Rechambering an Arisaka type 38


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USAF_Vet
December 27, 2012, 07:11 PM
I've got an Arisaka type 38, 6.5x50. Not exactly a common round. What other reasonably common calibers could I have this rifle re-chambered in, preferably without a full barrel swap?

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Jim Watson
December 27, 2012, 07:39 PM
The 1950s standard was to rechamber to 6.5x.257 Roberts.
That got you common brass but was still a handloading proposition.
These days, 6.5 Arisaka brass is available and you can just as easily handload the original caliber and not Bubba the gun.

I don't have good enough case dimensions to tell whether you could make it into a .260 Remington or 6.5x55.

gpb
December 27, 2012, 07:58 PM
+1 on what Jim Watson said.

Norma makes brass. It's out there you just have to look for it. If it was my rifle I would get a hundred or so Norma cases, a set of dies, and then load and shoot the rifle the way it was built.

At one time I had an original unground mum 7.7 Jap. I got some Norma brass and some dies and shot the rifle the way it was. Fun to shoot and acceptable accuracy. Wish I still had it.

Steel Horse Rider
December 27, 2012, 08:19 PM
You didn't ask specifically for my opinion but if you want something a little more "common" you might consider trading your Arisaka for something commercial rather than defacing a piece of history. Its historical value may not be reflected in a monetary manner but it is a valuable piece of history none the less.

USAF_Vet
December 27, 2012, 08:26 PM
Trading it is not an option.

I just want to make it into a more economical shooter, rather than a safe queen.

I don't reload, otherwise I'd have already taken that route. As there is virtually no milsurp available, I cringe at shooting $1 or more each round.

Twmaster
December 27, 2012, 08:31 PM
I have the same rifle that was rechambered to 6.5x257 Bob. Great shooter. The hard part was finding dies. CH still makes them. I think they get around $80 for them. RCBS is double that. I got mine off a forum site for $25.

Maybe look at 6.5x55 Mauser for that rechamber.

If it were me I'd by the brass and dies for that original chamber and just load'er up. I think Grafs has the brass.

If you don't reload then you are stuck. You are going to pay to shoot that. One way or other.

Curator
December 27, 2012, 10:32 PM
It is relatively easy to rechamber for .260 Remington. No bolt face alterations needed but you might need to work on the feed rails a bit for the magazine to feed. Most Type38s have oversize bores so check out bullets made for the 6.5 Carcarno at .268 instead of the .264 for the .260 Rem. You will probably get better accuracy.

USAF_Vet
December 27, 2012, 10:38 PM
At the price, I'd be better off sticking with 6.5 Jap from Hornady, which I'm shooting now. Doesn't look like I'll be getting away from $1 per round unless I opt for a rebarrel, which is not in the cards.

Thanks for the options, but it looks like the old Jap will remain a safe queen.

303tom
December 27, 2012, 11:01 PM
I only want to say one thing, I think you are under estimating the 6.5 Arisaka, Im getting up around 3000 fps. with a 100gr. bullet...............

GCBurner
December 28, 2012, 01:42 PM
The 6.5mm Japanese is actually a pretty decent cartridge, ballistically speaking. Since new brass and loaded ammo is available for it, why rechamber to some off-the-wall wildcat cartridge?

WardenWolf
December 29, 2012, 12:15 AM
Hornady makes 6.5 Jap as part of their metric line. They use PRVI Partizan cases. It gets you good reloadable brass at a reasonable cost; Norma is heavily overpriced. I really don't recommend butchering an antique. There's too few left around in good condition.

.257 Roberts is still available. Ammuniton To Go lists no fewer than 4 ammo options, from Remington, Winchester, Federal, and Hornady. If you absolutely must alter it, it's still an option.

Twmaster
December 29, 2012, 09:49 AM
.257 Roberts is still available. Ammuniton To Go lists no fewer than 4 ammo options, from Remington, Winchester, Federal, and Hornady. If you absolutely must alter it, it's still an option.

257 Roberts does not equal 6.5x257 Roberts,

35 Whelen
December 29, 2012, 11:00 AM
Pay attention guys, he said he doesn't reload.

Without looking at the dimensions, I don't think the .260 would be a direct rechamber as the .260 is a little shorter than the 6.5 Jap.

Vet, your only real option if you want to shoot it is to get some used reloading equipment (cheap) and start handloading.

