Make: This pistol was made at the Kokubunji factory of Nambu/Chuo Kogyo under the supervision of the Nagoya arsenal.
Model: Type 94 Nambu
Serial Number: 4998
Year of Manufacture: February 1942
Caliber: 8mm Nambu
Action Type: Single Action, Semi-Automatic Pistol with 6-Round Removable Magazine
Markings: The right side of the frame is marked with the Japanese symbol for “Showa” and “17.2” for February 1942. Above this is the symbol for the Nagoya arsenal (upside down figure 8) followed by the character for “NAM” (the Nambu/Chuo Kogyo factory at Kokubunji), followed by the First Series symbol (upside down Y in a circle) and the serial number “4998”. The left side of the slide has three Japanese characters. The left side of the trigger, the front face of the cocking knob and the top of the bolt just in front of it are marked “998”. The bottom of the front face of the cocking knob is also marked with a Japanese symbol.
Barrel Length: 3 11/16”
Sights / Optics: The front sight is an inverted “V” blade fixed to the barrel. The rear sight is a square notch in the top of the frame.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are walnut with horizontal serrations. The right grip shows only a few light marks. The left grip shows a compression mark in the middle of the serrations. The grips rate in about Fine condition.
Type of Finish: The pistol is blue with a straw colored trigger.
Finish Originality: The finish is original. There are scratches under the finish around the front sight and tool marks under the finish on the frame that are normal for wartime finishes.
Bore Condition: The bore is bright and the rifling is sharp. There is no erosion in the bore.
Overall Condition: This handgun retains about 97% of its metal finish. There is thinning at the front of the barrel, the front edges of the receiver and frame, on the tops of the front and rear sights, on the knurling of the cocking knob and the serrations of the safety. There are also two marks through the finish on the underside of the barrel, two marks through the finish and a spot of thinning on the trigger guard and two deep scratches through the finish on the left side of the receiver from the safety. The left grip screw is disfigured. The markings are clear. Overall, this handgun rates in about Excellent condition.
Mechanics: The action works correctly. The pistol has a magazine safety disconnect. We did not fire this handgun.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: This pistol comes with a total of one magazine. The magazine has no finish remaining and has an aluminum bottom piece. The magazine shows very light pitting along its rear edge and tiny compression marks in the bottom piece. The lower back surface is marked with “8”, “32”, “8” and “876”. Overall, the magazine is in about Very Good condition.
Our Assessment: The Nambu Type 14 was built between 1925 and 1945 for the armed forces. Almost all of the Japanese pistols and revolvers used unique cartridges. The 8mm Nambu is 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. This is a Kokubunji built Nambu First Series Type 14 pistol with the large trigger guard, which was the standard after Sept. 1939. This pistol is in about Excellent condition with 97% of its finish remaining. The finish shows thinning on the edges, a few light marks and scratches from the safety. The wood shows a compression mark in the middle of the serrations in the left grip. The bore is bright with sharp rifling. The serial numbers are matching on the frame, cocking knob, trigger and bolt, but the magazine is mismatched. This is a great find for a collector of WWII or Japanese weapons, as you won’t find very many with such a nice original finish condition with matching numbers and a bright, sharp bore.