Baby Nambu

Notes: The standard Nambu 14th Year had disappointing sales because the officers for whom it was designed felt it was too heavy and bulky. Koishikawa Arsenalís response was to reduce the size of the 14th Year by one-fourth, producing the Small Nambu (more commonly known as the Baby Nambu). Despite the new handy size, Japanese officers preferred Western designs, and until World War 2, they were not often used. Eventually, however, about 6000 were made and issued.

Weapon

Ammunition

Weight

Magazines

Price

Baby Nambu

7mm Nambu

0.65 kg

7

$114

Weapon

ROF

Damage

Pen

Bulk

SS

Burst

Range

Baby Nambu

SA

1

Nil

1

3

Nil

6

Hamada shiki/Hake shiki

Notes: The Hamada shiki (Hamada type) pistol began as a Japanese copy of the Browning M-1910, but Hamada began tinkering with the design and made a number of alterations, simplifying field stripping, altering the barrel attachment, and improving the striker. The grip angle was also changed and the barrel shortened. Production began in 1941 and continued until 1944, with about 5000 being built before production stopped. It was a relatively rare design, but one that was well-regarded by troops, and is now difficult to find.

The Hake shiki was designed by Bunji Hamada after requests for a handgun that would use standard Japanese Army ammunition, but be easier and cheaper to produce than the Type 94 (and some say, also out of a desire for a better weapon than the Type 94). To this end, Hamada chambered a version of the Hamada shiki for 8mm Nambu and lengthened the barrel a little bit. Unfortunately, Hamada succeeded on nearly all counts, but the weapon actually proved to be more difficult to manufacture than the Type 94, and the Hake shiki, (also known as the Type 2 pistol) was only made in very small numbers, with about 1500 being completed and distributed, plus parts for another 4000 that that were surrendered to the Allied authorities after the end of World War 2.

Weapon

Ammunition

Weight

Magazines

Price

Hamada shiki

.32 ACP

0.68 kg

9

$178

Hake shiki

8mm Nambu

0.79 kg

6

$223

Weapon

ROF

Damage

Pen

Bulk

SS

Burst

Range

Hamada shiki

SA

1

Nil

1

3

Nil

8

Hake shiki

SA

1

Nil

1

3

Nil

7

Nambu Model 1904

Notes: The Model 1904 was never officially adopted by the Japanese Army, though many Japanese Army officers did use it. The Japanese Navy adopted it as a sidearm in 1909. Initial models were slotted for a stock, but this was stopped in 1912, and most of the pistols already in service had the slots removed. The Model 1904 has a severe defect in operation: when the last round in the magazine is fired, the bolt does not stay open. This means that the empty magazine is difficult to remove quickly, and the user may not realize in the heat of battle that his magazine is empty. In addition, the striker spring is so weak that holsters designed for the Model 1904 has a special compartment for spare springs.

Weapon

Ammunition

Weight

Magazines

Price

Nambu Model 1904

8mm Nambu

0.88 kg

8

$232

Weapon

ROF

Damage

Pen

Bulk

SS

Burst

Range

Nambu Model 1904

SA

1

Nil

1

3

Nil

10

Nambu 14th Year

Notes: This is an improved version of an earlier pistol, the Model 1904. The "14th Year" nomenclature referred to the 14th year of Emperor Hirohitoís reign. The object was to reduce the cost of the standard service pistol. The grip safety was replaced with a manual safety. A problem with this weapon is the magazine; it tends to get caught in the pistol and be very difficult to remove, especially when the userís hands are not dry. The 14th Year also tends to jam when not well-maintained, something that led to the death of many a Japanese officer. The 14th Year was often known to WW2 Allied soldiers as the Kiska, since the first place it was seen in combat was on Kiska Island in the Aleutians. Of course, the 14th Year is now a collectorís weapon and not in any service use.

Weapon

Ammunition

Weight

Magazines

Price

Nambu 14th Year

8mm Nambu

0.9 kg

8

$233

Weapon

ROF

Damage

Pen

Bulk

SS

Burst

Range

Nambu 14th Year

SA

1

Nil

1

3

Nil

10

New Nambu M-57A

Notes: This weapon was designed for service with the Japanese armed forces in the late 1980s. However, the Japanese Self-Defense Forces rejected the pistol, primarily due to reliability issues and the ready availability of better imported weapons, and until 1999 it did not see widespread service in the Japanese military. There was some police use, and some sales were made to weapon collectors overseas, but it was difficult to find until late 1998. It is based on the M-1911A1 action, but does not have a grip safety and is scaled down to the smaller caliber used.

Weapon

Ammunition

Weight

Magazines

Price

M-57A

9mm Parabellum

0.89 kg

8

$245

Weapon

ROF

Damage

Pen

Bulk

SS

Burst

Range

M-57A

SA

1

Nil

1

3

Nil

11

New Nambu M-57B

Notes: Despite the nomenclature, this is not simply a smaller version of the M-57A, but is instead a small pistol for backup or concealed carry use, and is based on the Browning action. The M-57B was never produced in large numbers.

Weapon

Ammunition

Weight

Magazines

Price

M-57B

.32 ACP

0.6 kg

8

$120

Weapon

ROF

Damage

Pen

Bulk

SS

Burst

Range

M-57B

SA

1

Nil

1

4

Nil

8

Type 94

Notes: Since Nambu had seen a lot of resistance to his other designs, and because Japanese officers seemed to like Western pistols better than Japanese weapons, Nambu designed a pistol along Western lines, the Type 94. The Army approved them and they were put onto production in 1935, with over 70,000 being produced before the end of the Second World War. Pre-World War 2 Type 94s were well-built and performed quite well; however, production standards dropped precipitously during World War 2, and by 1944, the Type 94s that were being made could be properly regarded as some of the worst small arms of the war.

Weapon

Ammunition

Weight

Magazines

Price

Type 94

8mm Nambu

0.77 kg

6

$223

Weapon

ROF

Damage

Pen

Bulk

SS

Burst

Range

Type 94

SA

1

Nil

1

3

Nil

7