Howa Type 89 Assault Rifle [Automatic Rifle]:

The Type 89 assault rifle is the one of the standard weapons of the Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force. Firing the same 5.56x45mm NATO that the FN self-loading rifles do, it is vastly different from those firearms in its construction. Utilizing aluminum and thermoset plastic, the weapon is lightweight and is resistant to temperature changes. These concepts are very much inspired by those that were used on the Heckler & Koch G3 series assault rifles.

The Type 89 can be mounted for a scope as well as a bayonet. Both a domestic Japanese bayonet, and the M9 US issue bayonet, mounts to the rifle. A bipod is available which clips to the barrel in the manner of a clothespin mechanism. It also has the capability of mounting the M203 grenade launcher. An optional folding stock is available for paratroopers.

Unlike many western arms, the selector switch operates from safety, to fully automatic, to three shot burst, and finally to semi-automatic. Though many Japanese firearms have been criticized as too complicated, the Type 89 was designed with a minimum of moving parts from the inception of the design phase.

In a practice long used in Japan, personnel who are not given combat improvements such as optical sights may purchase them at their own expense. Also, in a time-honored tradition, the weapon's name comes from the year of its release.

It has seen service with Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force personnel operating in Iraq as reconstruction forces. However, the weapon is considered too expensive for full production, and the Japanese government has stated that they will encourage such production levels when the price of the weapon reaches the equivalent of a range of $100 to $1,000 US.

Weight: 7.7 lbs (3.5 kg)
Caliber:5.56x45mm NATO (.223 Remington)
Barrel Length:16.8 inches (42 cm).
Overall Length:36.64 inches (91.6 cm)..
Action:Gas operated semi-automatic.
Mode of Fire: Semi automatic, Fully Automatic, Three Shot Burst.
Range:1640 feet (500 m).
Magazine:20/30 round box magazine.
Cost: $ 3,000.
Made in: Japan.
Special: Resistant to changes in temperature, lightweight design, modular configurability

Writeup by Wolfgang (

Minor formatting by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).

Copyright © 2008, Wolfgang. All rights reserved.