Military Review

Rifles "Murata" and "Arisaka": The main firearms of the Japanese infantry during the Russo-Japanese War

Rifles "Murata" and "Arisaka": The main firearms of the Japanese infantry during the Russo-Japanese War

The fierce confrontation between Japan and the European and American colonialists in the middle of the 19th century required a strong and well-armed army from the "Land of the Rising Sun". If such an army was built already in 1871, then the appearance of a firearm weapons, created at their own factories, the Japanese had to wait until 1880.

It was then that Colonel Murata proposed his own version of the domestic rifle, which was later named after him.

It is worth noting that the first versions of the weapon, in particular the Type-13, which fired 11-mm cartridges with black powder, strongly resembled the Turkish version of the Mauser of the early 70s of the XIX century.

Then, in 1889, the Type-22 Murata rifle appeared, which used 8 mm caliber ammunition with smokeless powder.

Tellingly, the underbarrel magazine of the new version, which contained 8 rounds, was also, to put it mildly, not original. It is believed that it was copied from the French Gras-Kropachek rifle.

However, the fact that the Murata rifle was a "hodgepodge" did not prevent it from becoming the most massive weapon in the Japanese army at the end of the 130th century. The length of the carbine was almost 4 cm, the weight with the magazine was about 435 kg, and the muzzle velocity was XNUMX m/s.

Meanwhile, already in 1897, the Japanese army began to rearm with a new carbine of the Arisaka system. Its creator, Colonel Arisaka, also did not invent his own version of the rifle, and, like Murata, was "inspired" by the Mauser system.

The new rifle "Arisaka" Type-30 with a sliding bolt received a small-caliber 6,5-mm rifle cartridge with a semi-flange sleeve and a 5-round magazine. The length of the new carbine was 128 cm, the weight with the magazine was about 4 kg, and the muzzle velocity was 765 m/s.

Despite the fact that by the beginning of the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905, the Arisaka rifle had become the main weapon of the Japanese land army, due to the general mobilization and lack of weapons, the Murata rifle was also actively used by the Japanese. At the same time, the latter, as historians write, inflicted even more damage than its more modern, but small-caliber, “colleague”.

The historian Ilya Shevchenko tells about the equipment and uniforms of Japanese soldiers during the Russo-Japanese War:

Photos used:

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  1. Lynx2000
    Lynx2000 3 March 2023 08: 12
    If I'm not mistaken, Fedorov used the 6,5x50 mm "Arisaka" cartridge in his machine gun.
    In the North-Eastern region of the Russian Federation (Kamchatka, the Kuriles), rifles of the Type 30 / Type 38 system were found, confiscated from caches, or from poachers.
    1. Ezekiel 25-17
      Ezekiel 25-17 3 March 2023 08: 18
      No, you're not mistaken; Fedorov understood that the machine should be made under an intermediate cartridge, but the funding was disgusting, so everything rested on 6,5 × 50 mm.
      1. Garysit
        Garysit 9 March 2023 09: 03
        The 6,5X50 cartridge was not intermediate - it was a rifle cartridge and Fedorov did not immediately come to use it in his machine gun, he was the first to be created for the 7,62x54 cartridge, which turned out to be too heavy due to the excessive energy of the cartridge and insufficient reliability - the rim on the cartridge led to delays . Yes, and the famous phrase of Nicholas II "We do not have enough cartridges" put an end to the product. It was after this that Fedorov created a second sample chambered for "Arisaka" of which there were large stocks in the warehouses after the Russo-Japanese War. And the ballistics of the 6,5mm bullet is much better. Next, an experimental batch of 30 pieces was made. which was armed with a unit that took part in the First World War. The revolution prevented it from being adopted.
  2. Altmann
    Altmann 3 March 2023 13: 37
    In 1897, the Imperial Japanese Army introduced the Type 30 revolver, which gradually replaced the obsolete Murata Type 22 rifles used since 1889. It was developed by Colonel Arisaka Nariakira (1852–1915) by modifying General Murata Tsuneyoshi's original weapon. Even the Type 30 was not a perfect and flawless design, so Colonel (later General) Arisaka, together with the designer Kiriho Nambu, modified it in 1905 into a form that received the designation Type 38, equipped with a simple spring-loaded latch. By pressing it, the shooter could easily open the box and empty it. The design of the shutter is greatly simplified.

    Today, Type 38 carbines, designed for cavalry and second line units, are much rarer. They were also produced in Koishikawa where 1935 carbines were produced by 212, the Nagoya arsenal produced only 000 in 101–000, the production of the Kokura arsenal is indicated by the number of 1923 carbines produced, and only 1940 were produced at the factory. Mukden arsenal.

    According to the Gregorian calendar, the rifle is designated Model 1905, but the original Japanese designation Type 38 remains in use, corresponding to the 38th year of Emperor Meiji's reign. am