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The Vault

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:

 

Type 1 Japanese Paratroop Rifles at RIA

Before standardizing on the Type 2 paratroop rifle (a 7.7mm Arisaka that broke in half at the chamber), the Japanese military tested a variant of the Type 38 carbine with a folding stock retrofitted into place. Very few of these were made, and Rock Island is selling two of them at their upcoming September Premier [...]

Vintage Saturday: Shooting Rest

Japanese (I think – maybe Chinese?) troops utilizing the ever-popular bicycle rest with a Type 11 LMG. Thanks to Ruy for the photo!

Type 11 Nambu LMG Disassembly (Video)

Thanks to the hospitality of the National WWII Museum in New Orleans, we had a chance to examine and disassemble a Japanese Type 11 light machine gun. This is, of course, the very unusual hopper-fed design from Kijiro Nambu, which entered service in 1922. The action is largely derived from Hotchkiss guns, but the feed [...]

North China Type 19

North China Type 19

Many years prior to the attack on the US Navy that marks the beginning of World War II for the United States, the Empire of Japan had invaded China. This war of occupation was a massive effort on the part of Japan’s military, involving more than 2 million troops at its height. When the war [...]

Vintage Saturday: (not) SNLF

Some of the very few Japanese troops to be issued submachine guns.

Japanese SNLF marines Chinese troops with SIG M1920 submachine guns. The SIG M1920 was a licensed copy of the German MP18/I, and SIG sold them to Japan in 7.63mm Mauser caliber. They were used by the Special Naval Landing Forces, as well [...]

Book Review: China’s Small Arms of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War

I picked up a copy of this book a couple years ago when Bin Shih first published it, but by the time I got around to doing a review it had sold out – so I didn’t bother. Well, a seconds printing run has been made, so it seems that now would be a good [...]

British and Japanese Ammo Docs

We have a couple more ammunition-related documents today, both in English this time (and courtesy of reader Robert). First up is the short one, a 21-page leaflet on Japanese ammunition markings. It was written just after the end of the war, for use by bomb disposal crews to be able to recognize all the various [...]