From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
“Early 6.5x50mm cartridges had a
cupro-nickel round nosed bullet weighing 10.4 grams (160 gr) fired
with approximately 2.0 grams (31 gr) of smokeless powder. This was
later changed with the adoption of the Type 38 when Japan, in line
with the other great powers around the same time, changed to the
pointed or spitzer bullet in the first decade of the twentieth
century. The Type 38 spitzer-bullet round fired a 9.0-gram (139 gr)
bullet with a powder charge of 2.5 grams (39 gr) for a muzzle
velocity of around 770 metres per second (2,500 ft/s).
The Type 38 spitzer version of the 6.5x50mm cartridge remained unchanged until after the adoption of the Type 11 Light Machine Gun in 1922. The Type 11 was initial meant to fire standard Type 38 Rifle ball ammunition by means of ordinary five-shot Type 38 stripper clips. Subsequent use indicated that the higher pressures generated by the standard rifle ammunition caused parts wear and breakage in machine guns. It was thus decided to reduce the powder charge of Type 11 6.5 mm ammunition to overcome the problem. This reduced charge 6.5 mm ammunition can be identified by a letter "G" in a circle stamped on the outside of the ammunition packaging which stands for the first letter of genso - the Japanese word for "reduced." This special ammunition was also issued to soldiers carrying the Type 96 Light Machine Gun introduced in 1936 and to snipers issued the Type 97 Sniper Rifle, introduced in 1937. The advantage of the reduced charge ammunition to the sniper was it aided in his concealment as the reduced charge rounds produced less muzzle flash than standard rounds and thus did not give away the sniper's position.
6.5 gallery ammunition incorporated a paper or wood bullet and dummy rounds as issued to Japanese forces were either all brass rounds or were more commonly red varnished wood with a metal base and rim. Ammunition used in the spigot-type Japanese grenade launchers often have paper bullets and can be identified by staked primers.
After observing the effectiveness of the Type 30 6.5x50mm round as used against them during the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905, leading Russian arms designers chambered early Russian semi-automatic rifle designs for the Japanese round. Since the standard Russian military rifle cartridge of the time, the 7.62x54R rimmed round, was too powerful and generated excessive recoil in an automatic arm - a 6.5 mm round was seen as more appropriate. Early semi-automatic designs by Vladimir Fedorov utilized 6.5x50 mm including the Fedorov Avtomat rifle which was actually issued to troops, though in small numbers. Later, Russian troops on the Armenian front were issued with Type 38 Carbines given by the Tsar's government. Russians also tended to modify the Type 38s magazine latch, as it was found that gloved hands would sometimes inadvertently nudge the magazine release and dump the ammunition."
6.5x50mm Arisaka. (2009. March 2). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 22:40, March 17. 2009. from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=6.5x50mm_Arisaka&oldid=274473264