By Edward J. Hoffschmidt
Few guns have been as maligned as the Japanese Model 1905 (Type 38) cal. 6.5 mm. rifle. During the early stages of World War II, ill-informed observers were calling the gun a piece of junk. The 6.5 mm. cartridge was considered totally inadequate for military use. Few correspondents took the time to find out how good the gun and cartridge really were.
The Arisaka is basically a modified Mauser. It was developed under the supervision of Col. Nariaki Arisaka, Superintendent of Tokyo Arsenal, and officially designated as the Type 38 (1905). Since the rifle is basically a Mauser, it has inherent safety features. The Arisaka is designed to handle gases from a ruptured case or primer. There are 2 gas escape holes in the top of the receiver and a large combination safety catch and gas shield to divert gases and brass particles away from the shooter's face. The bolt has large, solid, front locking lugs and the bolt handle engages a cut in the receiver and thus acts as a third or safety lug. The bolt has another lug about Vx" behind the left front locking lug which performs a number of jobs. It serves as a guide rib to prevent the bolt from jamming when the locking lugs pass through the section of the receiver cut away for clip loading. It also acts as a bolt stop. Its most important function is to cam the ejector into the path of the bolt. Unlike most Mausers, the ejector is not spring-operated, but rather it pivots on a separate screw; when the bolt is opened and pulled back, the bolt lug strikes the rear of the ejector, camming it into the bolt cut in the receiver.
The stock construction is unusual. The butt is made in 2 pieces dovetailed together. This method allows the use of smaller blanks and a stronger grain direction through the pistol grip area. The 2 steel tangs extending back from the action strengthen the pistol grip area even more.
1. Safety catch
2. Firing pin spring
3. Firing pin
6. Completely assembled bolt
8. Bolt stop
9. Bolt stop and ejector screws
11. Carbine receiver and barrel
12. Upper tang
13. Tang screw
16. Trigger pin
17. Sear pin
18. Sear spring
19. Magazine follower
20. Magazine spring
21. Magazine box
22. Trigger guard
23. Front guard screw
24. Rear guard screw
27. Floorplate catch
28. Floorplate catch spring
29. Floorplate release pin
30. Lower tang
31. Carbine stock
32. Upper handguard
33. Barrel seat
34. Lower band
36. Cleaning rod the American point of view. First, the action cocks on closing, which, however, with practice becomes no more trouble than a cock-on-opening action. Some find the safety catch awkward and the trigger pull is generally poor.
ITo remove assembled bolt (6), first pull it all the way to rear. Then pull bolt stop (8) out to clear stop lug on bolt. Unlike other Mauser rifles, it is not necessary to engage safety in order to disassemble bolt outside receiver
2 To disassemble bolt, hold it as shown and push safety catch (1) in as far as it can go. Rotate bolt Va-turn and ease out safety catch, firing pin (3), and firing pin spring (2). When reassembling, sear notch must be seated in shallower notch in bolt so that firing pin does not protrude.
3 Extractor (5) is attached to bolt in typical Mauser style. To remove it, rotate extractor until small guide rib which rides in groove in front end of bolt is free of groove. Push extractor forward until it snaps free of extractor collar finished as the average sporter.
Shortly before the beginning of World War II, the cal. 6.5 mm. rifle was superseded by the Type 99 (1939) cal. 7.7 mm. rifle.
While the Type 99 has basically the same action as the Type 38, the design was simplified and the majority of parts are not interchangeable with those of the Type 38 rifle.
4 To empty magazine without running cartridges through gun, release floor-plate (25) by depressing floorplate release (26) in as far as it will go. Floorplate, magazine spring (20), and follower (19) are now detached from magazine
5 To remove bolt stop screw (9), action must be removed from stock. To remove bolt stop spring (7), rotate it 90° as shown and pull it free of bolt stop (8)
6 All Japanese cal. 6.5 mm. rifles are equipped with a full-length cleaning rod for threading to a handle in the soldier's cleaning kit. To remove cleaning rod (36), push in on long spring that retains front band (35). To remove band (35), remove rod and depress spring as far as possible, and then gently drive off front band ■
Was this article helpful?
Deer hunting is an interesting thing that reminds you of those golden old ages of 19th centuries, where a handsome hunk well equipped with all hunting material rides on horse searching for his target animal either for the purpose of displaying his masculine powers or for enticing and wooing his lady love.