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Old November 3, 2019, 06:47 PM   #1
mikejonestkd
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Another new to me old gun day- Arisaka 38 carbine

I picked up this Type 38 carbine when I got the mauser in the other thread.

It looks to be in excellent shape, and I can't wait to get dies and brass and get it up and running at the range.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/185306...57711630300282
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Old November 5, 2019, 01:43 AM   #2
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my old Lyman manuals recommend slugging the bore, as wide variations in groove diameter are known to exist in these rifles. It's not impossible your gun might not be suited for .264" jacketed bullets, and if not, cast slugs of the right size are the way to go. Slug your bore, so you'll know, before loading any ammo for it.

Good Luck, and enjoy! Be safe, ALWAYS wear eye protection with these old rifles.
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Old November 5, 2019, 01:35 PM   #3
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Looks like fun to me. I have a sporter and a carbine and they both like jacketed bullets. Although I have heard and seen 44 AMP's warning. There's quite a few guys on here that collect them.

The only modification I want to do to them is get a Timney trigger. To bad they didn't still sell the one like the Mausers that doesn't have the safety on the side.
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Old November 5, 2019, 08:15 PM   #4
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I have a type 38 carbine as well. Was grandfathers bringback. I obtained a bolt, firing pin and safety. ( it was missing). Haven’t shot it yet, I heard it was a good idea to check the headspace? Idk how I would do that. But it’s really glad I got it back up and running
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Old November 5, 2019, 08:55 PM   #5
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Thanks for the advice, I am going to start with jacketed 6.5mm bullets since I already have a good supply. I'll start in the low end of the reloading manuals, I really only want to make a decent plinking load for range trips on sunny summer days.
I don't envision shooting it more than a few hundred rounds a year.
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Old November 5, 2019, 09:47 PM   #6
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Lymann 44th suggests IMR 3031 powder, 31.2 grains pushing a 140 grain pill as being a factory duplication load. ON PAGE 39

Of course do your own tests but this is what I use and it works.
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Old November 6, 2019, 02:00 AM   #7
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Quote:
Haven’t shot it yet, I heard it was a good idea to check the headspace? Idk how I would do that.
You do that (check the headspace) by finding a gunsmith who has (rare) or can rent/borrow the proper headspace gauges for the cartridge and having him do it.

Rifles with excessive headspace are DANGEROUS TO SHOOT. Too much room in the chamber means the case stretches too much and can rupture. Ruptured case means 40,000psi or more gas running loose looking for every place it can get out and not just down the barrel. and, did I mention its less than a foot from your face when that happens??

If the bolt isn't the one that came in the rifle when it was made, you have no idea if the headspace is safe, or not. DON'T SHOOT IT.

If it is the bolt that was in it when new, its still a good idea to get the headspace checked because a lot of things could have happened in the 60,70 or 80+ years since it was made.
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Old November 6, 2019, 04:46 PM   #8
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There is not a 6.5mm Japanese rifle that will pass a headspace check . All gauges , and cases are made much smaller than the chambers . When fired the small cases will fireform [ not explode ] to the chamber and then can be neck sized to extend case life . Any headspace check on a 6.5mm J is a waste of time and money .
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Old November 7, 2019, 07:26 PM   #9
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4th Series, Nagoya Arsenal, probably mid 1930s. Looks to be in really good shape, shame about the Mum.
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Old November 7, 2019, 09:13 PM   #10
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ernie8, thanks for the info about headspace. I have several enfields so I have more than a passing knowledge about how to load for rifles with generous chambers.

Thank goodness that Redding makes a neck sizing die…..too bad it $75.00...sigh,.
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Old November 7, 2019, 09:42 PM   #11
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Thank goodness that Redding makes a neck sizing die…..too bad it $75.00...sigh,.
Hornady makes a generic 6.5mm neck size die.

