The Arisaka bolt-action rifle saw heavy use everywhere the Japanese Imperial Army fought. Prior to WWII, Arisakas were used by the British Navy, Russian Army, in Finland and Albania. The Czech Legion that fought in the Russian Revolution were almost entirely armed with Type 30 & 38 Arisakas. Many captured Arisaka rifles were employed by neighboring countries both during and after World War II, in places such as China, Thailand and Cambodia. However, after the Japanese surrender in the summer of 1945, all manufacturing of rifles and ammunition stopped abruptly, causing the Arisaka to quickly become obsolete. Since most Imperial Japanese Armoury contents were thrown into Tokyo Harbour after the signing of the surrender, spare ammunition also became rare.
One of the final standing orders of the Imperial Army was to file off the Emperor's family chrysanthemum insignia, or mon, from each of the rifles, thereby preventing dishonor from having the symbol fall into surrender. Therefore, the value of one of the rifles to a collector is slightly higher if the insignia, referred to by collectors as a "mum", is intact, as this implies the rifle was captured on the battlefield prior to Japan's surrender. The only insignias that survive on Arisakas are those brought back to the USA by GIs as war trophies, and those captured by Chinese forces. Some of the Chinese captured Arisakas were later exported to the United States, including some Type 38 carbines rebarrelled and rechambered for the standard Chinese 7.62x39mm round. Most removed mums were completely ground off, but some were merely defaced with a chisel or had the number "0" stamped repeatedly along the edges. The latter was usually done with rifles removed from military service (and thus no longer the Emperor's property) prior to the end of the war, including rifles given to schools or sold to other nations.
Type 38 shown in picture to right. Type 99 has full wood foregrip and side sling mounts.
Caution should be exercised with all Japanese rifles, both due to lower quality of the "last ditch" rifles produced near the end of the war, and because many Arisaka rifles brought back by GIs were often modified to use different and more readily available ammunition than the original Japanese calibers. Additionally, these rifles were sometimes required to be rendered inoperable prior to being shipped to home. These rifles may have been demilled (permanently damaging the receiver) or simply be missing parts. In the latter case, missing parts may be obtained through a number of sources.
Type 38 Arisakas were commonly rechambered to the readily available and popular .257 Roberts, as it and the original 6.5x50SR share case and projectile diameters, differing only in case length - the .257 being slightly longer.
The Japanese Type 99 in 7.7 x 58mm was sometimes converted to .30-06, which is of similar but not identical dimensions. While the .30-06 can be fired by lengthening the chamber of the rifle slightly (from 58 to 63mm), the 7.7 case is slightly wider than the .30-06 and uses a slightly larger-diameter bullet, meaning a .30-06 cartridge case will swell slightly to fit the oversized chamber, and a standard .30-06 bullet with a .308 diameter will not provide a good fit to the .310-312 diameter rifling.
Fortunately, ammunition for the Type 99 Arisaka rifle can easily be made by running 30-06 cases through a 7.7 die and trimming to length. British .303 bullets (Speer 150 Grain) work well with 45.0 Grains of DuPont 4064 powder. Federal 210 primers are a good choice. Norma manufactures loaded ammunition for the 7.7 X 58mm, as well as making new brass available for reloaders. Hornady also manufactures new Arisaka ammunition in both 6.5mm and 7.7mm calibers. Since the base of the 7.7 X 58mm is slightly larger than the .30-06 (thereby causing varying amounts of bulging of reformed brass in this area), some owners may find it preferable to use the Norma brass or new factory cartridges. Bullets and powder charges of inexpensive surplus .303 British ammunition may also be loaded into 7.7 X 58mm cases to produce rifle cartridges with ballistics that are similar to the original Japanese military load.
Wipo Publishes Patent of Hitachi, Hiroshi Hayakawa, Takeshi Arisaka, Takaki Kuroda and Takumi Tomita for "System Management Device and System Management Method" (Japanese Inventors)
Mar 29, 2013; GENEVA, March 29 -- Publication No. WO/2013/042270 was published on March 28.Title of the invention: "SYSTEM MANAGEMENT DEVICE...
Wipo Publishes Patent of Hitachi, Naoki Wada, Toshihiro Arisaka and Daisuke Matsuka for "Disk Unit and Disk Array Apparatus" (Japanese Inventors)
Mar 15, 2013; GENEVA, March 15 -- Publication No. WO/2013/035133 was published on March 14.Title of the invention: "DISK UNIT AND DISK ARRAY...
Wipo Publishes Patent of Hitachi, Shoichi Yokoyama, Takeshi Anzai, Takeshi Arisaka for "Method for Reducing Management Cost in Large-Scale It System Management" (Japanese Inventors)
Nov 16, 2012; GENEVA, Nov. 16 -- Publication No. WO/2012/150628 was published on Nov. 8. Title of the invention: "METHOD FOR REDUCING...