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Type 97 Sniper Rifle

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The Type 97 Sniper was a bolt-action rifle used by Japan during the Second World War.

Description

It had the 6.5x50mm Arisaka Cartridge and it was based on the Type 38 Rifle. It had several differences to the original rifle and a useful characteristic of the sniper rifle was that it had littler flash when fired so the sniper would not be as easily detected. Of course, one of the main differences was the 2.5X Scope which was mounted towards the left side of the receiver. Another difference was that unlike most Arisaka rifles, the bolt is not straight.[1]Although, the Type 97 was still heavily based on the Type 38. Instead, it is turned downwards.

The Type 97 had a five round magazine and had a total length of 127 cm. The Type 97 also had a muzzle velocity of 762 meters per second and some models featured a monopod adapter.[2] The Type 97 could even have a Type 30 Bayonet fitted to it. The weight of the rifle was about 3.9 kg while the barrel length was 79.7 cm. The Type 97's rear sight was also was set for 2,200 meters.[3] One of the major defects of the Type 97 was the cartridge that it fired. The 6.5x50mm Arisaka cartridge lacked stopping power and due to the long barrel, the bullet actually slows down because of friction.

History

The designation of the Type 97 comes from the Japanese calender, which means that the gun was adopted in 2597, instead of 1937. Before then, the special sniper scope had been in development since 1920. The rifle saw use throughout World War II by Japanese forces and some 20,000 were produced in total. Many of the rifles were produced in the Japanese arsenals Kokura and Nagoya. Among the places, the Type 97 served in were China and in Malaya. The Type 97 proved effective and was comparable to the M1903 Springfield.

Notes

1. The Japanese also used the Type 97 designation for a gas operated 20mm Anti Tank weapon.[4]

References

  1. http://members.shaw.ca/stevebryant/t97sniperriflepix.htm
  2. http://www.cheaperthandirt.com/MediaPages/ArticleDetail.aspx?mediaid=348
  3. http://www.japaneseweapons.net/gunyojyu/sogeki/index.htm
  4. Williams, Anthony G. Rapid Fire - The Development of Automatic Cannon, Heavy Machine Guns and their Ammunition for Armies, Navies and Air forces. (2000) ISBN 1-84037-122-6.


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