Probably inspired by/copied from the Mauser and Bergmann repeaters of the same era for the most part, this interesting counterfeit gun manufactured in Spain has a removable magazine and is chambered for 7mm. It features a mother of pearl grip because fuck sobriety. The C96 was the iconic mother of many designs such as this one.
By the 1890’s it was quite clear that the new rifle of great military powers was going to be the box magazine fed bolt action rifle. Japan was still using the Murata type rifle, a bolt action but depending on model was either a single shot breechloader or used a tube magazine. Being a growing imperial power, it was quite clear that Japan needed to catch up. In 1897 the Koishikawa Arsenal began work to develop a new rifle design created by Col. Arisak Nariakira. The new design utilized a Mauser type bolt action and magazine based off of the Model 1893 Spanish Mauser. When it came to caliber the Japanese chose to ride the small caliber bandwagon, which was popular from the turn of the century up to the 1930’s, adopting the 6.5 Arisaka (6.5x50mm). While the 6.5 Arisaka was certainly smaller caliber, it was a bit underpowered achieving around 2,500 feet per second muzzle velocity. Most other 6mm cartridges of the time had much more velocity. The reason for this was simple; the Japanese wanted to use the same round for their machine guns as their rifles. The Japanese found that more powerful cartridges tended to wear out the parts of their machine guns (the Japanese had problems developing a reliable machine gun even up to the end of World War II), so the 6.5 Arisaka was purposely made to be an underpowered cartridge. Sights featured a fixed front sight with an adjustable rear folding sight with windage increments up to 2,000 meters. Another interesting feature of the Type 30 action was its “hook safety”. At the rear of the bolt was a hook which pulled back cocked the action, and when rotated placed the action in a “safe” non firing state, similar to that of the safety on the Mosin Nagant. The rifle was fed from a five round double stack box magazine which was loaded using a stripper clip. Unlike other bolt action military rifles, the Type 30 did not have a magazine disconnect so it could be used as a single shot, and Japanese soldiers were trained apply firepower against a target. The chamber was marked with a chrysanthemum, the symbol of the Emperor.
The new rifle was designated the Type 30 Arisaka, called the “Type 30” because it was developed in 1897, the 30th year of Emperor Meiji’s reign. Adopted by the Japanese Army two years later, the Type 30 arrived just in time for the Japanese to flex its military muscle, first being used in the Boxer Rebellion in China, then being used in the Russo-Japanese War of 1905. It was during both of these wars that it was discovered that the Type 30 was not a perfect design, but still had a number of flaws that needed worked out. Problems included reliability issues, case ruptures due to poor headspacing, jamming, misfires, difficulty in case extraction due to faulty extractor mechanisms, and an issue with the action in which hot gasses would blow in the face of the user.
It was after the Japanese victory against the Russians in 1905 that Japanese Ordnance would discontinue the Type 30 due to its flaws, recruiting a gun designer named Kojiro Nambu to fix the design and improve upon it. By then 554,000 had been manufactured. Most Type 30’s were sold off to foreign nations. Some were sold to Mexico during the Presidency of Porfirio Diaz. A number were sold to the British Royal Navy during World War I. Most were sold to Russia as part of a 600,000 rifle contract also during World War I. A number were retained by the Japanese Army, remaining in arsenal storage until finally being issued during World War II.
By the 1950’s the Spanish, like most nations, were seeking a new semi-auto battle rifle or fully automatic assault rifle to replace their near obsolete bolt actions. The Spanish chose the CETME, a select fire semi auto/fully automatic rifle fed from a detachable magazine and chambered in 7.62 CETME. The CETME helped modernized the Spanish Army, however there was a problem. A complex and expensive rifle, there were not enough CETME rifle’s to arm the entire Spanish military. The new rifle was issued by priority, which often meant that less important units such as reserves, militia, police, and other rear echelon units did not have access to the rifle.
In order to sure up the numbers, the Spanish military turned to the idea of modernizing their massive arsenals of bolt action rifles. After the bloody Spanish Civil War and World War II (Spain was neutral), the Spanish military was in possession of tens of thousands of Mauser type bolt action rifles. Many of the rifles were taken out of storage, re-arsenalled, and modified to serve as a reserve arm. The rifles were shortened into a more compact carbine length, new sights were mounted, and caliber was modified. The FR7 and FR8 were very similar to each other, with the FR7 being built from Spanish Model 1893 Mauser actions while the FR8 was produced from 98 Mauser actions. A flash suppressor was installed, which was compatible with the firing of NATO type rifle grenades. A bayonet mount for modern bayonets was also included. What looks to be a gas tube is actually a storage compartment for a cleaning kit. The most important modification of the FR7 and FR8 was in caliber. Modified from 7x57 and 8x57mm Mauser, the FR7 was chambered in 7.62 CETME, while the FR8 was chambered in 7.62 NATO. This was so that the rifles would share common caliber with the Spanish military as well as NATO.
First produced in the late 1950’s, the FR7 and FR8 was used by the Spanish military and the Guardia Civil (National Police) up through the 1970’s. After being fully phased out, most were sold on the civilian market as military surplus, making popular hunting rifles and collectibles. Back in the day they used to be cheap and plentiful on the milsurp market, today they are becoming fairly scarce.
The front barrel band rattles slightly
The front sight is jammed slightly to the left
Its missing the protective ears
The bolt rattles a little bit when decocked
The flag safety is very stiff and takes a lot of pressure to move
The mid barrel band is very difficult to move for full takedown
The magazine well is missing the typical block for the .308 since its a shorter cartridge than 7mm Mauser
The trigger is a little stiff
The butt plate is rough on the edges
When I put a sling on it rides agaibst my cheek
In other words with all these the rifle is perfect. It’s got 80+ years of character. Not sure when it was made but it is before 1930.