(PL) 6,5x50SR Arisaka in Polish Army

The next investigation in the thema of nontypical calibers used by the Polish Army in the interwar period (close after WWI).

It is about 6,5x50SR Arisaka ammunition.

1920 rok - oddział kobiecy pod Warszawą w oczekiwaniu na bolszewików. Uzbrojenie oddziału do kbk Arisaka wz.05
1920 - a women’s squad near Warsaw awaiting the Bolsheviks. Arisak’s branch for kbk wz.05

Sierpień 1920 roku. Żołnierz modlący się nad grobem kolegi Józefa Śmigielskiego. Przy boku kbk Arisaka wz.97
August 1920. Soldier praying over the grave of his friend Józef Śmigielski. At the side of kbk Arisaka wz.97



Polish customs guard / border guard c. 1925 with Arisaka rifle

x%20straz%20celna x%20straz%20celna2 x%20straz%20celna3


What we had in stock:

karabin japoński wz.97 Arisaka
karabinek japoński wz.97 Arisaka
karabin japoński wz.05 Arisaka
karabinek japoński wz.05 Arisaka

In addition to the fact that the designation was different from that in the Japanese army, designations were adopted according to our calendar.

This should be a small rectification. In the interwar study entitled:
Ilustrowane słownictwo materjału uzbrojenia. Cz. 1. Karabiny, karabinki i ich części składowe, Departament Uzbrojenia Min. Spraw Wojskowych , Warszawa 1931
Illustrated vocabulary of weaponry material. Vol. 1. Rifles, carbines and their components, Department of Armed Forces of Military Affairs, Warsaw 1931

There is a bug at wz.97, where the wz.91 sign appears, where did it come from? It is not known. In other publications, however, the correct year is given.


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Piotr, very interesting! I was not aware that Poland had some of these rifles.
To my understanding these were from former Russian stocks?

Arisaka comes from different sources. But not directly from Japan.

Made in Japan, sold to Britain, sold to Russia, captured by Poland?

In shortly, YES

Not to forget that Russia also directly bought arms from Japan.
And not only rifles but also lots of various Japanese Artillery and got some Russian 76mm ammo made there.

Alex, when would that have been? Surely not between 1905 and 1914, or after 1939.

Jon, without a lengthy check: it was most likely 1914-1917 (and not after 1917).
This also expalins why we know Japanese boxes of 6.5mm from Finland.
These sure were not from the UK as they made their own.

Makes sense, but still hard to rationalize the Russians buying ammo from Japan so soon after the Russo-Japanese War. Also possible that the Bolsheviks bought it from Japan to replenish stocks during their civil war. That would also account for the Polish capture.

No, the purchases were official and merely a measure to get the needed arms for the ongoing war with Germany.
For example they also bought Japanese 305mm shells for their coastal defense guns. Sure nothing that is needed in a civil war (which only started in 1917).

In World War I, Japan was an enemy of Germany. So Russia and Japan were on the same side in this conflict, which might have helped arms deals among them and put remembering 1904/05 in the background.

Leszek Erenfeicht, Arisaka, karabin cesarskiej armii , Strzał 11/05.


The rifle identified as 24 in the illustration is in fact the uncommon Type 35, made in small quantities following its 1902 adoption. It amounted to a transitional design between the Type 30 and the Type 38. Jack

As for former enemies:
Just for example, Germany started a close military cooperation with Russia in the 1920s which lasted till summer of 1941.
Till then we delivered plenty of arms to Russia (artillery, aircraft, up to a complete battle ship) and had even an air force deployment inside Russia as back in the 1920 (dictate of Versailles) we were not allowed to have an air force.
Interestingly back then also Japanese aircraft or was it only their engines were involved there.
Also Russia delivered at least in 1927 artillery ammunition to Germany (presumably chemical) which became a scandal in the news back then.
And speaking of the days of the Russo-Japanese war in 1905. back then plenty of countries made ammo for Russia. Best known are 7.62x54R cartridges whcih also came from Germany including 76mm ammo.
And just recently there was a deal between Russia and Rheinmetall to deliver a laser training system for an artillery/tank range but that was cancelled due to the Ukraine/Russia issue.

So in short: as we know from many conflicts and former enemies all is only a question of time and it will change.

Some material in russian from:
"Мастер ружье" № 10 (октябрь) 2003



more on with download:

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and from:

Япония — страна, восходящая к «Арисаке»

Этикетка на картонной коробке японских патронов 6,5 Арисака

«Аглицкие Арисаки»

Варианты обойм 6,5 мм Арисака, изготовленных в Англии

Наша «Арисака»

Общий вид и пуля русского патрона 6,5 мм Арисака. Справа — гильза с плоским латунным капсюлем и кернением капсюльного гнезда четырьмя плашками (предположительно — ранние выпуски патронов ППЗ при отработке капсюлей для японских гильз Охтинским заводом взрывчатых веществ)

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and english too

This (the photo shown by PJB) is the bullet type much much disliked by U.S. Army (see BEYER, Wound Ballistics in WW2, 1962) because it fragmented by squeezing out the lead core backwards.

The British drawing shows a different, conventional design that is also shown in the Textbook of Small Arms, 1929 edition.