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Thread: Need help with type 38 Arisaka

  1. #1
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    Need help with type 38 Arisaka

    I inherited my Grandfather's 6.5 Arisaka, it was a WWII bring-back. The stock has the been there, done that look. The metal is in very good condition though with a good bore. Has full Mum and dust cover. I have shot a few boxes of factory ammunition through it with no issues, very accurate and fun to shoot.

    Here's my problem: I bought some Lee dies for it so I can reload for it and shoot cast out of it. Upon sizing, the size die is scraping brass right above the web of the case. Upon closer examination, the cases have a pronounced bulge in the area above the web. I tried partial sizing, but the cases won't chamber unless they are full length sized. I can FL size, but once again a considerable amount of brass is being "shaved" before it is fully sized. What to do? Is there another die set I can use as an intermediate step? I'm not comfortable with the way it's going, although I have loaded and shot some. At this rate it looks like I may get maybe two firings from my brass...Any suggestions?

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    i can only think of 2 possibility's something in the die is stuck , foreign material in the die ,possibly shaved material ? , or not enough lube
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  3. #3
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    Nothing stuck in the die, plenty of lube...Major bulge in the case.

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    Pictures would help. Being intact with the Mum makes it collectible. For the cases to be shaved they have to be really oversize. For military rifles different dies from different makers are not always using the same dimension.

    You are 100% sure these are 6.5 Jap dies ?

    Will an empty case rechamber after firing ? If not the chamber needs to be bore scoped and a chamber cast done.

    6.5 Jap bores were generally chrome plated, there may be an issue there.

    Neat old gun, enjoy it and let us know.

  5. #5
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    A fired round will not re-chamber. The bulge appears to be "mostly" on one side of the case. I'm concerned that if I do a chamber cast that I'll end up with a drill rifle. Dang it.

  6. #6
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    The chambers on these are known to often be oversized for functioning with dirty ammo. You can try firing factory ammo or reloads with unfired brass using an O-ring or small rubber band at the base of the case, right near the extractor groove. This will center the case in the chamber. It will still swell, but will not be bulged to one side.

    Then try to rechamber and reload those cases.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master coloraydo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShooterAZ View Post
    A fired round will not re-chamber. The bulge appears to be "mostly" on one side of the case. I'm concerned that if I do a chamber cast that I'll end up with a drill rifle. Dang it.
    A possible issue and cure.

    Take a short piece of Scotch tape and wrap the base of the cartridges before you fire them the first time. This will center the case and allow the expansion to be even. After that neck size. (a cut and paste I found elsewhere here, might be worth a try).
    "The strongest reason for people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government. " --(Thomas Jefferson)

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    Is your 38 marked with a special mark that means it has been rejected for anything but a school training rifle. I had one had one or 2 zeros in the beginning of the serial number and was told by collector that meant it had been taken out of service by defect (swollen chamber, excess headspace, etc.) and was to be used by schools as a training rifle only. james

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    Thanks guys, this was very helpful. I'm going to try both the O-ring and tape method tomorrow. I still have one full box of factory ammo left.

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    The tape method works, I've used it for one of my 7.7 Japs with a large chamber. Try running the FL die down part way on the case and see if it will chamber. Keep moving the die down a little at at a time checking each time till it chambers. You might be able to partly resize the case and not work the brass as much. The only drawback is you will get a step in the neck just a little above the shoulder. Large chambers are common with most military surplus rifles and sometime you just end up living with it.

  11. #11
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    Is it still 6.5x50 Arisaka or did someone rechamber it to 260 Remington (6.5x51)? 260 Remington is only 1mm longer case length
    but has a wider base of the cartridge which could be cause for the greatly expanded fired cases.

    http://oldmilitarymarkings.com/japanese_markings.html

    the link details what to look for in a Drill or school use rifle as to how they were marked for being pulled out of service. Its also a good link for you to learn where and where your Type 38 rifle was made.
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    May people have rechambered the 6.5 Japanese to 6.5 Roberts. The 257 Roberts case is a bit larger. You would still need to determine if it enough larger to clean up the "bulge" area in the existing chamber. I hunted with one of these as a younger man. It was a fine hunting rifle. It will no longer be original but it will be a fine shooter.

