Japanese 7.92mm Type 98 Machine Gun

Photograph of Type 98 machine gun

U.S. Navy. Via Francillon (1979)


7.92 x 57 with AP, API, and HEI rounds
Projectile weight     
0.41 ounce (AP)
11.5 g (AP)
Velocity 2460 feet per second
750 meters per secod
Range 1970 feet
600 meters
Rate of fire     
1100 rounds per minute
15.9 lbs
7.2 kg
Gun power

The Type 98 machine gun was used as a flexible weapon on Japanese aircraft throughout the war. It was based on the German MG 15, which in turn was based on the Rheinmetall MG 30 light machine gun. It had a short recoil mechanism and was fed from saddle drum magazines containing 75 rounds. It was one of the few aerial gun designs used by both the Army and Navy (the Navy version being the Type 1.)

The Japanese originally intended to manufacture the fixed version of the MG 15, the MG 17, as well. However, they were unable to produce springs for the gun that could reliably maintain a long burst, a fault that was tolerable in a flexible weapon but not in a fixed weapon.

The large object below the action in the photograph is an empty case catcher, a common feature of Japanese aerial machine guns.

Photo Gallery

Gun and barrel

U.S. Navy

Cleaned up photo of gun

U.S. Navy

Cleaned up photo of gun




Francillon (1979)

Mikesh (2004)

Williams and Gustin (2003)

Valid HTML 4.01 Transitional
Web Site Counters