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Old 05-06-2007, 09:15 AM   #1
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Howa M1 Carbine

I'm trying to get some information about the rare Howa M1 Carbine. I know they were built for the Thai police force but does anyone know when they were made? And were these carbines built in Tailand or were they built in Japan? I though Howa was a Japanese company...

Thanks
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Old 05-06-2007, 10:00 PM   #2
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I have one of the Howa carbines ser# 0528X. I have read that the Howa M1 Carbine was produced just after WWII by the Japanese manufacturer Howa Machinery. This was done under U.S. supervision and they were issued to the Japanese Self-Defense Forces.

They are a close copy of the US made M1 Carbine and well made. They will take US made Mags. The one I have doesn't have a bayonet lug. The rear sight has the windage knob on the right side of the sight and the whole sight is made narrower than the GI sight. The stock has the M2 selector cut out on the left side and is potbellied. It came with the round M2 bolt and mag release made for the 30 round mags. Safety is the late flip type and the op rod handle is narrow with grooves cut on the foward side. Other than that it looks like a GI carbine. I understand a GI barrel won't fit the Howa as the threads in the receiver are metric.
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Old 05-07-2007, 07:01 PM   #3
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There was also a contract for the Royal Thai Police....
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Old 05-08-2007, 09:26 PM   #4
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Looking at the receiver, foward of the bolt, there appears to be the crest of the Royal Thai Police stamped into the receiver. I don't know what else it could be.

I did find more information on page 721 of "War Baby! Comes Home" Volum 2 by Larry L. Ruth. And I quote: Because of their experience in manufacturing Arisaka model 38 and model 99 bolt-action rifles for the military during WWII under Japanese Imperial contract, the postwar government of Japan licensed the firm of HOWA Machinery, Ltd., of Nagoya, as the exclusive manufacture of rifles, carbines, automatic weapons, and mortars in Japan. HOWA thus produced the major portion of firearms required by the Japanese Self-Defense Forces, including approximately 5,000 military models of the U.S. M1 carbine (picture not available), and appoximately 10,000 sporter models of the M1 for commercial sales. Most of the military models were eventually sent to Australia and Southeast Asia. The military model is marked 'U3M1'. A sporting model, designated as "Cal. .30 A.O.A. HOWA auto-loading rifle model 300", is discussed in Chapter 36. End of quote.
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Old 05-08-2007, 10:05 PM   #5
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The only markings I can find on my HOWA carbine is the Crest and ser#. Not even Made in Japan. I also can't locate any import marks. Oh yes, on the flat portion on the underside of the barrel just foward of the op rod dismount notch are the letters "HP". That's it.
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Old 12-12-2014, 06:03 PM   #6
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Howa M1 Carbine

The Howa was made using parts and plans from U.S. surplus, at the Nagoya Factory for JSDF and Thai Police during the Korean War. They were sold as commercial rifles also. I bought one in the PX, at MCAS Iwakuni, Japan at the end of my tour, I think I paid $125 for it, sold it for $250 in '73, against my better judgement wish I still owned it. It fired quarter coin size groups from a rest at 100 yds. M1 carbine - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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