WWII Battle Rifles


The List of Infantry Weapons of World War II is extensive, but this page will just look at the main Battle Rifles used by the six Axis & Allies listed below, there are many different 'Marks' & Variations of these rifles but for now we will deal with the most common

Great Britain / The United States / USSR-Russia / Germany / Italy / Japan

Great Britain

Make: Lee Enfield
Model: No. 4
Calibre: .303 Mk VII Ball
Action: Bolt Action
Magazine: 10 Rounds - Detachable
Predecessor: SMLE

By the late 1930s the need for new rifles grew and the Rifle, No. 4 Mk I was officially adopted in 1941
Unlike the SMLE, the No 4 Lee–Enfield barrel protruded from the end of the forestock
The iron sight line was redesigned and featured a rear receiver aperture battle sight calibrated for 300 yd (274 m) with an additional ladder aperture sight that could be flipped up and was calibrated for 200–1,300 yd (183–1,189 m) in 100 yd (91 m) increments.
The No. 4 rifle was heavier than the No. 1 Mk. III, largely due to its heavier barrel and a new bayonet was designed to go with the rifle: a spike bayonet, which was essentially a steel rod with a sharp point and was nicknamed "pigsticker" by soldiers.
During the course of the Second World War, the No. 4 rifle was further simplified for mass-production with the creation of the No. 4 Mk I* in 1942, with the bolt release catch replaced by a simpler notch on the bolt track of the rifle's receiver.
In the years after the Second World War the British produced the No. 4 Mk 2 (Arabic numerals replaced Roman numerals for official designations in 1944) rifle, a refined and improved No. 4 rifle with the trigger hung forward from the butt collar and not from the trigger guard, beech wood stocks and brass buttplates
With the introduction of the No. 4 Mk 2 rifle, the British refurbished many of their existing stocks of No. 4 rifles and brought them up to the same standard as the No. 4 Mk 2
No. 4 Mk 1 rifles so upgraded were re-designated No. 4 Mk I/2, whilst No. 4 Mk I* rifles that were brought up to Mk 2 standard were re-designated No. 4 Mk I/3

 

 

The United States
   
   
USSR - Russia
   
Germany
   
Italy
   
Japan

Make: Arisaka
Model: Type 99
Calibre: 7.7 x 58mm Jap
Action: Bolt Action
Magazine: 5 Rounds - fixed
Predecessor: Type 38

During the Second Sino-Japanese War in the 1930s, the Japanese soon found that the 7.7mm cartridge being fired by their Type 92 heavy machine gun in China was superior to the 6.5×50mm cartridge of the Type 38 rifle, necessitating the development of a new weapon to replace the outclassed Type 38
The Type 99 was produced at nine different arsenals. Seven arsenals were located in Japan, with the other two located at Mukden in China and Jinsen in Korea.
The IJA had intended to completely replace the Type 38 with the Type 99 by the end of the war. However, the outbreak of the Pacific war never allowed the army to completely replace the Type 38 and so the IJA used both rifles during the war. As the war progressed, more and more cost saving steps were introduced in order to speed up production.
Late war rifles are often called "Last Ditch" or "Substitute Standard" due to their crudeness of finish.
The Type 99 was produced in four versions, the regular issue Type 99 Short Rifle, the Type 99 Long Rifle (a limited production variant) and takedown Type 2 Paratroop Rifle and the Sniper Rifle Type 99.
It utilized a cock-on-closing action, which improved the rate of fire from the standard Mauser cock-on-open design. Also unique is the rifle's safety mechanism, operated by pressing in the large knurled disk at the rear of the bolt with the palm of the hand and rotating it in a 1/8 clockwise turn, which is often misunderstood by Western shooters who are used to the Mauser's thumb lever safety. It featured a quick-release bolt and antiaircraft sights, as well as a sliding bolt cover and monopod.
The Type 99 was the first mass-produced infantry rifle to have a chrome lined bore to ease cleaning. All of these features were abandoned by mid-war.