Original Antique Japanese M1897 Type 30 Arisaka 6.5mm Repeating Rifle with Intact Crest & Hook Safety - Serial 122868
Original Item: Only One Available. The Type 30 rifle Arisaka (三十年式歩兵銃, Sanjū-nen-shiki hoheijū, 'year 30 type infantry firearm') is a box-fed bolt-action repeating rifle that was the standard infantry rifle of the Imperial Japanese Army from 1897 to 1905. It was named after the year of introduction, 明治三十年 (Meiji Ear Year 30 or 1897), as with many items used in the Japanese Military.
This is a very nice 1st or 2nd year of production example, as indicated by the relatively low serial number 122898 out of 550,000 made at Tokyo Arsenal. It has the early "hook safety", and the correct early markings on top of the receiver ring: 三 十 年 式, read as "San-Juu Nen Shiki", or Thirty Year Type. Later examples had the "Year" character removed. Above this it shows the Imperial Japanese Chrysanthemum Crest, superimposed over the "Stacked Cannonballs" logo of Tokyo Arsenal. The right left side of the receiver is marked with serial number 122868 next to another Tokyo Arsenal marking, and some additional series markings. As far as we can see there are no other markings on the rifle.
As noted before, this rifle still has the original Chrysanthemum proof of the Japanese Imperial Family! These were almost always removed when a rifle was sold out of service, or would have the characters Hai Ju around it, for obsolete or abolished.
Condition of the rifle is very good, though it definitely does show wear to the stock, which has lost any arsenal markings that it did have. There are some small dents and gouges, as expected on a rifle of this age. The bolt cycles correctly and dry fires, though we have no way to check to see if the magazine still feeds correctly. The cleaning rod is intact, and still releases correctly by pressing on the spring just rear of the bayonet lug. The bore does show rifling, but is relatively dark from fouling and oxidation.
A very rare Japanese Infantry rifle that preceded the Type 38 Arisaka, and subsequently is very difficult to find on the collector’s market today. Ready to display!
Years of Manufacture: 1897-1898
Caliber: 6.5×50mm Arisaka
Cartridge Type: Centerfire Cartridge
Barrel Length: 31 Inches
Overall Length: 50 Inches
Action type: Bolt-Action
Feed System: 5 round internal magazine
History and Development of the Arisaka Type 30
The Imperial Japanese Army began development of a new rifle in December 1895 to replace the Murata rifle, which had been in use since 1880. The project was handled by the Koishikawa arsenal in Tokyo under the direction of Colonel Arisaka Nariakira, and was the first in a series of rifles which would be used through World War II. By 1900, the Imperial Japanese Army had most of its divisions fully equipped with the rifle.
The Type 30 was first designed for the semi-rimmed 6.5×50mm Arisaka cartridge. The visor could be set up to 2,000 meters (2,200 yd). Besides the standard rifle, there was also a carbine version, 962 mm (37.9 in) long, which was intended for the cavalry and other troops who needed a shorter or lighter weapon. It had a visor that could be set up to 1,500 meters (1,600 yd). The prototype was called the "Type 29 rifle" and, after enhancements, was redesignated as the "Type 30". This weapon could be equipped with the Type 30 bayonet.
The Type 30 was used by front-line Japanese forces in the Russo-Japanese War. Although it was a major improvement over the Type 22 rifle (also known as "Murata"), it had some reliability and safety issues. Based on combat experience, an improved version, the Type 38 rifle, was introduced in 1905, although not all units received the new version and, as a result, a mixture of models was retained by the Japanese Army into World War I and later into World War II.
Aside from Japan, the Type 30 was supplied to numerous nations during and after World War I. The most predominant user was the Russian Empire, who ordered up to 600,000 Arisaka rifles, with at least half of those being Type 30 rifles and carbines.
Early in World War I Britain ordered around 150,000 Type 30, and Type 38 rifles and carbines from Japan as a stopgap until the manufacture of their own Lee–Enfield rifles caught up with demand. Some of these rifles were handed over to the Royal Navy and to Arab forces fighting with Lawrence of Arabia. The majority of these weapons (Type 30s and Type 38s) were handed over to Russia in 1916, who were far more desperate for arms. Russia in turn also bought many more thousands of Type 30s rifles and carbines, Type 35 rifles and Type 38 rifles and carbines from Japan. A number of these rifles ended up being left behind in Finland or captured from Red Finns in the Finnish Civil War as the Soviets armed them with Arisakas. Later on Finland gave some of these rifles to Estonia who also received them from other sources. Estonia later converted some or all to take .303 British as Britain had also supplied Estonia with Vickers machine guns and P14 rifles. The Czechoslovak Legion fighting in the Russian Civil War was also armed with Japanese Arisakas, including the Type 30.
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