POTD: Japan’s Copy of the M1 Garand – The Japanese Type 4
Welcome to today’s Photo of the Day! This is a really special one since it is one of those mystery guns of the World Wars. It is Japan’s M1 Garand, Japanese Type 4. Japan made a short-lived effort to reverse-engineering the US service rifle to help them with the war in the Pacific, but to no avail. Courtesy of Cody Firearms Museum (please check them out), and their excellent historians we have this photo and more information below:
“The Japanese had been working on semi-autos since the 1930s, but those experiments hadn’t developed into any production rifles. During the war, the Japanese began to encounter the M1 on the battlefield and experimented with converting captured US rifles to 7.7. That process proved problematic and a request by the Imperial Navy for more firepower for its ground troops ushered in a project to completely reverse engineer the M1.
It has a 10-round integral box magazine made to be fed from stripper clips as opposed to an en-bloc clip. Our example has a two-piece stock along with an Arisaka style buttplate and sling swivels. Apparently, enough parts for 200-250 of these rifles had been made by the end of the war and 125 rifles were actually assembled. A few sources mention that some of these guns may have been used on Okinawa, and a Japanese trials Pedersen was captured in combat there, but most sources claim the Type 4 never made it into action. Ours has a dark black paint finish as most of these do and is unmarked. Although most examples have tiny, nearly unusable rear apertures, this one has a much larger aperture. Whether it was done during the war or not we have no idea.”
Japanese Type 4 [Photograph found in Photos, Cody Firearms Museum’s Facbook]. (2017, May 22). Retrieved May 8, 2021, from https://www.facebook.com/CodyFirearmsMuseum/photos/2280636932160473