SOLD FOR: $1750
Make: Chuo Kogyo Co. At Kokubunji Operating Under the Supervision of the Nagoya Arsenal.
Model: Type 94 Nambu
Serial Number: 17640
Year of Manufacture: May, 1941
Caliber: 8mm Nambu
Action Type: Single Action Semi-Auto Pistol with Removable Magazine
Markings: The left side of the frame above the trigger has 3 Japanese characters (model designation). The right side of the frame at the rear is marked with the character Sho and the date “16.5” indicating the 16th year 5th month of Hirohito’s reign, or May 1941, over the symbols for Nambu and the Nagoya Arsenal. The right of the frame above the trigger is marked with the serial number “17640”. The indexing lug of the slide, the left of the bolt, the bottom of the firing pin, left of the barrel lug, bottom of the locking block, and the crossbolt are each marked “640”. The rear of one magazine at the bottom is marked “640” and the other magazine is marked “666” at the same location, each has a small punch-dot above the serial marking and a small Japanese character marked below. There are some other small Japanese inspection marks on the pistol.
Barrel Length: 3 ¾”
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a short post style blade fixed to the top of the slide. The rear sight is a square grooved fixed to the top rear of the frame.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are checkered black bakelite panels. The grips have handling wear with scattered nicks, scratches and scuffs, mostly in the smooth borders. There are tool marks around the grip screws. The checkering is well defined. The thin portions at the top which fit inside the frame and at the bottom which sit under the screw heads have some losses, concealed when the grips are installed and there is a tiny loss at the bottom edge of the right panel toward the front. There are no cracks. The grips rate in Good-plus overall condition.
Type of Finish: Blued, some small parts Strawed
Finish Originality: The finish style and overall appearance of the surfaces indicates Original finish. The character “4” on the left of the frame is incomplete and the character “Nam” on the right is not as clear as we are used to seeing. It is possible that these are poorly struck or struck with damaged dies. Please see photos of these markings.
Bore Condition: The bore is light gray with well defined rifling. There is minor erosion scattered through the bore.
Overall Condition: This pistol retains about 90% of its metal finish. The balance is mostly in scattered minor surface oxidation. There is infrequent minor surface erosion, mostly in a band across the top and sides of the slide and frame just rear of the ejection port. There is some other scattered minor nicks and scratches. The controls show handling wear and the action has light operational wear. The screw heads show tool use with serviceable slots. The markings are clear apart from the two mentioned. Overall, this handgun rates in Very Good-plus condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The slide is tight to the frame. The safety is pushed up for safe and down for fire. 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 brown leather flap-holster and a total of two magazines. The holster has a strap, but it has broken through and is now in two pieces. There is writing in yellow paint on one of the pieces by its clip. The belt-loop is still attached but is frayed and has tears. The holster shows moderate wear and some discoloration, but still retains intact stitching apart from a spot of separation at the muzzle-end. The serial-matching magazine shows minor operational wear, intact feed lips and a strong spring. The other magazine has some scattered surface oxidation on the body, but also has intact feed lips and a strong spring.
Our Assessment: The Type 94 Nambu is an odd-looking pistol but was popular with the Japanese troops because it was smaller and lighter than the Type 14. It was issued to tankers, pilots and others who had to work in cramped quarters. It was originally designed as a military sidearm, and never intended for civilian sales. Like other Nambu pistols, it is chambered for 8mm Nambu. This pistol was made by the Chuo Kogyo company under the supervision of the Nagoya Arsenal in May of 1941, right around the middle of production. By this time, Japan had joined the Axis powers and had been at war on the Chinese mainland for four years. While they were still months from launching their attack on Pearl Harbor, timed to coincide with invasions all across the Pacific and Southeast Asia, they were laying ground work. In March, Japanese spy Takeo Yoshikawa had arrived in Hawaii to begin scouting the American Pacific Fleet, in April the Japanese had signed a Neutrality Pact with the Soviet Union to secure their Northern flank, and in the month this pistol was made, the Japanese had brokered a peace between the Vichy-French and Thailand, conveniently gaining influence and possibly staging locations for later invasions of Burma and Malaya. This pistol comes with a pair of magazines, one of which is serial-matched to the pistol as well as with a leather flap-holster. This pistol is in Very Good-plus condition with about 90% of its finish remaining. There are two markings on the pistol which may have been poorly struck or stuck with damaged dies, but by all other appearances the finish is original. The bore shows signs of use, but still appears shootable. Its year of production means it has higher quality machining and finish than late-war examples, though four years of constant conflict do show in the machine-marks visible in the surfaces of the pistol. It is also nice that all of the serialized parts match, including one magazine! This pistol should be a big hit with the collectors of Japanese weaponry and military weapons used in WWII. Please see our photos and good luck!