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Making the Japanese Type 99 Magazine

An opportunity has come about to possibly buy a Japanese Type 99 Nambu light machine gun. Years ago I owned one and enjoyed shooting it. I still have ammo and reloading equipment and kind of always wanted to obtain another. The problem with Japanese machine guns is the lack of spares and magazines. I bring this up because there are no magazines for the gun that might be available and it is missing a few small parts. Luckily though I have a friend who owns a Type 99 with one magazine. So a deal was struck. Let me borrow the magazine and the parts I need to make and I will make him a few magazines as well.Now with the magazine in hand it is time to get down to brass tacks. The first order of business is to study the magazine closely.

IMG_0001 (2)sThis allow me to determine how it was made.

After the examination was complete it was time for picture taking. A hundred pictures or so later…

IMG_0002 (2)s

IMG_0004s

IMG_0031sThese are just a few.

Then a set of drawings were roughed out so I could make a solid model. This is the start of that model.Assem1This gives me the two halves of the magazine. The next order of business will be to design the feed lips. That will be in the next day or so depending on work load.

41 comments to Making the Japanese Type 99 Magazine

  • ESK

    About time someone made a quality “stamped” repo Type 99 Magazine. I’d like to see the progression of your project.

  • Alphawolf45

    So how was it made? don’t see a weld seam. soldered?

  • Very curious to see the progression on this one. I’ve no personal interest in this gun, but sure as heck want to know how you’re going to make a magazine from scratch.

  • You should have had the mag scanned and then you would have a highly accurate 3D model. You could prototype the model with a 3D printer and then you can finish the final from that. Friend designed and prototyped Swiss rifle mags that way.

  • Cool project. The magazine looks surprisingly expensive to produce – that looks like machined feed lips?

  • Chuck

    About time someone made a quality “stamped” repo Type 99 Magazine.
    I hope that this project will produce a quality item, that is my intent.

  • Chuck

    “So how was it made? don’t see a weld seam. soldered?”

    This is an interesting magazine. The two halves are spot welded together. The top of the magazine has a sheet metal wrapping that looks to be a pressing. Then the collar is welded and spot welded to the body.. I think that the magazine was put together with a combination of spot welding, welding and soldering.
    When we start making them I am going to find out.

  • Chuck

    “Cool project. The magazine looks surprisingly expensive to produce – that looks like machined feed lips?”

    I think that the final step in the production of the magazine was to machine the rear of the feed lips. By the way I like your site.

  • Chuck

    “You should have had the mag scanned and then you would have a highly accurate 3D model. You could prototype the model with a 3D printer and then you can finish the final from that”

    I have tried scanning in the past, it was just easier to measure in this case. We are going to do a 3D print of the magazine prior to making the stamping dies.

  • Chuck

    “Very curious to see the progression on this one. I’ve no personal interest in this gun, but sure as heck want to know how you’re going to make a magazine from scratch.”

    Making magazines seems to be one of the BLACK ARTS in the gun trade. I hope to change that.

    • Chris Bailey

      For whatever reason, it seems that mags are exceptional intimidating for most people. You see plenty of people build nice guns from the ground up, but almost no one is willing to design or manufacture their own mags. They instead go for an off the shelf part.

      There are good reasons for this, of course. Its really easy to make a poor quality mag, and we have ended up with a Korean knock-off of something that doesn’t work. The required dies, welding, spring tension, feed lips, and follower designs are all somewhat difficult to make or design. Keep in mind, people were making whole guns for quite a long time before the magazine came out. Even then, the mags were so hard to make that they were often designed to be detachable, but not replaceable.

      I’ll be interested in seeing this as well. Keep the posts coming, please.

  • Chuck

    “For whatever reason, it seems that mags are exceptional intimidating for most people. You see plenty of people build nice guns from the ground up, but almost no one is willing to design or manufacture their own mags. They instead go for an off the shelf part.

    There are good reasons for this, of course. Its really easy to make a poor quality mag, and we have ended up with a Korean knock-off of something that doesn’t work. The required dies, welding, spring tension, feed lips, and follower designs are all somewhat difficult to make or design. Keep in mind, people were making whole guns for quite a long time before the magazine came out. Even then, the mags were so hard to make that they were often designed to be detachable, but not replaceable.”

    I agree with your assessment on magazine making. Even on my trips to gun manufactures they seem to not allow you access to there magazine making departments. So everything here is self taught and reverse engineered.
    One of the major reasons for me to study the design and manufacturing of magazines is to all me to make mags that no longer are available. Mannlicher M1910 pistol, Dreyse 32acp carbine to name a few.

