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Rebarrel an Arisaka?

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing and Repairs' started by BrocLuno, May 3, 2011.

  1. BrocLuno

    BrocLuno Well-Known Member

    I have a semi nice (wood and accessories) Type 38 Arisaka. It's not in original Military configuration (too much wood is missing) so it's not historic. It has a dark rough bore. I'm assuming from shooting corrosive surplus ammo.

    I'd like to explore the world of 6.5mm and was thinking about having it rebarreled to 6.5x55 Swedish. So where would you be looking for someone who knows Arisakas and can do the work well?
  2. natman

    natman Well-Known Member

    Get a Savage 11 in 260. It won't cost much more, if any, than having an Arisaka custom rebarreled and you'll have a much nicer gun in the end.
  3. BrocLuno

    BrocLuno Well-Known Member

    Naw, I think I'll keep working on my "off record" Arisaka for a while:)
  4. Clark

    Clark Well-Known Member

    I got an Arisaka that was large quantity commercially sporterized with a Springfield barrel and in 300Sav for $35 at a pawn shop 10 years ago.

    I have pulled the barrel off, drilled and tapped for scope mounts, and reamed it out from 300Sav to 308.

    Attached Files:

  5. Frogomatik

    Frogomatik Well-Known Member

    the arisaka is one of, if not THE stongest action you can get. One of my instructor who was noted for HATING anything not american made, begrudingly gave the arisaka his 'seal of approval' for simply being able to withstand pressures of 100,000+ psi. It's nigh impossible to KB an arisaka, I say go crazy with it.
  6. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Well-Known Member

    If you can do the work yourself, it would be a fun project.
    If you have to pay for it, a Shaw barrel would be $160 and $110 for them to install. Plus bluing or an upcharge for stainless.
  7. Jim K

    Jim K Well-Known Member

    Certainly a "doable" job, but the magazine will need opened up if you use heavy bullets seated out, and the receiver rails and bolt face may need some work to handle the fatter round. Not an inexpensive project. The other advantages and disadvantages of the action you already know.

  8. highlander 5

    highlander 5 Well-Known Member

    According to an old Speer manual the war trophy Arisikas were simply reamed to take the 6.5/257 Roberts wildcat. I would think a simple rebarrel to 6.5x55 is all you'd need
  9. Clark

    Clark Well-Known Member

    So Ackley's 1965 book vol II would lead you to believe on a sample of 6.

    When I look at an Arisaka action with the barrel off, it looks like a poor man's clone of a pre 98 Mauser.

    The gun culture is a desert with respect to destructive test data.
  10. kenhwind

    kenhwind Active Member

    Get a copy of Gun Digest "Bolt Action Rifles" by FranK DeHauss. He covers all of the bolt guns guite well, and I believe writes about rebarreling the Arisaka. The current volume may have the information in it too.
  11. BrocLuno

    BrocLuno Well-Known Member

    Will do :)

    Clark, that is one seriously pretty action. Could we see more? How did you do the stippling?
  12. Frogomatik

    Frogomatik Well-Known Member

    never heard of said book untill now, so there's no way I've read it, nice assumption though.

    so how a reciever appears to the naked eye is an exact determination of it's mettalic composition, tensile strength, and hardness?

    I never knew that a poorly milled reciever precluded the use of high quality steel and very good heat treating. Learn somthing new everyday
  13. BrocLuno

    BrocLuno Well-Known Member

    I've dissembled, reassembled and shot a number of "last ditch" Arisaka's and all I can say is there is nothing wrong with their metallurgy. They have hard steel where they need it and nominal steel where they don't. All the Japanese did for these late production rifles was do away with hand work fitting and final finishing, and they eliminated some metal parts like the butt plates and adjustable sights to save metal. The sights are simple peeps, but they put the time in to get them on target (for 300 m).

    If you think these guns don't shoot - just stand down range ... They are actually pretty good designs with rapid clearing and cleaning service well thought out. Plenty of power and tough enough for the intended purpose. Just no wasted effort or material. Still very deadly after all these years.
  14. Clark

    Clark Well-Known Member

    It has taken lots years and lots of guns, but I am generally right when I look at a gun and try to guess ahead of time what is going to fail when I over load it.

