Nambu Pistol

The Nambu pistol was a semi-automatic pistol used by the Imperial Japanese Army and Navy during the First and Second World Wars. The pistol had two variations, the Type A (also called the Type 4), and the Type 14.The Nambu was never officially adopted by the Japanese military as officers were expected to purchase their own pistols. The pistol was made available to officers at the Officers Union, where most officers purchased equipment. It was the most common side arm of the Japanese armed forces, but many officers could, and did purchase more reliable western sidearms.Most of the pistols were produced by the Tokyo Arsenal with a smaller number manufactured by the Tokyo Gas and Electric company. Large scale production began in 1906 and continued until it was replaced by the Type 14 in 1925. Production of Type 14s lasted until the end of World War II in 1945. Total production numbers are estimated at just under 200,000 for all variants. Most detailed production records were destroyed in the war.The pistol was removed from service when Japan was disarmed after World War II. Many were taken home by Allied Servicemen after World War II. Many have found their way into collectors markets in America and western Europe.

Nambu Pistol
Class Manportable
Type Handguns
Manufacturer Kijiro Nambu
Origin Japan
Country Name Origin Year
Japan 1902
Country Name Operational Year Retirement Year
Japan View
ManufacturerName Production From Production To Quantity
Kijiro Nambu View

The origin of the Nambu pistol series goes back to a design by Lieutenant General Kijiro Nambu. General Nambu claimed the design originated with experimentation during the "30 year Automatic Pistol Plan" of 1897 in Japan. It is probable that the pistol series was influenced by the Mauser C96, after a Japanese commission toured Europe and reported recent developments. The first Nambu type known as the Type A was completed in 1902. The Type A underwent trials with the Imperial Japanese Army but was never formally adopted. Many Original Type As were sold commercially to China and Siam. Coinciding with British customs, Japanese army officers were expected to purchase their own side arms. The Nambu Type A Modified pistol was adopted by the Imperial Japanese Navy in 1909 and the Thai Army in the 1920s.

Most of the Type A Modified and Type B Nambu pistols were produced by the Tokyo Arsenal with a few pistols being produced by the Tokyo Gas and Electric Company. The Type 14 Nambu was produced by the Nagoya Arsenal in either Nagoya's Atsuta or Toriimatsu factories.

Weight - 900 g (1.98 lb) unloaded

Length - 230 mm (9.06 in)

Barrel length - 117 mm (4.61 inches)

Width - 720 g

Cartridge - 8x22mm Nambu

Caliber - 8 mm

Action - recoil-spring

Feed system - 8 round box magazine

End notes