Type 11 Light Machine Gun

Place Asia: Vietnam
Accession Number REL/03047
Collection type Technology
Object type Firearm
Place made Japan
Date made 1936
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945
Vietnam, 1962-1975

Type 11 Light Machine Gun. Gas operated, fully automatic weapon, firing from an open bolt. All steel construction body with an air cooled barrel. Barrel has machine turned 'Hotchkiss-style' disc fins along its complete length. Gas operated piston tube is located under the barrel. Folding bipod attaches near the gas regulator. Weapon is of 6.5 mm calibre, and fires Type 38 (1905) semi-rimmed reduced charge cartridges, with the cartridges held in five round clips. A hopper feed with a top clip is attached to the left side of the action. The hopper accepts six clips of catridges, with each clip inserted horizontally, one above the other. The top of the follower on the hopper is stamped with the serial number, while the side of the receiver is marked with the Kokura Arsenal mark and 11.6 (1936 June). The offset butt is half wood and half metal with knurled section on the tubular wrist.

It is missing the bolt mechanism, bipod and the rear of the receiver.

History / Summary

This weapon was captured from the Vietcong by Australian forces in Vietnam.

The Type 11 machine gun was standard equipment in the Japanese infantry section until the mid-war period, and remained in service throughout the War, despite being replaced by the type 96 machine gun. The weapon is highly unusual in that it is fed by 5-round clips of ammunition, which were loaded into a hopper on the left side of the receiver opposide the feedway. As the rounds were fed into the gun, they passed against an oiled brush. This was designed to prevent ruptured cartridges. An oil reservoir on the top of the receiver fed oil to the brush in the receiver.

The gun fired reduced charge rifle cartridges containing 2 grams of propellant and did not function properly with standard charge rifle ammunition (which contained 2.15 grams).