Aircraft / Aviation Vehicles & Artillery Infantry Arms Warships & Submarines Military Pay Chart (2023) Military Ranks


Infantry Small Arms / The Warfighter

Arisaka Type 97

Bolt-Action Sniper Rifle [ 1937 ]

The Arisaka Type 97 was based upon the established framework provided by the earlier Type 38 infantry rifle series.

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 05/22/2018 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.

Taking a page from European battlefield doctrine, the Imperial Japanese Army (IJA) finally moved to adopt a standardized sniper rifle. This came in the form of the Type 38 bolt-action infantry service rifle which, when a 2.5x scope and monopod was added and the stock reduced in weight, became the "Type 97". The series was introduced during 1937 in time for the bulk of the fighting in World War 2 (1939-1945).

The Type 97 differed little from its Type 38 origins beyond the aforementioned changes and modifications. One of the key limiting factors was its continued reliance on the 6.5x50mm Arisaka rifle cartridge which fared somewhat poorly when compared to its European counterparts. The rest of the rifle was conventional in that a manually-actuated bolt-action system was used and feeding was from a 5-round internal magazine (stocked by way of "stripper" clips). Overall weight was 8.7lb with an overall length of 50" and barrel assembly measuring 31.4" long.

Production of the Type 97 spanned from 1937 until the end of World War 2 in 1945 and the series saw additional combat action in the Chinese Civil War (1927-1936) (where the need for dedicated Japanese sniper elements was impressed upon authorities after facing German-trained Chinese snipers in the field), the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945) and the Korean War (1950-1953).

In practice, the rifles proved their worth. Even though the 6.5mm Arisaka rifle cartridge was relatively underpowered in its man-stopping capabilities, it was lethal nonetheless and the added inherent benefit was that little muzzle flash was encountered at range, making the sniper's position hard to identify particularly in deep brush or in the jungle environment.©MilitaryFactory.com
Note: The above text is EXCLUSIVE to the site www.MilitaryFactory.com. It is the product of many hours of research and work made possible with the help of contributors, veterans, insiders, and topic specialists. If you happen upon this text anywhere else on the internet or in print, please let us know at MilitaryFactory AT gmail DOT com so that we may take appropriate action against the offender / offending site and continue to protect this original work.


Service Year

Imperial Japan national flag graphic
Imperial Japan


Bolt-Action Sniper Rifle

State Factories / Arisaka - Empire of Japan
(View other Arms-Related Manufacturers)
National flag of modern Japan Imperial Japan
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
Accuracy / Precision
Long-range accuracy / precision capable; suitable for sniping, particularly when equipped with sighting aids.

Overall Length
1,280 mm
50.39 in
Barrel Length
797 mm
31.38 in
Empty Wgt
8.71 lb
3.95 kg

2.5x Telescopic Sighting Device.


Manually-Actuated Bolt-Action System; Repeat-Fire.

Manually-actuated process of managing the bolt lever to eject spent cartridge case, clearing the breech, to introduce fresh catridge into the chamber.
(Material presented above is for historical and entertainment value and should not be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation - always consult official manufacturer sources for such information)


6.5x50mm Arisaka

Rounds / Feed

5-round internal magazine (stripper clip-loaded).
Cartridge relative size chart
*May not represent an exhuastive list; calibers are model-specific dependent, always consult official manufacturer sources.
**Graphics not to actual size; not all cartridges may be represented visually; graphics intended for general reference only.
Max Eff.Range
2,500 ft
(762 m | 833 yd)
Muzzle Velocity
2,500 ft/sec
(762 m/sec)

Type 97 - Base Series Designation.

Military lapel ribbon for the American Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for pioneering aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon representing modern aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the Ukranian-Russian War
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2

Ribbon graphics not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns / operations.


Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Cookies

2023 Military Pay Chart Military Ranks DoD Dictionary Conversion Calculators Military Alphabet Code Military Map Symbols

The "Military Factory" name and MilitaryFactory.com logo are registered ® U.S. trademarks protected by all applicable domestic and international intellectual property laws. All written content, illustrations, and photography are unique to this website (unless where indicated) and not for reuse/reproduction in any form. Material presented throughout this website is for historical and entertainment value only and should not to be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation. We do not sell any of the items showcased on this site. Please direct all other inquiries to militaryfactory AT gmail.com.

Part of a network of sites that includes GlobalFirepower, a data-driven property used in ranking the top military powers of the world, WDMMA.org (World Directory of Modern Military Aircraft), WDMMW.org (World Directory of Modern Military Warships), SR71blackbird.org, detailing the history of the world's most iconic spyplane, and MilitaryRibbons.info, cataloguing all American military medals and ribbons.

www.MilitaryFactory.com • All Rights Reserved • Content ©2003-