Showa 19.9 Type 14 Photos

            I got this Showa 19.9 (September, 1944) dated Type 14 as part of a multi-gun deal in March, 2005. It is in pretty good shape overall.


            Here is the left side. One thing that is nice is that it doesn’t have the usual damage to the left grip from rotating the safety lever too far clockwise. The grips are actually in really nice shape, indicating the gun saw little, if any, actual use. There is a bit of a mark on the upper edge of the trigger guard assembly from the safety lever being rotated counter-clockwise, though.


            Here are the markings on the right side of the frame. The first symbol means Nagoya Arsenal. The second symbol, the “square in a circle”, is the katakana phonetic symbol ro. It is the indicator of the Second Series (after 99,999 they attached a phonetic symbol like this in front of the serial number and started in on another series of 99,999). The date 19.9 below translates to September, 1944. The character in front of the date is Sho, short for Showa, the name for Emperor Hirohito’s reign.  The character to the right of the second 9 in the date is an inspection mark. It is a poorly struck na, as in Nagoya. 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. It can be easily removed with some paint thinner and a cloth or Q-Tip. Note the lack of polishing of the surface. Early Type 14s were nicely polished, but this costly attention to cosmetic detail was quickly abandoned as production was ramped up during the war. It made sense to devote limited machine and machinist time to the interior parts that actually affect functioning.


            The magazine number matches the last three digits of the pistol’s serial number, as it should. The dot above it indicates this was the spare mag issued with the gun. The other symbols are inspection marks. The top one is the katakana ri, as in ToRIimatsu, the name of the place where the factory was located. The mark in the lower left just above the base seems to be another poorly struck na as in Nagoya.


            The good news is that the striker is numbered to the gun (088). The bad news is that someone has messed with it. The tip is ground off  and there is grinding on both the tail and the forward portion of the shaft. I am not sure the person who did this was trying to accomplish, although it is quite common for striker tips to have been removed. Many of the US officers who had to authorize the possession of war trophies broke the tips off to “deactivate” them in a misunderstanding of a regulation intended to apply to ordnance like hand grenades. Usually the tip was just snapped off, though, not ground off.


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Last updated: May 26, 2005. All contents are copyright Teri unless otherwise specified and may not be used elsewhere in any form without prior permission.