Type 99 Arisaka Run and Gun

The Arisaka Type 99 rifle in 7.7 Japanese was distributed to the Imperial Japanese forces during World War II,  but it never quite phased out the old Type 38 rifle in 6.5 caliber. This light, short rifle is equipped with a number of odd features that are sure to raise an eyebrow or two at the range, but how does this strange Japanese rifle shoot? Well, lets see it on the run and gun course!

Read Nathaniel F’s Brief History of the Arisaka Type 99 here.

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Alex C.

Alex is a Senior Writer for The Firearm Blog and Director of TFBTV.


  • danny

    Awesome shooting!

  • Riot

    Is the magazine too wide?

  • The_Champ

    Good stuff, keep up the mil-surp run and guns please.

    This probably sounds boring but I’d like to see an SKS and maybe an AG-42b if you have access to one.

  • Marco Antonio Gonzalez

    A noisy and somehow musical rifle
    Ding ding bang
    Ding ding bang
    Ding ding clic
    Ding ding bang

  • ExMachina1

    I thought everyone knew that Japanese “ammunition” was shorter than American

  • ostiariusalpha

    Well, at least your pronunciation of り was flawless. Definitely seems that something about the magazine geometry or follower is allowing the rounds to get jumbled when loading in a hurry, and there are more than a few pre-1905 bolt actions that have feed ramps with an aversion to spitzer bullets. I don’t even try anything more pointy than a new crayon in my Krag-Jørgensen.

    • Southpaw89

      No spitzers in a krag huh? Maybe that was my problem.

  • Don Ward

    You needed to “mortor” that rifle, Alex. Gah! Don’t you know anything?

    *Laughs maniacally*

    • JumpIf NotZero


      Well, hey, at least no one pointed guns at themselves in this video 🙂

  • Darkpr0

    Can’t wait for the “Elan no match for 8mm Mauser” tag whenever a Berthier run-n-gun happens.

  • DW

    No banzai charge? Shamefur display!

  • Lance

    Trapdoor next!!!!! Try a SKS run and gun but compare in same video the Chinese Type-56 AND Soviet SKS-45 head to head Alex!!

  • Jim

    Nice run!

  • Oh look, it’s Lance.

    No, Type 99 production started in 1941, not 1942.

    • UnrepentantLib

      According to what I’ve read the Japanese developed the 7.7x58mm cartridge and the Type 99 because of their experience in the battle for Shanghai in 1937. The Chinese were using the Hanyang 88, a Chinese produced copy of the German 1888 Commission Rifle in 7.92mm. The 6.5mm came up short in comparison to the 7.92. I had a 1943 vintage Type 99. It was I thought quite well made and actually fairly pleasant to shoot.

      • Interesting, Lib could you link/send me the source you got this from? I’ve been very interested in the development of the 7.7mm cartridge, as it’s an important part of the 50-year period of .30 cal dominance.

        • UnrepentantLib

          A book about Shanghai came out a few years ago, “Shanghai 1937: Stalingrad on the Yangtze,” by Peter Harmsen. I think he had some mention of it, but I was also hunting up articles on the Type 99 around the time I was reading the book, so I’m not sure what came from where.

        • gunsandrockets

          My impression of military small arms development from the time of the 1886 Lebel until WWII, is the overwhelming influence of WWI experience where the machine-gun overshadowed the rifle.

          After the trauma of WWI and with tremendous stocks of left-over rifles, all the energy of military small arms development seemed focused on crew served machine-guns. Either making crew served machine-guns lighter, the LMG path, or making machine-guns deadlier, the HMG path.

          In comparison, individual-weapons development seemed to be a backwater, whether it was pistols, rifles, or SMG.

          I think that explains the favor of .30 caliber cartridges from WWI until WWII. It wasn’t because of rifles, it was because of machine-guns.

          I think the example of Sweden adapting the 8mm Browning belt-fed machineguns in parallel to 6.5mm firearms is instructive.

          So I wonder, was the Japanese type 99 rifle developed because the Japanese thought it was a more effective rifle caliber? Or because the Japanese wanted an identical caliber rifle to accompany the new improved 7.7mm type 99 LMG?

  • milesfortis

    Alex, I figure the rifle choked because you failed to show proper respect and yell
    天皇陛下万歳 (Tennōheika Banzai!) when you were advancing.

    • Tassiebush

      I think Japanese tactics were shaped by the rifle.

  • Tassiebush

    Man it’s a pleasure to watch you work the bolt like that Alex. It’s a shame the rifle didn’t cooperate fully. Such a beautiful and unusual rifle too!

  • Rock or Something

    No kidding about that dust cover rattling. No wonder why it was so commonly discarded.

    • gunsandrockets

      Commonly discarded by troops because of the rattle? I’ve heard that too, but it might be mythical.

  • Bub

    Couple things about the video. Loved the rattle of the dust cover when you were operating the bolt. I never really thought that much about it, but a dust cover on a military bolt gun is a really good idea.

    The other thing is I have typically heard good things the Ariska rifles even though I have never been able to fire one myself, so I was a little surprised by the failures. But to my point this is proof to folks out there that think revolvers and bolt guns never malfunction.

    • iksnilol


      I got a double feed in a bolt gun once.

  • gunsandrockets

    I suspect the 7.7mm caliber preference over 6.5mm had more to do with long range machine-gun performance than rifle performance.

  • gunsandrockets

    It seems the Japanese type 99 has managed to simplify the Mauser design to the point of poor reliability. Oops!

  • gunsandrockets

    I don’t think the Japanese 7.7mm rimless cartridge was ever issued with a non-spitzer point bullet. So I don’t think the nose profile of the ammunition used in the run was the source of the poor feeding demonstrated.

  • TJbrena

    Love the tags for this article. “bushido no match for 30-06” and “weaboos when will they learn” should be on the Type 94 Nambu video as well.

  • FarmerB

    You seemed to have issues starting with when you left the stripper clip in the action before closing the bolt? I have to say, that system looks fairly efficient, if you can fix the reliability.

  • Jeffrey

    Hey Brother, I really enjoy these videos. Keep up the good work!

  • Uniform223

    That does cover sure is loud. Dare I say it, its louder than actually shooting the rifle hahaha. No wonder why Japanese soldiers took off those dust covers.

  • Bo Bo

    Sometimes even my Toyota Corolla malfunctions.

  • A friend of mine several years ago had a 99 and he wanted me to get it working for him. The bolt was completely rusted shut. No wonder the Japs lost the war.

  • SirOliverHumperdink

    The russian ‘garbage rod’ sure worked better than this Japanese ‘garbage rod’.