This is a rare late WWII Japanese Type 5 semi-automatic rifle. In July of 1932, an order was given to the Nippon Special Steel Company and the Tokyo Gas and Electric company to submit designs for Japan's semi-automatic rifle project. At that time several rifle designs were developed (or copied from other rifles) and tested by the Japanese. Two of them as we know were based on the British Pedersen design (submitted by the Nippon Special Steel company) and the Czech ZH-29 semi-auto rifles, submitted by the Tokyo Gas and Electric Company (TGE). Shortly after completing the military test, japan invaded Mainland China in 1935/36, with that all testing was halted. Later in 1943/44 Japan decided to resurrect the search for a successful semi-automatic rifle, however they chose to just copy the US M1 Garand design. This example is one of those produced at the Yokosuka Naval Arsenal. It is a close copy of the U.S. M1 only chambered in the Japanese 7.7 mm cartridge. It is estimated that approximately 200 sets of parts were actually manufactured, with only 125 rifles actually assembled due to the end of WWII, with very few examples actually returning back to the U.S. These rifles were not serial numbered as in this case, with all of them having just assembly numbers on the underside of the rifle barrel that were matched to numbers on the various parts. This rifle is all original and certainly have an all matching Japanese blackened finish on all the parts. The bolt, operating rod and gas cylinder are all direct copies of the original U.S. M1 Rifle with a slightly different configuration of receiver, close but not exact. The rear bridge of the receiver has a standard Japanese tangent rear sight that is graduated from 100-1200 meters and the front sight is an inverted "v" with protective wing on the sides; both almost identical to the sights on the Japanese Type 99 rifles. The stock is also very similar to the M1 garand in that it has two handguard with a short (M1 Garand length type) stock with finger grooves on the sides. The sling swivels are also mounted on the left side same as on the Type 99 and the butt is fitted with a sheet metal buttplate. This is a very rare and interesting rifle that would certainly fit in any M1 Garand rifle collection as well as any WWII Japanese rifle collection.
Very fine with 80% of the blackened metal finish as applied during WWII. The right side of the receiver rail and operating rod track show the majority of the finish loss just due to cycling over the years. The lightly sanded stock and handguards are both in very good condition with numerous scattered handling marks overall. Mechanically fine. A rare WWII Japanese copy of an M1 Garand rifle.
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