Nambu World: Showa 12.10 Kokubunji Type 14 Photos

    I got this Showa 12.10 (October, 1937) pistol as part of a collection of six Japanese handguns I bought in March, 2005. It has by far the best finish of any small trigger guard I had seen up to that time. The grips on it were also very nice, but they were the wrong ones: the 17-groove type that was not adopted until Showa 14.10, (October, 1939), two years after this gun was made. Therefore I replaced the grips with a pair that are the proper 25-groove type for the gun. They are not quite as well preserved as the gun's metal, but are pretty decent. Apart from the grips, all the numbers match except for the magazine. This pistol was made by the Kokubunji Factory of Chuo Kogyo, which came into being when Kijiro Nambu's company, Nambu-ju seizosho, merged in 1936. Guns made at Kokubunji are also often called "Nagoya Nambus". Production was supervised by Nagoya Arsenal.

     As you can see here, the left side is also very nice. There is a small chip in the grip on this side near the magazine release button. Usually the left side of a Type 14 is worse than the right, since the left side is the one that is closest to the body and its sweat. However on this one the left side os better than the right. Note that the arc scribed by the safety stops at its proper detent and does not continue down through the grip, as it does on most older Type 14s. The strawing (golden colour from heat treating) is also intact..

  Here are the markings on the right side of the frame. The first symbol means Nagoya Arsenal, which supervised production. The next symbol is the character nan (or nam), short for Nambu, which was the symbol of Kijiro Nambu's company and continued to be used by Chuo Kogyo after the firms merged. The serial number completes the top line. The lower line begins with the character sho, short for Showa, the name of Emperor Hirohito's reign. The date 12.10 means the tenth month of the twelfth year of Emperor Hirohito's reign. The character below the 1 in the date is an inspection marking (the first kanji in the word Tokyo). The serial number and date are not normally white. I applied the colour with a grease pencil to make the markings show up better when the gun is displayed.


This is the model marking ju-yo-nen-shiki, "14 Year Type" or as we would say, "Type 14" This appears on all Type 14s, but the interesting thing on this one is the backwards slant of the characters (note how they tilt to the left). The character yo(n), meaning "four" is the second from the left. Guns made at Kokubunji have a very rounded character yon. Later guns made by the Toriimatsu factory of Nagoya Arsenal use a much squarer character with sharper corners.



    As noted above, the grips are not original to the gun, but they are the correct 24 groove type from a Kokubunji pistol. They show somewhat more wear than the metal on the gun, but their only real defect is this small chip just in front of the magazine release button.


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Last updated: May 25, 2008. All contents are copyright Teri unless otherwise specified and may not be used elsewhere in any form without prior permission.