I bought this gun to complete a hole in my collection. Although out of date by today's standards this rifle is still in service as a reserve weapon. A shout out goes to Airsoft depot for importing such a unusual specimen.
About the gun
Out of Box Impression
The gun came in a black box with some fancy graphics. The rifle was lighter and smaller than I expected. Inside the box was the rifle, one high-cap magazine and a manual. A lightweight weighing in at 3.3 kg compared instead of 4.4 kg of the real rifle unloaded or compared to the TM Type 89 (3.7 kg). This model owes it's lightness to thin receiver construction.
Initial Chronograph test done on 0.2 gram bbs are as follows:
370 fps, 373 fps, 371.3 fps. Groupings, range and accuracy are about average nothing to write home about here folks.
The rifle is equipped with a quick spring change system.
To use the system, you must first remove the two external Allen screws on the stock. When the stock is removed you will see the exposed spring guide locking screw. The rest should be straight forward.... at least in theory?
Magazine changes are how should I put it........ interesting. It is much like any battle-rifles of the era with magazines that rock into place but with a few quirks.
The Changing of the magazine involves placing the magazine inside the well and rocking it forward until the front part of the magazine catches a hook on the front of the mag well. Next you rock the magazine backwards until it looks in the mag release lever. If done correctly you should hear two clicks and have little front and back play on the magazine. To release the magazine one must hold the magazine release long enough for the magazine to clear the well. (*Easier said than done*)
The Stock and pistol grip are made of real wood with the rest of the gun being made of aluminum alloy with the exception of the trigger guard, and sling mounting points.
The Battery is stored in the stock and accessed by a poorly designed door. Removing the butt plate is a much easier method of accessing the battery. The gun is wired to a mini tamiya connector, shortly replaced by a deans connector (Friends don't let friends use tamiya!)
Bipod and Handguards
The permanently affixed Bipod does have some play to it. It will most likely scratch the paint of the lower hand guard if it hasn't done so in shipping already. The upper hand guard is made of plastic and the lower one is made of aluminum alloy.
Iron sights and optics
The Sights fold away when not used and are fully adjustable. The Small Aperture on the rear sight will cause the user to squint until you look asian.
A scope mount is available on the left side of the receiver and takes M1 Garand scope mounts or the rail mount S&T Makes. This is a imperfect system just like the real McCoy.(see notes)
Fire Control is a knob on the right side of the receiver and is marked in Katakana characters.
ア (A) Safe
タ (TA) Semi Automatic
レ (RE) Full Automatic
The rotary hop-up is accessed by pulling the mock bolt located on the top of the receiver back.
Alright let's get down to the dissection shall we?
The Gearbox is based on V3 with a proprietary shell and nozzle. The trigger group uses a micro-switch with a pivoting bar actuated by the trigger. Compression is mediocre during static test but the chronograph test shows it to be acceptable for now.
Shimming is basically non existent, one shim per side of gear.
Piston is basic Plastic ACM piston not AOE corrected.
The electrical system is rated for 7.2v LIPO or a 9.6v NIMH. Exceeding the rated voltage ie, 11.1 LIPO or 12V NIMH is not recommended without a mosfet installed.
Motor is a basic ferrite short motor, No fancy neodymium here. It is mounted in a proprietary cut down motor cage.
Barrel And Hopup
Barrel is just a standard 500mm brass barrel again nothing to be excited about.
The Hopup chamber is a plastic rotary style, most likely proprietary. No acess is given to the hopup arm. The stock hopup rubber was thin and coated in oil as standard in ACM guns. The stock Nub was a piece of hard plastic. it is neither flat or symmetrical.
-It's not another M4/AK/MP5
-Sonny Chiba approved
-Real wood Full metal
-Quick Spring Change
-Ample Batterys storage
-Thin lower receiver construction
-Light trigger pull (Microswitch)
-Midcap Magazines available
-The most heat shrink tubing I've ever seen, every exposed wire was protected by shrink tube.
-Designed in Japan back when made in Japan was bad
-Difficult reload process
-Hard to use Iron sights that fold away at the worst time.
-Some proprietary parts with dubious after sales support from S&T.
-Expensive Midcap Magazines
*Fire Selector on a Actual Howa Type 64 is pull and turn where as in the TOP and S&T Type 64 it is not.
*Correct Placement of the semi auto setting should be straight down. This seems to be a manufacturer shortcut by TOP and S&T.
*The Front sights folding when you need them is a quirk with the real rifle. When Wearing the Type 66 (M1) Helmet the brim would often knock the rear sight close
*The Unofficial Nickname given to the rifle by the troops is the Nintendo 64
*The JGSDF (Army) troops use Nylon tape (Electrical tape) to wrap various weak points in the rifle as shown in the following training poster.
*The Rifle felt more sturdy after liberal application of electrical tape. It is advisable to tape the bipod shut as it is never used anyway.
*The correct sling for the rifle is a USGI Style M1 Garand sling. The rifle can also take M1 Garand Bayonets.
* Scopes lose zero easily when jarred as they are attached via a single screw.
* The S&T Rail mount will put any optic at a higher point as it needs to clear the bolt.
* Correct scope to use for a DMR setup is M1C/D sniper rifle M84 scope with Cheek raiser.
How the Army dresses up Type 64s. Anything else is airforce or navy style.