Howa Type 64
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:
|Destroy All Monsters
|The first screen appearance
|Lt. Yoshiaki Iba
|Sgt. Hayato Yano
|The Return of Godzilla
|Godzilla vs. Biollante
|Godzilla and Mothra: The Battle for Earth
|Gamera, the Guardian of the Universe
|Gamera 3: Revenge of Iris
|Godzilla vs. Megaguirus
|Kamen Rider Agito: Project G4
|Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla
|Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S.
|Kanto Library Defense Force soldiers
|Ninja Sentai Kakuranger
|The group of Dorodoros
|Man in the High Castle, The - Season 1
|Imperial Japanese Army
|Man in the High Castle, The - Season 3
|Imperial Japanese Army
|Man in the High Castle, The - Season 4
|Imperial Japanese troops
|Forbidden Siren 2
|"Type 64 Rifle (with sniper specifications)"
|Alliance of Valiant Arms
|JGSDF Special Forces soldiers
|Regular and DMR variants
|Patlabor: The Movie 2
|Those Who Hunt Elves - Season 1
|Library Defense Force soldiers
|The Skull Man
|Gate: Thus the JSDF Fought There
|Sword Art Online: Alicization
- Howa - A list of all firearms manufactured by Howa.