An Introduction to the Model 99



Picture number 101 (picture courtesy of Shannon Zeigler) shows the chamber markings on a Model 99. The "flower" at the top is the Japanese chrysanthemum or "mum" as it is commonly referred to by collectors. The characters below the mum translate to "Model 99." The 99 refers to the date of adoption, which in the Western calendar is the year 1939.


Doss White writes (5 July 2000) that "experts" ("Expert" as referenced in Military Rifles of Japan, 4th edition, is reference 34. "Tatsumi,. July 1, 1976." Under Acknowledgements, page 5. "Namio Tatsumi, Superintendent of the Toriimatsu factory of Nagoya Arsenal for the first six months of WW II...") say production of the Model 99 did not start until late 1940. Honeycutt's Japanese arsenal contacts said Oct 1939. What period did fiscal year 1940 cover?


I have noted two references on 1945 fiscal year's production. One said fiscal year 45 only covered the first three months. The second said fiscal year 45 covered April -December 1945.



Picture number 102 (picture courtesy of Shannon Zeigler) shows the markings on the right side of the receiver. The first circle on the left contains the series marking; the next is the serial number, here 819, and, after the serial number is the code for the arsenal or factory that made the rifle. (A list of series codes and manufacturers codes for the Model 99 is shown below.)


Model 99, Series 7 Theory. Some collectors have theorized that most of the 7th series was produced for the Japanese Navy - short ladder rear sight and grooved safety knob being Navy requirements. Also given as 'proof' are the fact that some 7th series rifles observed by proponents of this 'school' are painted black.


While the 7th series was in production it is further theorized Izawa and Howa were commissioned to produced the 9th series to "fill in" for the rifles going to the Navy. A few Izawa ninths have grooved safety knobs showing that the 7th and 9th series were produced during the same time frame.




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