I was good to go.  Over the years I have changed the scope, refinished the stock, jeweled the bolt, worked the trigger, re-blued it, and added a nicer floor plate and trigger guard.  I finally decided it deserves a good Leupold scope and put that on yesterday.  It needs to be sighted in now.  It has a great bore and is very accurate.  I think it needs to kill a deer this year.

The first photo is how this rifle look in the hands of the Japanese during WWII.  The rest are the end result of 47 years of ownership.  ( I'm considering a Timney trigger now )  The last photo compares a .308 round (on the left) to a 7.7 Jap round.  Ballistically, using 150 grain bullets, they are almost equal.

 

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MyJap.JPG

MyJap2.JPG

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MyJap5.JPG

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Very cool rattler - the mere fact that you still have a gun from when you were 17 is neat, let alone such a rare one for deer hunting.  How accurate is it at 100yds?

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Currently it will do 1.5 inch groups with my reloads.  That's why I'm considering a Timney trigger.  The original trigger is not the greatest and I've gotten used to the Kimber triggers on my other rifles.

Back then, sporterized military rifles were very common, but a Jap rifle was an odd ball.  The cartridges cost me $20 a box when I bought it, where .30-06 could be found for $5.  Today for some reason, I can still find new Hornady cartridges for it for $20 a box.  Weird.

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Nice sporter, Rattler ...

I have a type 99  in 7.7 in the original condition... I bought it from a co-worker for $35 back in the 1970s...Most of them have chrome lined bores so bore corrosion is not an issue as it is with many milsurps...

Actually the Japs  admired the .303 British due to its superior performance over the then standard 6.5  , so the 7.7  was basically a copy of the .303 in a rimless case...

I think it was P.O. Ackley that ran a strength test on various bolt action military rifles...He would keep firing increased loads  until the rifle blew up...

The Arisakas  were the very strongest actions..They were still intact and operating when all of the Enfields, Springfields, Mausers,  etc.  were lying in pieces on the gun room floor..

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It's true they were modeled after the .303 but I didn't have a .303 for comparison.  The 7.7 uses .311 diameter bullets too, just like a .303 British.

I also saw that strength test.  It's amazing how much that action can take.

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While sighting in the Jap, I started to feel the scope wasn't right for the rifle.  It seemed bigger than needed.  In the end, I swapped it out for a Leupold VX1 2-7x33mm with a matte finish.  It feels like it has better balance with that scope and is sighted in perfectly now.  Gotta go with what feels right.

Edited by Rattler
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The 2X7 Leupold is one of my favorite hunting scopes, it is a tough to beat all arounder that will handle just about any big game hunting I think.

Al

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Serious Dogs For Serious Work

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10 hours ago, Rattler said:

While sighting in the Jap, I started to feel the scope wasn't right for the rifle.  It seemed bigger than needed.  In the end, I swapped it out for a Leupold VX1 2-7x33mm with a matte finish.  It feels like it has better balance with that scope and is sighted in perfectly now.  Gotta go with what feels right.

I knew you would come to your senses...

We OLD farts have to stick together...<< GRIN>>….

Edited by Pygmy
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Many of these sporterized Japs were converted to .30-06.  I was considering converting this one to .35 Whelen.  But since it shoots so well as is, I figure if it ain't broke, don't fix it.  Besides, I have about 200 rounds for this rifle and enough 7.7 reloading supplies to last the rest of my life.  Just have to sell myself on adding a $200 Timney trigger.

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Splendid looking rifle! Well into the eighties, I remember seeing more sporterized surplus rifles in the field than domestic manufactured: Enfields, Arisakas, Springfields and Mausers, Krags…..No one ever thought they were undergunned. I think probably around the time scopes really took off in the late seventies coincided with the fade in the surplus guns, but not necessarily the reason.

My favorite rifle is what was formerly my dads 8x57 Oberndorf Mauser 98. He had it pretty basically sporterized, with a Lyman aperture and Herters birds eye maple stock he finished. It weighed around 11.5 lbs! Since I have had it, I have drilled and tapped it for a scope (1.5 x 5 Leupold), Timney trigger, competition firing pin and spring, some metal removed from the action and bolt and an alloy trigger housing/ magazine well with push button trap door. it sits in an overmolded hogue stock, bringing the weight all together to just about 7.2. 

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That's a classic sporter Dave.  I've seen many beautiful sporterized Mausers as well as 03 Springfields.  These military rifles were well built and will last.  They can be real tack drivers.  There were many suppliers making custom parts for those rifles.  Custom parts for my Jap were always hard to come by.

I just went on the Timney site to look at a trigger for my Arisaka.  It was only a few years ago they began offering an Arisaka trigger.  The price has gone down to $135!  I was happily surprised.  I think I'm going to pull the trigger on a new trigger for this rifle as I've been wanting to upgrade it for years.  Just not sure I want to take it apart to install it just prior to hunting season.  I just got it perfectly sighted in.  LOL.

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My Timney (I have actually installed three on different rifles) were all pretty much drop in. If I recall, on one rifle I needed to shave a little more wood off the stock in the area of the trigger is all. You don't need to worry about changing the sighting, just a few shots to be comfortable with the change in trigger.

I am not quite done with the Mauser...it is still wearing 1930s vintage bluing, but I am not sure what I want done. Most likely a duracoat/ ceramacoat type finish.

I have a 2nd 98 Mauser, 1943 vintage. A friend paid 50 bucks for it at a garage sale in the seventies. It was very coarsely sporterized at the time, and he bubba' d the bolt and sights up. I have decided to recreate what a half way decent 1950s era sporterized 98 could be. It also sports a Herters stock which is fine, but have put a vintage Redfield scope (3 x) and a new turned down bolt with a low swing safety. She shoots just fine as it is. It is a bit of a tribute to Dad and Jack.

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I find the point of aim usually shifts slightly whenever the stock is removed from the barreled action.  It's the Fajen stock the rifle came with it when I bought it.  Nice piece of nothing fancy walnut, but not pillar or glass bedded.

  The original Jap safety is the big knob on the back of the bolt, which is very hard to operate.  The new Timney trigger comes with a safety on it, but it requires a little wood modification to get it to fit in the stock.  I would expect the zero to move a little after doing that to the stock, but I'd really like to have the safety on the trigger.  That's just a bonus to a better trigger.

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Wildcat Junkie has a couple of absolutely lovely Mauser sporters...I had the opportunity to fondle them a couple of years ago...<<SIGH>>…...

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That's who I was trying to remember.  I was thinking someone here had posted about custom Mausers but couldn't remember his handle.  I could see the posts and his avatar in my head, but for the life of me couldn't remember his handle.  A sign of the onset of old timers disease I guess.

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6 hours ago, Rattler said:

That's who I was trying to remember.  I was thinking someone here had posted about custom Mausers but couldn't remember his handle.  I could see the posts and his avatar in my head, but for the life of me couldn't remember his handle.  A sign of the onset of old timers disease I guess.

No problem, Rattler....Me and ALL my friends have the same affliction....Commonly known as CRS...

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P. O. Ackley considered the Arisaka to be the strongest bolt action.

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Never forget the 241 GIs that were killed in Beirut because of Reagan administration policies.

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