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Howa Type 64

From Internet Movie Firearms Database - Guns in Movies, TV and Video Games
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Howa Type 64 - 7.62x51mm
Howa Type 64 Designated Marksman Rifle - 7.62x51mm

The Type 64 rifle is a gas-operated, selective-fired battle rifle, formerly the standard-issue rifle for the Japanese Self-Defense Forces (JSDF), chambered in 7.62x51mm, though used with a specially-made cartridge (see below).

In 1957, the Japan Self-Defense Forces began the search for a new automatic infantry rifle. Being heavily biased to the US in its military trends, Japan probably had no option in ammunition other than the newest US creation, the 7.62x51 NATO cartridge. However, the JSDF felt that this round was too powerful, especially for the smaller and lighter physical structure of most Japanese soldiers. Japanese experts accordingly developed a reduced loading, same in all dimensions to the standard 7.62x51mm NATO but with a lighter bullet and a smaller powder charge that generated muzzle velocities of about 715 meters per second instead of the "NATO original" 810 meters per second. The Howa Machinery Co developed the rifle for new cartridge, working closely with the JSDF. In 1964, the 7.62mm prototype rifle R6E was adopted for JSDF service as the Type 64 rifle. Howa produced it exclusively for the JSDF until about 1988. Since 1990 the Type 64 rifle has been gradually phased out of service in favor of the 5.56x45mm Type 89 rifles. The Type 64 rifle was never exported from Japan due to laws.

The gas and bolt system were most probably inspired either by the Belgian FN FAL or Soviet Tokarev SVT-40. The Type 64 has a short-stroke gas piston located above the barrel and fitted with manual gas regulator (easily allowing adjustment to use of full power NATO cartridges if needed). The bolt is locked by tipping its rear end down into recess in the receiver floor. The charging handle is located above the bolt carrier and is readily accessible by either hand. The safety switch / fire mode selector is located on the right side of the receiver, above the trigger guard.

The striker-fired trigger unit is of original design and features a patented fire-rate reducer, which produces a controllable rate of fire of about 450 - 500 shots per minute. Type 64 rifles are fitted with solid wooden buttstocks and hinged steel buttplates, lightweight folding bipods, and massive muzzle brakes which greatly aid in controlling recoil while also serving as rifle grenade launchers. The open sights are mounted on folding posts, and the rear sight has two range settings, for 200 and 400 meters.

The reduced load cartridges and reduced rate of fire arguably make these and the original Spanish CETME guns the only true 'assault rifles' in 7.62x51 caliber, as they are the only ones which stand any chance of being easily controllable in fully-automatic fire.


(1964 - 1988)

  • Caliber: 7.62x51mm Japanese Service, 7.62x51mm NATO
  • Action: Gas operated, tilting bolt
  • Overall length: 39 in (99 cm)
  • Barrel length: 17.7 in (45 cm)
  • Weight: 9.5 lbs (4.3 kg) without magazine
  • Rate of fire: 450-500 rounds per minute
  • Magazine capacity: 20 rounds (M14-type magazine)

The Howa Type 64 and variants can be seen in the following films, television series, video games, and anime used by the following actors:


Title Actor Character Notation Date
Destroy All Monsters JGSDF personnel The first screen appearance 1968
G.I. Samurai jsdf members 1979
Shin'ichi Chiba Lt. Yoshiaki Iba
Tsunehiko Watase Sgt. Hayato Yano
Hiromitsu Suzuki Go Nishizawa
Jun Etô Sgt. Agata
Kôji Naka Pvt. Mimura
Jinya Sato Osamu Seki
The Return of Godzilla JGSDF personnel 1984
Godzilla vs. Biollante JGSDF personnel 1989
Godzilla and Mothra: The Battle for Earth JGSDF personnel 1992
Ninja Sentai Kakuranger: The Movie Dorodoros 1994
Gamera, the Guardian of the Universe JGSDF personnel 1995
Godzilla 2000 JGSDF personnel 1999
Gamera 3: Revenge of Iris JGSDF personnel 1999
Godzilla vs. Megaguirus JGSDF personnel 2000
Kamen Rider Agito: Project G4 JSDF members 2001
Ryo Karato Shiro Mizuki
Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla JGSDF personnel 2002
Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S. JGSDF personnel 2003
Library Wars Kanto Library Defense Force soldiers 2013
Nana Eikura Iku Kasahara
Sota Fukushi Tezuka


Title Actor Character Notation Date
Man in the High Castle, The - Season 1 Imperial Japanese Army 2015
Man in the High Castle, The - Season 3 Imperial Japanese Army 2018
Man in the High Castle, The - Season 4 Imperial Japanese troops 2019

Video Games

Game Title Appears as Mods Notation Release Date
Joukyou Kaishi! 2005
Forbidden Siren 2 "Type 64 Rifle (with sniper specifications)" 2006
Alliance of Valiant Arms 2007


Title Character Notation Date
Angel Cop JGSDF Special Forces soldiers Regular and DMR variants 1989
Patlabor: The Movie 2 JGSDF soldiers 1993
Those Who Hunt Elves - Season 1 Ritsuko Inoue 1996
Harlock Saga Tochiro 1999
Library War Library Defense Force soldiers 2008
The Skull Man Soldiers 2009
Gate: Thus the JSDF Fought There JGSDF 2015
Sword Art Online: Alicization Klein 2018

See Also

  • Howa - A list of all firearms manufactured by Howa.

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