There were many odd and ambitious projects during World War II, but none more so than the Arisaka anti-aircraft sights as found on early Arisaka Type 99 rifles.
When talking about early Arisaka Type 99 rifles, you’re talking about high expectations.
What made the main battle rifle of the Japanese Empire during World War II such an ambitious project early on was one feature in particular, the sights. In short, the crazy-winged contraption was meant to tackle the impossible — engaging aircraft.
The idea of knocking an American F6F Hellcat or a B-29 Superfortress out of the sky with a bolt-action seems downright crazy. Of course, when thinking along these lines we’re reflecting on the venerable 7.7x58mm rifle in perfect modern hindsight.
As the above video by You Tube channel C&Rsenal shows — with awesome sound effects, mind you — the Japanese weren’t completely off their rocker with this idea. More than anything, the Empire was guilty of fighting the last war when it conceived the Arisaka anti-aircraft sights.
Even with this in mind, it’s hard to argue the Japanese truly had some soaring aspirations for their riflemen.