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Rebarrel an Arisaka?

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

  1. BrocLuno

    BrocLuno Member

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    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 Member

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    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 Member

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

    Clark Member

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    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.
     

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  5. Frogomatik

    Frogomatik Member

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    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 Member

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    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 Member

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    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.

    Jim
     
  8. highlander 5

    highlander 5 Member

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    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
     
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  9. Clark

    Clark Member

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    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 Member

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    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 Member

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    Will do :)

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

    Frogomatik Member

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    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 Member

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    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 Member

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    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.
     

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  15. Clark

    Clark Member

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    Here are my other Arisakas
     

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  16. BrocLuno

    BrocLuno Member

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    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 Member

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    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 Member

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    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 Member

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    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.

    Jim
     
  20. Clark

    Clark Member

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    My Amazon review of that book
     
  21. fguffey

    fguffey Member

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    I hear that a lot, seems the word Arisaks's is a trigger word, at the first mention of the 38 or the 77 I expect the next statement repeated by some one is "The strongest receiver is the world" and I say "Forget the receiver, I want the cases that were used for the test" the cases used in the test have got to be different than the cases I have and most are Norma.

    Then I am reminded Ackley welded the barrel shut then loaded up the chamber and let it go, nothing happened, the case did not rip open the barrel did not split, as to split,, do not try this, take my word for it but there are links on the Internet showing the effects an obstruction had on a barrel when a bore sight was left in the bore when fired, the barrel looked like a metal floral arrangement. The ability of the barrel to withstand pressure diminishes as the barrel is reduced in diameter.

    I do not/have not taken a rifle apart to draw conclusions based on design, I do have 3 Japanese receivers with a box of barrels I could thread and install, but, to me when I look at the receiver it looks like the front receiver ting is cut beyond half way through, the Mauser is a complete ring,, the lug/extractor way stops before it gets to the receiver ring, the Japanese receiver ring has the lug/extractor way cut from the rear to the front of the receiver ring, the cut is beyond half way through the receiver for the length of the receiver, I know it is easier to make the through cut, me? I want all the metal up front I can get, again forget the receiver, I want those cases, the cases that were not destroyed when the barrel was plugged and tested.

    A long time ago before A Square was sold they attempted to blow up a Model M 1917, they started with pistol powder, then added more pistol powder, then finally it let go, they called it the buck horn rifle, the barrel took on the appearance of a metal floral arrangement, the barrel at the muzzle split open, seems the pressure behind the bullet did not have time to wait for the bullet to leave.

    And then no one makes a distinction between the two rifles, seems Arisaks covers them all.

    F. Guffey
     
  22. Clark

    Clark Member

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    The 17TPI in a Type 38 Arisaka barrel thread is 1.5mm pitch.
     
  23. BrocLuno

    BrocLuno Member

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    Thank you for that bit :)

    I agree that gas handling is nice. The big safety completely shields the face from blow back gasses. If it's been scoped, the primary vent will be covered. I'd drill another at an angle to keep that functional. Other than that, I can't see a downside to the gas handling?
     
  24. CaptainCrossman

    CaptainCrossman Member

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    oldie but goodie- the way to go with a Jap type 38 is have it chamber reamed to 6.5 x 57, or 6.5 x 257. I picked one up in 6.5 x 257 and it is one sweet shooter. There's no need to rebarrel it. The Japanese steels at the time were extremely high quality. One thing they could do well was copy things and even improve them further, which they did with the type 38 and type 99. The downside was the cock on closing and hard to use safety. I believe you can get trigger safeties for the Arisaka now, that's the fix. I don't know if they can be converted to cock on opening.

    the Arisaka is the best bargain going in vintage rifles, for the cost. Where else can you get controlled feed Mauser design with high strength alloy steel for $100.
     
  25. CaptainCrossman

    CaptainCrossman Member

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    some of the above information is just completely WRONG. The Mauser does NOT have a "complete ring" in the receiver breech, it is cut through the right side, front to back, exactly like the Arisaka. Take a light and look in there for yourself. What you are seeing is the barrel face, not the receiver, behind that cut slot for the extractor.

    The Arisaka actually has MORE material in the ring than the Mauser does, it has a second layer around the inside edge, that comes in completely around the chamber hole to the edge of the chamber and cartridge head. LOOK INSIDE with a penlight. The Mauser inside ring is nowhere near the chamber edge or cartridge head. That ring on an Arisaka was also specially and separately HEAT TREATED apart from the rest of the rifle, which is why the Arisaka is so strong. But there's even more to the Arisaka's strength than that.

    If you look closely at an Arisaka bolt and breech, the Arisaka breech is recessed deeper than a Mauser, it is deeply recessed for the bolt head, like a Weatherby Mark V or Remington 700. The locking lugs on an Arisaka are also slightly back further on the bolt body than a Mauser, they are back a bit more. Compare the 2 bolts and receiver chambers and see for yourself. Recessing the locking lugs further on the bolt head, allows the bolt head to go inside the breech further, to be surrounded tighter by a ring of steel on the Arisaka, because that inside ring is extended on the Arisaka right to the cartridge head.

    Both designs have the extractor cut, but in this way the Arisaka better supports and surrounds the cartridge case head.

    that's about as strong as you can possibly make a controlled feed Mauser type action, without going to a push feed and small extractor on the bolt, like the Remington 700, Weatherby Mark V, or Winchester post-64 model 70. On those newer designs, once the extractor is made smaller, there can be a complete ring of steel inside the breech, because there's no longer a need for a large extractor groove for clearance of the hook end of the Mauser type extractor.

    you won't find a stronger military bolt action than an Arisaka. Tests were done on Remington 700, Enfield 1917, Mauser, Springfield and they finished in that order from first to last, i.e. the Springfield action blew up first, and spit the firing pin out like a missile backwards. The Arisaka is inherently safer than the Enfield 1917, because the Enfield has a coned breech. There is a lot of case head sticking out exposed on the Enfield, when it is fired- the only thing between the shooter and 55k psi pressure, is that case head sidewall.

    IMHO the coned breech is an accident waiting to eventually happen, especially to handloaders, and the Springfield, Enfield, and pre-64 Winchester all have a coned breech. This stops me from ever paying big money for a pre-64 model 70, and certainly from ever loading ammo hot for a coned breech firearm.

    Something to think about if you're handloading for a Springfield 03, if that small pin ever shears off, that holds the back half of the 2 piece firing pin to the bolt shroud, the shooter eats the firing pin.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2012

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