Thursday, May 25, 2017

A prototype Japanese semi-automatic rifle that was manufactured by the Koishikawa (Tokyo) Arsenal for the Japanese Army Test Trials held in 1935.





An exceptionally rare copy of the John Pedersen rifle. There were approximately 24 of these Pedersen designed longarms manufactured in total: 12 with the longer (26.5 inch) barrel, such as this one, and 12 with the shorter carbine length (22.5 inch) barrels.

In the late 1920’s, John Pedersen started working with the U.S. Ordnance Department on his “toggle-bolt” design semi-automatic rifle. His design was rejected and 1932, after teaming up with the Vickers Company in England to produce the "toggle-bolt" mechanism, John Pedersen traveled to Japan to demonstrate his rifle in the hopes of gaining foreign sales.
General Yoshida, who was in charge of manufacturing at the Tokyo Arsenal, was impressed with the Pedersen rifle design and chose to copy it. He redesigned the mechanism to fire the 6.5 mm Japanese cartridge, and instead of the original 10 round magazine, he designed a rotary magazine that held five rounds. 
Yoshida’s design was submitted for Japanese Army Test Trials held in 1935, but all testing was halted when Japan invaded mainland China in July 1936/37. 




Interesting to note that the rifle appears to have an integral scope base machined in the receiver.









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