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Old May 11, 2019, 09:12 AM   #1
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Arisaka type 38 carbine feeding issue

I have a bring home type 38 carbine. Long story short grandfather removed the bolt years ago and has since died. Never found it in any of his stuff. But anyways I got all that figured out. Bought a few odds and ends for it, buttplate, firing pin/spring/safety (Almost gave up after someone sent me a type 99 advertised as a type 38 complete bolt. (Have 1 is anyone needs). They are expensive on eBay.

Got 100 rounds of ammo (expensive) The cartridges sometimes don’t feed reliably. Trying to close the bolt oftentimes the point of the round gets smashed right under where they’re supposed to go in the barrel.

I didn’t miss a part did I?

Or anyone have any ideas how this can be remedied? I doubt the japs would be dealing with that Death inducing feeding issue.

Thank you in. Advance
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Old May 11, 2019, 09:21 AM   #2
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Forgot to mention there is 2 dif kind of feeding issues.
Either sometimes the cartridge gets jammed and isn’t high enough to go in the barrel

Or when closing the bolt it goes over top of the cartridges.

When feeding 1 round it’s pretty reliable but when 5 rounds are loaded the problems are more prevalent.
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Old May 11, 2019, 09:23 AM   #3
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It's hard to diagnose a problem off of just a description. I think a few pictures of the jam would help. Due to tolerance stacking, it is possible that a different bolt or extractor may help, but then again it is just as possible that there is a problem with the magazine follower or spring.

Reading your second post, I think the issue is more likely to be in the magazine.
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Old May 11, 2019, 12:24 PM   #4
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It has a double stack magazine. Rounds are being fed alternatively from left and right. Does it feed well from one side but not the other? Are you feeding round nose bullet?


PS. You can return the bolt from eBay. If the seller refuse, file a claim with eBay. eBay guarantee all sales with insurance fund every seller pays into. You need to learn to handload if you want to do c&r for real, or you are going broke soon.

Last edited by tangolima; May 11, 2019 at 12:32 PM.
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Old May 11, 2019, 12:50 PM   #5
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Did you have the bolt fitted by a smithy for head space? Bolts are not drop in parts.
"...isn’t high enough to go in...bolt it goes over top..." That indicates a mag follower spring issue.
What ammo?
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Old May 11, 2019, 01:27 PM   #6
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Sounds like a weak magazine spring, but there are plenty of other causes, as well.

What bullets are you using? Japanese military ammo was FMJ, so that could be an issue with feeding. Won't affect the bolt riding over a round in the mag, though. That is either a mag spring, follower, or possibly bolt itself issue.

it is also remotely possible someone altered the magazine feed "lips" which are part of the action rails on that gun. People have been known to file, or Dremel them to "improve" feeding. Generally, it doesn't work, and they ruin the gun trying.

First thing I would look at is the magazine spring. The "Z" spring can be installed backwards or even upside down (and no, I don't know what the right way is off the top of my head) Shouldn't matter, but might.

More likely is just that the old spring isn't as strong as it once was, and the lack of proper support (tension) on the follower is why some rounds don't get into proper position for the bolt to pick them up and feed normally.

Nothing is as cheap as it once was but a replacement magazine spring shouldn't cost a ton. Get one and see if that cures the problem.
All else being equal (and it almost never is) bigger bullets tend to work better.
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Old May 11, 2019, 03:45 PM   #7
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sometimes the cartridge gets jammed and isn’t high enough to go in the barrel
Typically an extractor fitting issue or the rim of the ammo is too thick.
when closing the bolt it goes over top of the cartridges.
Typically a weak magazine spring. They cost about $20 or so.
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Old May 11, 2019, 05:02 PM   #8
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Thanks for all the info guys. I’ll check all that when I get home.
A few responses. There’s no way anyone ever dremeled it, grandfather wasn’t a gun guy and it sat untouched for 60+ Years. I’ve been the first to touch in since the 40’s..

The eBay type 99 bolt is kind of late to complain about now, it’s been 2+ years ago. It didn’t work back then and I thought something else must have been wrong with it. But recently I got the itch again and some nice man on YouTube said it was bc it was a 99 bolt. Not the worst thing in the world to have laying around. Seems like they only got more expensive lately.

I don’t replace the bolt body. I bought a type 38 complete bolt and used the pin, spring, and safely on the empty bolt that was original to the gun. Should headspace be checked?

About the handloading: I bought 100 rounds of round nose 6.5 jap and also some soft point as well. Either round work about the same. I’m not going to shoot this gun much, just wanted it to get back up and running. So ammo costs won’t kill me.
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Old May 27, 2019, 11:47 AM   #9
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I had a type 38 carbine that fed better when I put 4 rounds in the magazine. If it put in 5 it was tough to close the bolt over the 5th round. I'm not sure if the carbine well is smaller than the full sized rifle well (never owned other than the carbine) but maybe they normally loaded the 5th round?
That wandering aside: you might play a bit with the z-shaped leaf spring that is pushing the magazine plate upwards. Maybe it's bent a bit?
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Old June 16, 2019, 12:32 AM   #10
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Thanks. I’ll try 4 rounds instead of 5. I noticed it did feed better after cycling rounds that wasn’t the top 5th round. Also have a lead of a couple magazines springs. Anyone know if a type 99 spring will work?
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