Type 99

Type 99

Type Service rifle
Place of origin Empire of Japan
Service history
In service 1939–1945
Used by Imperial Japanese Army
Wars Second Sino-Japanese War, World War II, Korean War, Chinese Civil War
Production history
Designed 1939
Produced 1939–1945
Weight 8.16 lb (3.7 kg)
Length 44.1 in (1120 mm)
Barrel length 25.87 in (657 mm)
Cartridge 7.7x58mm Arisaka
Action Bolt action
Muzzle velocity 730 m/s (2394 ft/s)
Feed system 5-round internal box magazine, stripper clip loaded

The Type 99 Rifle (from the Japanese 九九式小銃 or 九九式長小銃 Kyuukyuu-shiki shoujuu or Kyuukyuu-shiki choushoujuu) was a bolt-action rifle of the Arisaka design used by the Imperial Japanese Army during World War II.

[edit] History

One of the Type 38 rifle's disadvantages was that the small caliber (6.5x50 mm) bullet it fired was not considered effective enough as an anti-materiel round. The Imperial Japanese Army (IJA) developed the Type 99 based on the Type 38 rifle but with a caliber of 7.7 mm. The Type 99 was produced at nine different arsenals. Seven arsenals were located in Japan, with the other two located at Mukden in China and Jinsen in Korea.

The IJA had intended to completely replace the Type 38 with the Type 99 by the end of the war. However, the outbreak of the Pacific war never allowed the army to completely replace the Type 38 and so the IJA used both rifles during the war. As the war progressed, more and more cost saving steps were introduced in order to speed up production. Late war rifles are often called "Last Ditch" or "Substitute Standard" due to their crudeness of finish. They are generally as crude as the 1945 dated Mauser K98k of Germany.

The Type 99 was produced in four versions, the regular issue Type 99 Short Rifle, the Type 99 Long Rifle (a limited production variant) and takedown Type 2 Paratroop Rifle and the Sniper Rifle Type 99. The standard rifle also came with a wire monopod and an anti-aircraft sighting device. The Type 99 was the first mass produced infantry rifle to have a chrome lined bore to ease in cleaning. All of these features were deleted by mid-war.

[edit] Other users

During the Korean War, approximately 133,000 Type 99 Short Rifles were rechambered by the Republic of Korea Army to fire the then-standard .30-06 Springfield cartridge. These rifles were fitted with a lengthened magazine well and had a small notch cut in the top of the receiver to accommodate the .30-06 round's 1/3 inch greater length. Accuracy suffered, due to the difference in calibers between .30-06 (.30) and 7.7×58mm (.303), but they were nonetheless functional.

[edit] Design

The Arisaka, like the 1903 Springfield rifle, was based around the basic German Mauser design, albeit with some local alterations. It utilized a cock-on-closing action, which improved the rate of fire from the standard Mauser cock-on-open design. It featured a quick-release bolt and antiaircraft sights, as well as a rotating bolt cover and monopod. The bolt cover, in particular, was highly problematic. Many soldiers simply discarded them due to excessive rattling. The original versions are generally considered to be very strong rifles, having one of the strongest receiver assemblies of any military rifle of its time. As a bolt action rifle, the Type 99 was a very solid weapon, but was completely outclassed by the semi-automatics deployed by the Allies in that theatre of war.

The Type 99's bayonet was in the form of a very long, slender blade, grooved to provide rigidity. The early models featured a hooked quillion. These bayonets attached to a lug under the barrel and were further stabilized by a loop that fit around the muzzle. Unmounted, it handled like a machete.

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