6.5-.257 Roberts Wildcat.


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bluedlightning
03-15-2011, 10:43 PM
Just a few days ago I bought a Japanese type 38 carbine that had been rechambered for 6.5-.257 roberts round. Oringaly I got it because it had a fully intact military stock I wanted to use on my personal 38 carbine that someone "butchered" the stock on. Now I'm thinking that this might be a worth while round to shoot. Being familar with reloading standard rounds I would like to know how best to go about reloading this one. Any advise on how to go about this will be greatly apreaciated. ;)

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Reddog
03-16-2011, 12:34 PM
Blue,
That can be an excellent cartridge if you can find or make brass that will fit the chamber properly. It's very similar to the .257 Roberts.
Dick

fuldo
03-16-2011, 06:18 PM
I didn't know anything about this cartridge until your question got the best of my curiousity and I investigated it a little. I assume the gun you have is a Type 38 Ariska that originally took 6.5 x 50 cartridges. Many were brought into this country and rechambered for the 6.5 mm-.257 Roberts because the original ammo was almost impossible to get for awhile. You can look at the Wikipedia listing for .257 Roberts and find a paragraph about that with greater detail.

Evidently the 6.5 mm -.257 Roberts is most easily made from .257 Roberts brass. RCBS shows a case forming die, their part number 58118 that does this. A quick search showed nobody listing 6.5 mm - .257 Roberts loading dies although many show some other 6.5 mm reloading and neck sizing dies and some combination of those may work. Probably the best source of reloading dies would be a die maker that specializes in Wildcat cartridges such as C-H Tool & Die (740-397-7214).

I wish you luck, please keep us informed!

FYI
JFK was killed with a 6.5 mm round.

Reddog
03-16-2011, 06:59 PM
The problem with trying to make this case from a case based on the .257 Roberts, or any case with that size base, 30/06, 308 Win, 8 mm Mauser, 7 mm Mauser, etc., etc. etc., is the fact that they all have a base smaller in diameter than the Jap case. It can be done but when the case is fired it will expand excessively and possibly crack, besides looking weird. Also, if the case expands more to one side, there is a problem with alignment the next time the case is loaded and chambered.
I don't know if you can buy a case made for that chambering, but if so, that would be the way to go. You might check Starline.
I remember when JFK was shot!
Dick

fuldo
03-16-2011, 07:42 PM
The problem with trying to make this case from a case based on the .257 Roberts, or any case with that size base, 30/06, 308 Win, 8 mm Mauser, 7 mm Mauser, etc., etc. etc., is the fact that they all have a base smaller in diameter than the Jap case. It can be done but when the case is fired it will expand excessively and possibly crack, besides looking weird. Also, if the case expands more to one side, there is a problem with alignment the next time the case is loaded and chambered.
I don't know if you can buy a case made for that chambering, but if so, that would be the way to go. You might check Starline.
I remember when JFK was shot!
Dick

The way that I understand it, the gun in question has been "rechambered" for the .257 Roberts base and if so, from what I've read, the gun can now only shoot 6.5 mm - .257 Wildcat cartridges; it can no longer shoot the original.

Reddog
03-16-2011, 08:02 PM
Doug,
It's been a long time ago, but if I remember right, the base of the original 6.5 Jap case is larger than the base of the Roberts case. So, unless they removed the barrel from the action and set the barrel back and completely rechambered for the full 6.5X257 case, it still won't be right. The Roberts cases that have been necked up to take the 6.5 bullet would still have a too small base. I remember when a lot of guys did this and swore by it, but most guys didn't think too much of it. There was no way of knowing when the overextended base would let go. It's easy to tell. Just look at the specs for both cases. I don't have any manuals within reach, but when I go downstairs later I'll look.

bluedlightning
03-16-2011, 10:18 PM
Acording to my Lee reloading manuel the 6.5x50 SR Japanese round has a .447" base. The .257 Roberts has a .471" which is a difference of .024". I'm safe on that account. Now they did rechamber the type 99 from 7.7 mm to 30.06 and the 7.7 is larger at the base then the 30.06 round. I've been wondering if it would be eaiser to try making a chamber cast to dertimes sholder angle of the round or to fire form a case for the same purpose. Since the .257 Roberts round is oringaly made from the 7x57 mm mauser round it shouldnt be hard finding sutible brass.

fuldo
03-17-2011, 09:09 AM
Evidently there have been some rechamberings on this gun that weren't complete and proper for the .257 case. It makes me wonder if any of the rechamberings were done fully and correctly to match the .257 roberts case. It seems to me that it's imperitive to understand what was done to the gun and what the chamber configuration is now. The two methods you've mentioned may do this. Personally I wouldn't attempt to fire anything from this gun until I understood exactly what the configuration is and could ensure that the cartridge used was proper and safe.

