Japanese MURATA Type 13 (M.1880)

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GENERALLY:   The Murata Type 13 (M1880) (13th Year) was Japan's first attempt at a home designed, home produced standard infantry rifle.  It  designation, Type 13, comes from being formally introduced in the 13th year of the Meiji Restoration.  Designed by Maj. Tsuneyoshi Murata, it borrowed heavily from the Europeon rifles then in regular service, principally the M1871 Dutch Beaumont the M1874 French Gras and, to a lesser extent, the M1871 German Mauser.  Like the Beaumont, the Type 13's large bolt handle is hollow and contains a conventional flat spring which drives the firing pin.  It differes from the Beaumont in the spring's mounting and assembly, (the retaining screw is on the end of the bolt handle rather than through it's face) but operates  identically.  Like the Beaumont, Gras and Mauser,  it's long bolt handle and guide rib lock forward of the split receiver and act as the rifle's sole locking lug.  The bolt head further borrows its operation directly from the Beaumont-Gras-Mauser methods.  Interestingly enough, however, the system of bayonet mount for a sabre bayonet rather than a socket type, is more closely related to the British Martini-Henry system of the lug being mounted on the formost barrel band rather than being welded to the barrel itself.  Like the Gras, the Type 13 has no safety nor ejector and spent cases are cleared by either tipping the rifle or manually flipping it out of the receiver with a finger.  The Type 13 was shortly supplemented by the improved (but not basically changed) Murata Type 18 (M1885).

PHOTO:  The rifle shown is a Murata Type 13 (M1880).

DISTINGUISHING CHARECTERISTICS:   The bolt is retained by a screw mounted lug on the top of the bolt, very similarly to the I.G. Mod 71 Mauser and its successor the Mod 71/84 Mauser.  This feature was abandoned in the Murata Type 18 (M1885).

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Notice the screw-retained bolt retainer lug on the forward part of the bolt

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view of the top of the bolt with bolt cover screw removed showing the end of the striker mainspring in the hollow bolt.
Clearly borrowed directly from the M1871 Dutch Beaumont

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Page first sketched out January 27, 1999.
Fully revised August 26, 2008

Updated: Nov 5, 2021