The Type 38 Arisaka Rifle is a Japanese-made rotating bolt-action rifle in
6.5x50mm developed as a candidate for the standard Japanese infantry rifle.
The Japanese Government commissioned Colonel Nariake Arisaka to design this
infantry weapon, which first saw action in Japan's war with Russia in 1905.
There is a good reason battle rifles are developed before and after wars.
Mechanical and ergonomic flaws can be identified and remedied.
Colonel Arisaka's design was improved upon, and the Type 38 was developed
in its long (50-inch) and carbine (38-inch) forms, of which nearly 3.5 million were built.
Type 38 was much influenced by the German Mauser.
At four feet, two inches long, Type 38 long was only slightly shorter
than the average Japanese grunt, a fact not lost on the Japanese high command.
The Nipponese had this thing about sticking people with long metal blades.
So when the Type 3 bayonet was affixed to Tojo's rifle, a nearly 16-inch pig sticker,
the Type 38 might be as tall or taller than its operator. It has a light recoil,
however, pacifying Japanese soldiers.
The Type 38 weighs slightly more than nine pounds, and the abbreviated Type 38
Carbine weighs slightly more than seven and one-quarter pounds. It has a 5-round,
Mauser-type magazine that can be loaded one round at a time or by way of stripper clips.
Type 38 sports a sliding bolt cover to protect the rifle from fouling.
Its muzzle velocity, like its round, is modest at about 2,500 feet per second.
Variants of the Type 38 include the Type 44 Cavalry and the Type 97 Sniper.
Adopted in 1940, the Japanese Type 99 was an effort to shorten the Type 38 and beef up
its lighter 6.5x50mm Arisaka ammo with a harder hitting round - the 7.7x57R, based on the
British .303. As many Type 99s were produced as the Type 38, and these included several
sniper versions with telescopic scopes and a take down airborne rifle.
Both the Type 38 and Type 99 proved dependable in the hands of well-trained Japanese soldiers,
but as the war waned and the Japanese effort went downhill, quality dropped - in terms of s
killed Japanese warriors and the weapons they carried into battle.