Nambu World: Showa 14.2 Type 94 Photos

††††††††††† I received this gun in August, 2006. I bought it based on one photo and a very reasonable price. I knew about one flaw when I bought it, but there was one thing I should have seen and didnít, and two more that I could only find out after personally inspecting the gun and taking it apart. Did you spot the two visible flaws? The top of the right grip has a small chip at the front, and the lanyard loop is missing. I knew about the chip but was so excited about the deal I did not notice the missing lanyard loop. Still, it is a nice piece with several strong points and even if I had known about all the flaws I would still have done the deal. Type 94s are so rare in Canada that one cannot be too picky. This was my fifth Type 94 and the earliest one as of the time I received it.


††††††††††† Here is the left side. One flaw that can really only be picked up with an in-person inspection is very fine, mist-like pitting. This often results from condensation-induced rust when a gun is stored unprotected in a damp basement where the temperature fluctuates a lot. It probably looked like the 16.3 date I have before the fine rust was removed with 0000 steel wool.


I got a reproduction lanyard ring from Don Schlickman. Here is the gun with it installed.


A close-up of the loop.


††††††††††† This early gun shows two differences from later ones. First, here is the bottom of the front part of the frame of this 14.2 date (top) and a 16.2 date (bottom). Note the difference in width. The earlier gun had the bottom of the slide and front part of the frame machined in to be slimmer. This cosmetic machine work was dispensed with in later models, apparently starting around Showa 15.4 (April, 1940).


The other difference is in the rear tip of the sear bar. Note here how it is raised to be flush with the thicker upper part of the frame.


††††††††††† On this 16.2 date, the raised part is gone, that part of the frame is now machined to be the same thickness as the lower part, and the sear bar is flush with the lower, thin part of the frame (not the thick upper part as in the photo above). If you have trouble seeing this, just look above the rear part of the safety lever and keep comparing the two photos.


††††††††††† Here is the date. The first character in the upper line is Sho as in Showa, the name of the reign of Emperor Hirohito. Showa 14.2 translates to February, 1939. The symbol in the lower left is the logo of Chuo Kogyo, the successor to the firm founded by Lt. Gen. Kijiro Nambu after he retired. It was the sole manufacturer of Type 94 pistols. The symbol in the lower right is the logo of Nagoya Arsenal, which supervised all Type 94 production. There are traces of fine rust in the markings, especially the Nagoya Arsenal logo. This is always a good thing to check for if examining a gun in person.


Here is the serial number, located on the right side just above the trigger, which is just visible at the bottom of the photo.


††††††††††† This close-up of the left side of the trigger shows several things. Note the straw colouring on the top of the trigger and the barely visible serial number at the very top (606, the last three digits of the pistolís serial number). The characters above the trigger read from right to left: kyu-yon-shiki, or Type 94. The button in the lower right is the magazine release. The little lever that sticks up a bit from the bottom inside of the trigger guard (bottom centre of photo) is the magazine safety. When the magazine is removed, it pivots upwards and prevents rearward travel of the trigger (never rely on mechanical safetiesóalways make sure your gun is unloaded when you handle it by checking the chamber visually after removing the magazine).


††††††††††† One of the strong points of this gun is that the magazineís serial number matches the gun (major parts are serialized with the last three digits of the gunís number. The dot above the serial number means this was the spare magazine issued with the gun. The character below the number is the character To as in Tokyo, which was used as an inspection mark.


††††††††††† When I went to disassemble the gun I noticed a hidden flaw: the firing pin had been replaced with a reproduction. It is shown at the bottom of the photo below, with an original pin on top. I was pretty sure the pin was a repro as soon as I turned the gun over and looked at the rear underside of the bolt to start the disassembly process. The pin was too bright, did not protrude far enough to the rear and had a rounded profile to the rear edge. Also, when the bolt was drawn back, the firing pin tip did not protrude quite the way it should and the tip was not shaped properly. At first I didnít think too much of this, as the firing pin is a weak point on these guns, so it was not unusual for it to have been replaced. However, the poor quality of the reproduction pin caused serious problems in disassembling the gun. Normally you push the firing pin forward and slide the crossbolt out to allow the slide and bolt to separate.However, this was extremely difficult to do on this gun. The rear part of the pin behind the notch for the crossbolt was not long enough to be able to push it easily with a finger, so I had to use a plastic tool to push on it. Also, the notch was not the right shape, as will be shown below, so it was very hard to get the crossbolt out.


††††††††††† Here is the tip of an original firing pin on top with the repro one on the bottom. Not only is the shape wrong, but the spring on the repro is far too stiff. However, the tip of this original firing pin is too large in diameter to fit through the hole in the bolt face, so I canít just swap this one in.


††††††††††† Here you can see part of the problem. The original is on top, the repro on the bottom. The notch for the crossbolt in the repro pin is too shallow and too short. The rear part of the pin behind the notch is too short as well.


††††††††††† From the side you can see how much bigger the notch in the original is. In this photo the original is in front with the repro in back. I have since ordered and installed a repro firing pin from Don Schlickman, who makes excellent stuff. It did need a bit of fitting, as is common with Japanese pistol parts. The spring was not a problem: I have a spare from one of the spring packs made by Wolf Gunsprings.



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Last updated: December 14, 2006. All contents are copyright Teri unless otherwise specified and may not be used elsewhere in any form without prior permission.