Some of the top Japanese Weapons of WWII were rifles.  And though many variations were produced, below are the main rifles used by the Japanese during World War II.   Information on the machine guns and pistols used by the Japanese during WWII can be accessed using the link below:

Top Japanese Weapons of WWII – Machine Guns and Pistols


The Armed Forces History Museum in Largo, FL has an extensive display of WWII and other weapons in their Firearms and Ordnance Gallery, and includes the Japanese Type 99 Rifle and the 38th Year Sniper Rifle listed below. 


Type 99 – The Type 99 rifle was first introduced in 1939, though it was basically a modified (re-chambered) version of the 1938 rifle.  It was fitted with a special sight that allowed a soldier to sight and hit an incoming airplane.


Arisaka - Because the Arisaka was designed in the 30th year of the Emporer Meiji (1897), it is more commonly known as the “30th Year Rifle”.  The Arisaka was a much longer than average rifle – 50.25” and though its length exceeded the height of the majority of Japanese soldiers, it was a standard issue for Japan’s infantrymen.  It remained in production until the end of WWII in 1945.


Several other variants of the Arisaka were used by the Japanese including the 38th Year Sniper and the 44 year Carbine.  The 44 year carbine actually had a folding bayonet up under the muzzle.


Type 97 – Anti-tank Rifle – Weighing in at 152 lbs, the Type 97 was the heaviest of all anti-tank rifles.  It took a crew of four to fire this fully-automatic rifle, which also capable of shooting high explosive rounds. The Japanese Navy used the Type 97 as an anti-aircraft gun.


The Japanese produced large quantities of the above weapons and used them extensively throughout WWII.


  • Type 38 – over 3 million
  • Type 99 – 3.5 million
  • Type 30 rifles - 554,000


While other weapons were widely used by the Japanese throughout World War II, the three rifles listed above are among their top weapons.