https://www.amazon.com/Hornady-46043.../dp/B0033Y161C

That is what I use for my Type 38, with Norma brass from Midway.
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Old November 7, 2019, 09:55 PM   #12
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I just use a shortened cheap Lee 6,5mm Swede die .
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Old November 7, 2019, 10:11 PM   #13
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I just use a shortened cheap Lee 6,5mm Swede die .
That would certainly work, but that universal 6.5 Neck die from Hornady is only $30, and you don't need to do anything to it, except buy the shell holder.
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Old November 8, 2019, 12:07 PM   #14
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"...my old Lyman manuals..." Most importantly they have properly tested data. There's somewhat limited data on Hodgdon's site too.
Go here for info on all things Japanese. http://www.nambuworld.com/arisakas.htm
$29.99 per 50 for Prvi brass at Midway. Norma is currently on Back order, but it's nearly twice the price at $53.99 on sale!. Same price for the Prvi at Graf's. Norma is out of stock there too. At least you can get it without having to sell an organ. snicker.
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Old November 9, 2019, 12:28 AM   #15
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Quote:
There's somewhat limited data on Hodgdon's site too.
That is where I got my data. I used H4895, using their reduced power loads with 140 grain Prvi bullets. Worked great.

On edit: There is also loads listed in the Hornady manual.
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Old November 9, 2019, 07:15 AM   #16
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emcon5, I also use H4895 for my milsurplus rifles with slightly reduced loads.
I am planning on starting with 140 gr bullets and the min load of 32 gr of H4895. As long as it is fairly accurate I will probably not get too creative with other loads
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Old November 10, 2019, 11:30 AM   #17
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Thanks for the advice. It’s the matching bolt. Just the firing pin, spring, and safety were added to it.
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Old November 10, 2019, 12:58 PM   #18
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T88 rifle (not carbine) with worn bore. Normal 0.264" bullets will tumble. Only the 0.268" torpedo bullet (Hornady seconds) from Graf's works. Now Graf's has discontinued that bullet. Have to load cast bullets. Still shoots ok.

BTW you don't need a neck die if you want to size for long chamber. Just raise full length sizing die. Partial length sizing that is.

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Old November 10, 2019, 01:28 PM   #19
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The bore in my carbine is bright and the rifling looks great, I am going to start with jacketed bullets and see how it shoots.

A bit more info, turns out it sat in a closet for 50 YEARS. A widow sold it when clearing out her house. She had no memory of ever seeing her husband shoot it....
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Old November 10, 2019, 02:32 PM   #20
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Early T-38 rifle do not have " worn bores " , they were made that way . The groove size was .268 to .270 They switched groove size , and rifling style in the early 30's . Raising a standard die [ made too small to begin with ] for a rifle with an extra over sized chamber will not work as the fired case is still swollen too much to not be sized down .
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Old November 10, 2019, 05:17 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ernie8 View Post
Early T-38 rifle do not have " worn bores " , they were made that way . The groove size was .268 to .270 They switched groove size , and rifling style in the early 30's . Raising a standard die [ made too small to begin with ] for a rifle with an extra over sized chamber will not work as the fired case is still swollen too much to not be sized down .
I also read that at least some of them were made with Metford (polygonal) riflings. Regardless, the result to me is the same. 0.264" bullets simply don't work. 0.268" for 6.5mm carcano are much harder to find. Tried some by ppu and they are rather marginal in performance.

You are right about the chamber size. The first die set was Lee. It was a bit too small in diameter. I sold it and bought a used one made by Herter. It has bigger diameter and partial length sizing works just fine. It should work for any chamber with excessive length, not excessive diameter.

Actually a neck die alone probably won't work either. After a few loads the brass diameter will grow too larger to chamber. It will need to be sized down. I think finding a die set to fit the rifles chamber is a must. One can have one custom made if he doesn't mind the extra cost.

-TL

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Last edited by tangolima; November 10, 2019 at 05:22 PM.
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Old November 11, 2019, 10:07 AM   #22
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The problem is mainly case swell from the shoulder down to the head , it is not a length problem . That is why I use a cut off Swede die as you can bump the shoulder back if needed without touching the case body . What works in a later made Type 38 will not work in a very early made one , and the Type I is really different again . I load for over 80 different 6.5mm J rifles and have to separate brass in about 10 different groups as the rifles are that different .
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Old November 13, 2019, 10:28 PM   #23
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Wow. Loading for 80 different arisakas. That’s cool. Is it like a club?
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Old November 14, 2019, 07:43 AM   #24
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No it is my Arisaka collection . I load for wayyy more of the Type-99's as there are a lot more variations of that model to collect and shoot .
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