Showa 18.9 Type 14 Photos


            I got this one in June, 2004. It is a Nagoya Arsenal, Toriimatsu factory First Series. There are only traces of bluing left, but the gun is mechanically excellent and all matching including the magazine (except for the striker). It also had the wrong striker and striker spring guide and a broken striker spring when I got it. The gun was supposed to be gminth, but when I got it and saw the condition I contacted the seller and we worked out a deal. He was a real gentleman about it, so I emerged happy from the transaction even if the gun is far from a museum-quality specimen.



Here is the left side.


Here is a close-up of the date and serial number. The symbol on the far left of the top row is the Nagoya Arsenal symbol. The other mark that looks like an upside-down y in a circle indicates that this is part of the so-called gfirst seriesh. The Japanese didnft want serial numbers with more than five digits, so when they had used up or at least allocated 99,999, they added a katakana symbol from their syllabary (like an alphabet) in front of the serial number and started the number series again. The gupside down yh, usually transliterated as gih and pronounced geeh, is the first symbol in the traditional gi-ro-hah katakana order. The term gfirst seriesh really means gfirst series after the original set of numbers was used uph. When the Toriimatsu factory started up Type 14 production in late 1941, they began counting from 50,000 in the first series for rather complicated historical reasons. When they reached 99999 in this first series, they began the so-called second series with a different marking (see photo galleries of later pistols for examples). The five digits to the right of the series mark are the serial number. Below on the far left is the kanji character Sho, short for Showa, the name of Emperor Hirohitofs reign. The digits 18.9 indicate that it was made in the 9th month of the 18th year of Hirohitofs reign, i.e. September, 1943. To get a Western-style date (AD or CE), add 1925 to the Showa date). The weakly struck character to the right of the 9 in the date is an inspection mark, na, the first kanji character in Nagoya.



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Last updated: August 1, 2004. All contents are copyright Teri unless otherwise specified and may not be used elsewhere in any form without prior permission.