One of the less common Japanese rifles of the WWII era is the Type I (pronounced “Type Eye”). The Japanese Imperial Army and Navy procured small arms independently of each other, and the Army received priority as the ground war in China escalated. This left the Navy short of rifles and unable to get them from domestic producers, so they turned to Italy. A contract was signed ordering tens of thousands of Type I rifles (the exact quantity is unclear – most sources say 60,000, but the serial number range would suggest more than double that number).

The rifle was based on a Carcano receiver and bolt, but otherwise configured like a Type 38 Arisaka. For a thorough still-photo comparison between the two rifles, take a look at Teri’s excellent page on the Type I at Nambu World.

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