Ho-103 (12.7 mm)

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The Ho-103 is a variant of the Japanese Type 1 short-recoil operated heavy machine gun. The design was based on the M1921 Browning and chambered for the Italian 12.7x81SR cartridge. Compared to contemporaries such as the M2 Browning, the Ho-103 weighed less but had significantly lower muzzle velocity and projectile mass.

Vehicles equipped with this weapon

Vehicles equipped with this weapon
Fighters  Ki-43: Ki-43-I (Modification) · Ki-43-II · ▃Ki-43-II
  Ki-44: Ki-44-I · Ki-44-II hei · Ki-44-II otsu
  Ki-61: Ki-61-I hei · Ki-61-I ko · Ki-61-I otsu · ▃Ki-61-Ib · Ki-61-I tei · Ki-61-II
  Ki-84: Ki-84 ko
  Ki-100: Ki-100 · Ki-100-II
Twin-engine fighters  Ki-45 ko · Ki-45 otsu

General info

The Ho-103 is the variant of the Type 1 machine gun intended for fixed mounting. It is directly related to the Ho-104; the Ho-104 being intended for flexible mounting.

The action of the Ho-103 was developed from the American M1919/M1921 Browning. It was badly suited for use in a synchronized mounting, reducing the fire rate from 900 to 400 RPM. The Type 1 machine gun (Ho-103/Ho-104) is distinct from the identically named Type 1 machine gun derived from the German MG 15.

Rate of fire: 900 RPM

400 RPM (synchronized)

Weapon mass 23 kg
Muzzle velocity: 780 m/s
Cartridge 12.7x81SR Breda

Available shells

Available belts
Belt type Ammunition Armor penetration (100m, 0°)
Default T - Ball - AP 17 mm
Universal AP - T - IAI - I 17 mm
Air Targets AP - T - IAI 17 mm
Tracers T 8 mm
Stealth AP - IAI 17 mm

AP: Armor Piercing

T: Tracer

I: Incendiary

IAI: Immediate Action Incendiary

Ball: Ballistic (solid shot)

Comparison with analogues

The Ho-103 is one of the weakest aircraft HMGs in War Thunder.

Projectile mass (and thus explosive/incendiary payload) is lower than both the American .50 BMG and the German 13x64B cartridges. Muzzle velocity is slightly higher than the German MG 131, but over 100 m/s lower than the American M2. The low mass and low velocity reduce the effective range of the weapon and increase the necessary angle for bullet drop compensation.

The Ho-103 is nose-mounted and synchronized in many Japanese aircraft, cutting the fire rate in half. The result is a machine gun that fires a weak cartridge with high drop and a short effective range at as little as half the fire rate of its contemporaries.

Usage in battle

  • Due to the low velocity, it is often impractical to use the Ho-103 at anything other than close range
  • The low damage output and (frequently) low fire rate means a sustained burst is generally required to disable a target.
  • The typically low ammunition count of Japanese aircraft using the Ho-103 means that ammunition must be conserved judiciously.
  • The Default and Tracer belts should not be used if possible. The lack of explosive incendiary bullets greatly reduces damage dealt.

Pros and cons

Summarize and briefly evaluate the weaponry in terms of its characteristics and combat effectiveness. Mark pros and cons as a list.


  • The weapon itself is fairly light.
  • The fired 12.7mm rounds consistently do more damage than 7.7mm.
  • The unsynchronized rate of fire is high.


  • Low muzzle velocity.
  • The available shells have comparatively weak payloads.
  • Low synchronized fire rate.


Examine the history of the creation and combat usage of this weapon. If the historical reference turns out to be too big, take it to a separate article, taking a link to an article about the vehicle and adding a block "/ History" (example: https://wiki.warthunder.com/(weapon-name)/History) and add a link to it here using the main template. Be sure to reference text and sources by using <ref>, as well as adding them at the end of the article.


An excellent addition to the article would be a video guide, as well as screenshots from the game and photos.

See also

Links to the articles on the War Thunder Wiki that you think will be useful for the reader, for example:

  • reference to the article about the variant of the cannon/machine gun;
  • references to approximate analogues by other nations and research trees.

External links

Paste links to sources and external resources, such as:

  • topic on the official game forum;
  • encyclopedia page on the weapon;
  • other literature.

Aircraft machine guns
7.62 mm  Browning · M134 Minigun
12.7 mm  M2 Browning · M3 Browning
7.62 mm  MG3
7.92 mm  MG 15 · MG 17 · MG 81
12.7 mm  FN M3P
13 mm  MG 131
7.62 mm  DA · GShG-7.62 · PV-1 · ShKAS
12.7 mm  A-12.7 · Berezin UB · YaK-B
7.62 mm  L8A1
7.7 mm  Browning · Vickers E · Vickers K
7.7 mm  Te-1 · Type 89 · Type 89 'special' · Type 92 · Type 97 navy
7.92 mm  Type 1 · Type 98
12.7 mm  Ho-103 · Ho-104
13 mm  Type 2
13.2 mm  Type 3
7.7 mm  Breda-SAFAT · Lewis
7.92 mm  FN Browning
12.7 mm  Breda-SAFAT · FN M3M · Scotti
7.5 mm  Darne 1933 · Fabrique Nationale Mle 38 · FN Browning · MAC 1934 · MAC 1934T · Mle 33 · Mle 1923
7.62 mm  PKA
7.7 mm  FN-Browning M.36 No.3
8 mm  Ksp m/22 · Ksp m/22 Fh · Ksp m/22 Fv · Ksp m/22-37 R
12.7 mm  Akan m/39A · Akan m/40 · Akan m/45 · LKk/42
13.2 mm  Akan m/39 · Akan m/39A