WWII Japanese steel charger

This charger does carry that “Y” Japanese symbol. That is my 1st encounter with a steel Japanese charger. It is highly magnetic unlike the regular brass ones. Is it a “last ditch” charger?

The steel chargers are ‘not uncommon’ and seen far more frequently than Japanese steel case SAA. Jack

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About 8 years ago I bought a “clump” of these on US eBay … literally.

There were just over 60 steel Arisaka chargers in a rock-hard agglomeration of old grease … a week in solvent, agitating every once in a while had most of them out and just like new, save for the few that had bits poking out of the preservative. Even better, they were a variety from this early “hard-edge” one to the later more “rounded” type.

… and they cost me less than $50 including postage to the UK, but at that time chargers of all types were seen for sale more frequently than now.

Pete

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So, you got very lucky. Here is mine after vinegar soak.


This is one of the more rounded section chargers, without the well defined edges along the folds and made from a slightly lighter gauge of metal. I presume these are later production types.

Peter

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Peter, was the switch to steel in 1944 when brass was needed for cartridges?

cool! I also bought steel clips about 8 years ago.
Left one brass, the rest steel, right MG.

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The two on the left were made in Britain by Kynoch who also produced large amounts of 6,5mm cartridges for Arisaka rifle. The rifles were imported into Britain via France in 1915 as there was foreseen to be a shortage of Lee-Enfield rifles to equip the rapidly expanding British army. In the end production of SMLE rifles was simplified somewhat and making various parts was contracted out to small firms so the shortage didn’t materialise … the Arisaka rifles were issued to naval ships, especially armed trawlers, for sinking mines. Most then went to Imperial Russia before 1917 but many were supplied to White Russian forces after the 1917 revolution along with tens of millions of rounds of ammunition and the associated chargers.

Russian troops with Type 38 Arisaka rifles;

At one point large numbers of these clips were being found by metal detectorists in the Baltic States although many were badly corroded.

Pete

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Thanks Peter!
Brass from Ukraine. Steel I bought in the US, these beautiful, w/o rust it is impossible to digged.

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It’s impossible to tell althougn I suspect that both were produced at the same time … there was an obvious deterioration in the quality of chargers over time and these changes are found in both brass and steel examples.

Despite much searching I’ve never found original Japanese munitions documents in either the Royal Armouries or the National Archives … nor have there been translations, apart from a few handbooks.

When I was collecting bayonets I took a close interest in Arisaka ones as they strongly influenced the design of the British P’07 SMLE bayonet, I also corresponded widely with collectors of Arisaka rifles and heard from everyone that there was absolutely no documentation available from Japan … many suppositions had to be made as evidence was lacking … I suspect that the procurement and supply systems were chaotic and that what paperwork existed was destroyed in allied bombing raids … plus there wasn’t much interest to the allies in doing the sort of contemporary research, as happened in Germany, because Japanese military technology didn’t have much that was original to offer.

Pete

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Pete: The Arisakas are in fact carbines; all are type 38 I think except the one in the upper right, which seems to be a type 30. Jack