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Howa Type 89

Assault rifle

Howa Type 89

The Japanese Howa Type 89 assault rifle was never exported

Caliber 5.56 x 45 mm
Weight (empty) 3.5 kg
Length 864 mm
Length (with folded stock) -
Barrel length 420 mm
Muzzle velocity 920 m/s
Cyclic rate of fire 750 rpm
Practical rate of fire 40 - 100 rpm
Magazine capacity 30 rounds
Sighting range ?
Range of effective fire 500 m


   The Japanese Type 89 assault rifle was developed by Howa Machinery Co. for the National Defense Forces of Japan. This weapon entered service with Japan's Ground Self-Defense Forces in 1989. It replaced the previous Howa Type 64 in frontline units. The Type 89 was never exported due to Japan's laws.

   It is a gas operated, selective fire assault rifle, chambered for the standard NATO 5.56 x 45 mm ammunition. Some of this weapon's internal components are similar to the US Armalite AR-18, which was previously manufactured by Howa under license. The Type 89 was designed with minimal number of parts for improved reliability. This assault rifle has an effective range of 500 m.

   The Howa Type 89 is lighter than the previous Type 64 due to polymer housing. A safety / fire mode selector is located from the right side, over the pistol grip. It has semi-auto, full-auto and three-round burst modes. Later an ambidextrous fire mode selector was installed on some rifles.

   The Howa Type 89 is fed from the standard NATO (M16-type) magazines. Typically it uses 30-round magazines, however it is also compatible with a 20-round mag. Japanese magazines have holes in the sides to indicate ammunition left.

   This assault rifle comes with adjustable iron sights, however it is compatible with Weaver- or Picatinny-type rail mounts and can mount various optical sights.

   A standard model of the Type 89 has a fixed stock. This assault rifle has a detachable bipod, which folds over the foregrip when not in use. A bayonet can be attached, which can be also used as a wire cutter. This weapon can fire rifle grenades. It is possible to mount the US M203 40-mm underbarrel grenade launcher with a special adapter.




   Howa Type 89-F, fitted with a folding metal stock. A small number of these rifled was produced for armored vehicle drivers and airborne troops.


Howa Type 89

Howa Type 89

Howa Type 89

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