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Too Little Too Late: Japanese Type 100 Submachine Gun

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This episode of TFB TV features the Japanese Type 100 Submachine Gun. This gun is interesting even though it came on really late in the scene. Its design and development didn’t start until the late 1930s. Prior to that, the Japanese Army and Navy used NP28s imported from Europe.

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During the middle to late 1930s, Type 1 and Type 2 designs were produced by Nambu. However, a lot of problems were found during testing. Later on, the design was brought back to the table and in 1940, it was adopted as the first Type 100 version. Interestingly, not once was this gun mentioned in the Japanese Infantry Weapons handbook because it was a less encountered weapon. Less than 30,000 Type 100 guns were made and very few of them reached the frontline news. In fact, after production of the last version, which is the 1944 version, some authors even questioned if any of the 1944 models actually left mainland Japan and entered combat service.

The Type 100 is an open bolt blowback fully automatic non-select fire submachine gun designed to be used by Japanese infantry during the Second World War. The gun has a curved 30-round magazine that, unfortunately, was inconvenient to use in the jungle. It was chambered for the 8x21mm Nambu cartridge, which was a pretty weak cartridge at the time. Not many international entities ended up liking it or even adopting it despite Nambu’s push to export it. The gun had the ability to take a bipod, which was very unusual for any submachine gun at that time. Its barrel was chrome-plated and helpful in moist conditions.

All three version of the Type 100 were designed to take a bayonet: (1) The standard version had a non-folding stock and bayonet rod, in addition to an adjustable rear sight, (2) the folding stock variant could fold the stock to where the pistol grip was, allowing the gun to be dropped, and (3) the 1944 model was an improved version of 1940, where the sights were simplified, the bayonet rod was taken away, and the rear butt plate was changed to a wooden butt plate. It could fire at around 400-450rpm, instead of the initial 800rpm which made it a pound heavier. You can still purchase the Japanese Type 100 Submachine Gun online on the NFA market.

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