Original Japan WWII Imperial Japanese Type 96 / 99 Machine Gun 2.5 x 13 Optical Scope by Tokyo Arsenal With Rare Carry Case

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. Prior to the Type 99's development, the Japanese Army was using the Type 96 light machine gun, an improvement over the previous Type 11 light machine gun. The Type 96 had been introduced into combat service in 1936, and quickly proved to be a versatile weapon to provide covering fire for advancing infantry. Both the earlier Type 11 and current Type 96 light machine guns used the same 6.5x50mmSR Arisaka cartridges as the Type 38 infantry rifle. Using similar ammunition in both guns simplified supply and had the added advantage that any squad member could supply ammunition for the light machine gun, or vice versa.

However, in 1939 the Japanese army was in the process of switching to a larger and more powerful 7.7 mm cartridge which also had no rim, which improved cartridge handling. This more powerful cartridge: 3,136 J energy, compared to the earlier 6.5x50mmSR Arisaka cartridge: 1,966 J energy, required a firearm that had more steel, bigger springs and a heavier bolt to handle the extra forces involved. This required a switch from the Type 38 rifle to the Type 99 rifle which could handle the more powerful round. Similarly, it was necessary to develop a new version of the Type 96 light machine gun that would also be able to use this new larger caliber; thus the advantages of common ammunition between riflemen and machine gunners could continue. The Type 99 light machine gun was produced at Kokura, Nagoya Arsenal and Mukden with a total production of about 53,000 weapons.

The Type 99 was basically the same design as the Type 96, and had a number of parts in common. However, it dispensed with the oiler and had better primary extraction, increasing reliability over its predecessors. Early models had a monopod at the stock and a flash suppressor on the muzzle, which was screwed onto a threaded portion of the gun barrel. A top-mounted curved detachable box magazine held 30 rounds, and the finned gun barrel could be rapidly changed to avoid overheating. Like its predecessor, the Type 96, the Type 99 bears a distinct resemblance to the British Bren gun.

The Type 99 had a blade front sight and a leaf rear sight, with graduations from 200 to 1,500 meters, with a wind adjustment. A 2.5X telescopic sight with a 10 degree field of view could be attached at the right side of the gun. These were often issued to the best marksmen of the unit and occasionally employed like a sniper rifle. A standard infantry bayonet could be attached to the gas block below the barrel, but on the battlefield this feature proved inconsequential due to the weight of the gun and the fact that the blade was largely obstructed by the flash hider when it was fixed on the muzzle.

This 2.5x13 sight is in good, functional condition with almost all of the original black paint present. It is marked with serial number 23122 just below the Tokyo Arsenal markings. The lenses are still clear and without damage with a visible range finding reticle. The included carry case is in wonderful, field used condition and still retains the original lens brush on the inside.

This is a wonderful item that comes more than ready for further research and display.

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