THE TYPE 96 CAME INTO ACTIVE SERVICE IN 1936 AND WAS INTENDED TO REPLACE THE OLDER TYPE 11, HOWEVER THE TYPE 11 HAD ALREADY BEEN PRODUCED IN LARGE QUANTITIES, AND BOTH WEAPONS REMAINED IN SERVICE UNTIL THE END OF THE WAR.
The Type 96 borrowed some elements from the Czech ZB vz. 26 like the top feed magazine and a bipod mount, the Type 96 is completely different internally.
Type 96 light machine gun was almost identical in construction to the Type 11 in that it was an air-cooled, gas-operated design based on the French Hotchkiss M1909 machine gun. As with the Type 11, it continued to use the same 6.5x50mm Arisaka cartridges as the Type 38 rifle infantry rifle, although the more powerful 7.7x58mm Arisaka round had already been adopted and was starting to enter into service with front line combat units. Due to its similarity with the Bren, they’re mistaken as clones.
The Type 96 also had a folding bipod attached to the gas block, and could be fitted with the standard infantry bayonet, which could be attached to the gas block below the barrel. The gun was capable of automatic fire only, although it was possible to fire single shots by briefly pulling the trigger.
(1936 – 1945)
Type: Light Machine Gun
Caliber: 6.5x50mm Arisaka
Capacity: 30 round detachable box magazine
Fire Modes: Fully Automatic
Muzzle velocity 735 m/s (2,410 ft/s)
Rate of fire 450–500 rounds/min
Weight 19.8 lbs (9 kg)
Length 42.1 in (107 cm)
Barrel length 21.7 in (55 cm)
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