Howa Machinery, Ltd. (豊和工業株式会社, Hōwa Kōgyō Kabushiki-gaisha) is a Japanese machinery manufacturer. The company is known internationally for their production of military and civilian firearms.[4] However, they also manufacture products such as machine tools, sweeping vehicles and windows and doors.[3]

Howa Machinery, Ltd.
Native name
Public (K.K)
Traded asTYO: 6203
NAG: 6203
FoundedFebruary 9, 1907; 112 years ago (1907-02-09)
Key people
Takahiro Tsukamoto
RevenueIncrease JPY 22.3 billion (FY 2018)
(US$ 202 million)
Increase JPY 1.1 billion (FY 2018)
(US$ 10 million)
Number of employees
849 (consolidated, as of March 31, 2019)
WebsiteOfficial website
Footnotes / references


The Toyoda's Loom Works, Ltd. (豊田式織機株式会社) was established by Sakichi Toyoda in February, 1907. In 1941, Toyoda's Loom Works merged with Showa Heavy Industries (昭和重工業株式会社, established in 1936 to produce rifles, artillery shells and airplane parts) and was renamed Howa Heavy Industries, Ltd. (豊和重工業株式会社).[5] The company was renamed to its current name at the end of World War II and restarted manufacturing textile machinery.

Weapon manufacturingEdit

Military useEdit

Toyoda's Loom Works began manufacturing armaments in 1932.[5]

During World War IIEdit

Since 1940, Howa has been heavily involved in the Japanese armaments industry, and was involved in manufacturing the famous Arisaka rifle series including Type 99 rifle, parts of Type 38 rifle, artillery pieces, airplane parts, and ammunition.[5] Many of their World War II-era weapons are highly sought after collectors' items.

Post WWIIEdit

Howa created a copy of the US M1 Garand and the M1 carbine for the Japanese Self Defense Forces during the early days of the Cold War, with the following manufactured for JGSDF use:

During the early 1970s, Howa produced the AR-18 and AR-180 5.56mm assault rifle as a license from Armalite Inc. of Costa Mesa, California,[11] which marketed the rifle to various military forces. Japanese government restrictions on the sales of military small arms to foreign countries eventually forced Howa to cease production of the AR-18/AR-180, moving production back to Armalite.[12]

Civilian useEdit

Howa has produced a long line of civilian hunting and target practice rifles in a range of calibers. Howa manufactures components for other firearm companies such as Mossberg, Smith & Wesson, and Weatherby.

Model 1500Edit

The Howa M1500 is available in sporting, varmint and heavy barrel configurations, and are available in the U.S. from Legacy Sports International.[13] In Canada, various retails stock Howa rifles, including Prophet River, Cabela's, and North Pro Sports. In the UK Highland Outdoors imports the Howa Rifles.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Company Information". Howa Machinery. Retrieved May 16, 2019.
  2. ^ "About the company". Financial Times. Retrieved May 16, 2019.
  3. ^ a b "Company Profile". Nikkei Asian Review. Nikkei Inc. Retrieved May 16, 2019.
  4. ^ Stephen Martin (July 16, 2014). The Economics of Offsets: Defence Procurement and Coutertrade. Taylor & Francis. p. 192. ISBN 978-1-317-83665-0.
  5. ^ a b c "Our History (Howa Machinery Firearms Dept.)".
  6. ^ a b David Westwood (2005). Rifles: An Illustrated History of Their Impact. ABC-CLIO. pp. 369–370. ISBN 978-1-85109-401-1.
  7. ^ "Howa Type 64 7.62 mm automatic rifle (Japan), RIFLES". Archived from the original on September 16, 2008. Retrieved July 29, 2008.
  8. ^ "Howa Type 89 - Infantry Weapons". Retrieved July 29, 2008.
  9. ^ "Exhibision (sic) of Equipments". Japanese Ground Self-Defense Forces. Archived from the original on March 13, 2012. Retrieved February 16, 2012.
  10. ^
  11. ^ "The 5.56 X 45mm: 1967". Archived from the original on October 10, 2008. Retrieved January 27, 2009.
  12. ^ "The 5.56 X 45mm: 1968-1969". Archived from the original on October 10, 2008. Retrieved January 27, 2009.
  13. ^ "Legacy Sports' Howa Page". Legacy Sports. Archived from the original on December 26, 2008. Retrieved January 27, 2009.

External linksEdit