Japanese 7.7mm Type 97 Machine Gun

Photograph of 7.7mm Type 97 machine gun

National Archives #80-G-193302. Via Mikesh (2004)


7.7 x 56 R with AP and incendiary rounds
Projectile Weight     
0.399 ounce (AP)
11.3 g (AP)
Velocity 2460 feet per second
750 meters per second
Range 1970 feet
600 meters
Gun weight
26 lb
11.8 kg
Rate of fire     
900 rounds per minute
Gun power

The Type 97 machine gun closely resembled the Army Type 89 machine gun but was the standard fixed light machine gun on Navy aircraft. A licensed copy of the Vickers Class E, it was belt-fed and used a short recoil toggle locked action. It synchronized particularly well and was the standard nose armament on the A6M "Zero." Illustrating the lack of cooperation between the two Japanese services, the Type 97 and Type 89 were chambered for rounds of slightly different cartridge length and thus their ammunition was not interchangeable.


Francillon (1979)

Mikesh (2004)

Williams and Gustin (2003)

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