A closer look at the peculiar hopper-fed Japanese Type 11 light machine gun (VIDEO)

Without the capability to use a detachable magazine, feed strip, or belt, the Type 11 of the Imperial Japanese Army was ugly and on the whole just kinda different.

Designed by “Japan’s John Browning,” Kijiro Nambu, the 22-pound Type 11 was the first light machine gun to be manufactured in the country when it went into production in 1922. A modification of the French Hotchkiss of WWI-fame, Nambu’s design deleted that gun’s awkward 30-round feed strip for a hopper that could be stoked with 6.5mm Arisaka via five-round stripper clips designed for the inventor’s previous Type 38 rifle.

In the above video from the NRA’s American Rifleman publication, the reasoning for the hopper and the history of the Type 11 itself are explained.

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