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Prized Possession: Nambu Type 94

Discussion in 'Handgun Discussion' started by cascadianliberty2012, Apr 26, 2013.

  1. cascadianliberty2012

    cascadianliberty2012 DPR Portland Well-Known Member

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    I thought I would share some pictures of one of my most prized possessions, my Nambu Type 94. I was given this by my Grandfather (who will be 93 in August) who served as a USMC Officer in the WWII Pacific. This weapon was acquired by him off a fallen Japanese Officer when fighting on Okinawa. As many of you know, these were the standard sidearm for Japanese Officers later in the war and are known as one of the most dangerous weapons to have been issued to combat personnel. The danger comes from the exposed trigger bar which (when loaded) will cause the weapon to discharge if pressed. This was especially an issue when holstering and caused many self-inflicted injuries to those who carried them. This gun was made in May of 1943, which can be determined by seeing the "18.5" stamped on it, and doing a simple Imperial to standard dating conversion by adding 1925 to 18, giving 1943, with the "5" being the 5th month of the year, May. I recently had it cleaned up so it is rust-free (for some reason the picture makes it look rusty still, but upon personal inspection there isn't any, just some patina. These shoot the fairly underpowered (especially when compared to the .45ACP 1911) 8mm Nambu cartridge, which is shown below. I've had the weapon inspected also, and plan on shooting it here pretty soon, just to say that I have. I'm glad my Grandfather kept this all of these years, and that I am the only person in our huge family to have a major interest in history, so I've been blessed to receive his various war-related items over some time (I'm only 21). He plans on giving me his 1911 sidearm too at some point, but he still frequently uses it as an artistic prop because he is a successful lifetime career artist by trade.
    Any thoughts, comments or experiences with these weapons?

    ***I have no clue why the one picture is upside-down, it shouldn't be, as it was taken properly and shows up properly on my computer.

    photo 1.jpg

    photo 2.jpg

    photo 3.jpg
     
    taroman, 2gr8dgs, TapRackNGo and 5 others like this.
  2. trainsktg

    trainsktg Portland OR Well-Known Member

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    A prised possession indeed! Thanks for sharing.

    Keith (The folks over on the Japanese subforum of Gunboards [a collectors' site] would really like to see this, I'm sure.)
     
  3. NavyBob

    NavyBob michigan Active Member

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    cascadianliberty2012 ~ Wow, thank for sharing that. Wonderful pictures and a great story, a true family heirloom. Those are pieces that you will hold forever, but it's too bad the officer wasn't richer or it would be a type 14.

    How's the leather? It looks good in the picture. That's the truly rare stuff. It's one thing to have a piece of metal survive all these many years, but not the case with leather.

    A fantastic example!
     
  4. bluesurf

    bluesurf Portland Active Member

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    So cool!
     
  5. cascadianliberty2012

    cascadianliberty2012 DPR Portland Well-Known Member

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    The leather feels great, I hear the holster is the tougher part to find. There is one spot where the thread on the inside snapped, which you wouldn't notice unless you really looked for it. Hell, it may have been that way when it was found.

    And yeah, a Type 14 would be cool, they're a lot bigger, but actually are much higher quality weapons. The 94 was kind of a desperate move by the Japanese. If you examine one closely you can tell they were made with haste, kind of like mid-war Mosin Nagants, but much worse lol. Regardless, I like the idea of it being known for its "danger."
     
  6. Ligito

    Ligito Oregon Active Member

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    It's almost as old as me:)
     
  7. TapRackNGo

    TapRackNGo PNW Well-Known Member

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    Awesome!
     
  8. NavyBob

    NavyBob michigan Active Member

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    The Holster is absolutely are harder find. Either the soldier discarded it, or it met it's end because of age. Steel holds up better than leather.
     
  9. bruzer

    bruzer Grants Pass, OR Well-Known Member

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    Excellent. Thank you for sharing, Thank your Grandfather for serving our country and tell him Semper Fi for me!
    May God bless us all,
    Mike
     
  10. cascadianliberty2012

    cascadianliberty2012 DPR Portland Well-Known Member

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    One more thing you might find interesting... Today I was going through what War-related documents I have from my Grandfather so far and found a very detailed map folded up which is about 24"x14" or so (guessing). I typed some of the various little locations on it into google maps and it took me to OKINAWA! I looked at the map online and found that my map is actually the NW corner of Okinawa island, with all sorts of navigational data, landmarks, and some defensive positions labeled on it! The map even says "For Department of the Navy use only. Not for resale or distribution." The bottom of the map on the border says "SECRET." Pretty cool to have that kind of history, just sitting in a box. It'll be framed soon :)
     
  11. bruzer

    bruzer Grants Pass, OR Well-Known Member

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    Very cool. I landed in Naha in 1989. Spent a year vacation on Marine Corps Air Station Futenma. There are caves on that coral island that reminded me of the Oregon Caves National Monument. I sure do miss Yakisoba and Yakitori. It would have been a much different island when your Grandfather was there.
    May God bless us all,
    Mike
     
  12. BSG 75

    BSG 75 Oregon Well-Known Member

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    I just finished reading With the Old Breed by Eugene Sledge. It is his memoir of the Peleliu and Okinawa campaigns and it is widely regarded as one of the best combat memoirs of World War II. I highly recommend that you read it and you will have even more respect for what your grandfather endured.

    These are some of my Japanese handguns.

    DSC05550.jpg
     
  13. STANGBOYTOM

    STANGBOYTOM WA STATE Member

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    That's the book they based most of "The Pacific" on, I watched the series and was absolutely blown away, I had no idea it was based on these guys lives and cried when they showed there pictures at the very end. Honestly the most moving series or movie I have ever seen.
     
  14. cascadianliberty2012

    cascadianliberty2012 DPR Portland Well-Known Member

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    That's another thing I should've said, The Pacific followed the 1st Marine Division, which was my Grandfather's unit. He found it to be VERY accurate when he watched it. He's always told me the one thing that no war show can ever portray are the rancid smells of war...
     
  15. BSG 75

    BSG 75 Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Eugene Sledge does a very good job describing the hellish environment they were in, including the smells. There were rotting, maggot-infested corpses all around them on Okinawa because it was too dangerous to get out of their foxholes to bury them. It was also too dangerous to get out of their foxholes for bodily functions so they did their business in an empty ammo can and then dumped it outside their foxholes when it was full. Flies attracted to the smell swarmed around them. Sledge said it was difficult to eat because the putrid, disgusting smell was inescapable. Sledge called the place where his unit was dug in "hell's cesspool".

    "With the Old Breed" is a must-read if you have any interest in the Pacific War.
     
  16. Phillyfan

    Phillyfan Oregon City, Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Cool as hell. Hope you really treasure what you are getting from your grandpa, it's more than a gun. You seem to get that which is probably why he is giving them to you. Take care and pass it on.
     
  17. Blitzkrieg

    Blitzkrieg WA Well-Known Member

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    My father was in the Pacific Coast Guard in WW2 and all my uncles were on carriers.. treasure your GPa because one day soon he will be gone like my dad and all you'll have are memories
     
  18. RVTECH

    RVTECH LaPine Well-Known Member

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    Very cool story about your Nambu. I guess I need to get around to watching 'The Pacific' - especially since I have a new, collector's edition in the tin can given to me by a friend over a year ago!
     
  19. 1BigGuy

    1BigGuy Eastern Washington New Member

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    That's a VERY cool gun to have. I have one too, but yours has the STORY that makes it valuable. Mine is just an old Japanese relic that I bought via Gun Broker.com. Yours is a piece of family history that makes it' priceless. Keep it safe, treasure it, never part with it.