The list of WWII machine guns is long as many countries were manufacturing their own. Nevertheless, a few among them really stand out. So, without further ado, SOFREP presents the best WWII machine guns (and for those keeping track, the list is in no particular order).

Japanese Type 99

The Best WWII Machine Guns

Japanese Type 99 light machine gun. The Type 99 light machine gun (LMG) was used by the Imperial Japanese Army. The design was quite similar to the earlier Type 96, but Type 99 fired the new and more powerful 7.7 mm Arisaka cartridge, replacing the weaker 6.5mm cartridge. This improved its power by over 50 percent. 

The Type 99 Light Machine gun entered service in 1939. It also saw service in the Chinese Civil War, the Korean War, and was even used during the war in Vietnam. 

It weighed 22.9 pounds, had a detachable 30-round box magazine that mounted at the top of the weapon, and the finned gun barrel could be rapidly changed to avoid overheating.

The Type 99 Light Machine Gun had a blade front sight and a leaf rear sight, with graduations from 200 to 1,500 meters, as well as a wind adjustment. A 2.5X telescopic sight with a 10-degree field of view could be attached to the right side of the weapon. The telescopic sights were often issued to the best marksmen in the unit. A standard infantry bayonet could be attached to the gas block below the barrel but was ungainly due to the weight of the weapon and was blocked by the flash suppressor. 

The weapon had a rate of fire between 450 and 500 rounds per minute, with a muzzle velocity of about 2,300 feet per second. The Japanese also produced a compact version for airborne units. This version would be placed in a weapon container that would easily be assembled upon hitting the ground. 

Japanese Type 92: ‘The Woodpecker’

The Japanese Type 99 was one of the best machine guns of WWII.
Japanese Type 99 Light Machine Gun

The Japanese Type 92 heavy machine gun was the standard heavy machine gun for the Japanese Army during World War II.