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Howa Type 64 7.62 mm automatic rifle (Japan), Rifles

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Howa Type 64 7.62 mm automatic rifle (Japan)


Appearing in
Jane's Infantry Weapons

Publication date
Aug 04, 2008

The formation of the Japanese Self-Defence Force led to the requirement for a new series of weapons and the Howa Machinery Company of Nagoya received a contract to develop a rifle. The project leader and designer was General K Iwashita. Several designs and modifications to those designs were produced until eventually the Type 64 emerged. This was the weapon accepted for the Japanese Self-Defence Force.

The cartridge used with the Howa 7.62 mm Type 64 automatic rifle is a reduced-load 7.62 × 51 mm, the propellant charge, having been reduced by 10 per cent below NATO normal. This leads to a reduced muzzle impulse and as no effort has been made to reduce the weight significantly, the recoil energy that the user has to absorb is less than that generated by the conventional 7.62 mm cartridge. Should it be necessary to employ the full charge NATO round then the gas regulator must be set to reduce the amount and pressure of the gases reaching the piston head. The rifle was designed to launch rifle grenades and the gas regulator therefore includes a facility to cut off the gas supply to the piston entirely. The rifle is orthodox in appearance and action. The gas cylinder and piston are positioned above the barrel. The locking system incorporates a tilting block, lifted into engagement and subsequently lowered and carried back by the bolt carrier.The butt is a straight-through design and this, with the bipod under the front of the fore-end and the muzzle brake, produces extremely accurate single-shot fire. The gun fires at 500 rds/min on automatic, so this relatively slow rate assists in maintaining the burst on the target. Three gas ports adjustable for load act as a regulator.

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