is a 30-06 Arisaka safe?

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Jul 5, 2008
Well i asked about an odd rifle awhile ago, and found it to be a Arisaka chambered to 30-06. After more research i've found that a 30-06 cartridge will have to swell to fit the 7.7 caliber chamber. My question thus being, would something like this be safe for hunting/plinking?

I know most cases will swell a little, but not to much. also is it easy to mount a scope on an Arisaka? I only ask because I'm either getting a 30-06 Arisaka or a Stevens that the same shop has.
I think I would avoid the Ariska and go for the Stevens. The Ariska sounds like it might not be safe, probably head space issues, etc. Avoid it.

If you're looking for a piece of history and want a 30.06 I just bought a 1917 Enfield action Remington for pretty cheap at a gun show. I just thought I would throw that out there as it don't sound like that ariska is safe to me.
I have heard that the Arisaka has the strongest chamber of any WWII battle rifle; however I have no experience with one myself. If the chamber seems a bit loose have it checked by a gunsmith and if found to be out of SAAMI have him re-chamber it for a big boy round like .375 H&H or a more common mag like 300 Win. :D I would not try it as is without being checked.
How much do you know about this rifle? (Doesn't sound like a lot.) If it was RE-BARRELED to .30-'06, then it would have a .30-'06 chamber and be (most likely) safe to fire if the gunsmith did his job right. Much more commonly with these rifles the chamber was lengthened so that you can load and fire .30-'06. But then the bullets are not be the right diameter. It's the same as were firing them down the barrel of a .303 Enfield. Accuracy is going to be somewhere between pretty poor and "Wow, that's bad!"

If you are asking which rifle to get, a "Bubba'd" Japanese military surplus rifle, or a Stevens that (I'm assuming) is in factory configuration -- there's no contest.

Now if that shop will let you have that Arisaka for under $50 well, maybe, just maybe ... I'd save that money and put it towards a Mosin-Nagant. Which is to say, I can't picture ever actually putting money out for the Arisaka, and I'd be tempted to turn it down if it was free. I love surplus rifles, but that sounds like a headache I'd want no part of.

Just my opinion, of course.

Now what's the deal with the Stevens? How's it look? And why is it a toss up between one of these two? Believe it or not, there are a LOT of rifles in the world... :D

All of these posts have not not had 1st hand experience with the jap ariska. As a matter of fact. The Japanese steel is much stronger than that of the Springfield. As long as it was not a late war production it will be fine to shoot. Check headspace and throat always on a gun like this. I have herd of an ariska that had a reamer for 30-06 ran in it. And it was test fired. It kicked the guy like a nitro express! Turns out he had a 6.5 ariska and he got it to chamber a .30 cal! The gun was sent to a testing center where they inserted a pressure probe and it went off the scale! You will be ok with the 7.7
Arisakas can be fine rifles, assuming you get an early or mid-war production example. However, I would not recommend one that has been rechambered to 30-06. The bullets are the wrong size for the .311 rifling, and the cases are a bit too small for the chamber. And the magazine wells have to be lengthened. Overall, it's just bastardizing an otherwise fine rifle. A 30-06 Arisaka rifle is safe, but it's a poor example of what the rifle is really capable of.

I personally own an Arisaka 99 that my grandfather brought back from World War II. It is an early example of the type, and is in very good mechanical condition. There are a couple of companies that make 7.7x58 ammunition, including Hornady and Norma. I would recommend passing on the 30-06 bastardization. If you want an Arisaka, get one that hasn't been messed with.

Note that the 6.5mm Arisakas were far better candidates to modification, as the case and bullet diameter of the .257 Roberts exactly matches the original loading, only requiring a slightly deeper chamber. These modified rifles actually do perform very close to original specs.
I don't actually know if it was bored' out for the larger 30-06. Sadly i only saw it once, and that was around end of November mid December. I only know it was 30-06 because the barrel said so :). No literally it was stamped on the side. so I'm not sure really. I think i will probably pass on it though. depending where i move, I'll either get the Stevens, or one of their 30-30s'.

Also, the Stevens were brand new, the calibers were .223,7mm, something else with a 2, and 8mm maybe, dunno. oh if your wondering it's the gun shop near the rebel gun shop in lawrencburg TN. Just in case any of you are in that area.
Never shot a converted-chamber rifle. Probably never will. Doesn't mean they aren't safe; the vast majority evidently are. But ... why bother? I've got an un-imported, bring-back 6.5 Model 38 mummed Nagoya Arisaka, all-original, etc., missing only the dust cover (almost all are), available to a good home for less than most folks would pay for a good .30-'06 hunting rifle. Not MUCH less, maybe, but then, I'm not really trying to unload it.
It makes absolutely no difference how strong the action is if the brass in the chamber fails. I'd want to see a chamber casting before I'd shoot it.
Note that the 6.5mm Arisakas were far better candidates to modification, as the case and bullet diameter of the .257 Roberts exactly matches the original loading, only requiring a slightly deeper chamber.

Not so. A 6.5mm anything has AT LEAST a .264" groove diameter and many were larger. The conversion to an Arisaka was to rechamber it to 6.5x.257 Roberts. A well standardized wildcat, very close to the European 6.5x57, but still a wildcat to be handloaded. You will get nowhere shooting a .257" Roberts bullet down a .264"+ barrel.
The Type 38 Arisaka action is considered to be the strongest military bolt action ever made by any nation. It was massively over engineered for the 6.5mm cartridge that it fired.

In the late 1950's or early 1960's a fellow sent one to the NRA that had been rechambered to 30-06 but the bore was still 6.5mm. His letter indicated that it kicked hard but shot fine.

The NRA Technical Staff tested the rifle by tying it to a car tire as I recall. It was fired remotely from a safe distance. The rifle performed exactly as the owner had indicated. The bullet was swaged down to 6.5mm. When the action was examined closely, there was absolutely no damage to it. While they didn't pressure test it, they estimate that chamber pressures were enormous and far past safe levels.

The NRA Technical staff concluded that the Arisaka indeed has a strong action but VERY strongly cautioned against anyone trying to duplicate their tests or firing a rifle modified like it.

The above NRA test was written up in an issue of the American Rifleman.

I own a Type 38 that my uncle sent home from Okinawa. Back in the 1960's I shot it a lot but while I was away from home someone fired a war time corrosive cartridge - or cartridges - in it and didn't clean it. By the time I knew about it, the previously perfect bore was ruined.
Lots of good advice being given in regards to your question. If it has been rebarreled, the only real drawback (if it is one) is the magazine.
I have seen a couple of 7.7's with military barrels rechambered to 30-06. The '06 cartridge was a real squeeze to get it to fit in the magazine. With the .308 bullet being shot in a .311 bore and sometimes alittle bigger, accuracy was only fair.
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