Japanese Type 100 Flamethrower

The Japanese Type 93 and its slightly-improved sister the Type 100 were the standard flame weapons of the Imperial Japanese Army for its fighting in China and the Pacific. They are a smaller and handier design than the American weapons, and less user-friendly. The Type 100 uses a rotating valve to fire, paper incendiary cartridges for ignition, and is not equipped with a pressure regulator. This means that as the fuel is consumed, the range and pressure steadily drop. This is a significant difference from the American M2, but in conjunction with properly planned tactics it could be quite effective.

The example in this video was taken brand new from the Tokyo Arsenal by a Coast Guard occupation officer in 1945 or 46 and sent back to New York complete with its case and all its accessories. It remains today the only known functioning example of the Type 100.

Thanks to Charlie Hobson for showing us the unit and demonstrating it firing, and also thanks to Adaptive Firearms for letting us use their range facilities!


  1. This might be the only *known* example, but it would be interesting if there were others secretly stashed away in Japan that were never accounted for by US occupation. Kind of like that house in Germany recently discovered to be hiding a working WWII Panther tank in the basement.

      • Huh, it appears that the Federal German government doesn’t trust the guy with that tank. Even if he claims the main gun won’t shoot, he’d probably need to prove it with a live inspection done by certified engineers. Either that or the Panther’s turret would have to be removed so that the gun could be taken out and replaced with an incredibly obviously non-firing dummy gun (no breech-block and rifling, no accurate tank shooting). The local townsfolk don’t mind the tank and the flak gun, but this obvious cat-out-of-the-bag might attract too much attention from some idiots who may think about stealing the tank and then using its armored horsepower to steal all the ATMs in the region…

        Crazy movie plot idea considering the above:

        THE HEIST!!!!
        Sequenced plan for ultimate armored robbery

        1. Learn how to drive Panther tank
        2. Get obviously illegal small arms
        3. Break into collector’s house
        4. Kill Collector and steal the tank
        5. Smash Police vehicles and Police Station using tank as battering ram/steam roller
        6. Start dragging away ATMs and smashing banks
        7. Put stolen cash into hidden getaway car, abandon the tank
        8. cross border into Switzerland while showing complete disrespect for the Federal Police
        9. Enjoy retirement under false names

        Obviously reality begs to differ, but still one has to ask what makes for the worst case scenario… Or am I wrong?

    • My guess would be that there are also at least a few, in both Russian and Chinese arsenals. After all, at the time of the Korean War, the Soviets actually sent Gorlovs (Russian Gatlings) to the North Koreans, who used them in combat.

    • Soviet РОКС-3 also held 10 igniting cartridge, however it this case it was special cartridge looking like 7.62×25 Tokarev blank, but filled with same filler as used in starshell (ILLUM shell in U.S.Navy parlance) and special cap ending preventing moisture going inside.

      • Do you know what the Soviet tactics were regarding the use of flamethrowers? Were they for clearing pill boxes or for other things as well? Were they able to be used in extremely cold temperatures?

        • “used in extremely cold temperatures”
          Depend on used fuel, РОКС-3 manual list many substances which might be used to create mixture:
          бензольная головка (waste from naphtha processing)
          various benzine
          зеленое масло (waste from naphtha processing)
          diesel fuel
          М-2 fuel
          fleet (Navy) mazut
          raw naphtha
          with disclaimer that other substance can be used
          Usually no direct information about minimal air temperature are given, but it is stated that:
          raw naphtha – use only in Summer and Fall
          mazut (50%, this and all following by volume), kerosene (25%), benzine (25%) – use all around year
          mazut (60%), kerosene (25%), benzene (15%) – use when temperature -10°C or higher
          creosote (50%), зеленое масло (30%), benzene (20%) – use only in Summer

          • There was also self igniting KS mixture, but I am not sure if those were used outside vehicle mounted flamethrowers.

  2. Here’s a nice video of a modern built-as-an-art-project flamethrower shooting regular gasoline at 80 PSI through a nozzle that has a flow diameter of 0.174″ with a propane torch igniter:


    The distance from the flamethrower to the big steel sunflower in the video is approximately 10 yards.
    There is about 3 gallons of gasoline in the unit’s supply. Also note that this event took place at around 4000 feet above sea level.

  3. Handiness and smaller packaging seems to be a plus for someone who knows he will be considered a primary target by the other team. One wonders if the operator will be permitted to carry a sidearm. At least the Japanese didn’t try to stick a bayonet lug on that weapon…

    • Yes, a sidearm would presumably be in greater need with this kind of regulator-less flamethrower, since an enemy soldier could, by observing the declining flame size, estimate how much fuel was remaining, as well as predict when it was about to run out of fuel, thus leaving the operator otherwise defenseless. That’s assuming that a flamethrower would be any match for a rifleman in anything but short-range combat, except perhaps using the flame and smoke as a screen to hide behind while running for cover.

