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Original WWII Imperial Japanese 1941 dated Type 96 Display Light Machine Gun with ORIGINAL Magazine - Serial 45240

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Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. Totally inert and non-firing, deactivated to BATF  specifications for a non-gun by inserting 3 Inches of solid steel bar stock between two flame cut severed sections of shortened original receiver.

Japanese machine guns very rarely show up for sale, so we are especially proud to offer this fantastic BATF approved non-firing original example. Even better, this 1941 dated example was constructed using a partially matching parts set, and comes with an EXTREMELY rare original Type 96 Magazine! These are far rarer than the machine guns. From what collector's have told us, USGIs bringing these back from the Pacific theater would often be confronted with the choice of keeping the machine gun or the magazine, but not both. This was a relatively easy choice at the time, however the end result is an absolute dearth of original type 96 magazines on the market.

This is undoubtedly one of the best examples of a Type 96 Display Machine gun that we have seen in recent years!

This is a truly excellent example of a very desirable early WWII production Japanese Type 96 LMG. Designed to fire the same 6.5x50mm Arisaka cartridge as the Type 38 rifle, they are very similar in appearance to the British Bren gun in that they have a top mounted curved box magazine, a forward mounted folding bipod, and a quick change, finned barrel that featured a top mounted carrying handle. This was not by accident, as the Army's Kokura Arsenal had tested the Czech ZB vz. 26 machine gun, samples of which had been captured from the National Revolutionary Army of the Republic of China. This is the same gun that was the basis for the British Bren, and after borrowing certain elements the arsenal issued this new design in 1936, designated the Type 96 light machine gun. These were a well made machine gun that featured all machined parts with a hard wood buttstock and pistol grip. Interestingly, the design also includes the provision for a mounted bayonet.

This excellent example is marked on the receiver with the Kokura Arsenal "stacked cannonballs" logo next to 九 六 式. Kyuu (九) is Japanese for number 9, Roku (六) is Japanese for 6, and shiki (式) is the word for type, so it reads 96 Type. Under this is is marked with serial number 45240 and date 昭 16.2. This would be read as Showa Era year 16, 6th month, or February 1941. This GI WW2 bring back Type 96 has been correctly demilled to BATF specs, with the original receiver having been cut, more than 20% of new solid steel inserted and then assembled into a non-functional non-gun.

The gun has PARTIALLY matching serial numbers, with 47046 appearing on the receiver, recoil buffer, cocking handle, trigger group, and other parts that would have a serial number. The barrel is NOT LIVE, and has been welded to the front of the receiver, so we are unable to see the markings on the bottom. It also had the chamber welded up and a rod welded in place, as required for a WWII DEWAT. The original magazine is non-matching, marked with serial number 42466 under number 7, so it is most likely the 7th magazine issued with that serial number. (Magazine will have spring and follower removed where required.)

Very fine as deactivated with 95% of a blue/black finish overall. The butt stock and pistol grip are both original and good to very good with their nice original color with light pressure dents and gouges from actual field use. The carry grip is also in great shape, something we don't often see, as many are lost or damaged heavily.

This is a very rare and desirable machine gun as not many were brought back by returning GIs as it is a heavy bulky weapon, and the magazines even less so. A fantastic example of one the primary WWII Japanese light machine guns.

History of the Type 96 Light Machine Gun-

The Type 96 Light Machine Gun (九六式軽機関銃, Kyūroku-shiki Kei-kikanjū) was a light machine gun used by the Imperial Japanese Army in the interwar period and in World War II.

History and development-

Combat experience in the Manchurian Incident of 1931 and subsequent actions in Manchuria and northern China reaffirmed the Japanese army of the utility of machine guns to provide covering fire for advancing infantry. The earlier Type 11 Light Machine Gun was a lightweight machine gun, which could be easily transportable by an infantry squad into combat. However, the open hopper design of the Type 11 allowed dust and grit to enter into the gun, which was liable to jam in muddy or dirty conditions due to issues with poor dimensional tolerances. This gave the weapon a bad reputation with Japanese troops, and led to calls for its redesign. The Army's Kokura Arsenal tested the Czech ZB vz. 26 machine gun, samples of which had been captured from the National Revolutionary Army of the Republic of China, and (after borrowing certain elements) issued a new design, designated the Type 96 light machine gun, in 1936. The gun was produced at Kokura, Nagoya Arsenal and Mukden with total production about 41,000. While the Japanese design was completely different internally it did resemble the Vz26 in its basic layout using the top feed magazine and a bipod mount. The type 97 tank gun however was a license built copy of the ZB design and used in the tanks of the Japanese army.


Type 96 Light Machine Gun was almost identical in construction to the Type 11 in that it was an air-cooled, gas-operated design based on the French Hotchkiss M1909 machine gun. As with the Type 11, it continued to use the same 6.5x50mm Arisaka cartridges as the Type 38 rifle infantry rifle, although the more powerful 7.7x58mm Arisaka round had already been adopted and was starting to enter into service with front line combat units.

The major difference with the Type 11 was the top-mounted curved detachable box magazine holding 30 rounds, which somewhat increased reliability, and lessened the weight of the gun. The finned gun barrel could also be rapidly changed to avoid overheating. The Type 96 had a blade front sight and a leaf rear sight, with graduations from 200 to 1,500 meters, with windage adjustment. A 2.5X telescopic sight with a 10 degree field of view could be attached at the right side of the gun.

The Type 96 also had a folding bipod attached to the gas block, and could be fitted with the standard infantry bayonet, which could be attached to the gas block below the barrel. The gun was capable of automatic fire only, although it was possible to fire single shots by briefly pulling the trigger.

However, arms designer Kijiro Nambu did nothing to address the dimensional tolerance issue between the bolt and gun barrel, which led to frequent failures when fired cases became stuck in the chamber. In order to ensure reliable feeding (theoretically), Nambu resorted to oiling the cartridges via an oil pump in the magazine loader. In practice, this tended to worsen the problem instead, as the oiled cartridges tended to become coated with dust and sand. This feature and its inherent faults was dropped with the introduction of the Type 99 light machinegun.

Combat record-

The Type 96 came into active service in 1936 and was intended to replace the older Type 11; however the Type 11 had already been produced in large quantities, and both weapons remained in service until the end of the war. The Type 96 was regarded as rugged and reliable, but its 6.5 mm bullets lacked penetration against cover, and the design was supplemented by the more powerful Type 99 light machine gun with the larger 7.7 mm bullet in 1937. After World War II it was used by Indonesian forces during the Indonesian National Revolution against Dutch forces notably during the Attack on Jogjakarta 1949.

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