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Discussion Starter #1
I just recently purchased a Japanese Arisaka type 38, but instead of being chambered for the usual 6.5mm this one is chambered for 8mm x 57. I have a couple of questions for anyone with experience of this type of rifle.

Firstly, am I right in assuming that 8 x 57 is 8mm Mauser? If so is it safe to use commercial loads in this rifle?

Secondly, are 8mm Arisakas relatively common or is this something somebody has modified?

Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!
 

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The Type 38 was chambered for the 6.5x50.5 Semi Rimmed Cartridge. The type 38 is supposed to have even stronger action then a M98. My uncle give me one but I have never shot it. Yours has been rechambered. Commerical 8mm Mauser (also known as 7.92 Mauser, 7.9x57, 8x57JS) is loaded with a .323 dia bullet to lower pressures in case someone loads a cartridge in the older M88 Commission rifles that had a bore dia of .318 (also known as the 8x57J).
I would have a gunsmith inspect the rifle over as that conversion is not normally seen at least in my parts. I would also depend on why the conversion was done, ie new bbl or rebored? The Type 38 does have a unique safety that is uncommon here in the US.

CD
 

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It would be a very very unusual rifle if it were in 8X57. "Sporterized" versions have been rebarreled to many different calibers over the years (buddy have a very nice 22/250 built on a type 38 action). But i've never known anyone who had one rebarreled AND kept all the military gear (handguard, barrel bands, etc.).

the Chinese in the 1940's and 1950's were likely to rebarrel anything they could find to either 8X57 or later to 7.62X39. A few of those odd-ball military rebuilds have shown up in the US

About 3/4 the way down this long page, are pictures of one converted to 7.62X39 and one in 8X57.
http://www.oldrifles.com/japanese.htm

I seriously doubt yours to be a military conversion... have never seen a Chinese military bolt gun that didn't look like it had been near beat to death (they got their use out of them all, and then some).
 

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Do you have it on good authority that the rifle is, in fact, rechambered to 8X57? That would be a very odd choice when the Japanese 7.7x58 is virtually identical in performance to the Mauser round and would have been much more available ammo, in that country. About the only way I could see an Arisaka Model 38 being rechambered to 8x57 was if it wound up in Europe, somehow...which doesn't make a lot of sense.

If I were you, I'd take it to a gunsmith and make sure you know what you're dealing with.
 

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A trip to the smith is in order here. Very least do a chamber cast to measure what you really have. While at it'd slug the barrel to verify bore size.

I read that Ackley used a lot of Japanese actions for his experimental builds since they were strong and inexpensive. Still wouldn't hurt to have the thing inspected.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Cheers for the advice guys. I'd never heard of one of these before either which is why I had questions. I bought it from a reputable dealer and it's not the only one they've sold, so I can only assume they have a contact who is modifying these rifles.

Either way, I'm going to head to a gunsmith and have it looked over.
 

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My guess would be a 7.7Jap chambering not a 8MM Mauser. The difference is .311 to .323, and unless the barrel was re-bored, I would not see how that could be safe. The Ariska action is the strongest ever made, but squezzing an oversized bullet down a smaller hole is not a practice I would knowingly engage in.
 

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I'm betting it's a Model 99 in 7.7Jap. If so, put a scope on it and buy some of the Hornady ammo because it's just as effective as a 308 Winchester. Mine shoots 1.5" groups and has been my "loaner" gun whenever a friend or relative wants to try hunting. The safety on it truly sucks, and is no good for kids, but if you've got a strong enough thumb, it's usable. Personally, I just kept the chamber empty unless I was on-stand and ready to shoot.
 

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I agree with broom_jm

Hard to tell exactly what it is without pictures or actually seeing the rifle. I do know of one case where a fellow traded a Model 99 7.7mm rifle in at a local gunshop along with a half box of 8mm Mauser ammo. Seems someone at a sporting goods store sold the gun owner the ammo and said it would work in his rifle. I believe it because I saw the empty cases and know the guy did not own any other rifles. Take care...
Oberndorf
 

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Hard to tell exactly what it is without pictures or actually seeing the rifle. I do know of one case where a fellow traded a Model 99 7.7mm rifle in at a local gunshop along with a half box of 8mm Mauser ammo. Seems someone at a sporting goods store sold the gun owner the ammo and said it would work in his rifle. I believe it because I saw the empty cases and know the guy did not own any other rifles. Take care...
Oberndorf
Wow, if that doesn't prove how strong those Arisaka actions are, I don't know what does!?

I sure hope the OP gets back to us when he finds out exactly what chamber/bore he's working with.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
OK, I finally had the rifle looked at and sure enough it is the original chambering for the 6.5mm jap. Have no idea why they thought it was 8mm mauser. Anyway, thanks for all the feedback. I was a bit confused as I'd never heard of this before!
 

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OK, so it's a Type 38 in 6.5mm...glad you got it sorted out! I don't know much of anything about that round, but what little I've read did not reflect favorably on the strength of the action. Then again, the 6.5 bullet has become somewhat of a darling to the competition shooters, so there are a lot of good bullets available for it, if you choose to reload.

http://www.chuckhawks.com/6-5x50.htm

Midway has brass in-stock for it and from there it's as easy as seating primers, selecting a load of 4320 and topping it off with a 120gr Nosler BT! Let us know if you start to shoot it and/or reload for it.
 

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The 6.5 Japanese is reportedly a good caliber for deer sized game and there are lots of bullets out there for the reloader. Norma is the only manufacturer I know of making brass or loaded rounds (reloadable) and the loaded ammo is around $40 per 20! The empty brass is pretty pricey too. There is some surplus ammo out there, Chineese post-war I think, but all I have seen is ridiculous in price. WWII stuff is collectable and probably won't fire reliably.The Type 38 action is just as strong and reliable as the Type 99. I built a custom rifle from a Type 38 action and kept the 6.5x56mm in a new barrel. It never preformed well for me, with handloads or the Norma ammo so I rechambered it to 7mm-08. Its a far better rifle now and has taken quite a number of alligators for me.Glad you found the proper caliber before you shoved an 8mm into it! Though I doubt it would fit. In the following photo is the 6.5 on the left and the 8mm on the right.
 

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www.grafs.com has Precision Cartridge, Inc., 6.5x50 Jap 144 gr FMJ-BT listed in their catalog.
 
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