6.5mm Arisaka

I’m very familiar with the Arisaka rifles but know little about the ammunition. I found this one in a gift box and I’m skeptical if I’ve properly identified it. I measured, checked and double checked.
The one on the left is a known 6.5 Arisaka by Norma, the one on the right is in question.

The headstamp has one K and the number 16, nothing else. I did not see anything on the IAA headstamp list that was logical for this cartridge. I know some countries used these rifles after the war but I don’t know exactly where to turn for reference on who made the ammo.

I’d like confirmation on my ID and any info known on the headstamp. I have never come across military Arisaka ammo before. Is it rare?

6.5 Jap by Kynoch???

Perhaps… if they were made in 1916 then England and Japan would have been allies and perhaps their production capabilities were not up to war-time demand. Reasonable speculation.

Both the British and Russians used Arisaka rifles in WWI. Kynoch made ammo dated '16 and '17 for both countries. Not particularly rare or valuable, but interesting. There is also an unheadstamped variation from Woolwich Arsenal.

Gentlemen, you really ought to buy my book on the Arisaka in British service for all the answers to your ammo questions!

Britain had 150,000 Type 30 and 38 Arisaka rifles and carbines in WWI, the majority of which were eventually sent to Russia.

The initial ammunition was Japanese made Type 38, followed by British assembled ammunition by Kings Norton metal Co., from Japanese components. This became the .256" Mark I.

We then started manufacturing Type 30 rounds at the request of the Russians and these were the .256" Mark II. These were made by Kynoch (which you have) and Royal Laboratory Woolwich.

The Kynoch rounds were headstamped either “K” at 12 o’c and “16” at 6 o’c, or “K 16” with “II” at 6 o’c. This format was also used in 1917.

As Jon states, the RL rounds were unheadstamped and have a small 5mm primer that is often slightly off-centre.

In addition to ball rounds we also made dummy rounds, including a tin plate version by Blanch, and there is even a drawing of an AP round.

Total British production was 559 million rounds.


Many thanks. I must say all of this information is quite surprising, I never knew this English and Russian use of the Arisaka rifle and so I just wouldn’t believe Kynoch had ever loaded this cartridge!

Man, it is amazing what you folks have learned about cartridges! I wish I had gotten into this 20 yrs ago.

BTW, yesterday I was shooting a .22 magnum and when I removed the empty cases and held them in my hand, I hesitated for a moment and just stared at them. You all, and this hobby, have given me an entirely new prospective on ammunition! Will someone find those, 100 yrs from now, and become excited about a .22 magnum case with a CCI headstamp? Amazing!

Shotmeister, Even Mexico ordered Arisaka rifles in 7mm calibre (I assume in 7x57) but they ended up in Russia.