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RIA: Japanese Army Pedersen Copy Trials Rifle

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The Japanese military was interested in finding a new self-loading rifle to adopt in the 1930s. The development project began with a request to retired General Kijiro Nambu who designed a gas-operate,d rotating bolt rifle but could not bring it up to the standards demanded by the military and opted to abandon the project […]

RIA: Nambu 15-Shot Type A Experimental

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Before the Type 14 Nambu pistol was developed to replace the “Papa” Nambu, Kijiro Nambu experimented with a high-capacity design with a 15-round magazine. This pistol was called the Type A Experimental, and was designed around 1920. Only 15 or 20 were made, and they show elements of both the Papa and the Type […]

RIA: Japanese 8mm Hamada Pistol

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Just as production of the .32ACP Type Hamada pistols was reaching full scale, Bunji Hamada was asked to redesign his pistol to use the standard 8mm Nambu cartridge. This he did, and after several changes required by the Army (which appear to have had more to do with giving the Army some claim to […]

RIA: Japanese 7.65mm Hamada Pistol

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The Hamada was one of very few Japanese military weapons made by a private commercial firm. Designed and introduced in 1940, the basic Type Hamada pistol was a blowback .32ACP handgun similar in style to the Browning model 1910. About 5000 of them were manufactured during WWII, although most of these were sent to […]

RIA: Japanese Type 100 Paratrooper

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The Type 100 (sometimes called the Type 0) was one of the initial Japanese experiments in paratroop rifles. Manufactured from standard Nagoya Arsenal Type 99 rifles, the Type 100 used a set of interrupted lugs at the chamber to allow the rifle to be broken into two short sections. Only a few hundred of […]

RIA: Japanese Trials Gas-Operated Pedersen Rifle

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The Japanese semiauto rifle trials of the early 1930s had a total of four entrants – Kijiro Nambu and his company, Tokyo Gas & Electric, the Tokyo Army Arsenal, and Nippon Special Steel. This rifle is one of the third iteration of the design from Nippon Special Steel. It is a design based originally […]

RIA: Japanese Type 4 Garand Copy

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Partway through 1944, the Japanese Imperial Navy began a program to provide their infantry units with better firepower than was afforded by the bolt action Arisaka rifles. The initial experimentation was based on rechambering captured US M1 Garand rifles for the 7.7 Japanese cartridge, but an incompatibility of American en bloc clips with the Japanese […]

Vintage Saturday: Finnish Militia

Finnish red guard militia members posing for the camera some time during the civil war.

Finnish red guard militia members posing for the camera some time during the civil war (click to enlarge).

The woman at the front right has a Winchester 1895, almost certainly of Russian contract origin in 7.62x54R. The others appear to have Type 30 Arisaka rifles, which would have been sold to Russia by Japan […]

Mystery Japanese Semiauto

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While in the Smithsonian gun room, I noticed a semi auto Japanese rifle of a type I have not seen reference to before. It is definitely Japanese, judging from elements like the split buttstock and rear sight, and the ventilated underside of the hand guard is reminiscent of the Japanese Pedersen rifles. However, this rifle […]

Q&A Video #1: H&K G11, Owen, F1, Worst Gun Ever, and More!

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As part of my new fundraising system on Patreon, I am starting a monthly Q&A video series, answering questions from Patreon contributors. The support from you folks is a tremendous help to me in running the site, and I really appreciate it! This month I am addressing:

H&K G11 (and caseless rifles in general) Origins […]