Is there a relatively easy way to gauge the size of the chamber base with an instrument or various slugs first? If so, that may be a good place to start. I suggest that you post something in the Gunsmithing forum as well, it may catch more attention there.

fuldo
03-17-2011, 11:03 AM
Acording to my Lee reloading manuel the 6.5x50 SR Japanese round has a .447" base. The .257 Roberts has a .471" which is a difference of .024". I'm safe on that account. Now they did rechamber the type 99 from 7.7 mm to 30.06 and the 7.7 is larger at the base then the 30.06 round. I've been wondering if it would be eaiser to try making a chamber cast to dertimes sholder angle of the round or to fire form a case for the same purpose. Since the .257 Roberts round is oringaly made from the 7x57 mm mauser round it shouldnt be hard finding sutible brass.

For what it's worth, the data on ammoguide confrims that the 6.5 x 50 Ariska cartridge base has a diameter of .447, .024" smaller than the .257 Roberts. In fact, all dimensions of the .257 Roberts cartridge are much larger than the 6.5 x 50 with the shoulder and overall lengths 0.2-0.3 inches longer. In other words, the original chamber could be reworked larger to properly accept a .257 Roberts case. However, I believe the 6.5 mm bullet actually measures 6.70 mm/0.264 inches which is about 0.007 larger than the standard .257 Roberts bullet. For this reason the Roberts neck must be either expanded or reemed to accept the larger 6.5 mm bullet and from what I've read the neck is usually expanded. I think this means that the 6.5mm - 257 Roberts chamber should be identical to that of standard .257 Roberts but with a slightly larger neck area. A quick check of the gun could be to try to chamber a piece of .257 Roberts brass and see if it goes and fits. If it does, then you still need to see if the neck area is larger. Maybe you could crudely expand the neck with a drift or something to prove that point.

Factory .257 Roberts ammo is readily available from Midway and other places and the brass appears to be available as well at about 50 cents each in small quantities.

I still suspect your biggest issue will be to determine and find the required reloading dies. Perhaps the only unusual die you'll need will be a neck resizing die.

Reddog
03-17-2011, 06:47 PM
I wouldn't try any of that! You're asking for trouble!

fuldo
03-17-2011, 07:16 PM
I wouldn't try any of that! You're asking for trouble!

Dick,

I'm not suggesting loading or shooting a live round, I'm only suggesting that trying a piece of empty brass may the be quickest and easiest way to see if the chamber has been enlarged to the .257 Roberts dimension. What's the harm in slowly inserting an empty piece of brass into this gun to see if/how it fits into the chamber? Am I missing something?

Reddog
03-17-2011, 08:01 PM
I guess I just figured that it would end up sticking a case in the chamber. If it had been rechambered to the 257 case, you would be OK, but I doubt it has been. That would have required removing the barrel from the action, rechambering to the 6.5X52, or whatever the length is, and then re-mounting the barrel on the action and checking the headspace. That's a lot of money to spend on an old military rifle.
The best way to know for sure is to make a "Cerrosafe" casting of the chamber and throat. That will give you exact measurements of it all and you won't have a case stuck in the chamber.
Dick

bluedlightning
07-10-2011, 02:32 AM
Spent a whole $2 today for a old Speers reloading manual No. 9 and it has load data for the 6.5/257 Roberts round! As soon as I order and get the dies I'm going to start loading. If this round and rifle combo works out well I just might have a keeper. Wish me luck.

aboutenough
09-23-2011, 06:48 PM
I have an Arisaka chambered in 6.5 x 257 Roberts. I got the rifle about 10 years ago will tell you what I found out. On the barrel it is stamped 6.5 and 257 roberts. I have an old Speer manual that tells how to load that round. Tells you exact dimensions such as length of bullet ect. Its been a long time since I reloaded it, can't remember much. I found an RCBS reloading die for the 6.5mm x 257 Roberts about ten years ago and I remember it being twice as much cost as a normal round. I bought 257 Roberts brass and resized to 6.5mm and I collected 7x57 brass to size down. I don't remember the powder loads or bullet weights I went with, but the gun fired extremely well and had very little kick to it. The Arisaka rifle is a very strong action and is suitable for most big game hunting. The safety is a little awkward, but I can deal with that. I am in the process of moving, so if you needed any other info such as reloading data I would have to get that from my other house. I plan on hunting deer and elk with that rifle.

bluedlightning
09-23-2011, 11:36 PM
Any info on this round you can give me will be much appreacated. If the rifle shoots good I'm going to restock it with a comercail style sporter stock and let my neice use it for deer hunting as shes not all that stout having MD and don't want a gun that has too much recoil for her to use. Allso hoping it will turn into a nice light weight pig gun.

aboutenough
09-24-2011, 01:22 PM
My Arisak has a sporter stock. Not sure how much is weighs exactly, but around 7 to 8 lbs. Its recoil is about equivilent to a 243. Perfect for a younger person. I will look up my reload stats when i travel to my other house that has the speers manual. I know a gun smith that reloads for this gun and claims people hunt for elk with it.

huffmanite
11-01-2011, 11:05 AM
Have a couple of type 38 arisaka rifles that have both been rechambered, one to a 6.5x55 swede and other to the 6.5x257R.