35W

GCBurner
December 29, 2012, 01:24 PM
Anything it's rechambered to would be a wildcat cartridge that requires reloading, anyway, or something that is as uncommon commercially as the 6.5mm Japanese. The Privi ammo is decent stuff, and not too expensive, and is readily available mail order from multiple sources. Finding any centerfire rifle ammo at less than $1 per round is pretty much a fantasy, nowadays; If the OP wants to shoot on the cheap, reloading is the only option.

ball3006
December 29, 2012, 02:57 PM
reloading kit from Lee for under 200 bucks. It will quickly pay for itself and you can reload almost every caliber by just changing the dies. Some folks knock Lee products but I have been using them for many, many years with zero problems.....Japanese rifles are going up in value so just sell it and buy something in a more affordable caliber. However, All ammo it getting pretty expensive as of late.....chris3

Twmaster
December 29, 2012, 10:02 PM
It is relatively easy to rechamber for .260 Remington. No bolt face alterations needed but you might need to work on the feed rails a bit for the magazine to feed. Most Type38s have oversize bores so check out bullets made for the 6.5 Carcarno at .268 instead of the .264 for the .260 Rem. You will probably get better accuracy.
I'd be careful spouting that sort of thing. My Arisaka slugs at .264

armarsh
December 29, 2012, 11:26 PM
This would be a perfect time to start reloading. The five links below are all the tools you need to produce good quality cartridges, for a grand total of $95.76. This is a hand press, so everything will fit in a small box when you are done. If you are buying small quantities the powder, bullet, & primer will add up to about $.40 per round.

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/650614/lee-breech-lock-hand-press-kit

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/335612/lee-pacesetter-2-die-set-65x50mm-japanese-arisaka

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/476992/lee-case-trimmer-cutter-and-lock-stud

http://leeprecision.com/6.5-x-50-jap-custom-case-length-gauge.html

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/389104/lee-chamfer-and-deburring-tool

The die set comes with a powder dipper and load sheet. For another $20 you can have a scale:

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/175512/frankford-arsenal-ds-750-electronic-powder-scale-750-grain-capacity

Just something to consider. You might end up enjoying reloading as much as shooting.

El Mariachi
January 26, 2013, 11:49 PM
I just got my hands on this girl that I bought last year---it's ('sposedly) a Type 38, rechambered for .300 Savage. Haven't shot it yet but it does feel real good in the hands. I also haven't taken her apart yet, but I'm curious to see if there's some other markings hidden behind the lumber----'cuz all it says on top is '.300 Savage'. Hmmmm, this one could be interesting.......:D

http://i774.photobucket.com/albums/yy21/shiftster/More%20guns/Dadsguns109.jpg


http://i774.photobucket.com/albums/yy21/shiftster/More%20guns/Dadsguns107.jpg


http://i774.photobucket.com/albums/yy21/shiftster/More%20guns/Dadsguns104.jpg


http://i774.photobucket.com/albums/yy21/shiftster/More%20guns/Dadsguns101.jpg


http://i774.photobucket.com/albums/yy21/shiftster/More%20guns/Dadsguns096.jpg


http://i774.photobucket.com/albums/yy21/shiftster/More%20guns/Dadsguns095.jpg


http://i774.photobucket.com/albums/yy21/shiftster/More%20guns/Dadsguns109.jpg


http://i774.photobucket.com/albums/yy21/shiftster/More%20guns/Dadsguns106.jpg


http://i774.photobucket.com/albums/yy21/shiftster/More%20guns/Dadsguns105.jpg


http://i774.photobucket.com/albums/yy21/shiftster/More%20guns/Dadsguns097.jpg


http://i774.photobucket.com/albums/yy21/shiftster/More%20guns/Dadsguns094.jpg

Jim Watson
January 26, 2013, 11:56 PM
El, I think yours is a Type 99 originally 7.7.
The single gas escape hole is one indication, a T38 has two.

Makes more sense, you could set back a 7.7 barrel and rechamber to .300 Savage.
The Japanese rifling is so heavy that a .308" bullet will often do ok.

Converting a 6.5 to .300 would require an expensive rebore.

El Mariachi
January 27, 2013, 12:03 AM
Thank you Jim, I bought this thing sight unseen for the price of a lobster dinner for two----and it came with like zero info. Ad only said Sporterized Arisaka Type 38, rechambered in .300 Savage, and the guy I got it from wasn't much help. I'm sorta familiar with the .300 Savage....but pretty clueless on the Ari's. So were the 99's decently built in the first place? Better/worse than the 38's? Any thing special I should know about it before taking her for a test drive?.....

Steel Horse Rider
January 27, 2013, 12:32 AM
The Type 38 was built first, I think around 1890 or so. The Type 99 was not made until the late 1930's. The actions are nearly identical and very strong. I didn't notice any Japanese characters on the top or side of the receiver which is where the Japanese markings are on the originals. My gut feeling would be to agree with Jim as it would be much easier to make the Type 99 into a 30 caliber rifle than the Type 38, although the 7.7 bullet used by the Type 99 is the same 312 diameter as the .303 British.

airedaleman
January 27, 2013, 12:58 AM
El Mariachi, that's a pretty neat Arisaka, very typical of 50's sporter conversions, and in really nice shape. Arisakas are hell for strong as P. O. Ackley found out. That Lyman receiver sight is worth more than a few bucks in and of itself. Enjoy your rifle!

303tom
January 27, 2013, 02:10 AM
I got a buddy who has one chambered in 6.5-06...........

Twmaster
January 27, 2013, 02:57 PM
Ed, that's a beauty of a rifle. I think the Japanese rifles are just neat as hell. It's a shame they don't get more attention.

Jim Mac
January 27, 2013, 06:15 PM
still a buck or so a round, but macsguns specialized in japanese guns. macsguns@ptsi.net

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