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WWII Axis Small Arms

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Nightcrawler, Mar 19, 2004.

  1. Nightcrawler

    Nightcrawler Well-Known Member

    I'm pretty familliar with the gamut of German weapons of the 2nd world war, and there's plenty of info on the 'net about them (though a search will bring you many pages regarding Medal of Honor, Battlefield: 1942, Return to Castle Woflenstein/Enemy Territory, the great Call of Duty, and the other plethora of World War II games out there.

    However, finding stuff on Japanese and Italian small arms has proved challenging. I mean good, detailed information, preferably with pictures. Does anybody know of an online resource? If not, can anybody go over the basics?

    I know the Italians had the Beretta SMG that they used in a different 9mm cartridge (though 9x19 ones were made for the Germans). They had the Carcarno (sp?) rifle, but I know nothing about it. What machine guns did they have? Pistols? Did they use the Beretta 1934? Sniper rifles?

    The Japanese had a top-feeding automatic rifle that looks like a Bren (sort of). They had another hopper-fed automatic rifle that feed from stripper clips. They had Arisaka rifles in at least two different calibers, and a couple submachine guns based on the Bergmann family (from the MP-18 on). What Japanese pistols were common? Which Nambu pistol was the one with the exposed sear? What machine guns did they use? Sniper rifles?

    Thanks for any help, everyone. :cool:
  2. Nightcrawler

    Nightcrawler Well-Known Member

    Japanese Weapons Info

    I did find a website with info about Japanese weapons. It's actually a site about the Korean war, and I've spotted a few minor technical mistakes, but all in all it's very helpful. I've been to it before, but I forgot they had such detailed info on Japanese WWII weapons.

    Check it out.

    They have info on Japanese submachine guns, one light machine gun, Arisaka Rifles, a heavy machine guns, and pistols. No info on that hopper-fed machine gun, though.

    Also, the Japanese had a double-action only top-break revolver. I read an article about it in, I believe, SWAT magazine once, but for the life of me can't recall any info on it.
  3. Nightcrawler

    Nightcrawler Well-Known Member

    Yet another website with good info on Japanese Arms.

    Apparently the hideous Type 24 had the exposed sear and was the "suicide special".


    EDIT: Great site showing Japanese WWII machine guns. What a mish-mash they had! Have a look.
  4. Gabe

    Gabe Well-Known Member

    I would add the Bren-like Type 96 LMG isn't based on a Bren at all. It's actually a poor derivative of the French Berthier LMG.

    The original water-cooled version of the Berthier was supposed to enter production in 1916 for the US Army but it never happened. Browning demoed his BAR a year later which used a similar action.

    Vickers bought the design and turned it into an air-cooled aircraft gun, the famous Vickers K Gun. Then they redesigned it as a LMG and the British army was ready to adopt it until the Czechs entered their VB-33 into the competition.

    The Berthier was actually a very good LMG that came very close to beating the Bren prototype. Had it not been for the Czechs, or if the Brits had been in a bigger hurry it would certainly have been THE Common Wealth LMG. Some Vickers-Berthiers were made for the Indian Army and there are few surviving examples today.

  5. otomik

    otomik Well-Known Member

    they used a 9mm cartridge called 9mm Glisenti which was indentical on the exterior but was downloaded parabellum ballistically so that it could function in the blowback operated 1910 Glisenti Pistol and later on the excellent 1915 Beretta Pistol (first beretta autopistol). also keep in mind that pre-war and wartime 9mm Para is like +P or +P+ compared to standard SAAMI specs of today.
    it's actually a pretty good idea and pre-dates other attemps at most powerful blowback pistol cartridges like the 9mm Ultra, 9mm Police, 9mm Makarov http://web4.integraonline.com/~bbroadside/General_Info.html

    but by world war two they used the Model 34 .380 mostly, a very good pistol as well (Elvis used one to blow away a television on which Robert Goulet was performing http://www.famousfirearms.com/_wsn/page3.html).

    other than that, mannlicher carcano. beretta made some good automatic rifle designs that their military never adopted, but it's a good thing as martha would say.
  6. Khornet

    Khornet Well-Known Member

    Get a copy of

    "Ordnance Went Up Front"...can't recall author's name, still available. Exhaustive discussion of Axis small arms including Japanes, Italian, German, Austrian, etc. Very good read.
  7. MrMurphy

    MrMurphy Well-Known Member

    As a comprehensive encylcopedia of weaponry, Military Small Arms of the 20th Century by Ian Hogg, available through amazon.com for about $20, is the single-best reference book I've found short of a full-blown Jane's Infantry Weapons, and covers the entire 20th century, excluding stuff that came out in around late 1999-2000, though not all (some of the info wasn't available by publishing, but everything else made it in) and covers in detail all arms used during world war two, even the Japanese stuff if I remember right (have to go check again, but I think it's all in there). It covers pistols, bolt action rifles, automatic rifles, machine guns...... doesn't do cannons, grenades, etc, but it's a small arms book.

    Very worth the $20. Has a pic of a Thompson on the cover, kind of gets your attention. :)

    Aside from listing the technical details on each weapon it often lists how the weapon came about, who designed it, etc.
  8. Dannyboy

    Dannyboy Well-Known Member

    If I'm not mistaken this book was written by a writer from Shooting Times magazine or maybe he wrote for American Rifleman . Either way, I've heard of the book and it's supposed to be very good.
  9. treeprof

    treeprof Well-Known Member

  10. Correia

    Correia Moderator Emeritus

    Small Arms of the World by Ezell has some great information on Italian and Japanese weapons of the period.

    As a weird little side note, one of the Japanese top fed LMGs in on display at the SLCPD building. Apparently somebody had one and tried to use it in a crime. I don't have the story, but it is a strange place to find an obscure WWII LMG.

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