Chapter JAPAN

Spec Ops Shooting

Ultimate Firearms Training Guide

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(Dai Nippon)

GOVERNMENT PLANTS: World War II-Tokyo, Nagoya, Kokura; Jinsen (Inchon), Korea.

PRIVATE PLANTS: World War II—Chuo Kogyo Kabushiki. Current—Howa Kogyo K. K. Ltd., B. C. Miroku.

PRINCIPAL MILITARY RIFLES: The current standard rifle of the Japanese Ground Self Defense Forces (JGSDF) is the 7.62mm NATO Type 64 rifle. Caliber .30 Ml rifles and caliber .30 M2 carbines are probably still available as reserve arms. During the early days of the JGSDF a number of 7.7mm Type 99 rifles were converted to caliber .30; these weapons are no longer in service.

The 7.62mm NATO Type 64 Rifle

Development of a selective fire rifle for the 7.62mm NATO cartridge for the JGSDF was started in 1957 by Howa Kogyo K. K. Ltd. of Nagoya. Howa produced a series of prototypes. Approximately seven protvpes R6A to R6E modified, were produced. The R6E was adopted as the Type 64 rifle. The Type 64 normally uses specially loaded 7.62mm NATO cartridges which have a lower muzzle energy and recoil than the normal 7.62mm NATO load. This cartridge has a purple or lavender tipped bullet to distinguish it from full powered cartridges. The Type 64 can be used with full powered cartridges as well, but the adjustable gas regulator must be set for a smaller gas intake. The gas regulator may also be used to shut off ail gas when using the combined grenade launcher/ muzzle brake which is attached to the barrel. The Type 64 has a shoulder rest attached to the butt stock and a bipod.


System of operation: Length overall: Barrel length: teed device: Sigh Is—front: rear:

Weight: Cyclic rate: Muzzle velocity:

7.62mm NATO Gas, selective fire 38.9 in. 17.7 in.

20-round, detachable, box magazine Hooded folding blade Folding aperture adjustable for windage 9.5 lb. w/o magazine 450-500 r.p.m.

2650 f.p.s. with full-charge cartridge 2347 f.p^. with reduced-charge cartridge

The bolt of the Type 64 rifle is of the tipping type which is cammed into and out of the locked position in a fashion similar to that of the Soviet SKS carbine. The bolt carrier is forced to the rear by a piston rod which is mounted in the gas cylinder tube above the barrel. The operating spring and its guide is mounted in a tunnel in the top of the bolt carrier.

Arisaka Type97

Japanese 7.62mm NATO Type 64 Rifle.

FORMER MILITARY RIFLES: M1905 (Type 38) 6.5mm, and M1939 (Type 99) 7.7mm.

The Type 38 (Arisaka) is die basic design. All later models are merely modifications.

M1937 (Type 97) 6.5mm Rifle is generally the same as the Type 38. Somewhat better finished, it has a turned down bolt handle. Issued as a sniper rifle it was equipped with a telescope sight mounted on the left side of the receiver and

Modern Rifle

Japanese 6.5mm Type 97 Sniper Rifle.

with a steel wire monopod pivoted to the lower band so as to swing forward and upward under the fore-end when not in use.

(In Japanese nomenclature the character "Shiki" is used to indicate model designations. This character means "Type"; it is not therefore technically corrcct to call Japanese pre-war or World War II weapons "Model." The character for Model is "Kata" and it is possible in some weapons—especially naval weapons—to find the designation Type and Model used together, i.e., Type 2 Model 9.)

Model 1905 (Type 38) 6.5mm

This is a turn bolt rifle of modified Mauser design. It employs the one-piece bolt. The bolt handle is straight.

The Japanese modifications of the standard Mauser were worked out by unknown designers but the Imperial Commission which tested and approved the design was headed by a Colonel Arisaka whose name has ever since been popularly applied to the rifle. Officially it is designated the Type 38 having been adopted in the 38th year of the reign of the Emperor Meiji.

The bolt cylinder carries dual opposed locking lugs near the head of the bolt which lock into recesses in the receiver ring. The face of the bolt is re cessed for the head of the semi-rim cartridge. The rim extends all around the recess, not being cut away to permit the rim of the cartridge to slip under the extractor claw as the cartridge feeds upward from the magazine. When the last cartridge is ejected the magazine follower rises to block the forward motion of the bolt.

