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The Type 11 Nambu Light Machine Gun

The Japanese Type 11 has always been an interesting gun to me. The gun is based on the Hotchkiss 1909 and feeds from a hopper using the 6.5mm ammo on the same stripper clips as the Japanese bolt action service rifle

Standard 5 round strippers were dropped into the hopper continuously as it was fired. The stripper as ejected out the back as they were used up and the feeder dropped fresh ones on top.

Since it was standard rifle ammo on stripper clips the ammunition could be shared between riflemen with the Arisaka rifle and the machine gun team. This kept the gun with a steady supply of ammo without the need for belts or special magazines. A concept seen in other places years later, The US M249 SAW for instance uses the standard NATO belt but will also accept and fire from M16 magazines.

The problem is the hopper and ammo had no way to stay clean and if anything got in the hopper it became a problem.

The hopper held six strippers of 5 rounds each of the 6.5 mm round but it produced a wicked flash and blast. The barrel of the Tye 38 rifle the ammo was loaded for was longer than the Type 11 so a special load was developed and designated the 6.5mm genso round. Being about 100fps slower than the standard rifle round, it produced a lot less muzzle blast.

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