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    It may be just my luck, but every Type 38 I have shot has a sloppy eccentric chamber, so it bulges the brass to some degree with full power loads. I have found that Cast Boolit loads are mild enough to prevent this and still fun to shoot.
    Nothing is impossible for the person that does not have to do it.

  14. #14
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    Well I figured out how to size the cases without shaving the brass. I removed the lock ring from the die and screwed it in until I hit resistance. I then screwed it in one turn at a time while sizing. It's a royal pain, but it's no longer scraping brass from the side of the cases. Now I need to find a mold for it.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShooterAZ View Post
    A fired round will not re-chamber. The bulge appears to be "mostly" on one side of the case. I'm concerned that if I do a chamber cast that I'll end up with a drill rifle. Dang it.
    A bulged case is normal with the 6.5x50 jap cartridge, it's to do with the way the cartridge is supported by the bolt when it goes into battery.

    As long as the case extracts ok after firing then that's normal.

    I use PPU brass and full length size my cases with Lee dies with no issues, just remember to check the length after sizing and trim accordingly if needed.

    Also, make sure to carefully inspect each case after firing for tell-tale signs of damage before reloading.

    You may well find that case reload life for 6.5 jap is less than you might expect, due to the need to regularly full length size brass to remove the bulge.

    Bulged cases were not a problem for Jap ammo, it was only meant to be fired the once!

    FWIW, Type 38's never had chrome lined barrels, only early to mid war Type 99's.

    ukrifleman.
    Last edited by ukrifleman; 02-04-2018 at 07:32 PM.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by ukrifleman View Post
    A bulged case is normal with the 6.5x50 jap cartridge, it's to do with the way the cartridge is supported by the bolt when it goes into battery.

    As long as the case extracts ok after firing then that's normal.

    I use PPU brass and full length size my cases with Lee dies with no issues, just remember to check the length after sizing and trim accordingly if needed.

    Also, make sure to carefully inspect each case after firing for tell-tale signs of damage before reloading.

    You may well find that case reload life for 6.5 jap is less than you might expect, due to the need to regularly full length size brass to remove the bulge.

    Bulged cases were not a problem for Jap ammo, it was only meant to be fired the once!

    FWIW, Type 38's never had chrome lined barrels, only early to mid war Type 99's.

    ukrifleman.
    Yes i really think the problem was over size chamber and it was meant to fire once and not reloaded. Weird part the type i Jap did not have this problem with oversize chamber. Their was Jap inspecter at the plants when they were making the type i rifle. My choice would be A type I they are very accurate rifles.

  17. #17
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    I have both Type I and Type 38 Japanese rifles. Both have the large oversize chambers. The chambers are what you might find on a machinegun. They are huge compared to the ammo.

    I have both PPU and Norma brass and some Norma ammo. The cases are all small compared to the chamber.

    I have Herters, Lee and RCBS dies and they are sized to match the small ammo dimensions.

    The best brass is made from RP or WW new .303 British cases. You have to turn the rims down in a lathe to fit your bolt face.

    To size the fatter oversize cases I use a Pacific trim die. For some reason it is perfect to size the bigger cases.

    If you cannot find a larger sizer get a Lee die body and polish it bigger to size the bigger brass.
    EDG

  18. #18
    I have a T38 that does the same thing. When I fired it the functioning was fine. Running the brass through the resizing die resulted in shaved brass. After a *** moment I checked the brass concentricity and it was extremely off center. At that point I gave up reloading for it since I figured brass life would be non-existent even if it did work. So back to Mausers, Springfields etc.

  19. #19
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    I would try neck size only. Then check that casing fits chamber.

  20. #20
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    220 Swift brass (if you can find it) can be made into 6.5 Jap, Run in sizing die (remove decapper) neck turn . and trim

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BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
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