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"Japanese Hollow-Charge Rifle Grenade" from Tactical and Technical Trends

The following report on the Japanese hollow-charge rifle grenade was printed in Tactical and Technical Trends, No. 38, November 18, 1943.

[DISCLAIMER: The following text is taken from the U.S. War Department publication Tactical and Technical Trends. As with all wartime intelligence information, data may be incomplete or inaccurate. No attempt has been made to update or correct the text. Any views or opinions expressed do not necessarily represent those of the website.]


Except for aerial bombs recently recovered, the only known use by the Japanese of the hollow-charge principle is in the rifle grenade, (see accompanying sketch) which is a copy of the German heavy AT rifle grenade, Gr. G.Pz Gr (see Tactical and Technical Trends No. 36, p. 34). The launcher is clamped to the standard Model 38 (1905) 6.5-mm rifle. The cartridge used to propel the grenade has a wooden bullet.

The sketch shows a sectionalized model of the grenade and illustrates the Japanese use of the hollow-charge principle. The complete round is 7.98 inches long and has a diameter of 1.58 inches at its greatest diameter. It has a bursting charge of 3.81 ounces of TNT. The cone formed in the TNT is 2.5 inches deep and 1.5 inches wide at the top.

The grenade is fired by impact with the target, a base-detonating inertia-actuated fuze being carried in the rear of the projectile behind the bursting charge. Since the fuze is not armed until the grenade has been fired from the rifle and is in flight, the grenade is safe, to handle, but it should not be jolted, since it is easily armed.

[Japanese Hollow-Charge Rifle Grenade]

With the exception noted above, this is the only instance of the use by the Japanese of the hollow-charge principle that has been discovered to date. It is to be expected that they will employ it in other weapons. The penetrating effect obtained is not dependent on impact velocity and the Japanese have in quantity a variety of low-velocity weapons of fairly large bore suitable for firing hollow-charge projectiles. Such weapons are the Model 92 (1932) 70-mm battalion howitzer and the Model 41 (1908) 75-mm infantry (mountain) gun.


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