This is an exceptionally rare pre-war Japanese semi-automatic rifle that was manufactured by the Koishikawa (Tokyo) Arsenal for the Japanese Army Test Trials held in 1935. There were approximately 24 of these Pedersen designed longarms manufactured in total: 12 with the longer (26.5 inch) barrel, such as this one, and 12 with the shorter carbine length (22.5 inch) barrels. This series of rifle is discussed on page 157-161, with this actual rifle pictured on page 166 in the book: "Military Rifles Of Japan" 2nd Edition by Honeycutt. 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 a rotary magazine that held five rounds. This design was also submitted in the 1936 test, but all testing was halted when Japan invaded mainland China in July 1936/37. The testing program was eventually reinstated in 1942/43 but it was too late with the Japanese eventually abandoning all earlier designs. They finally settled on converting in a M1 Garand design to the Japanese 7.7mm round and eventually manufactured their own Japanese version of the M1 rifle. Since this was intended as "trials/test" rifle there are no factory markings, however, the top of the receiver, rear section of the toggle mechanism, rotary magazine and underside of the stock all have the serial numbers "1". It is fitted with offset front and rear sights for use with the toggling mechanism. The rear sight used a similar design to the original Pedersen rifle. The left side of the receiver has an integrally machined sniper scope base. There is no scope mount or scope with this rifle. It has a full length stock with thirteen perforated holes or vents on the underside of the forend. It is also fitted with a full length handguard. The stock has standard sling swivels and is fitted with a cupped sheet metal buttplate. 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 cleaning rod.
Exceptionally fine with 90% plus of the original blue finish overall with the bolt mechanism and internal components still in their original "in the white" condition. The stock and handguard are both in very fine condition overall with numerous dings, much of the original arsenal type varnish finish with both sides of the buttstock showing wear and finish loss due to handing. The rifle was probably never actually tested as it shows way too much original finish. A rare early Japanese prototype/military test rifle.
There are currently no customer product questions on this lot