|blank cell||Arisaka Type 96 Light Machine Gun|
|RATE OF FIRE||20 per round|
|MAGAZINE CAPACITY||30 rounds|
|BASE RANGE||110 yards|
|COMBAT USE: Japanese armed forces|
The Type 96 was based on the Type 11 "Nambu" light machine gun that had been in use with Imperial Japanese forces since 1922. The Type 11 was an effective design hampered by its feed system, a hopper through which were charged five-round stripper clips issued for the Arisaka rifle. This was supposed to allow any infantryman in a squad to feed the machine gun, but also opened the weapon to dust and mud. The Type 96 replaced the hopper with a conventional box magazine, but it retained other odd accessories like a bayonet and a low-powered telescopic sight.
Though the Type 96 was meant to replace the Type 11, both models were fielded throughout the war. Then in 1942, the Type 99 was introduced, which was the same machine gun as the Type 96 but chambered for the new 7.7mm cartridge. All three models saw concurrent service.