Showa 19.11 Type 14 Photos

            I got this 19.11 dated Toriimatsu factory pistol in August, 2004. A friend saw it for sale at a gun show in Edmonton along with an 11.1 Kokubunji Type 14,  a 18.6 Toriimatsu Type 14, a JMCH Type IV holster, RCBS 8mm Nambu dies and some brass and bullets for an attractive price.  I drove up to Edmonton the next day and bought the whole lot.  The gun is all matching including the magazine and is in the best shape of the three. Note the slab grips with no grooves. The grooves were eliminated to speed up production (previous Toriimatsu pistols usually had 24 grooves). This was one of the first five hundred or so pistols to get the new slab grips, which were introduced in November, 1944 (Showa 19.11). Unfortunately the right grip was split up the middle and repaired. These grips have a tendency to split in that way as the contouring on the interior makes them thin there and one can tighten the grip screw too much. The grips are original and numbered to the gun (last four digits of the serial number).


            The left grip also as a small chip or scrape in the surface above the magazine release button. It’s hard to see how this would happen unless someone were using a tool to hold the magazine release button in and it slipped. The rest of the gun shows fairly rough machining as the standards of finish declined to speed up production.


            The markings in the top row identify the pistol as a Nagoya Arsenal, Toriimatsu factory, second series pistol. The top row starts with the Nagoya Arsenal symbol. The Toriimatsu factory was the only one making Type 14s at that time. The second symbol just in front of the serial number that looks like a square in a circle is the katakana ro, the second “letter” of the Japanese “alphabet”, indicating that this is the second series. After using up all the five digit serial numbers the Japanese started again for another 99,999 with the first letter of their alphabet in front (see my 18.6 and 18.9 for pictures) and then again for another 99,999 with the second letter of their alphabet in front, as shown here. The second row shows the date as Showa 19.11, i.e. November, 1944. Just above and to the right of the last one in the date is a kanji na, the first syllable in Nagoya. It is an inspection mark. Note that the numbers in the serial number and date are not properly aligned, with the last one especially out of sync. Less attention was paid to such details as the war took its toll.


                        This close-up of the right side of the trigger guard shows an example of the rougher machining that shows up on later Japanese handguns. Note the irregular and rough machining where the trigger pin has been machined “flush” with the guard (just above and to the right of where the trigger disappears into the guard). Compare that to the next photo of the same thing on my 18.6 date (June, 1943).


                        Here is that same spot on my 18.6. Note how much smoother and rounder the machining is, though even this wouldn’t earn the machinist any gold medals for workmanship. On some even earlier pistols it’s hard to find the spot.



Here is the trigger guard, where you can see all kinds of chatter and roughness from using tools that are too loose and/or not sharp enough. Fortunately things like this don’t affect functionality and the man to whom it was issued probably never even noticed.


This shows chatter on the right side of the frame, probably from using tools that are too loose.


Same thing on the left side.

Click here to go back to the Type 14 Photo Gallery: t14gallery.htm 

Click here to go back to the main page: jhg.htm

Last updated: August 21, 2004. All contents are copyright Teri unless otherwise specified and may not be used elsewhere in any form without prior permission.