Book Review: The Siamese Mauser (Banzai Special Project #1)

The Siamese MauserThe Banzai group of Japanese weapon collectors has been around for a long time – they began publishing their newsletter in 1982 (actually, that makes the newsletter older than I am, to some peoples’ chagrin). In 1987 they published the first of what would become many Special Projects – books on specific subjects related to Japanese arms. I have previous reviewed a later one of these books (The Early Arisakas), and today I’m taking a look at the very first of them. Special Project #1 was a short booklet compiling all the available data on the Siamese Type 46 and Type 47 Mauser rifles and carbines.

These weapons are relatively uncommon, but still available to the collector, and there is very little information on them. In this book, Francis Allen and Roger Wakelam discuss the history of the design and its use by the Siamese (now Thai) military. They then use a survey of 58 Type 46 rifles and 12 Type 47 carbines to draw conclusions about the different variants of the guns, and they discuss some of the accessories to the gun (slings, muzzle covers, bayonets, and cleaning rods). Finally, an article on the Type 45 and Type 66 cartridges (8x50R and 5x52R) written by Bill Woodin (world-renowned cartridge expert) is included. Put together, this pretty much covers everything US collectors have been able to discover about the Siamese Mausers.

Unfortunately, the book is out of print today, and I have been unable to locate any retail dealer or source to purchase copies. I got mine from another collector, and that’s about the only option available. However, the second-best source of information on Siamese Mausers IS available and in print – it is Banzai Special Project #8, on the Type 38 Arisaka. The Siamese guns were built under contract by the Tokyo Arsenal (and have many features copied from the Type 38), and the Banzai study of the Type 38 includes a short chapter on them. As a bonus, it also includes a wealth of information on the Arisaka. 🙂

Interested parties can order The Type 38 Arisaka from Castle-Thunder.com.