CAW Type 89 Knee Mortar

One of the most feared Japanese infantry weapons of WW2 was the Type 89 Heavy Grenade Discharger (hachi kyu shiki ju tekidant). Allied soldiers gave it the nickname “knee mortar”. This nickname was misleading and dangerous. Allied soldiers who tried to fire captured launchers by placing the curved baseplate on their knee or thigh got seriously injured. The recoil is strong enough to break bones! The launcher was meant to be fired by placing it on solid ground. The Type 89 filled the gap between a hand thrown grenade and a “real” mortar and was very accurate. It could fire the 50mm Type 89 Shells or regular Type 91 hand grenades when those were fitted with a special booster. It’s small size and light weight made it easily portable.

CAW made a nice looking airsoft replica of this famous weapon. The knee mortar is made from Metal with a good quality ABS barrel and uses 40mm cartridges. All the details are there, even serial numbers and 1942 production markings. Only the weight is substantially different CAWs Type 89 weights about 2,5kg while a real one is about 4,7kg. You can shoot the Type 89 in two ways: horizontal like a regular airsoft launcher or from the ground like a real mortar.

If you want to shoot the Type 89 like a regular launcher you drop a cartridge in the barrel, fix it in place and fire by pulling the trigger (of course this works from the ground as well). If you want to fire mortar style you first have to push the firing pin in the correct position. Then you simply drop the cartridge in the barrel and once it hits the bottom… off it goes!

The horizontal method is of course unrealistic looking but it works with regular BB cartridges. The mortar method does not work with BBs (except if there is somebody above you ;-)) apparently it works very nice with Madbull soft rubber cartridges.

Of course it is more a cool looking gimmick then a full fledged and playable airsoft gun. Can be great though for milsims involving the soft rubber cartridges or as a last resort CQB weapon when the Marines try to take your pillbox 😯

This knob is used to fix the cartridge in place. On a real Type 89 it is used to adjust the range.

The trigger, pull it back to fire

Close up of the serial number and production markings

~ by m1pencil on July 25, 2010.

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