Forgotten Weapons: Japan's WWII Paratrooping Rifle Was Not the Best Idea

Discussion in 'Curio & Relic Zone' started by tallbump, Jan 12, 2016.

  1. tallbump

    tallbump Supporting Member

    Turns out sawing a rifle in half and adding a hinge looked better on paper.

    By Ian McCollum

    Did you know that Japan had a paratroop corps during World War Two? They trained and equipped this group in the late 1930s—with technical assistance from Germany, in fact. During their first combat drop onto Sumatra, the troops followed the standard German technique of dropping armed with handguns and grenades only, with their rifles and machine guns dropped alongside in parachute-equipped weapons containers. Unfortunately for the Japanese troops, this resulted in the same problem the Germans had in their major paratroop assault on Crete—the weapons containers often landed far from the troops, who were then left heavily out-gunned.

    In the aftermath of this attack, the Japanese military decided the weapons container idea maybe wasn't so great, and began looking into alternatives —compact guns that could be carried by paratroops right out the door of the airplane. This would ultimately result in a take-down version of the Type 99 Arisaka rifle and a folding-stock version of the the Type 99 Nambu light machine gun, both of which were well-thought-out guns. However, the first proposed solution was…not quite so good.

    The first proposed (and manufactured) paratroop rifle was called the Type 1, and it was a Type 38 Arisaka carbine with the stock basically sawed off just behind the trigger and made to fold by the addition of a great big hinge screwed into the side.

    Several hundred of these rifles were made from existing inventory of Type 38 carbines for troop trials. What could go wrong? Well…all the obvious things, really. The hinge used a latch and wing nut on the left side of the rifle to hold the stock in place, and the system was not very tight. The stocks would wobble around, and the threaded stud and wing nut were susceptible to catching on things and being damaged.

    For more detail on identifying authentic examples from fakes and to see the full details on the stock mechanism, check out the video I did on two of these rifles:


    Attached Files:

  2. OldOutlaw

    OldOutlaw Supporting Member

    I try to play and it says the proxy server is down. :confused:

  3. ArmyScout

    ArmyScout Supporting Member

    Jumping with a M1 Garand was not a real good idea either. It was strapped to the left side and like landing with a fence post. I saw a lot of Troopers get injured when jumping with the Garand. Fortunately not long after I graduated BAC, I went Recon and my assigned weapon was the Carbine.
  4. tallbump

    tallbump Supporting Member

    Weird, it's working fine for me.

    Maybe try clicking the link to the article, then watching the video through that?
  5. The guy back home who was the sheriff and Bridger General of the WI NG broke his leg when he jumped as part of the Normandy invasion. Don't know if he land on his rifle or not. And now those who would know of are gone.
  6. OldOutlaw

    OldOutlaw Supporting Member

    It is working now.
  7. cicpup

    cicpup Resident PITA Supporting Member

    Looks like they had a real bad Bubbaing. If I got that tale at a gun show I'd think I was getting screwed.