Ariksaka Model 1905 Rifle (Meji 38th Year Type)

The Japanese were to use rifles throughout the Second World War which were heavily based on the Model 1905 bolt action rifle which had served them during the First World War. The rifle was known as the Ariksaka which was the name of a Japanese Colonel who was head of the working group which designed the rifle. Even though the rifle was to see Japanese service for 40 years it was far from a revolutionary design, being in the main part a copy of a Mauser  98K rifle.  It was a 6.5mm weapon which by 1940 was showing its age as on the battlefield of the time it lacked range, accuracy and penetrating power. This was noticed by the Japanese when fighting in Manchuria in the 1930s but although plans were in place to upgrade it to a 7.7mm weapon the 6.5mm remained in service for the whole of World War 2.

The model which saw service in the Pacific theatre was the Type Meji 38 (as 1905 was the 38th year since the reign of the Emperor Meji). It had a 5 round internal magazine, an awkward bolt action (a relic of the Mauser design), it was distinguished by a huge bayonet which was nearly half the length of the weapon. Most weapons were in a carbine format; a rifle version was produced and saw service but without any thought to the differing roles of carbine and long rifle.

Length: 50.25in (127cm)
Unloaded weight: 9lbs 8oz (4.31kg)
Muzzle velocity: 2400ft/sec (730m/sec)

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How to cite this article: Dugdale-Pointon, T (14 July 2010), Ariksaka Model 1905 Rifle (Meji 38th Year Type), http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_ariksaka_model_1905_rifle.html

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