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Howa Type 64

Automatic rifle

Howa Type 64

The Japanese Type 64 automatic rifle had a bad reputation for low reliability

Country of origin Japan
Caliber 7.62 x 51 mm
Weight (empty) 4.4 kg
Length 990 mm
Length (with folded stock) -
Barrel length 450 mm
Muzzle velocity 700 m/s
Cyclic rate of fire 500 rpm
Practical rate of fire 40 - 100 rpm
Magazine capacity 20 rounds
Sighting range 400 m
Range of effective fire 400 m


   The Type 64 automatic rifle was developed by Howa Machinery Co. in close cooperation with Japan's Ground Self-Defense Forces. This rifle was adopted to service in 1964 and was produced in large numbers. It replace the ageing US supplied M1 Garand rifles. Production ceased in the late 1980s. The Howa Type 64 was generally replaced by the newer Type 89, however it is still used by Japan's non-frontline units. This weapon was never exported due to Japan's laws.

   The Type 64 is a gas operated, selective fire weapon, chambered for the standard NATO 7.62x51 mm ammunition. At that time it was the newest US creation. However the Type 64 fires Japanese cartridges with reduced powder loading and with a lighter bullet, as the original NATO round was too powerful for Japanese soldiers. It reduced excessive recoil and muzzle climb. This weapon can also uses the standard NATO ammunition.

   The gas bolt and operation system of the Type 64 were most probably inspired by the FN FAL. The trigger unit features an original fire-rate reduced, which produced rate of about 500 rounds per minute. A reduced rate of fire makes weapon more controllable in fully automatic mode. It is worth mentioning that a complex structure and a large number of parts were often responsible for malfunction of this weapon. The Type 64 has a reputation for low reliability.

   This weapon has an effective range of 400 m, which is limited by iron sight's settings. The Howa Type 64 was tested alongside the US M14 for comparison. The Japanese rifle was found to be superior in terms of accuracy.

   A safety / fire more selector is located on the right side of the receiver, above the triggerguard. It semi-auto and full-auto modes. The cocking handle is easily accessible by either hand.

   This weapon is fed from detachable box-type magazines, holding 20 rounds. Magazines have holes in the sides to indicate ammunition left.

   The Howa Type 64 comes with adjustable iron sights, mounted on folding posts. The rear sight has two range settings for 200 and 400 meters. Optical sights can be fitted with a scope mount.

   This weapon is fitted with a solid wooden stock. It comes with detachable bipod and can be equipped with detachable bayonet. A massive muzzle brake is used to launch riffle grenades.




   A designated marksman version of this riffle has been used by special assault teams. It is fitted with a 2.2x magnification scope and is used as a sniper rifle. Since 2002 the marksman version of the Type 64 was replaced with the US M24 sniper rifle.


Howa Type 64

Howa Type 64

Howa Type 64

Howa Type 64

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