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Arisaka Type 38 file photo [5346]

Arisaka Type 38 Rifle

Country of OriginJapan
Caliber6.500 mm
Capacity5 rounds
Length1.280 m
Barrel Length800.000 mm
Weight4.300 kg
Rate of Fire30 rounds/min
Muzzle Velocity765 m/s


ww2dbaseThe Arisaka Type 38 bolt-action rifles, also known as Meiji 38th Year (1905) rifles, were the standard infantry rifles of the pre-WW2 Japanese Army. They were the longest rifles among their contemporaries even before the 400-mm Type 30 bayonets were attached, making them rather unwieldy; the length of the rifles reflected the emphasis of bayonet fighting in Japanese Army doctrine during that era. A shorter carbine version of the rifle was also manufactured, used mainly by cavalry units and non-frontline troops; the carbines were only 966-mm in length. In addition to being the standard rifles in pre-WW2 Japan, they were also exported; the Czech Legion that fought in the Russian Revolution, for example, carried Arisaka Type 38 rifles, among other weapons. They were also used in the British Royal Navy, the Russian Army, and in Finland.

By the mid-1930s, however, it was clear that the design was becoming outdated, and resources were invested to create that would become the Arisaka Type 99 rifles, which entered production in 1939. The two models served concurrently in the Japanese Army. Many captured Arisaka Type 38 rifles were also used in neighboring countries as they become captured. Many Chinese troops, both Nationalist and Communist, used captured Arisaka Type 38 rifles against the Japanese during the Second Sino-Japanese War.

Manufacturing of Arisaka Type 38 rifles did not cease until the end of WW2, but existing models remained in service. After WW2, they saw action during the Chinese Civil War with both sides and the Korean War with the Communist Chinese forces. In all, 3,400,000 Arisaka Type 38 rifles were built.

Source: Wikipedia. ww2dbase

Last Major Revision: Nov 2007

Arisaka Type 38 Rifle Interactive Map


Japanese Army infantrymen on exercise with Arisaka Type 38 rifles, 1931Arisaka Type 38 rifles and the banner of the Japanese 16th Cavalry Regiment, 1933
See all 30 photographs of Arisaka Type 38 Rifle

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Benjamin Parker says:
18 Jul 2009 10:37:01 AM

I have receives a Arisaka 38, Type 9. Manufactures at the Nagoya Aresenal. This rifel is equipped ith a folding stand on the foregrip, and an aircraft leading rear site. I has the original cleaning rod and strap. It has not beed altered in any way. it is a Series 2. What can you tell me about it. Sr # is 45008
2. Anonymous says:
5 Aug 2009 01:41:16 PM

I have t-38 cardine that is marked t-44 with the older t-38 front sight do you know anything about this gun. Thanks
3. Anonymous says:
14 Aug 2009 12:04:54 PM

do u have ant info
4. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
8 Nov 2010 10:54:28 AM

The type 38 Arisaka bolt-action rifle, was
the basic infantry weapon of the Japanese

It was designed in 1905 over 3,000,000 were made, fired the 6.5mm, feed system 5 rounds.
A shorter model was made called the Type
30 Carbine and a Type 97 Sniper model.

After WWII the rifles turned up in the hands
of Communist and other Guerilla forces.
5. Little John says:
10 Apr 2011 09:08:41 PM

this site was very good to read ,i have been trying for years to figure out what kind of rifle i have. it does match up perfectly to your T-38.i am trying now to find some-one to sell it to.it does need a couple of parts in the bolt. myself i am on a very small fixed income, so i probably could not even afford the parts.once again thanks for your site.God Bless.
6. Anonymous says:
19 Jun 2011 07:32:17 AM

My husband has an Arisaka type 38 manufactured at the Koishikawa Arsenal serial #813834. Is it possible to find the year it was manufactured? It is also missing the cleaning rod and the dust cover. Any ideas where I could buy those?
7. Brad says:
22 Oct 2011 05:45:17 PM

The dust covers are almost allways missing on these rifles and on the type 99s too. mine is a good shooter but keyholes beyond 100 yards.
8. Anonymous says:
4 Dec 2011 08:18:26 PM

I have a Arisaka Type 38 Serial Number 333972. The stock does not look like any I have seen before and the barrel length is shorter than the specifications for this type. Where can I find photos of this type and when was it produced? Tokyo Arsenal marks and a "B" mark on the Barrel.
9. Anonymous says:
25 Feb 2012 03:04:37 PM

What are the differences between an early Arisaka Type 38 (pre WW1) and later Type 38 Arisakas built in mid/late 1930s?? Are the sights and bolt the same???
10. Rich 46 says:
10 Jun 2013 03:13:36 PM

I just purchased an Arisaka model 38 rifle. Full mum but I do not know the date of manufacture (serial number is 2028618). I am also missing the hand guard and that is a bit confusing for me since the exposed barrel is faded from the top of the rear site to four inches of the muzzle. All the pictures of the type 38 I have seen show the hand guard to not go up the barrel that far. Did the type 38 have a model that had a hand guard that went up to four unches of the muzzle and stopped right at the bayonet stud ? Any info to my two questions would be greatly appreciated.
Rich 46
11. Anonymous says:
8 Dec 2014 02:11:03 PM

I have a type 38 passed down from my grandfather who served in the navy in ww2. Serial number is 794796. Barrell length is shorter than specs listed. Has it been altered? Was it originally full length or was it manufactured this way?
12. Anonymous says:
9 Mar 2019 05:53:11 PM

I have a type 38. from what i can tell it has not been altered. it say MFG Kokura serial # 514603. what ever help you can give. I thank you
13. Anonymous says:
10 Mar 2019 08:03:38 AM

I have a ARISAKA 38 MFG by Kokura ser # 514603. someone wrote on the stock these numbers 3 930. I was told it was the Japanese group that it belong to
any help would be welcome.
14. Tom Darrow says:
25 Jun 2019 04:39:12 AM

Type 38 rifle #85519 I beleiv,made in Tokyo has dust cover intact,and green unit numbers on lower,right of stock.any info would be greatly appreciated ,year of manufacture ,etc.
15. Anonymous says:
5 Apr 2021 10:47:41 AM

Quick question , I have a type 38 sn 517325 all markings appear to match including the bayonet . I’ve been told it is a bring back (GI) trophy rifle , just trying to find a date of production can you help
16. James says:
6 Apr 2021 05:45:15 AM

Hello I have a type 38 with serial number 109122 and would love to know more about this if you could help
17. Robert says:
24 May 2021 07:52:19 AM

Trying to get a manufacturing date on my Type 38.....It is a Type 38 Series 23 made in Kokura...serial # 73,447. Any idea of the manufacture date?
18. Kenneth Stone says:
17 Jun 2021 12:02:25 AM

I have a type 38 series 2 s/n 78432. If anyone could help me find out info on it that would be great.
19. Kenneth Stone says:
17 Jun 2021 03:44:19 AM

Hello i just received a arisaka type 38 series 2 carbine with the serial number 78432. If anyone can provide any kind of information on anything that would be great. Thank you

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Arisaka Type 38 Rifle Photo Gallery
Japanese Army infantrymen on exercise with Arisaka Type 38 rifles, 1931Arisaka Type 38 rifles and the banner of the Japanese 16th Cavalry Regiment, 1933
See all 30 photographs of Arisaka Type 38 Rifle

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