Shooting The Type 99 rifle Arisaka


Was there ever a rifleman with a soul so dead he didn’t wonder to himself ” what would a Type 99 be like”? I’ve always had a mild fascination with the Type 99 since reading about how incredibly strong the action is in P.O. Ackley’s books. That and the Japanese idea of what a service rifle,machine gun and, well, everything , should be and it really made me curious. I did not hear anything good about them from vets as a kid. But even then I knew Japanese made some pretty high quality stuff when they wanted to.

I finally got one I trusted to shoot without being so pristine that I would consider it a collectors item several years ago and have no regretted it. Of course it helps that I was ready and willing to like it before hand. Which always helps doesn’t it?

I’m not going into a history lesson with it today because I am way too lazy for that today and really the meat of this is to show you how it shoots. “Only accurate rifles are interesting.” I will say for those who do not know, that is not a cracked or repaired stock. That is standard. It was produced that way to make the stock stronger.

The chromed bore is in excellent shape Which is why I bought this one after passing on dozens

Ammo for the 7.7×58 is as rare as hens teeth. But you can make your own. Being an experience handloaded, I not only loaded the ammo but formed my own cases. I am not going to tell you my load or any real details on that to avoid potential lawsuits unless you all agree to sign a waiver. I did use the Sierra 174 match king .311 bullet and their 150gr spitzer soft point. Two bullets that have done great for me in .303 british loads.

bullet weight and yardage marked by each group

I shot the rifle prone with sandbags. Iron sighted of course. You can see the group and the bullet weight and yardage by each group. The trigger on the Type 99 is heavy but very crisp. The iron sights are very workable for me. The rear has a large peep for closer range, rapid, night shooting and a smaller peep for more long range shooting. The rear sight uses the typical range ladder for the day and has/had a rather involved anti aircraft fold down feature. The two side folding leading portions are missing on mine ( no great loss). I’m sure they could work in theory..

I couldn’t get the camera to focus on the front sight. I admit I love the front sight. Its a triangle shape and has a very pointed top and this works so good for my eyes that I kinda wish all my iron front sights could be like this.

174gr HPBT Sierra 350 yards

The top target was shot at 350 yards. I was going to do 500 yards but the closer range groups made me balk. I made a call that the gun might not hold minute of man at 500. I wish I had tried it anyway because I am pretty sure it would now after the 350 yard group. Maybe not all would be hits but I’m betting most would be. The shots are all the 174 matchkings. Shot off bags from prone. Not bad I think. Surprised me a bit. I have shot this gun before but only plinking for fun without serious efforts at precision. You can bet a second part will follow seeing just how far we can push it with the Type99.


  1. Shawn, I have had the opportunity to shoot three type 99’s over the years and the accuracy you achieved was normal for one of these rifles in decent condition.
    Long ago Norma made ammo for these rifles and the “Old west Scrounger” had 7.7 ammo available form various sources at times.
    When it comes to the two piece stocks for these rifles, I was told that they made them this way to get more usable blanks from a given amount of lumber.
    Which makes sense to me, but I don’t know if it was really so.

  2. Also wish there were more companies producing ammo for the Jap Rifles. For some reason I got hooked on collecting these. German 98k’s stayed the same with minor production differences until the last month of the war. The Japanese rifles on the other hand, you can see how well the war is going in the finish of the rifles. Early Type 99’s were beautiful. But as the months pass, little things start to change. Monopod deletion, barrel band changes, changes to the bolt, everything. And by the mid-45, even though they are the “same” rifle, the changes are substantial. Fun rifle to collect. Still missing my last-last ditch with a hole in the stock for the rope sling, but I’ll find one.


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