SOLD FOR: $1525
Make: Tokyo Arsenal
Model: Modified 1902 Nambu Type, “Papa Nambu”
Serial Number: 6370
Year of Manufacture: 1906-1923
Caliber: 8mm Nambu
Action Type: Striker-Fired Semi-Auto Pistol fed by Removable Magazine
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 “6370”. The serial number is also marked on the inside of the right grip panel, the bottom of the barrel assembly’s front lug, the locking block, the recoil spring guide, and bolt. The ejector and the bottom of the rear sight arm are each marked “370”. The inside of the left grip panel is marked “6372”, the front face of the cocking knob is marked “6355”, the striker spring guide is marked “6355” and the magazine is marked “2364”. The only characters we can see on the magazine release are “637” and the only character we can see on the trigger guard assembly is “6”. The top of the chamber ring is marked with a Tokyo Arsenal stacked cannonballs symbol. There are Japanese characters stamped at the bottom of the backstrap.
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. The grips have light handling wear. There are a few scattered nicks, scuffs and scratches, most notable on the left panel at the top. There are some scattered spots of light-colored residue in the well defined checkering. There are no chips or cracks. The right panel has very minor play to the frame. Overall, the grips are in Very Good condition as partially not original to the gun.
Type of Finish: Blued & Strawed
Finish Originality: Original to the parts, some parts are not original to the frame (see Markings section).
Bore Condition: The bore is semi-bright with well define rifling. There is some scattered light erosion in the bore.
Overall Condition: This handgun retains about 85% of its metal finish. The balance is mostly in surface erosion, most notable in the grip areas but with some scattered along the top of the frame and barrel. Otherwise, the finish is generally strong with some handling wear on the trigger, light operational wear, tool marks around the sear-bar retainer and light operational wear. The screw heads show erosion and tool use but retain strong slots. The markings are clear. Overall, this pistol is in about Very Good condition as not all-parts original.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. 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: This pistol comes with a single 8-round magazine. The magazine shows operational wear and some scattered minor erosion, with intact feed lips and a strong spring, in Good-plus condition.
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 some replacement parts, but the major components share a serial number and the pistol has strong mechanics. The pistol is in about Very Condition with a decent bore, light operational wear, and some erosion on the barrel and frame. This will make a nice addition to a Japanese small arms collection. Please see our photos and good luck!