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Arisaka Chambered in .30-06

Article about: Hi All, A friend of mine came across an Arisaka chambered in .30-06 while performing a house cleanout. I assume it was a Type 99 as when I showed him my Type 30, he described the one he saw

  1. #1

    Default Arisaka Chambered in .30-06

    Hi All,
    A friend of mine came across an Arisaka chambered in .30-06 while performing a house cleanout. I assume it was a Type 99 as when I showed him my Type 30, he described the one he saw as being shorter and lacking the anti-aircraft sight .

    I know these, along with other military rifles, have been converted by civilians for personal use to shoot more readily available ammo. I did some research and found that in addition to being re-chambered by civilians, the ROKA re-chambered roughly 130,000 Type 99's to .30-06 to be used by them during the Korean War.

    He however is stating (although his information is from a 3rd party) that towards the end of WWII, when Japanese ammo supplies were limited, the Japanese manufactured last ditch rifles so they could shoot .30-06 ammo as they had stock piled ammo captured from the US.

    He is also saying that the estimated value on the rifle (again from the 3rd party) was $3000-$4000.

    I was unable to confirm that the Japanese did re-chamber their rifles for .30-06. Was this the case? On the chance that this was one re-chambered by the ROKA and not for civilian use, would it be this valuable? I assume there would also be some type of armory mark to show the ROKA reworked the rifle, or am I mistaken?

    He unfortunately was unable to retain the rifle as the family of the persons house he was cleaning out kept it, which means no photos to share, but this has now peaked my interest.

    Thanks in advance for your replies!

  2. #2

    Default Re: Arisaka Chambered in .30-06

    Hello-it doesn't seem likely that the Japanese would do that as the only large US ammo stocks they would have captured were in the Philipines, along with stocks of the US rifles-US supplied ammo and rifles may also have been captured from the Nationalist Chinese but if you have the rifles that use the ammo there's no need to convert Arisakas. Large numbers of the Chinese Mausers were issued and used by the Japanese army in China in 7.92mm as an example.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Arisaka Chambered in .30-06

    No, the last ditch rifles were chambered in standard Japanese calibers. More than likely this is a civilian conversion. Is the rifle in full military trim? If not, that might be a clue it's a civilian conversion. Value is not in the ballpark of your 3rd party's estimate.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Arisaka Chambered in .30-06

    I once read in a US arms magazine about a modification after the war by a US gunsmith. In this case the chamber was modified to 30.06 but the barrel was left in the original 6.5mm with a surprising result!

    The shooters shoulder was somewhat the worse for wear, but the barrel held! It actually accepted a 7.62mm bullet in a 6.5mm tube. Maybe the bore was worn, but still!


  5. #5

    Default Re: Arisaka Chambered in .30-06

    Thanks all! I thought the story sounded a little off. The Japanese were notorious for their pride and I couldn't imagine them converting their rifles to shoot US ammo. Then again, stranger things have happened!

    Unfortunately, my friend was unable to retain the rifle so I cannot provide any additional details. I was more curious about the idea of the Japanese converting the Arisaka to chamber this round. I would assume the rifle my friend had for a second was converted for civilian use rather than military.

    Thanks again!

  6. #6

    Default Re: Arisaka Chambered in .30-06

    The Arisakas that were rechambered to .30-06 for use during the Korean War were actually converted at the Tokyo artillery arsenal under American supervision. On these converts the Japanese chamber marks were removed. These are easily identified because the receivers have a grey phosphate finish to them.

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