SOLD FOR: $1669
Make: Tokyo Arsenal
Model: Modified Nambu Type, “Papa Nambu”
Serial Number: 5898
Year of Manufacture: 1906-1923
Caliber: 8mm Nambu
Action Type: Striker-Fired Semi-Auto Pistol fed by Removable Magazine (no magazine included)
Markings: The left side of the frame has two Japanese characters for “Army Type” (though this model was not adopted by the Japanese army). The right side of the frame has three Japanese characters for “Nambu Type” over the serial number “5898”. The serial number is also marked on the locking block and bolt. The bolt’s grasping knob is marked “898”. The inside of the right grip panel is marked “1032”, the inside of the left is marked “4711”. The top of the chamber ring is marked with a Tokyo Arsenal symbol.
Barrel Length: 4 3/4”
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a blade dovetailed into a base on the barrel. The rear sight is a “V”-notch tangent sight marked from 1-5 in hundreds of meters.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are two-piece checkered wood. Each panel’s hole for the magazine release is over-sized from wear and/or losses. The panels are alternately proud and shy to the frame with a few small losses at edges. The left panel has a shim at the top. There are scattered nicks, scuffs and scratches. There are no cracks. Overall, the grips are in about Good condition as not original to the gun.
Type of Finish: Blued
Finish Originality: Refinished
Bore Condition: The bore is gray and the rifling is well defined. There is scattered erosion in the bore.
Overall Condition: This handgun retains about 97% of its current metal finish. The finish is generally strong throughout with a few scattered light nicks and minor operational wear. There is scattered light erosion and pitting under the finish. The screw heads are tool marked with strong slots. The screw heads are tool marked with strong slots. The markings are clear with soft edges. Overall, this pistol is in about Good-plus condition as refinished.
Mechanics: The magazine release appears a little bit sticky, we do not have a magazine to properly test function. Otherwise, the action functions correctly. The barrel assembly has minor play to the frame. We did not fire this handgun. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: None. Please note, no magazine is included.
Our Assessment: This is a Modified Type A Nambu, termed the “Papa Nambu” by American collectors. The pistol has slight improvements over the original “Grandpa” Nambu and was built between 1906-1923. Interestingly, these pistols were marked “Army Type”, but were never accepted by Japanese army, though they did see use by the Navy. It is chambered for the 8mm Nambu, a bottleneck cartridge that pushes a 102 gr. bullet at a little over 900 fps and has approximately the same power as a .380 ACP cartridge. The pistol has been refinished, but the serialized metal parts we could inspect were matching, the grips have been replaced. The pistol is in about Good-Very Condition as refinished, retaining nearly all of its new finish, a decent bore, and strong mechanics apart from the magazine release which is a little sticky. This will make a nice addition to a Japanese small arms collection. Please see our photos and good luck!