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The Ho-103 was a Japanese Army development of the M1921E1, significantly scaled down (roughly halfway between the original and the Browning M1919 in size) and chambered for the same 12.7x81mmSR round as the 12.7mm variant of the Italian Breda-SAFAT machine gun. The M1921E1 was the air-cooled variant of the M1921, and by the early 1930s (by which point the M1921 had become the M1921A1) they were renamed by Colt to MG 53 and MG 52, respectively. The MG 52 and MG 53 would continue to be Colt's commercial guns through to WWII, parallel to the development of what would become the M2 for the US military. As such, the Ho-103 was developed from the commercial version of the gun (M1921E1 / MG 53), and not what was at the time a US-military-specific iteration of the design.
The Ho-103 was later developed into the Ho-5 20mm cannon, scaled back up to basically the same size as the original .50 BMG version.
The Japanese Navy would also produce a Browning derivative, the Type 3, chambered in 13.2x96mm Hotchkiss. The Type 3 appeared late in the war, and as such was only equipped on late-model A6M Zeros and the A7M Reppuu.
The Ho-103 machine gun appears in the following films and video games used by the following actors:
|The Wind Rises||2013|
|The Magnificent Kotobuki||Mounted on fighters and as ground-based AA||2019|
|Luminous Witches||Fumiyo Kawaguchi||Fictional handheld variant||2022|
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