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"The Arisaka Rifle" Topic

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Tango0130 Nov 2019 8:42 p.m. PST

"Entering service in 1897, the Arisaka family of bolt-action rifles armed Japanese troops and others through two world wars and many other conflicts, including the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-05.

Issued in long and short versions – the latter for cavalry and specialists – the Type 30 was the first main Arisaka model, arming Imperial Japan's forces during the Russo-Japanese War, though after the war it was refined into the Type 38, which would still be in use in 1945. The main Arisaka rifle of World War II though was the Type 99. Lighter and more rugged than the US M1903 Springfield rifle it would face in the initial battles in the Pacific, it was produced in four main variants, including a sniping model and a take-down parachutist's rifle…."
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WillieB Supporting Member of TMP01 Dec 2019 4:27 p.m. PST

For what it s worth. I found that the Arisaka rifle was consistently the very best- accurate- military rifle I fired.
With handloads- but not exactly tuned- I was able to keep strings of 5 bullets consistently in 1 MOA at 200 meters.

No other out of the box military rifle I ever tested came close.
Runner up was a Finnish Moisin Nagant and a tuned this time K98.

khanscom01 Dec 2019 6:48 p.m. PST

Years ago a fellow shooter at the range demonstrated stripping the bolt of an Arisaka with his thumb as the only tool necessary. A very impressively engineered design-- it seemed as soldier-proof as the Mosin.

Tango0110 Dec 2019 12:12 p.m. PST



Blutarski11 Dec 2019 8:30 p.m. PST

One additional bit of minutia regarding the 6.5mm Arisaka rifle. While the overwhelming majority of these rifles were indeed produced in Japan, about 60,000 were produced and supplied under contract by several Italian industrial firms in 1937 under the Anti-Comintern pact signed by Germany, Italy and Japan. The outbreak of widespread fighting in China had resulted in the Imperial Japanese Army basically cornering the entire domestic Japanese small arms production output. Meanwhile, the Imperial Japanese Navy suddenly came to realize that they urgently needed weapons to arm their base security units, their Special Naval Landing Force units, etc. Being unable to procure domestically manufactured weapons, the navy cut a deal with Italy, who manufactured and delivered the order.

These rifles are colloquially referred to as the "I"-type Arisaka. The principal means of ID are:
[ 1 ] a totally unmarked receiver no Chrysanthemum or Japanese arsenal proof marks of any sort to be seen.
[ 2 ] a six character alphanumeric number on the left side of the receiver just peeking over the top of the stock; the first character is a letter that identified the Italian factory (IIRC, six different factories were involved in production) followed by a 5-digit number.
[ 3 ] a Carcano-type upright laterally rotating blade safety at the very back of the bolt instead of the customary Arisaka round rotating palm safety.

According to myth and lore, Japanese units disliked the rifle on patriotic grounds, in that it was of gaijin manufacture and did not bear the imperial Chrysanthemum, so they mostly sat unloved in naval warehouses during the war. No idea if that is true or not, but my father brought home a pristine new example of this rifle, which he "acquired" during a self-guided tour of Yokosuka Naval Arsenal shortly after the Tokyo Bay surrender, at which his ship (USS Lardner DD497) was present.

One comment I have seen claimed within the collectible firearms community is that the Arisaka is the strongest Mauser bolt action military rifle ever produced.



Marc33594 Supporting Member of TMP12 Dec 2019 6:51 a.m. PST

Love the addition Blutarski, thanks!

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