The Arisaka rifle was designed by Colonel Arisaka Nariakira (有坂 成章; 1852–1915), who was later promoted to Lieutenant General and also received the title of Baron from Emperor Meiji, in 1907. Over the course of various wars several productions runs and variants were made, including the transition from the 6.5mm Type 38 cartridge to the larger 7.7mm Type 99, and the introduction of a paratrooper rifle that could be disassembled into two major parts for airborne operations. Tests on samples of Arisaka rifles conducted after the war showed that their bolts and receivers were constructed of carbon steel "similar to SAE steel grade No. 1085 with a carbon content of 0.80% to 0.90%, and a manganese content of 0.60% to 0.90%." During destructive tests, the Arisakas were shown to be stronger than the M1903 Springfield, Lee-Enfield, and Mauser rifles. The Arisaka's were also one of the only guns of the era to use polygonol rifling in its barrels, rather than the more traditional lands and grooves.

    Some of the early issue Type 99 rifles were fitted with a folding wire monopod intended to improve accuracy in the prone position. The rear sights also featured folding horizontal extensions to give a degree of lead suitable for firing against aircraft. Near the end of World War II, last-ditch ersatz models were being made in various cost-cutting feature variations with the goal of cheaply bolstering the imperial armed forces; for example, the ovoid bulb-shaped bolt of earlier runs were replaced by a smaller and utilitarian cylindrical shape, the handguard on the barrel was omitted, and crude fixed sights were fitted.

    A Type 38 with its imperial seal intact

    The Arisaka bolt-action service rifle was used everywhere in the Imperial Japanese Army and the Imperial Japanese Navy. Prior to World War II, Arisakas were used by the British Navy and Russian Army, in Finland and Albania. The Czech Legions that fought in the Russian Revolution were almost entirely armed with Type 30s and 38s. Many captured Arisaka rifles were employed by neighboring countries both during and after World War II, in places such as China, Thailand and Cambodia. However, after the Japanese surrender in the summer of 1945, manufacture of rifles and ammunition stopped abruptly, and the Arisaka quickly became obsolete. Since most Imperial Japanese Armory contents were thrown into Tokyo Harbor after the signing of the surrender, spare ammunition also became rare. Additional 6.5x50mm SR ammunition was, however, produced in China for use in their captured rifles.

    A Type 99 with its imperial seal ground

    The imperial ownership seal, a 16-petal Chrysanthemum known as the Chrysanthemum Flower Seal stamped upon the top of the receiver in all official imperial-issue rifles, has often been defaced by filing, grinding, or stamping on surviving examples. There are conflicting claims that this was done on the orders of the Imperial Japanese Military prior to surrender, however it is generally accepted by most historians that the imperial chrysanthemums were ground off the rifles on the orders from General Douglas MacArthur, the commander of occupation forces at that time. To date, no documentation from either Japanese or U.S. forces has been found that required the defacing. Most of the Arisakas with surviving insignia are in Japan, though there are a few remaining on samples taken as war trophies before the surrender, and those captured by Chinese forces. 

    Many of the Chrysanthemum Seals were completely ground off, but some were merely defaced with a chisel, scratch or had the number "0" stamped repeatedly along the edges. The latter was usually done with rifles removed from Japanese military service (and thus no longer the emperor's property), including rifles given to schools or sold to other nations, such as the British Royal Navy's purchase of many Type 38s in World War I to free up SMLE rifles for their land forces.


    This Type 38/99 WW2 issued Japanese Army Arisaka Rifle is a rarity as it still retains the Crysanthemum Flower Seal to the top which has not been defaced. Also it still has the sliding receiver bolt cover which functions perfectly and is usually missing. The cleaning rod is also present as well as a canvas jungle sling.

    This rifle is fully rendered innocuous and complies with WA Police requirements for rendering firearms there is no license requirement for this rifle in WA however buyers from all other States and or Territories must ensure that purchasing of this rifle is in accordance with Police regulations within their State or Territory.