A large gas escape vent is provided near the head of the bolt (on the left side when the bolt is closed) and a vent is also drilled through the top of the receiver ring. When the bolt is locked this vent is directly over the ejector groove which is cut backward from the face of the bolt and so provides an escape passage out through the top of the receiver ring for gas from a ruptured case.

A secondary lug positioned about an inch behind the left-hand locking lug serves in a dual capacity. The lip of the receiver, over the magazine well on the left side, is cut away for about an inch to prevent interference with the thumb of the right hand when the cartridges are stripped into the magazine from the charger clip. At this point there is, accordingly, no top surface on the raceway which guides the bolt locking lug in its forward and backward travel. The secondary lug passes this opening and re-engages in the raceway to the rear before the locking lug reaches the opening. A continuous guide for the bolt is thus provided. The other function of the secondary lug is to engage the bolt stop which is positioned in an extension of the receiver bridge on the left side.

The bolt stop latch lies along the left side of the receiver bridge and is held by a hinge pin to the rearward extension of the receiver bridge. On the inner surface of the latch is a projection which extends through a slot in the side of the bridge into the bolt lug raceway to act as the bolt stop. Swinging the latch outward withdraws the bolt stop from the raceway.

The striker design represents a major departure from common Mauser practice. The striker assembly consists of (1) the striker, (2) the mainspring and (3) the safety spinclle. The forward part of the striker is turned down to form the firing pin. Its after section is of large diameter forming a sliding fit inside the bolt cylinder. This after section is bored out from the rear to take the mainspring and the spindle of the safety. The mainspring forward bearing is against the forward end of its tunnel within the striker. Its rear bearing is against the safety spindle. On the rear end of the safety spindle is a short sleeve which extends forward over the rear end of the bolt cylinder. Mortises cut in the inner surface of this sleeve engage tenons on the outer circumference of the rear end of the bolt cylinder when the safety spindle is pressed forward against the pressure of the mainspring and given a quarter turn. This completes the bolt assembly.

At the back of the sleeve is a still larger, heavily knurled piece, generally circular but with a lump 011 its perimeter which serves as a "flag" to indicate the position of the safety while it also provides an excellent pressure point for the thumb in rotating the safety.

The cocking stud is in the usual position 011 the underside of the striker. There is the customary notch with a camming surface into which the cocking stud moves as the firing pin goes forward and which cams back the cocking stud and striker into the half-cock notch as the bolt handle is lifted. On the

308 Paratrooper Rifle

Japanese Service Rifle, sectional drawing showing details of mechanism with rifle ready to fire. Note that mainspring is positioned inside the hollow striker section.

Rifle Mechanism


Japanese 7.7mm Type 99 takedown rifle for paratrooper use. Note that it has the folding wire bipod mount originally designed for the. Type 99.

forward motion of the bolt the cocking stud is engaged by the sear in the usual manner and is held in the full-cock position.

Forward of the sear the cocking stud travels in the customary groove in the bottom of the receiver. BUT there is no groove to guide the cocking stud to the rear of the sear. There is a small stud on the forward end of the safety sleeve spindle. This slips into a longitudinal groove in the striker so that the striker with its cocking stud cannot rotate unless the safety spindle also rotates. When the bolt is fully closed, leaving the cocking stud without any visible means of lateral support, a small stud on the underside of the rim of the large knurled safety engages a groove in the tang. This holds the safety in a vertical position. The striker is unable to turn unless the safety spindle turns, so the cocking stud is held securely in line with the sear nose.

The groove in the tang, in which the stud on the rim of the safety engages, is fish-hook shaped with the "shank" extending forward and the "hook" curving to the left. As the safety is pressed forward against the pressure of the mainspring the safety stud moves forward in its groove. As the safety stud reaches the "hook" the safety is turned clockwise about an eighth turn and the safety-stud travels around the curved part of the groove coming to rest at the end of the "hook" where it is held securely by the pressure of the mainspring.

A square notch is cut in the underside of the safety sleeve just to the rear of the cocking stud. As the safety is pressed forward this notch slips over, the rear of the cocking stud gripping it on both sides. As the safety is turned clockwise the cocking stud is rotated to the left until it completely clears the sear nose and abuts a shoulder at the rear of the receiver. In this position the striker cannot possibly move forward. It cannot be jarred off and pressing the trigger has no effect because the cocking stud is not in contact with the sear nose.

