Rare Japanese Camera Rifle, Used To Train Fighter Pilots During WWII, Pops Up On eBay

Rare Japanese Camera Rifle, Used To Train Fighter Pilots During WWII, Pops Up On eBay
Image: westborncam1 / eBay

Turns out making cameras that look like rifles (or grenade launchers, in this case) was popular back in the day. Take for instance this incredibly hard-to-find Konishoruko Rokuohsha Type 89 “machine gun” variant, which found its way onto eBay for the princely sum of $US4500 ($5549).

According to International Military Antiques, the Type 89 was used to “train gunners on the famed Zero fighter plane”:

A multi-purpose training device, this “gun” is effectively a camera mounted in an oversized housing, suitable for installation in a wing mount or waist-gun emplacement. When the trigger is pulled, the camera runs, with footage being taken of what the gun is aimed at, as well as an optional stopwatch; after landing, the film can be analysed by the trainers for proper lead and burst timing.

At a little over 73cm long, it would certainly feel like you were holding a rifle… or a fighter-mounted machine gun.

Image: westborncam1 / eBay
Image: westborncam1 / eBay
Image: westborncam1 / eBay

While it’d look amazing in anyone’s pool room, $5549 is a lot to ask. But, if you’re really, really into your WWII memorabilia, it’s probably worth it.

[eBay, via PetaPixel]