    The 99 looks to me like it is not as good at diverting the gas of a failed case head as a 98 Mauser. The 99 has a single stage gas by pass filter along the firing pin, like a 93, 94, or 96 Mauser. The 98 Mausers have two stage filters. Lately have been disappointed in 98 Mauser extractors shearing off and pieces coming back toward where the shooter's head might be. So maybe gas is not the biggest problem.

    Yes, I did not notice the stippling until Randy Ketchum pointed it out.

    I buy lots of guns, just to take them apart.
    It seems I have 3 Arisakas, but I have only taken one apart to drill and tap it. I don't think I have shot any of them.
    Two were production line sporterized, one has just had the mum ground off.

    OK, I just read the De Haas chapter on Arisakas.
    It seems my original condition rifle is a type 38.

    Attached Files:

  15. Clark

    Clark Well-Known Member

    Here are my other Arisakas

    Attached Files:

  16. BrocLuno

    BrocLuno Well-Known Member

    Clark, you have some nice stuff there. I notice that whoever did the sporter work took off a fair bit of steel behind the bolt. I have three with varying amount of metal removed. All sorts of bolt bends - one is a bad weld and torch job (which I'm working on now), an the best has a custom "spoon" handle installed.

    I love that these were dirt cheap once and they became the training tools for many learning about rifles and modifications. Some came out very well like yours. Some came out butchered. But everybody learned something along the way.

    It's true that "improving" a gun ain't as easy as it appears. But it's not impossible. I'll learn something on this project for sure - and Clark's rifles give me some ideas :)
  17. Clark

    Clark Well-Known Member

    I try to get great deals at gun shows, and I also buy the cheapest gun at every gun show.
    I don't always buy the cheapest gun in every pawn shop I visit, but I have done it a number of times.

    As a joke, Randy Ketchum built an Arisaka benchrest rifle for a retirement gag gift for another old gunsmith.
    The old guy would buy the cheapest gun at the gun show... a man after my own heart.
    Anyway, the joke was on Randy, because the rifle SHOT like a benchrest rifle.
  18. kenhwind

    kenhwind Active Member

    My only hands on experience with the Arisaka rifles, is that there is a Militaria dealer in town that had a "duffle bag" gun. A duffle bag gun is where the stock is cut as to allow it to fit into the duffle bag. Well I fixed the stock, no big deal, but at least by having the gun to toy with I realized that they "aren't" the piece of junk they've been labeled.

    DeHass seemed like one of those oldtimer gunnuts that did things just to do it. His pet pieve was single shots. But after reading through his "Bolt Action Rifles", yea I read evert page, I think he knew what he was writing about.

    The Arisakas aren't as finely machined as the German war guns for sure, but they worked.
  19. Jim K

    Jim K Well-Known Member

    Maybe I need edjamakated on the Arisaks's gas handling, because it looks pretty good to me, better than the pre-98 Mausers and better than the M1903 Springfield (and a lot better than the vaunted K31 Swiss). Any gas getting into the firing pin channel can escape through the hole in the bottom of the bolt, plus the firing pin itself almost completely fills the bolt interior serving to block gas. The huge safety on the Arisaka serves to totally block any gas coming back through the firing pin channel (should any get past the firing pin) and is large enough to block or deflect any gas coming back through the locking lug raceways. The older safety, with the large lug is a bit better than the one on the Type 99 with its groove, but either is adequate.

    The gas escape port(s) are adequate, again better than the M1903 (without the "Hatcher hole") and better than the Mausers, which have no escape hole at all. Further, any gas in the right lug raceway is blocked both by the extractor and by the bolt handle root, and any gas in the left raceway has an escape through the thumb cut, though it is not as effective (either in loading or gas escape) as that of the Mauser 98.

  20. Clark

    Clark Well-Known Member

    My Amazon review of that book

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