I found out I could resize my 257R brass or 7x57 mauser brass to shoot in my 6.5x257R arisaka. Already reloaded for the 6.5x55 Swede and the 257R and 7x57 mauser. I use my full lenght 6.5 Swede die to just NECK size either the 257R brass or 7x57 brass. Once shot I can normally just use my 6.5 Swede die to once again Neck Size the brass.

Suspect my 6.5x55 Swede arisaka has a chamber problem/headspace problem, so have shot it just a few times. Fair amount of rounds downrange with the 6.5x257R Arisaka. Accuracy with it not that good, but decent enough to take deer hunting providing my shots were not too far.

Watched a gent recently shoot a newly acquired type 99 Arisaka that had been rechambered to 30-06. Like my two 6.5 military barrel Arisakas, barrel on his was still the original military 7.7 barrel. He was shooting the rifle for the first time, having just bought it previous week from a pawn shop for $100. Rifle had been well sporterized. Before he shot it, I had told him not too expect it to shoot very accurately. About an hour later, he showed me his target. LOL, guy was shooting 3/4" 3 shot groups with it at 100 yards.

oldtimer
11-02-2011, 10:38 AM
The Arisaka action was one of the strongest ones built. My caution would be if it was made after 1943. If the original sights are on it an they are adjustable, then check the year of manufacture. Adjustable sights were not used late in the war. The Japanese military continued to make 6.5's until the end of the war due to problems in supply for the 7.7.

bluedlightning
11-04-2011, 08:24 PM
The Arisaka action was one of the strongest ones built. My caution would be if it was made after 1943. If the original sights are on it an they are adjustable, then check the year of manufacture. Adjustable sights were not used late in the war. The Japanese military continued to make 6.5's until the end of the war due to problems in supply for the 7.7.
According to the markings on my type 38 it was built in 1939. The oringal sights were removed and replaced with a ramped front sight and a old redfield receiver peep sight.

oldtimer
11-05-2011, 08:22 AM
OK, you have a winner! It is strong enough that there is a report of one being rechambered but not rebored to .30-06 and after several firings, the owner having a problem opening the bolt. Not my choice for resizing a bullet, but it apparently worked and did not damage the action.

bluedlightning
11-05-2011, 01:13 PM
Thank You Oldtimer for all your imput in this thread. If your interested in japanese rifles and carbines take a look at this site I use it myself quit a bit.
http://www.radix.net/~bbrown/japanese_markings.html

Chatham Strait
12-11-2011, 04:01 PM
Hello from Alaska. Just signed up with your forum. Found it while looking for info about reloading a Japanese WWII 6.5 with an altered .257 Roberts case. My Dad got a sniper on Okinawa and the scope and stock broke when it fell out of a tree. He brought the barrel and action home and put a sporterized stock and a peep sight on it. He and my uncle got some dies and reloaded ammo and I shot my first deer with it when I was 11. Used up what they had reloaded and then switched to a .308 as I began hunting by myself and we lived in brown bear country. Came back from the Army after two years in the fall of 1970 and bought a .30-'06 Sako Finnbear and have hunted exclusively with that ever since. Use 220 grain bullets in case I run into a bad bear and need bear defense and make head shots for the deer and don't cause any hydrostatic damage to edible meat. But back to the 6.5-.257 Roberts. My first son, 28 now, broke in deer hunting with a Ruger .223 and has a Springfield '06 now. The Ruger was sold years ago for medical bills and the youngest son got his first deer at age 11 last year with a borrowed .223 bolt-action. I want to reload for this 6.5-.257 Roberts for him to use until he is big enough for a .30-'06. I've read what you all had to say from March of this year until May about this Wildcat caliber/load and am curious if any more info has come to light. My Dad and my uncle are in their eighties and can't fully recall what they did in the late 1940's with this rifle and cartridges. It's been 48 years since I've fired it. Was able to access that site mentioned about Japanese rifles as was able to decipher some of the symbols to learn more about this specific rifle. Thanks for the information! For those who are curious, Chatham Strait is between Admiralty Island and Baranof and Chichagof Islands in Southeastern Alaska. These three islands have brown bear (Shiras grizzly). We joke about the ABC's of southeast--Admiralty, Baranof and Chichagof have brown bear and all the other islands have black bear and wolves. Thanks for your time--for now I'll sign off as Chatham Strait

kris
09-24-2013, 10:54 AM
Hi from Iceland. Here in Europe 6.5x257 Roberts is just a old cartridge 6.5x57 Mauser invented 1895 and you can finde loading info for it by just googling 6.5x57 Mauser
All the best
Kris

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