Type 38 rifle
||It has been suggested that this article be merged with Type 38 carbine. (Discuss) Proposed since October 2012.|
|Type 38 Rifle|
Type 38 Rifle
|Place of origin||Empire of Japan|
|Used by||See Users|
Russian Civil War,
World War I,
Second Sino-Japanese War,
World War II,
Chinese Civil War,
Indonesian National Revolution
|Variants||Carbine & Cavalry rifle|
|Weight||3.95 kg (8.7 pounds)|
|Length||1,280 millimeters (50.4 in)|
|Barrel length||800 mm (31.5 inches)|
|Rate of fire||c.30 rpm|
|Muzzle velocity||765 meters per second (2,510 ft/s)|
|Feed system||5 round magazine|
The Type 38 rifle Arisaka (三八式歩兵銃 san-hachi-shiki hoheijū ) is a bolt-action rifle. The standard rifle of the Japanese infantry during World War II, it was also known in Japan as the Type 38 Year Meiji Carbine. Earlier weapon variants included the Type 30 Year Meiji Rifle. The weapon was designed by lieutenant general of the Imperial Japanese Army Arisaka Nariakira who, along with Kijiro Nambu, was Japan's most important weapons engineer.
Description and variants
The type 38 rifle used the Japanese 6.5×50mm Arisaka cartridge. This cartridge produces little recoil when fired. However, while on par with the Norwegian and Italian 6.5mm military cartridges of the time, the 6.5×50mm was not as powerful as several others in use by other nations. The Arisaka Rifle at 1,280 millimeters (50.4 in) was the longest rifle of the war, due to the emphasis on bayonet training for the Japanese soldier of the era who stood, on average, 160 centimeters (5 ft 3 in). The rifle was even longer when the 400 mm (15.75 inches) Type 30 bayonet was fixed.
These two concerns (among others) led the Japanese Army to adopt the Type 99 Rifle, a shorter rifle using more powerful ammunition. Japanese authorities also wished to adopt a new long arm that needed fewer machining steps to be produced given Japan's metallurgic capacity.
The Type 38 Cavalry Carbine is a short-barreled version of the Type 38. It was used by cavalry, engineers, quartermasters and other non-frontline troops. It was introduced into service at the same time as the Type 38. Its barrel was 487 millimeters (19.2 in), overall length 966 millimeters (38.0 in) overall, and a weight of 3.3 kilograms (7.3 lb).
Other variants of the Type 38 were the Type 44 Cavalry Rifle, Type 97 Sniper Rifle. The Japanese Imperial Navy also purchased a number of Type I Rifles from Italy at the beginning of World War II. The Italian-built rifles were chambered for the same 6.5×50mm cartridge as the Type 38 rifle. The Type I Rifle were similar in appearance and length to the Type 38 rifle, but were based on the Italian Carcano action.
Post-war inspection of the Type 38 by both the U.S. military and the National Rifle Association showed that the Type 38's receiver was the strongest bolt action of any nation and capable of handling more powerful cartridges.
|This section requires expansion. (March 2011)|
- National Revolutionary Army
- Chinese Red Army
- Empire of Japan
- Indonesia: Captured Japanese weapons after Japan's World War II surrender and used them in the Indonesian Independence War.
- Mexico: The Mexican government ordered 40,000 rifles chambered for the 7×57mm Mauser cartridge in 1910, but less than 5,000 were delivered before the overthrow of president Porfirio Diaz in 1911 canceled the order.
- Russian Empire: During World War I, bought the 35,400 7mm Mauser rifles originally intended for Mexico, and also received 128,000 Type 30 and 38 rifles from Britain in 1916. This in addition to about 600,000 in 6.5 mm ordered directly from Japan.
- United Kingdom: Bought a mixed batch of 150,000 Type 30 and Type 38 rifles from Japan at the start of World War I. Most were used by training battalions and the rifles were declared obsolete in 1921.
According to another source, Japanese exports of this model were much greater: 500,000 to Great Britain and 620,000 to Russia.
- "Battle of the Pacific: How Japs Fight". Time magazine, February 15, 1943. Accessed June 24, 2009.
- Hatcher, p. 206, 210
- Walter, John (2006). Rifles of the World (3rd ed.). Iola, WI: Krause Publications. p. 34. ISBN 0-89689-241-7.
- John Walter (2006). The Rifle Story: An Illustrated History from 1756 to the Present Day. MBI Publishing Company. p. 185. ISBN 978-1-85367-690-1.
- Walter, John (2006). Rifles of the World (3rd ed.). Iola, WI: Krause Publications. p. 33. ISBN 0-89689-241-7.
- Rotem Kowner (2009). The A to Z of the Russo-Japanese War. Scarecrow Press. p. 40. ISBN 978-0-8108-7007-9.
- Daugherty III, Leo J. Fighting Techniques of a Japanese Infantryman 1941–1945: Training, Techniques and Weapons. Staplehurst: Spellmount, 2002. ISBN 1-86227-162-3.
- Hatcher, Julian S. General. Hatcher's Notebook. (1966) The Stackpole Company, Harrisburg, PA.
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