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Japanese Rifles Of World War II

Japanese rifles often get a bad rap, find at least when compared to the rifles of the other major combatant powers of World War II.

Even collectors of militaria view the Japanese rifles as being of a lower quality, website but this isn’t quite true.

One reason for this misconception is that much of what survived, this and is now in collections is actually from the later war years, thus not up to the highest quality.

“The fit, finish & overall quality of manufacture on early Japanese weapons equals if not surpasses weapons made by other participants of World War II,” explains advanced Japanese militaria collector Jareth Holub. “It wasn’t until the very last two years, due to U.S. air strikes, that factories started producing subpar products.”

The result is that many of the small arms encountered - notably the famous rifles - are actually late war items. This has resulted in the misconception that Japanese small arms were always somewhat inferior. It is true however that the two main combat rifles, the Arisaka Type 38 and the Type 99 rifles were essentially based on technology used a generation earlier – but it should be remembered that the same held true for most of the other powers at the start of World War II as well. Even the United States was still in the process of rearming with the M1 rifle, and thus large numbers of 1903 Springfield rifles were used in the early stages of the war.-[source]

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