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Thread: Arisaka rifle project

  1. #1
    Boolit Master



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    Arisaka rifle project

    I just inherited a Arisaka 6.5x50
    Is is a complete not-modified (stock) long rifle. It even had the original leather sling which is now hard as nails.
    There is a number 5 stamped on the buttstock. No other obvious markings as I need to do some cleaning before anything becomes clear.
    Any thoughts? Anyone know much about re-habbing this kind of old rifle? Any do's or dont's?
    thanks ( pictures later)
    atr
    Death to every foe and traitor and hurrah, my boys, for freedom !

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    I had a 6.5 Jap rifle that I later gave to my brother as a decorator piece. It had turned out to be a smooth bore two piece barrel blank firing training rifle. So always check for that first off.

    First off the Lacquer used for the stocks of most to these rifles contains a toxic natural insect repellent. Any sanding dust if inhaled can cause serious respiratory problems especially if one is particularly allergic to it. Its best not to refinish these anyway. Just clean and inspect it properly before test firing.

  3. #3
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    I inherited one too, full mum with dust cover. Mine was full of sand when I took it apart to clean it. The stock was beat to all smithereens, but no cracks and the metal is in good shape. The only thing I did besides a good cleaning was a coating of tung oil on the stock. It was pretty dried out. It's a really good shooter with j-words, though I haven't got around to casting for it. My recommendation would be not to refinish it. Any more they are becoming collectible in all original condition.

  4. #4
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    Start with BLO (Boiled Linseed Oil) on the stock. Get some liquid lanolin or soft lanolin or mink oil and slowly work the leather soft. Don't use anything abrasive until you know what you have, and probably not then. Pull the action out of the stock and see what it is like - you may have rust or oil softened wood. Rub the BLO on with nothing more aggressive than burlap bag cloth. Get some light machine oil and rub down the metal - keep it off the wood. Machine oil is what causes oil softened wood. Use a nickle on edge to rub off rust with the oil. In other words, use original natural materials and go slow and easy.
    Wayne the Shrink

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  5. #5
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    How come no one has mentioned pulling the bolt and looking down the barrel?
    run a brush and some good bore cleaner through the barrel and see what you ave to work with internally.
    Collector or shooter . . . Barrel condition is still important.
    Nothing is impossible for the person that does not have to do it.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne Smith View Post
    Start with BLO (Boiled Linseed Oil) on the stock. Get some liquid lanolin or soft lanolin or mink oil and slowly work the leather soft. Don't use anything abrasive until you know what you have, and probably not then. Pull the action out of the stock and see what it is like - you may have rust or oil softened wood. Rub the BLO on with nothing more aggressive than burlap bag cloth. Get some light machine oil and rub down the metal - keep it off the wood. Machine oil is what causes oil softened wood. Use a nickle on edge to rub off rust with the oil. In other words, use original natural materials and go slow and easy.
    ^^^What he said^^^ Boiled linseed oil is good stuff. It takes quite a while to dry but it does and is very good for the wood.
    AKA hans.pcguy

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    Boolit Buddy am44mag's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by atr View Post
    I just inherited a Arisaka 6.5x50
    Is is a complete not-modified (stock) long rifle. It even had the original leather sling which is now hard as nails.
    There is a number 5 stamped on the buttstock. No other obvious markings as I need to do some cleaning before anything becomes clear.
    Any thoughts? Anyone know much about re-habbing this kind of old rifle? Any do's or dont's?
    thanks ( pictures later)
    atr
    Check it over, clean it up, slug the bore, then go shooting. Don't mess with an original gun (no sandpaper, no refinishing, no cutting of anything). If you're wanting to try customizing a rifle, there's a ton of bubba specials out there than can be had cheap. The originals are getting harder to find each year, and they're getting more expensive.
    Last edited by am44mag; 10-08-2018 at 02:36 PM.
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  8. #8
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    TClewis has a good point about the barrel...
    How come no one has mentioned pulling the bolt and looking down the barrel?
    I did start there; pulled the bolt and I am now in the process of trying to clean the barrel. I want to see if there is any rifling left. I see signs that the rifling is present, but it is going to take some effort to get that barrel cleaned up. I would like to shoot this, it is a model 38, but that will depend on the condition of the barrel.

    I sprayed the leather sling and the stock with leather conditioner I have around for using on my chaps. The sling is just beginning to get supple and the conditioner really cleaned the stock. I am not going to do any standing or anything else cosmetic to this rifle.

    So far I have not found much in the way of production markings.
    Death to every foe and traitor and hurrah, my boys, for freedom !

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by atr View Post
    TClewis has a good point about the barrel...
    I want to see if there is any rifling left. I see signs that the rifling is present, but it is going to take some effort to get that barrel cleaned up.
    Keep in mind that Arisakas were rifled with "Metford" rifling. Do not expect sharp lands and grooves, but shallow valleys and rounded hills. Many an Arisaka rifle has been trashed because someone thought it was "shot out" when they looked at the rifling. Try soaking the bore with Kroil to loosen the fouling. Most of the ones I have cleaned had pretty extensive jacket fouling that acted like pitting. Once this was removed, the bores were fine. Many of the M38s had chrome lined bores. The chrome plating was not of uniform thickness but did mostly prevent corrosion from mercuric primers and jungle humidity.

  10. #10
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    Curator....thanks for that tip and information...
    I am in the learning process with this rifle...
    atr
    Death to every foe and traitor and hurrah, my boys, for freedom !

