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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 […]

Type 89 Knee Mortar at James D Julia

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The Type 89 grenade discharger, commonly known as the “knee mortar” was a Japanese light infantry weapon introduced in 1929 which blurs the lines between grenade launcher and mortar. Like a mortar, it fires propelled explosive bombs in a high-angle indirect fire role, but it has a rifled barrel and uses a range adjustment […]

RIA: Nambu Type 96 & Type 99 LMGs

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The Type 96 and Type 99 Nambu light machine guns were arguably the best LMGs used by any nation during WWII – they were light, handy, accurate, durable, and reliable. Designed by Kijiro Nambu to replace his 1922 Type 11 LMG (which was fed by a unique hopper mechanism using 5-round rifle stripper clips), the […]

Type 11 LMG w/ Tripod

IJA soldier in Chine with a Nambu Type 11 LMG and its tripod

Reader Blake sent me a couple very interesting photos recently, and they show a pretty unusual item – a Nambu Type 11 tripod. Blake is an American living with his Japanese wife in Japan, and these photos are of her grandfather, Katsuji Aritsue, who served in the Imperial Japanese Army in China, where he was […]

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 […]