Type 97 light machine gun

Type 97 Light Machine Gun

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Type 97 light machine gun

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Description:
The was the standard machine gun used on tanks and armored vehicles of the Imperial Japanese Army during World War II, and also as a light machine gun by infantry forces.

Development

Initially, the Type 11 Light Machine Gun was modified by the Army Technical Bureau for use on tanks and other armored vehicles, and was produced for this application under the designation “Type 92 Mobile Machine Gun”. However, the basic design issues with the Type 11 remained, including its tendency to jam under the slightest amount of grit or dirt, and the low lethality and lack of stopping power of its 6.5x50mm Arisaka cartridge.

During the early stages of the Second Sino-Japanese War, Japanese forces captured a number of Czech ZB vz/26 light machine guns from China’s National Revolutionary Army, whose numerous design advantages led to the development of the Type 97. This was used in a modified form for armored vehicles until 1940, when the Japanese Army switched to a rimless 7.7 mm cartridge.

Design

The Type 97 was mechanically similar to the Czech ZB vz. 26, with a different stock and pistol grip. It had a straight, vertical, 20-round box magazine and used the same 7.7 mm cartridge as were used in the Type 99 rifle. The light gun barrel was easy to overheat, which meant the gunner had to fire in bursts, or the barrel would be shot out.

When fitted to a tank, a fixed...
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