Lot #1482
Lot #1484

Lot 1483: Japanese Pedersen Rifle 6.55 mm

Rare Pre-World War II Japanese Pedersen Experimental Semi-Automatic Rifle Serial Number 8 with Sniper Scope Base

Auction Date: April 24, 2015

Lot 1483: Japanese Pedersen Rifle 6.55 mm

Rare Pre-World War II Japanese Pedersen Experimental Semi-Automatic Rifle Serial Number 8 with Sniper Scope Base

Auction Date: April 24, 2015

Estimated Price: $25,000 - $40,000
Price Realized:

Rare Pre-World War II Japanese Pedersen Experimental Semi-Automatic Rifle Serial Number 8 with Sniper Scope Base

Manufacturer: Japanese
Model: Pedersen
Type: Rifle
Gauge: 6.55 mm
Barrel: 22.5 inch round
Finish: blue
Grip:
Stock: mahogany
Item Views: 7206
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 183
Class: Curio & Relic Long Gun
Description:

This is an exceptionally rare pre-war Japanese semi-automatic rifle that was manufactured by the Koishikawa (Tokyo) Arsenal for the Japanese Test Trials in 1935. There were approximately 24 of these Pedersen rifles designed and manufactured in total: 12 with the shorter length (22.5 inch) barrel such as this one and 12 with the longer (26.5 inch) barrel. A similar example is pictured and discussed in "MILITARY RIFLES OF JAPAN" 2nd Edition by Honecutt. At the time, the Japanese had been following the U.S. Test Trials and noted some of the various designs. In 1932, after teaming up with the Vickers Company in England to produce the "toggle-bolt" mechanism, Mr. Pedersen traveled to Japan to demonstrate his rifle in the hopes of gaining foreign sales. General Yoshida, who was in charge of manufacturing at the Tokyo Arsenal, was impressed with the Pedersen rifle design and chose to copy it. He redesigned the mechanism to fire the 6.5 mm Japanese cartridge, and instead of the original 10 round magazine, he designed it to only hold five rounds. This design was also submitted in the 1936 test, but all testing on a semi-automatic rifle was halted when hostilities broke out between the Japanese and Chinese forces in July 1936 near Peking. The testing program was eventually reinstated in 1942/43 but it was so late in the war that the Japanese abandoned all earlier designs and decided to just convert existing M1 Garand rifles to the Japanese 7.7mm round and eventually designed their own Japanese version of the U.S. M1 rifle. As noted, this is one of 12 Japanese Pedersen rifle ever manufactured in the shorter barrel length, and this rifle is serial number 8. There are no factory or arsenal markings as it was a "trials/test" rifle; however, the top of the receiver, rear section of the toggle mechanism, rotary magazine and underside of the stock all have the serial numbers "8". It is fitted with excellent offset front and rear sights with the rear sight fully adjustable for windage and elevation. The left side of the receiver has a separate large sniper scope base attached with eight individual screws and two taper pins. There is no scope mount or scope, but the base itself is similar to the base used for the later Experimental Type 38 sniper scope and mount of which only a handful were actually produced. It has a full length stock with eleven perforated holes or vents along the underside and a short top handguard. The stock has side mounted sling swivels and a cupped sheet metal buttplate. The right side of the buttstock has several small Kanji markings that may designate this as a test rifle. It is beautifully machined with a super smooth action that is fully rust blued on the outside and has an "in the white" arsenal finish on the inside. It is complete with an original leather sling and cleaning rod.

Rating Definition:

Extremely fine with 85% plus of the original blue finish overall with the exception of the underside of the magazine cover, which has browned out completely. The stock and handguard are both in fine condition with a nice original Japanese arsenal finish showing numerous light pressure dents and dings overall with the center section of the right side of the stock showing more circular pressure dents which almost looks like where it bumped into a similar rifle as if they were packed into a shipping crate. This is an all around very rare and interesting pre-war Japanese Experimental Pedersen Test/Trials rifle, and they are seldom offered at auction!



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