The best way to develop a collection?

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Elfego El Gato

Single-Sixer
Joined
Mar 17, 2008
Messages
172
Location
Northern NJ
OK, as some of you may remember, a couple of months ago I bought my first collectable rifle, an Arisaka Type 99, Series 30. Now, I'm trying to figure out just how to develop the collection that Arisaka is going to be the lead-off rifle in. Let me explain...

First, a little background -- Arisaka rifles were produced in a number of arsenals. The Series 30 mentioned above indicates that my rifle was in the first series produced by the Toyo Kogyo arsenal. There were a total of ten series produced at each arsenal, in the case of Toyo Kogyo those would be series 30 through 39. The later series are often called "last ditch" rifles, due to their poor quality.

So, I would collect one rifle from each of the series made at Toyo Kogyo, each of which had some variation from the previous series. This would be a total collection of ten rifles. This collection could be very interesting and would also be cost effective, as all of the rifles would shoot the same ammo. (Yes, I shoot *all* my rifles, including the collectable ones!)

And, just to make it even more interesting, I'm thinking that I'll try to collect the various series in chronological order: Series 30, then Series 31, then Series 32, etc., etc.

Another thing that could be fun: Each of these rifles would have an appropriate bayonet to seek out, as well. Type 30 bayonets came in a number of variations and were made by many different arsenals, but not Toyo Kogyo. So, I'd have to determine the most correct bayonet for each rifle and find it. It would be a combination of research, guessing, and treasure hunting. Sounds like an interesting way to go, don't ya think?

Oh, and each of these rifles will also have appropriate accessories that go along with them, from slings to muzzle covers to oil cans. Including these, these ten rifles could end up being a lifelong hobby of searching and collecting!

What do you think? Does it sound like a plan? I'd really like to hear from the more experienced collectors how *you've* gone about developing your collections. Thanks!
 

Elfego El Gato

Single-Sixer
Joined
Mar 17, 2008
Messages
172
Location
Northern NJ
I know you're holding your tongue in your cheek, flat, but...

In the current market, I think I could assemble this entire collection, including bayonets and accessories, for around $4,000. I know that sounds like a lot - and don't get me wrong, it *is* a lot! - but, spending in dribs and drabs over the course of ten years or so, it wouldn't really seem like so much. A little here, a little there, and I'll have a collection that was fun to build and that I can be proud of.

Assuming, of course, WWII Japanese rifles don't suddenly go up in price (an ironic wish, I know, as I certainly want the value of my collection to appreciate! How can we buy low and sell high, if the prices don't go up? Grrr!!! It's a Catch 22, it is!)
 

GUNARCHER

Bearcat
Joined
Sep 23, 2009
Messages
1
My fire arms collections have been the result of political awareness:

Besides numerous guns obtained previously===

1982 CA proposition to outlaw hand guns started me collecting --handguns, Ruger 22, S&W 357, contender 44 mag etc.

2008 the start of the "Obama collection": Semi auto, clip fed, preferably black and ugly. DPMS 223. Ruger mini 14, M1a, m1 carbine etc.

Been fun and I consider it a poke in the eye to the gun control freaks
 

41 mag fan

Single-Sixer
Joined
Dec 6, 2005
Messages
306
Location
omaha NE
My collection just seems to acumulate what ever I find interesting. The only problem I see with your plan is that as soon as you find them all you will have the bug to start another collection. Steve
 

picketpin

Buckeye
Joined
Jun 29, 2006
Messages
1,544
Location
Owyhee County, ID, USA
To be honest? If you actually intend to ever finish it then decide early what it is you want to collect and then buy guns and bayonets and whatever else AS YOU FIND IT.

I've collected 3 and maybe 4 guns in my life.

I started actually COLLECTING post War S&Ws with target sights. That was the early 70s. It sure seemed doable. Then one day my buddy and I sat down and figured the numbers and found out that one of each model, in each engineering change, in each barrel length and each finish ammount to 438 revolvers and that NOT take into account variations in front or rear sights, hammers, triggers or special order features. Some "collections" just aren't doable. I have 50 or so now and occassionally buy another.

I was given all the Winchester lever guns laying around the ranch when I turned 18, because I asked for them. That included a very very early first Model 73 and everything else up through a bunch pre 64 Model 94s.
Over the years it actually became a collection and by the early 80s there were a BUNCH of Winchesters many very very rare indeed. Then one day at the Vegas Show I saw a very early 1894 with 11 special order features that actually lettered. I looked at it, spoke to the owner. Spoke to other REALLY serious Winchester guys and figured what I could sell and got ready to write a $11,000 check. All of a sudden my brain kicked in and shouted "What in the World do you think you are doing"? You are a working LEo with a wife, 2 kids and a house. Yeah, it would have been way kool but.... Collect what you can actually afford. It actually worked out, when my daughter was ill it took one phone call to sell over 100 Winchesters and pay the bills. I only kept the family stuff.

