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  • Arisaka Type 99 (Rifle) Bolt-Action Service Rifle

    The Type 99 rifle was designed from the existing Type 38 infantry rifle, though chambered to fire the more effective 7.7x58mm Arisaka cartridge.

     Updated: 5/9/2017; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©www.MilitaryFactory.com

    The Type 99 was one of the standard bolt-action combat rifles to be utilized by the Empire of Japan during the Second World War. At her start, she proved a reliable and robust weapon but the closing noose of the Pacific Theater soon brought about drastic changes in her production methods, often leading to a subclass weapon system. The type was intended to replace the turn-of-the-century Meiji 38th Year rifle but never materialized as an all-out replacement due to demand. The Type 99 was furthered a handful of designs that included the Short Rifle, Long Rifle, an airborne variant and a dedicated sniper model. Production lasted from 1939 into 1945 before ending with Japan's surrender.

    Origins: The Type 38 Rifle

    The Meiji 38th Year rifle (Type 38) appeared in 1905 and was considered an improvement over the previous offerings of the 1897 and 1902 attempts. The bolt work followed more in line with the original Mauser design and featured a larger, easier-to-grab, bolt handle. A new cartridge with a pointed tip - the 38th Year Type, 6.5x50mm - was also introduced at the same time as the rifle. Some 3.4 million of the weapon were produced and included both a carbine and a cavalry form. The Type 38 went on to serve the Empire for thirty years as the army's rifle of choice. In fact, the Type 38 even served as the official primary service rifle of the British Army for a time. 1914 saw the British Army is a desperate search for quantitative service rifles for training to counter its growing wartime enlistment numbers. As such, the Arisaka rifle was selected for purchase and given British-applicable designations upon delivery: Rifle, Magazine, 256-caliber Pattern 1900; Rifle, Magazine, 256-caliber Pattern 1907; Carbine, Magazine, 256-caliber Pattern 1907.

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    Arisaka Type 99 (Rifle) Technical Specifications

    Service Year: 1939
    Type: Bolt-Action Service Rifle
    National Origin: Imperial Japan
    Manufacturer(s): State Factories - Imperial Japan

    Design (Internal, Dimensions and Weights)

    Firing Action: Bolt-Action
    Available Caliber(s): 7.7x58mm Arisaka
    Ammunition Count / Feed: 5-round internal box magazine; stripper clip-loaded
    Overall Length: 1,120 mm (44.09 inches)
    Barrel Length: 657 mm (25.87 inches)
    Weight (Empty): 8.16 lb (3.70 kg)
    Sighting Assist: Tomoika Type 1, 2.5x


    Muzzle Velocity: 2,394 feet/sec (730 m/sec)

    Global Operators / Customers

    China; Imperial Japan; North Korea

    Model Variants

    Type 99 - Base Series Designation; rifle series designed from the Type 38 rifle but chambered to fire the new 7.7mm Arisaka catridge.

    Type 99 "Short Rifle" - 26-inch barrel; standard issue infantry rifle.

    Type 99 "Long Rifle" - 31-inch barrel; limited production.

    Sniper Rifle Type 99 - Fitted with Tomoika Type 1, 2.5x scope with mounting bracket; issued with leather sling strap and scope carrying case.

    Type 99 Parachutist's Rifle - Shortened rifle issued to airborne troops; joint set between barrel and action; limited production.

    Parachutist's Rifle, Type 2 - Revised airborne rifle; sliding horizontal wedge replaces joint; limited production.