Type 97 sniper rifle

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Type 97 rifle
Rifle Type97.JPG
Type 97 sniper rifle
Type Sniper Rifle
Place of origin Empire of Japan
Service history
In service 1937–1945
Used by Imperial Japanese Army
Wars Second Sino-Japanese War, World War II, Korean War, Chinese Civil War
Production history
Designed 1937
Manufacturer Arisaka
Produced 1937-1945
Weight 3.95 kilograms (8.7 lb)
Length 1,280 millimetres (50 in)
Barrel length 797 millimetres (31.4 in)

Cartridge 6.5x50mm Arisaka
Action Bolt-Action
Muzzle velocity 2,500 feet per second (760 m/s)
Feed system 5-round internal magazine, stripper clip loaded
Sights 2.5x Telescopic sight

The Type 97 Sniper Rifle (九七式狙撃銃?, Kyū-nana-shiki sogekijū) is a Japanese bolt-action rifle, based on the Type 38 Rifle. Following the standard practice of the time, it was adapted from an existing infantry rifle. The only difference between this rifle and the original Type 38 is that it had a lightened stock, a 2.5 power telescopic sight and a mid-band setup for a monopod, although later models had this deleted. The rifle entered service in 1937. When fired, the mild 6.5x50mm Arisaka cartridge gave off little flash or smoke and made counter-sniper activity difficult. The lack of flash and smoke comes from the length of the barrel; a 797 millimetres (31.4 in) long barrel allows cartridge propellant to fully burn and attain the optimum combination of accuracy and bullet velocity. The scope was offset to the left, to allow stripper clip loading. Like other Mauser pattern rifles, it has a five round box magazine. The rifle can be loaded with either a 5 round stripper clip, or single rounds.

The Type 97 was manufactured at the Nagoya Arsenal and Kokura Arsenal, with the bulk of them made in Nagoya.

Combat history[edit]

After fighting German-trained Chinese snipers, the Japanese Army decided to develop snipers for themselves. Training in camouflage, field craft and other such techniques was common to normal Japanese infantry, so snipers were specially trained only in shooting and given a sniper rifle.

Type 97 was the standard Japanese sniper rifle, a regular Type 38 Arisaka fitted with a scope. The Type 97 was used frequently by Japanese snipers, often hidden in palm trees or more usually hidden positions, with deadly results. As they were chambered for the 6.5x50SR Japanese cartridge, which produced virtually no smoke or flash from the long barrel of the Type or Type 97, it was a difficult rifle to spot at ranges greater than 150 yards. Experienced US troops knew they had to continue their advance when fired on by Japanese snipers in order to get closer and spot the sniper.[citation needed]


External links[edit]