I bought my first Ruger #1 in 1967. I bought a few more over the years.
Mostly I hunted with them. With the 20/20 vision of hindsight I wish I had actually started to collect #1s in 1967. I bought some more but with no focus. When I retired in the early 90s I actually started collecting #1s. However, even then I bought #1s with little or no focus. Over the years I've owned well over 100. IF during that same time period I had been much more selective and focused I would now have a "Collection". Now I may or may not but "I" think what I have is a LOT of rifles. It is actually getting to be a collection as I sell off stuff and narrow the scope of what I want and where it FITS. I just wished I had started it bit before my 60s.

SO, focus, buy what you like, buy what you can afford, buy it when you see it and have a goal.

After that it's just personal. In your case I can't imagine Ariskas but that's me and given that they are already pretty old and could just as easily be turned in by grandma for the $50 gun buy back I would sure not try to get them in order.

The best and have fun

RWt
 

Hauss

Bearcat
Joined
Oct 29, 2008
Messages
87
Location
Iowa
Elfego El Gato, I might be able to help give your collection a little jump start. One of my grandfather's friends happens to have quite the collection of WWII firearms. Including several Arisakas. If you're interested I could probably get you in touch with him.
 

Snake45

Patriot, Mentor, Friend ~ RIP
Joined
Mar 14, 2009
Messages
9,205
Location
USA
woodpile":1p5jsvqx said:
My collection just seems to acumulate what ever I find interesting.
Mine too. The only "theme" to it is "Stuff Snake Likes." :D Most of my guns are from the period WWII to about the 1980s or so.
 

Quarterbore

Blackhawk
Joined
Mar 9, 2008
Messages
904
Location
Valley Forge PA
Collecting always depends on interest and opportunity. The internet has made it easier to find uncommon items but it has likewise made it easier for other people too. One of my collections is the M9 Bayonet and I have not counted in a long time but I have about 100 different versions and some of them I had to pay a lot of money for. As time whent on, more people started collecting and the few pieces I was still missing became way more then I could afford to keep investing in those knives.

My point is that you can never underestimate where the collection will take you. Hell, I thought I would collect the various Single Action Ruger Hunters and I have over 20 of them and there are still more models that keep showing up that I need to buy. I would hate to add up how much my Ruger adiction has cost me and I assumed when I started I would only need something like nine guns to have the set.
 

EarlB

Bearcat
Joined
Jan 27, 2009
Messages
9
Location
Plano, Texas
El Gato,

That is a slippery slope you are heading down my man, have fun!

At one time I was at the high end of the Japanese Rifle collections in the country. I knew all of the collectors and stayed in constant contact with them.

Over 10 years I put together (and sold) 3 seperate collections.

I started off as you are doing with collecting one example of each arsenal and series rifle and carbine - all variations (Type 99, Type 38, Type 44, Paratroopers, Snipers, Navy guns, concentric circles, etc.).

At one time I had probably the best collection of Concentric Circle Japanese rifles in the country - and not a bad collection at all of Type 99, Type 38, and Type 97 Sniper rifles. With the exception of the Nagoya 12th series T99 (damn near impossible to find) I had all of the arsenals and series pretty much covered - and I was a mum collector so most all of my guns had unblemished mums.

The prices today are much more than they were even 5 years ago when I sold my last collection. So Flatgate is right, prepare to spend alot of money thanks to the movies that have come out in the last few years.

First you need books. If you haven't gotten them allready you want Honneycutt's Japanese Rifles book which is basically the "Bible". You also want McCollum's Japanese Rifles of World War II. This one has lists of each arsenal and series and basicaly I folded up a copy of it and carried it to gun shows and checked off each variation as I obtained it.

When you get into it bad, you'll find that you want to also get each variation within each series - there are many.

I would suggest joining Banzai, the Japanese Militaria and Rifle Collector society. Doss White runs it and publishes a monthly newsletter. Through Banzai you can network with other collectors - the best way to learn and grow your collection.

First thing you are going to want to do is study, study, study, and study again. You will want to be able to know which stock and which finish is correct for each gun as stocks are often refinished or replaced. Once you know your inspection stamps and arsenal finishes for proper time periods - you will know just by a glance if a stock is correct and original to the gun.

As for bayonets, there were no Type 30 bayonets specific to one rifle - they were used interchangeably. So any arsenal Type 30 bayonet could be found on any Arisaka. The "Bilbe" for Bayonets is Larry Johnson's Japanese Bayonets book. It identifies the naming system used by Japanese Bayonet collectors to identify every variation and is indispensable. And being out of print for years - quite pricey. I used to count Mr. Johnson amoung my friends when I lived in Tulsa.

If there is any way for you to make it, the upcoming Tulsa Wannamacher show will have the Banzai group in attendance (they allways make the fall show) - so there will be many Japanese collections and dealers in attendance.

If you have any questions, feel free to PM or email me. I may not currently collect them, but I have owned hundreds of Arisaka's in the past.

Earl
 

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