  11. #11
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    What curator said. If you get it nice and shiny clean (easy enough with the chromed bores) you can look down it and see the rifling, but it'll look more like swirls in the light than real sharp cut rifling. Check the crown on it, may have to touch that up more likely than the bore is bad. Most of them haven't been shot enough to have bad bores, and they usually clean up well. Have heard stories of guys overpaying for junked up ones "because it had a pristine bore!" When usually, the bores are not a concern. I am keeping an eye out for a decent type 38 for a good price just to go with my type 99. They are good rifles and very well made, strong actions for the most part. Also some of the cheapest to get into these days. Just dont fall into the trap of spending money on it to make it worth more, often gains are not realized and it is possible to put more into them than they are worth. Which to me is fine, since shooting is my main goal!
    Raisin' Black Angus cows, outta gas, outta money, outta tags, low on boolits, but full 'a hope on the Rocky Mountain Eastern Slope!
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    There is a guy in my town with a sporterized Arisaka 99 that looks in really nice shape...good bore and has been shot recently. (safe).
    He want's $150. I decided to get a 45/70 in a Handi Rifle instead for $200. Is the 99 considered comparable to the 6.5mm?
    AKA hans.pcguy

  13. #13
    Boolit Grand Master Texas by God's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Traffer View Post
    There is a guy in my town with a sporterized Arisaka 99 that looks in really nice shape...good bore and has been shot recently. (safe).
    He want's $150. I decided to get a 45/70 in a Handi Rifle instead for $200. Is the 99 considered comparable to the 6.5mm?
    The 99s are just as strong as the 38s but are simpler and not as well finished. Except for last ditch ones, they are great rifles.

  14. #14
    Boolit Grand Master Texas by God's Avatar
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    The lack of action markings is of concern. Have they been buffed off or do you have a "trainer"?? There should be a Mum with characters on the top and a serial # and three interlocking circles on the left action side.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Traffer View Post
    There is a guy in my town with a sporterized Arisaka 99 that looks in really nice shape...good bore and has been shot recently. (safe).
    He want's $150. I decided to get a 45/70 in a Handi Rifle instead for $200. Is the 99 considered comparable to the 6.5mm?

    The Type 99s are chambered in 7.7x58 (basically .31 caliber like an Lee-Enfield or Mosin-Nagant) and is comparable to 30-06 or 308Win in effectiveness. For reloading, its easier to load for than the Type 38s as you can use trimmed down and reformed 30-06 brass or simply necked down 8x57 or necked up 7x57 brass and LEE makes an affordable 175gr bullet mold for the Fat .31 rifles.

    I reload my Type 99s using 303 British load data and it performs great.

    If you don't want it, let me know the fellow's name and I'll work out a transfer of cash with him.
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  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by bruce drake View Post
    The Type 99s are chambered in 7.7x58 (basically .31 caliber like an Lee-Enfield or Mosin-Nagant) and is comparable to 30-06 or 308Win in effectiveness. For reloading, its easier to load for than the Type 38s as you can use trimmed down and reformed 30-06 brass or simply necked down 8x57 or necked up 7x57 brass and LEE makes an affordable 175gr bullet mold for the Fat .31 rifles.

    I reload my Type 99s using 303 British load data and it performs great.

    If you don't want it, let me know the fellow's name and I'll work out a transfer of cash with him.
    It is on Armslist and he won't do shipping.
    Last edited by Traffer; 10-10-2018 at 03:31 AM.
    AKA hans.pcguy

  17. #17
    Boolit Master

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    I have (what we believe to be) a last ditch Type 99 that was sporterized by someone in my family. (Got it from my grandfather)

    Wayne Smith (above) helped me refinish the stock with Tung Oil, install a Limbsaver pad, and a Lyman receiver sight.

    It hits hard on both ends, and was reamed for a 30-06. It still has the mum on the receiver, but because it was reamed, removes all collector value. (Won't sell it anyways..)

    I haven't shot it since we were working up loads for it (I was in High School), but it's sitting in the cabinet.

    I need to get it out and maybe pop a deer this year..
    Chris



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  18. #18
    Boolit Master



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    The lack of action markings is of concern. Have they been buffed off or do you have a "trainer"?? There should be a Mum with characters on the top and a serial # and three interlocking circles on the left action side.
    So far I have found nothing like what you describe. The top of the chamber does not look to have been buffed. I will check the left side of the action which is only partially visible due to the stock.
    Thanks for the tip !

    update: 10/10/18 at 0910 hrs.
    I can only find the number 37 stamped on the left side of the receiver, just above the stock. I also find this same number stamped on the bottom of the chamber. The only other number is a large number 5 on the side of the butt-stock. The top of the chamber does not have any markings.
    atr
    Last edited by atr; 10-10-2018 at 12:13 PM.
    Death to every foe and traitor and hurrah, my boys, for freedom !

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    The Arisakas were a very strong action. There have been tests done on them and they surprised those that did the tests. As been said before, they are getting hard to find a decent one that hasn't been messed with. If you want to build a custom rifle with one of these actions, try to find one that has been bubbed already. The original ones are not only getting hard to find, but are bringing good prices.

    As a side note, the 99's and 38's were very similar, but there are some small differences. Although they look the same, the bolts are different as are the firing pins. The 99's look like they will work in the 38's, but they will lock up the action once the trigger is pulled. It was a real challenge for me to figure out how to get it apart without destroying anything. Both are a good solid piece, though.

    I had bought one about 40 years ago for $15, but at that time, there was little to no ammunition for it, so it went down the road for what I paid for it without ever having fired it. Now days, there are sources for brass, dies, and load data. (Grafs has new brass for both the 6.5 and the 7.7)

  20. #20
    Boolit Grand Master Texas by God's Avatar
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    Is the safety a hook or a cap? Pics might help but I'm no expert. I rebarreled a 38 to 8x57mm years ago. The mag length dictated 150gr or less bullets but it is a shooter.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk

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