  • Don

    Put me down for at least one if they are to be manufactured for sale.

  • Jacob

    I have two original Type 99 LMG mags for sale. Email me at:drjakobe@gmail.com
    I even have the pouch that comes with it.

  • MIKE TRUESDELL

    I HAD AN OUT OF BATTERY FIRING WITH MY 99 LMG WHICH DAMAGED MY MAGAZINE. I REPAIRED IT BUT ITS NOT PERFECT.THE INTERNALS ARE FINE. COULD I BUY THE HOUSING IF YOU MAKE THAT?I WOULD PREFER TO TALK BY PHONE, 5736415511

    • Chuck

      When we get back to the magazine project I will be more then happy to sell you the housing. I need to finish the VG1-5 first.

  • Sandra Marshall

    Did you ever get these magazines made, and would you happen to have one for sale?

  • Rob

    Did you go forward on this project? Would be interested in some magazines if you did.

  • LeGrand

    I have a 99 mag for sale

  • Sackett

    LeGrand, could you please give a call, when you have a chance? Thank you

    Best regards,
    Scott
    Rocky Mountain Gunsmithing
    (406)202-2484

  • Gorgon

    Hello LeGrand:

    Did you find a buyer for your mag? I’m interested in purchasing it if it’s still available.

    Direct Email: titantriggersNOSPAM@gmail.com

    Remove NOSPAM from email.

    Thanks!

  • Louis Jurney

    Looking for type 99 machine gun mag. Please call me at. 601-842-1557 leave message if not available and I will get right back with you thanks.

  • bill

    looking for type 99 magazine in excellent condition. 406-490-5175

  • IPS

    Interested in one or more Jap type 99 magazines, either original or well made copies. Also interested in a 7.62×39 conversion unit. sales@(REMOVETHIS)internationalpolicesupply.net Thanks in advance.

    • Sandra Marshall

      I need a magazine for the type 99 also. Would appreciate it if anyone would let me know if you find some. Thanks!

      • I have found a local guy who is a whiz in his machine shop. I was explaining the “needing a Jap99″ magazine situation to him, and the basis of what we are needing. He said that if I can get the plans for it to him, he would be able to easily make some.. Problem is, I do not have the plans!!!!!!

  • Rob

    I am looking for a type 96 magazine…. Any leads, please email at rs_ross at hotmail.com

    Thanks,
    Rob

  • Fleming

    Looking for type 99 LMG magazine. Also would like pictures of all 6 sides of one. You can get in touch at furniture4utfyh@yahoo.com

  • nick

    I have a T99 LMG mag available. Email me at:

    titantriggersNOSPAM@gmail.com

    Remove “NOSPAM” from email.

  • Hello,
    I am the administrator of the Army Museum of South Australia. We have a 99 on display in our museum but it does not have a magazine. Please let me know if you produce any of these replicas for sale as we would like to buy one for our gun.

    Kind regards
    Danee Davis

  • I am the Director of Restoration at the Pueblo Weisbrod Aircraft Museum and also have been looking for a couple of magazines for our 99. We have an original Japanese Infantry Uniform and have a gentleman willing to donate original pouches for the type 99 magazines, if we can get the originals! As a donation ran and all volunteer Museum we do not have the $199.00 to $299.00 that seems to be the asking price. So if we can maybe all get together and all interested parties on here buy at least one, will the cost go down to be reasonable enough for us all to get at least one? (this is going out to the guy I spoke to who said he would build one for a fee)
    Also, if anyone is interested in helping out our Museum get a F15C, we have a GoFundMe page to help us pay for transporting the plane (It is going to be somewhere like $65,000.00!!!– https://www.gofundme.com/F15C-move-to-PWAM

  • Don

    What’s the good word on those Japanese T-99 magazines?

  • Rick

    Hi Chuck,
    Any progress on this? I think if I had a sample we could make these. Might be like the type I buttstock from hogout instead of a stamping and so yes, expensive…. But if it looked right and worked….. Another project we don’t really need but there is a limited need for these isn’t there?

    Rick

  • Jerry L Loomer

    I interested in your type 99 machine gun mag, are your die stamps for sale?
    Contact at jerrylmr@yahoo.com

  • Lee Fikes

    Any of these for sale yet? Thanx.

  • Kyle Riley

    My father just purchased a Jap 99 and is looking for a magazine. Repro or original as long as it fits. He is just displaying it.

    Thanks kyleriley81@yahoo.com

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