The Howa Type 89 was a replacement for the Japanese Self-Defense Force’s Howa Type 64 rifle. As with many other major militaries, the JSDF made the transition from a .30 caliber, wood stocked, milled receiver rifle to a .22 caliber, stamped construction weapon. The Type 89 was largely based on the AR18 design, with a stamped receiver and gas piston action. Most used a fixed polymer stock, though our photos show the folding-stocked variant.


  1. The Howa Heavy Industry Type 89 Assault Rifle is a Japanese-exclusive assault rifle used by the Japan Self-Defense Forces, Japan Coast Guard and the Special Assault Team. It was never exported outside of Japan due to its strict anti-hardware export laws. It has replaced the Howa Type 64 battle rifle in frontline units. Type 89 rifle was developed by HOWA Machinery Co., Japan, for National Defence Forces of Japan.Type 89 rifle is a select-fire, gas-operated, rotating bolt firearm. The gas action and bolt group is somewhat similar to USA-designed with-18 rifle, previously manufactured by HOWA uned license from Armalite Co (USA). Type 89 rifle has receiver made from stamped steel, polymer furniture and flip-up aperture rear sights. It also has lightweight folding bipods. Type 89 rifle may fire rifle grenades.

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