    • No bayonet on the type 100!!! How will the engineer/ flamethrower troops participate in the frontal assault bayonet charge??? This weapon needs a redesign right now!!!

  4. Weapon of choice scenario:

    How the heck did we get trapped in one of the (late) mad dictator’s supply bases by a flock (more correctly, a murder) of giant monster crows!? Whatever you do, don’t open the main door unless you’ve got some serious firepower! Those crows will peck you to pieces (don’t feed the wildlife, kids)! Most of the stuff here is pitiful and a bunch of terrified former enemy soldiers are also trapped in here with us (since the war’s over, we’ll have to work with them unless you want to use them as crow bait). Said soldiers belonged to a supply unit and were never trained on heavy weapons, though their trucks did tow in some big guns…

    If you’re stuck here with the crows (and everyone else), get something capable of downing those fowl fiends!

    1. Type 100 Flamethrower or РОКС-3
    2. MG-08/15 or Maxim MG-18 (chambered for 13mm T-Gewehr)
    3. Gewehr 98 chambered in 9.3×64 Brenneke
    4. Funfling (five-barreled combination gun)
    5. 25mm Hotchkiss AA
    6. 3.7cm Flak 18
    7. 8.8cm Flak 36
    8. 10.5cm leFH 18M
    9. Рanzer IV Ausf. H
    10. Get something else!

    If you’re coming to the rescue, please tell our employers not to send cruise missiles…

    This activity is completely voluntary. You are not required to shoot crows if you do not wish to do so. Please keep any and all criticism of this post humane and free of foul language.

    Thank you,


    • You should see the piles of poop these monster crows leave!!! Something must be done. How about arm everyone with RPO-M”Shmel-M” rocket/flame throwers. Effective range up to 600m should keep the flock at bay.

    • “giant monster crows”
      If you hunt against crows with shotgun, then to hunt bigger crows you need bigger shotgun or better artillery gun with supply of canister shot.

    • Hide under their trucks while sorties are flown dropping large quantities of fletchettes on the giant monster crows. After their numbers are severely thinned use the type 100 to mop up remnants.

      • Kill them and grill them, eh? Too bad there are no giant grills for us to use. Which planes did you just call, by the way?

  5. 10. Sturmpanzer ”Brummbär” with HE shells, a good rangefinder and a lot of coffee and cognac (the latter have nothing to do with the task…).

  6. A few years back, there was a seller from China selling some Japanese flamethrower parts that were found in a barn(tanks and wand, IIRC). Not sure if it was the earlier Type 93 or a Type 100. Kind of wondered if anyone stateside bought it or if it was intercepted in customs?

  7. I’d like to thank Ian and Mr. Hobson both for bringing about this series of videos. Rare firearms are great – but fascinating as they are, I could probably find and even get to shoot a few locally if I made the effort to meet the right people.

    Flamethrowers are something else – more like rare historical NFA weapons – but even less common (in working order anyway), with less exposure, and barring some really serious and no doubt expensive work, I’ll never get to fire a historical piece – I likely won’t even see one fired in person during my lifetime.

    Getting to see how they worked, learning about some of the clever (and not so clever) design work that went into them, and watching them fire is fantastic beyond description. The last time I found combustion this interesting (that slow motion footage, oh my!) was when I was getting into my automobile hobby.

    (Protip: a gun hobby is cheaper than even my low-brow style vehicular interest, firearms are more likely to be in working order at any particular time, and it is *much* less expensive to legally have fun with little things that go bang than big things you hope do not.)

    • “vehicular interest”
      Interesting fact: in history there was no so few firms which produced both weapon and vehicles simultaneously, to name few:
      Berlin-Suhler Waffen- und Fahrzeugwerke GmbH
      C. G. Haenel Waffen- u. Fahrradfabrik Suhl (bicycles)
      Iver Johnson (bicycles)
      Fahrzeug- und Jagdwaffenwerk „Ernst Thälmann“ (motorcycles)
      ИЖМАШ (see Иж-2126)
      Škoda (Pilsen) (artillery, see 305-mm-Haubitze Modell 1911 for example, various vehicles – cars, trucks, locomotives, trolleybus, trams)

  8. Hi TBM If you want to see or shoot one of these go to Knob Creek KY . There is one there that is used as a rental. Enjoy the night shoot!

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