Showa 14.11 Transitional Type 14 Photos

            This is a very special Type 14. The large trigger guard was introduced in Showa 14.9 (September, 1939) to allow the use of a gloved finger in cold climates. All guns made from then on had large trigger guards, regardless of where they were to see service. Then in 14.12 (December, 1939) they added the magazine retention spring on the lower front of the grip and switched from 25-groove to 17-groove grips. This pistol is one of the approximately 5,750 produced between 14.9 and 14.12 (September and December, 1939) that had the large trigger guard but no magazine retention spring. They are referred to as “transitional” variants, and most retain the 25-groove grips that were used on the older small trigger guard version. I imported this one from the USA along with the Tokyo 4.2. Unfortunately the seller severely overgraded both guns, but I could not return them without incurring large import-export processing fees, so I kept them anyway.


            Here is the left side. At first glance it is not a bad looking piece, although it has patches of pitting and a few minor problems.


            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, Nambu-ju seizosho, 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 14.11 means the eleventh month of the fourteenth year of Emperor Hirohito’s reign (November, 1939). 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. The factory was located at Kokubunji; guns made there are also often called “Nagoya Nambus”.



            Here is the front of the grip, and as you can see there is no magazine retention spring. The spring was added to avoid magazine loss.



            I have found about one-quarter to one-third of Type 14s are very tight. The trigger guard is supposed to slide downwards when things are properly aligned for disassembly, but often it requires some “persuasion”. I use light taps from a non-marking plastic hammer to do this so as not to mar the finish or cause damage to the various notches and recesses involved. Obviously someone somewhere along the way was less discriminating in his choice of tools for moving the trigger guard down.



            The same lack of tact was obviously manifest in the way the trigger guard was moved back up into position (photo taken with un upside down).



            For a reason which I haven’t figured out yet, the barrel doesn’t come forward far enough to be flush with the front of the frame. I have not yet determined whether this was the way this piece was made or whether something happened to it along the way.


            The bolt also seems to protrude a bit out the back even when it has gone all the way forward. Again, this will require some in-depth investigation to diagnose.


            I have no idea why anyone would ever need to remove the trigger pivot pin, but obviously someone did and slightly mangled the pin when replacing it.


           This is also evident from the left side (photo taken with gun upside down). Note the serial number on the trigger itself. Two digits are showing, but actually the last three are stamped into it as well as most other major parts. The gun is matching except for the magazine.


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Last updated: May 18, 2005. All contents are copyright Teri unless otherwise specified and may not be used elsewhere in any form without prior permission.