Thread: unknown rifle
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Old August 9, 2016, 04:26 PM   #3
James K
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Join Date: March 17, 1999
Posts: 24,383
It appears to be a sporterized Type I Japanese rifle; the original caliber was 6.5 x 50 Japanese. Those rifles were made in Italy under a program inspired by "Der F├╝hrer" to boost the Italian economy by having the Japanese contract with the Italians for rifles. The action is basically a copy of the Italian Mannlicher-Carcano, but with the Mauser-type magazine of the Arisaka rather than the en-bloc clip of the Italian rifle. The bolt handle was originally straight; it was bent, probably at the same time the rest of the conversion was done. The Japanese presumably had some other name for that rifle, but the one most used here is "Type I", the "I" being for Italy.

The rifles were made in 1938-1939 and all were completed and shipped to Japan (via the USSR) before Germany declared war on Russia. Most went to the Japanese Navy (the Army did not want a non-standard rifle). A total of 60,000 rifles was made; half by the Italian government factory in Gardone, 1/4 by Beretta, and 1/4 by the government factory in Brescia. All the barrels were made by Terni.

Jim
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