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very early Japanese 7,62x51mm

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    very early Japanese 7,62x51mm

    The Japanese decided to replace their M1 rifles with a native design in the late 1950's. The new rifle was the Howa 64 which used some design features from the FN FAL. The Japanese also used the standard 7,62x51mm NATO cartridge case but used a 139 gr bullet with a 10% to 20% reduction in performance. With the reduced loading, the full auto fire capability was improved over standard NATO rifles. It was claimed by the Japanese that standard 7,62 NATO could be fired in the Howa 64 in an emergency situation but continued use would damage the rifle (like the CETME)

    My photos show a early US NATO red tip tracer and a Howa 64 cartridge with the pale blue tip. Note the headstamp on the Japanese cartridge shows only half of the NATO symbol indicating a reduced loading Click image for larger version

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