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The Vault

Japanese Type 30 “Hook Safety” Arisaka at RIA

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Most people are familiar with the Type 38 Arisaka, which was one of the two very distinctive Japanese rifles of World War II (along with the Type 99). The Type 38 was an outstanding rifle in large part because it was the result of several years of experience and development which began in 1897 with [...]

Japanese Type 18 Murata at RIA

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The Murata was Japan’s first domestic manufactured military rifle. In its first iteration, it was an 11mm, single shot, black powder weapon and was adopted in 1880 (the Type 13). Before long, some problems in the design were discovered, and the Winchester company helped to resolve them. Winchester tooling was purchased by the Japanese government, [...]

Japanese Type 97 Sniper Rifle (Video)

The most common Japanese sniper rifle of World War II was the Type 97, essentially a Type 38 Arisaka rifle with a 2.5x telescopic sight mounted to the side of the receiver. About 22,000 of them were made in total (a smaller number of Type 99 sniper rifles were also made). The scope on [...]

Japanese Pedersen Rifle at RIA

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After he failed to win US military adoption of his toggle-locked rifle design, John Pedersen went looking for other countries that might be interested in the gun. One of these was Japan, which experimented with toggle-locked Pedersen rifles and carbines for several years in the early/mid 1930s. This particular one is serial number 8, and [...]

Japanese Inagaki and Sugiura Pistols at RIA

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The most common Japanese pistols used during World War II were the Type 14 and Type 94 Nambu designs, by a huge margin. However, there were a number of other handguns used in small numbers, and today we’re looking at two of those. The first is the Sugiura, essentially a copy of the Colt 1903 [...]

Type 92 Japanese HMG at James D Julia

The Type 92 was the final iteration of a machine gun that began as the Model 1897 Hotchkiss HMG made in France. The Japanese army purchased many of these guns, and then produced their own slightly refined version. These in turn were replaced by the updated Type 3 (1914) heavy machine gun, and finally the [...]

Japanese Type 97 Tank Machine Gun

While in Las Vegas last week, I stopped into Battlefield Vegas to check out some interesting machine guns (and join Tim from Military Arms Channel for a video). While there, the owner took the time to pull this Type 97 Japanese tank machine gun out of his personal collection for me to take a look [...]

Tactical and Technical Trends #49: August 1944

A little while back, I got my hands on a number of copies of Tactical and Technical Trends booklets – this was a bulletin published by the US Military Intelligence Service during WWII to keep soldiers apprised of new developments in equipment and tactics among the different combatants. A quick Google search will reveal that [...]

Arisaka With Nambu Bipod

I recently had a chance to take a look at a rifle that has been floating around the Japanese collector’s community causing grief since for at least 25 years. It is a Type 99 Arisaka, specifically a first-series Nagoya production gun, serial number 84664. What makes it unusual is that it had a Type [...]

Type 94 Nambu in Slow Motion

The Type 94 Nambu is a much-maligned pistol used by the Japanese military from 1935-1945. It’s actually a better gun than people give it credit for, but we will address that in a later video. For now, enjoy some high-speed footage of it firing: