Briefly: Japanese Arisaka Type II Paratroop Rifle


Rifle Arisaka Type 2 Manufacturer Nagoya
Cartridge 7.7x58mm Overall Length 45.3″
Action Rotation Bolt Barrel Length 25.4″
Magazine 5 rnds fixed box Weight 8.9lbs

The Japanese forces had long relied on naval landings and did not initially develop their paratrooper capabilities.  But logistical failures during the invasion of the Dutch East Indies had their soldiers fighting with pistols, bayonets, and grenades.  So, finally, attention fell on producing a significant number of take-down rifles for airborne troops.

Firearm Anatomy: Eight Service Rifles of WWII

Melange of WWII

We’ve been working up a series of images over the past few weeks here at C&Rsenal.  Well, this is the first official collection, representing eight major players in the Second World War.  This bloody conflict spanned the globe and most discussions of movements and battles require a broad perspective.  We’ve decided to focus in on the individual pieces of the soldiers’ personal weapons.  Every screw and spring counted when these men staked their lives on these machines of war.  Each piece represents a nation’s best effort to produce a weapon on a massive scale; balancing machine time, material consumption, reliability, precision, and ease of use.

Rifle: “Manchurian Mauser” Liao Type 13

Manchurian Rifle Mauser Liao Type 13 tilt

Rifle Liao Type 13 Manufacturer Shenyang Arsenal
Cartridge 7.92x57mm, 6.5x50mm Overall Length 49.2″
Action Rotation Bolt Barrel Length 29.1″
Magazine 5 rounds staggered Weight 9.4 lbs


This rare and often misunderstood rifle represents a European prototype that found full production under a Chinese warlord.

Rifle: Arisaka Type 38 Jinsen Arsenal “Education” rifle.


Rifle Arisaka Type 38 Manufacturer Jinsen Arsenal (Korea)
Cartridge 6.5 Japanese Overall Length 50.2″
Action Rotation Bolt Barrel Length 31.5″
Magazine 5 rounds staggered Weight 8 lbs


So this is one of those oddball finds that one just needs to share. Suzie spotted this at the back of a pawn shop and because neither of us recognized it the rifle had to come home.  Thanks to the mind-numbingly informed users of Gunboards we’re pretty sure we know its rough story.

Rifle: Austro-Hungarian Steyr-Mannlicher M.95

Austrian Steyr Mannlicher M1895-30 Tilt

Rifle Mannlicher M.95 Manufacturer Various
Cartridge 8x50mmR, 8x56mmR Overall Length 50.1″
Action Straight Pull Bolt Barrel Length 30″
Magazine 5 rnd enbloc Weight 8.3 lb


The Austro-Hungarian Empire kept up with the smokeless revolution in fits and spurts, but finally settled on an elegant and unusual rifle in Ferdinand Mannlicher’s Model 1895 rifle.  These guns would serve reliably all the way through WWII.

Rifle: Belgian Mauser Model 1935

Belgian Rifle Mauser Mle1935 tilt

Rifle Modèle 1935 Manufacturers FN, MAE
Cartridge 7.65x53mm Overall Length 43.5″
Action Rotation Bolt Barrel Length 22.8″
Magazine 5 rnds, stripper clip Weight 9 lbs


Despite a rich history of arms manufacture, the Belgians were a neutral nation and did not always put much into modernizing their military.  With German re-armament they finally got the ball moving on a new standard short rifle in 1935.

Rifle: Canadian Cooey 82 Training Rifle

Canadian Trainer Cooey-82-Trainer-tilt

Rifle Cooey 82 Manufacturer Cooey Machine & Arms Co.
Cartridge .22lr Overall Length 44″
Action Rotation Bolt Barrel Length 27″
Magazine single shot Weight 6.5 lb


The Cooey 82 rifle isn’t an entirely uncommon sight in North America.  These little .22lr rifles have an often overlooked military history and are still useful training rifles.

Rifle: Canadian PCMR Winchester M94


Rifle Winchester 94 Manufacturer Winchester
Cartridge .30-.30 Overall Length 37.8″
Action Lever-action Barrel Length 20″
Magazine 6 rnds tubular Weight 6.8 lbs.


The Winchester 94 is an iconic and much-loved gun, but many people are not aware of the role it played in World War II.

Rifle: Charlton Automatic Rifle

 Charlton Rifle right side

Rifle Charlton Automatic Rifle Manufacturer Charlton’s Motor Workshop
Cartridge .303 British Overall Length 45.5″
Action Long Stroke Gas Piston Barrel Length 26″
Magazine 10 or 30 detachable box Weight 16lbs


Necessity is the mother of invention and New Zealand, far removed from the U.S. and British equipment sailing for Europe, had to get creative.  Lacking BREN or even Lewis guns for home defense, they turned on their bolt actions to create one of the strangest LMGs we’ve seen.

Rifle: Chinese Arisaka 6-5 Infantry Rifle

Rifle Arisaka 6-5 Rifle Manufacturer Taiyuan Arsenal
Cartridge 6.5x50mmSR Overall Length 50.4″
Action Rotation Bolt Barrel Length 31.5″
Magazine 5 rounds staggered Weight 9 lbs


The tale of the Shanxi Warlord Yan Xishan is incredible.  His attempts to develop a neutral province with a truly modern military force may have ultimately failed, but they did see him govern from 1912 through the warlord period, unification, revolts, the Japanese invasion, and ultimately retreating from the Chinese Civil War.  This is a story about one of his guns.