The extractor is the conventional long, stout, flat spring riding on the outside of xhe bolt cylinder and extending from the bolt head along the right side of the bolt backward under the receiver bridge which is grooved to permit the longitudinal travel of the extractor as the bolt is operated. Sliding in this groove the extractor is prevented from rotating as the bolt is turned. The extractor is held to the bolt cylinder by a dovetail fitting into a flat spring-steel split ring which encircles the bolt, flush with the surface of the cylinder. The bottom (or right hand) locking lug turns up under the extractor when the bolt handle is lifted in conventional Mauser fashion. The extractor claw grasps about one-fourth of the diameter of the rim of the cartridge. A projection on the underside of the extractor rides in a cannelure cut around the bolt cylinder immediately forward of the locking lugs. This arrangement holds the extractor in place longitudinally.

The rear face of the receiver bridge is formed so that as the bolt handle is lifted it bears against a camming surface forcing it backward and providing primary extraction.

The ejector is a sturdy piece of flat steel mounted under the bolt stop latch and held in place by the same hinge pin. On its forward end a husky finger projects into the bolt raceway just at the rear of the magazine well through a slot in the receiver bridge. The flat steel spring which holds the bolt stop latch also bears on the ejector. As the bolt is pulled fully to the rear the ejector rides

Modern Japanese Rifles

Japanese Type 'J90.5) stock cut down and with a IMG magazine.

Japanese Type 99 {¡939) Short Rifle, caliber 7.7mm. This is essentially the same as the earlier models except as modified to receive some mass production parts, and a change of caliber. The cartridge is a .30) rimless which is not interchangeable with others of its caliber.

through slots cut in the secondary and main locking lug., emerging through the head of the bolt to eject the cartridge case.

A bolt cover of thin sheet steel covers the top of the bolt and receiver. It is slotted to permit the lifting of the bolt handle. The cover slides backward and forward with the movement of the bolt. Probably designed to keep the action clear of mud, vegetation and the torrential downpours encountered in jungle fighting, this cover actually proved a noisy nuisance in jungle warfare and was generally discarded by the troops.

The trigger pull is of the standard double pull type. The sear is so pivoted that pulling the trigger raises the forward end of the sear bar and depresses the rearward end, withdrawing the sear nose downward out of contact with the cocking stud. On the forward end of the sear bar is a smaller nose which projects upward through a slot in the bottom oi the receiver. When the bolt is fully turned down and the locking lugs are fully engaged, a small groove in the cylinder lies directly over the forward nose of the sear permitting the nose to rise. Until the bolt handle is completely turned down the forward nose of the sear bears against the outer face of the bolt cylinder which holds it depressed into its slot in the bottom of the receiver. In this position the front end of the sear bar cannot rise, so the rear end (the sear nose holding the cocking stud) cannot be depressed. Hence the trigger cannot actuate the sear until the locking lugs are fully engaged.

The magazine is of conventional Mauser design with a removable floor plate held in place by a spring loaded catch operating inside the triggerguard forward of the trigger. The conventional zig-zag ribbon-steel follower spring is mounted on the floor plate and the follower is mounted on top the follower spring. The magazine well is formed by a sheet steel box, open at top and bottom, which fits into grooves in the floor plate. The magazine holds five cartridges and is loaded through the top from a charger clip. Suitable vertical grooves in the receiver bridge are provided to accept the clip and hold it as the cartridges are stripped into the magazine. There is no magazine cut-off. The bolt is held open by the follower when the last cartridge case has been ejected.

The stock is a two-piece design with modified semi grip plus a long hand-guard extending from the rear sight base forward almost to the muzzle. The stock and handguard are held by conventional upper and lower bands, the upper band carrying the bayonet lug. The lower half of the stock is a separate piece from the remainder of the stock.

An upper tang extends rearward from the receiver over the grip. The trigger-guard extends rearward to form a lower tang the full length of the modified pistol grip. In addition to the usual guard screws a third bolt goes through the stock at the rear of the grip to bind together the ends of the upper and lower tangs.

TThc bsi lc \ corn type front sight is fixed in a steel block protected by small wings integral with the front sight barrel band.

The rear sight is a folding leaf generally similar to the Springfield rear sight. When folded down an aperture "battle sight" is in position; early manufacture Type 38s have a "V" notch. A sliding aperture sight is used when the leaf is raised to the vertical. Notches on the outside of the leaf are gripped by spring-loaded catches to hold the sight at the desired range elevation.

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