Nambu World: Terifs WWII Japanese Handgun Website

This website has pictures and information regarding Japanese handguns used in World War II. Here is a representative sampling of my collection. Top row: Type 26 revolver, Papa Nambu, Baby Nambu. Bottom row: small and large trigger guard Type 14 pistols and a late wooden slab-grip Type 94. Nambu World aims to be your one-stop source on Japanese handguns; if it isnft here, there is probably a link to it. Nambu World is also gradually becoming a virtual museum of pre-1945 Japanese military artifacts of all kinds, from firearms to medals and flags. My dream is to establish the gCanadian Museum of the Pacific Warh; this site is the first step.

**To see Japanese handguns and related material, please stay on this page and just scroll down.

**To see Japanese weapons other than handguns (everything from rifles and machine guns to edged weapons), please click here: Other Japanese Weapons      

**To see other non-weapon Japanese militaria (everything from medals and flags to documents), please click here: Other Japanese Militaria.


Whatfs New

Just added:

          (April 27, 2012): After a hiatus of over two years, I am back at it. I have just added a page to the flare gun section on the early Kayaba double barrel, double exposed hammer flare gun.

          (March 14, 2010): My job has kept me too busy to add anything for quite a while, but I just had to make time to get this acquisition posted: an untra-rare Type 10 flare gun with safety,

 one of only five known to have survived from estimated production of about 150. See gJapanese Flare Gunsh in the gPhoto Galleriesh section below.

          (September 3, 2009): There is now a new page on the Type 97 sniper rifle (see above under gOther Japanese Weaponsh and then click on gArisaka and Other Japanese Riflesh.)

(August 8, 2009): I have just substantially updated and expanded the section on Type 94 accessories (see link below under Accessories). The section now includes cowhide, leather and canvas original holsters as

well as a faked and a reproduction canvas holster, an original and a reproduction manual, and other accessories (magazines, cleaning rods, etc.).

(July 26, 2009): I have just added a section on the Type 2 Paratroop Rifle (see gOther Japanese Weaponsh above and then go to gArisaka Riflesh and scroll down). I have also started a section on Marksmanship

 Related Items under gOther Japanese Militariah. So far it only has a page on Student Marksmanship Badges and the bare bones of a still-under-constructionh page on Army Marksmanship medals, but eventually

 this will have a lot of material on marksmanship badges, records, certificates, awards, etc.

(May 18, 2009): I have added photos of an original 8mm Murata cartridge box to the sectionon the Type 22 rifle that used this ammo. I have also added a section on the Murata shotgun, a civilian arm which is often confused with the Murata rifles. Please see the section on Murata rifles under gOther Japanese Weaponsh above.

          (April 16, 2009): The latest addition is a page showing my display of Murata rifles at Canadafs largest gun show. Please see the gMy Gun Show Displaysh section below.

          (February 28, 2009): I have added a huge new section that covers the early Japanese Murata rifles as well as their bayonets and ammunintion. Please see gOther Japanese Weaponsh link above.

          There will be lots more updates coming as soon as I can find the time. To find out what is in the pipeline, check here:  comingsoon.htm

(to accommodate growth, some parts of this site now appear with nambuworld, nambuworld2, ursacki or stevebryant instead of tju in the URL)


Researching, Valuing and Selling Your Japanese Handgun

            If you are looking for how to research a Japanese handgun you have just inherited, purchased or been given, this is the place to start to find out such things as what model you have, where and when it was made, how much it is worth, how to sell it, etc. Please click here: Nambu World: Researching Your Japanese Handgun


About Me:

            I am a 50 year-old university professor whose work relates to Japan. I have long had an interest in Japan, and have been shooting and collecting since I was a kid (my dad collected machine guns so I got to shoot lots of neat stuff). To find out how I got into collecting Japanese handguns, click here: aboutme.htm


My Gun Show Displays

In April, 2009 I won an award for my display of Murata rifles at the AACCAfs Easter Gun Show. To see my display, please click here: Nambu World: Easter 2009 Murata Rifle Display

In April, 2007 I won Best in Show-Militaria at the AACCAfs Easter gun show. To see the display, please click here: Nambu World: 2007 Calgary AACCA Display.

In February, 2007 I won the Peoplefs Choice Award for most popular display at the Canadian Historical Arms Society gun show in Edmonton and got my photo in the newspaper holding two of my Japanese handguns. To find out the details, please click here: Nambu World: 2007 Edmonton CHAS Display

In August, 2006 I won Best of Show at the annual national convention and show of the Military Collectors Club of Canada. To see my display of Japanese militaria, please click here: MCC 2006 Display

In April, 2006 I won Best in Show at both the Calgary and Vancouver Gun Shows. To see my 2006 display, please click here: 2006 Gun Show Display

In February & May, 2005 I won Best in Show at both the Edmonton and Calgary gun shows. To see my 2005display, please click here: 2005 Gun Show Displays

The first public display of my collection in 2004 won an award at the Calgary gun show. For details and pictures, please click here: 2004 Gun Show Display

I try to do one or two new shows every year, but the one I always try to display at is put on by the Alberta Arms and Cartridge Collectorsf Association on Easter weekend each year. For details about this show and other AACCA activities, please see: Calgary Gun Show

            To see my first cartridge show display, please click here: 2006 Cartridge Show Display. To see my most recent cartridge show display, please click here: Nambu World: Cartridge Show 2007

            To see the small display I worked up for one-day shows when I have minimal time for set-up, please click here: Nambu World: One Day Show Display Oct  2007

            To see the display I created to accompany my lecture at Calgaryfs military museum, please click here: Nambu World: Museum Lecture Display January 2008


About Japanese Handgun History:

            Donft know Nambu from bamboo? Who is this guy in the photo? Hopefully this very brief history will give you enough background to make sense of it all.

            Click here: briefhistory.htm

            As noted above, there are lots of sites with more history—see below for links to some, or better yet, consult one of the books listed below, especially the Derby & Brown and Honeycutt ones).


Photo Galleries:


Type 26 revolver photos: t26gallery.htm

Grandpa Nambu photos: grandpagallery.htm

Papa Nambu photos: Papa Gallery

Baby Nambu photos: babygallery.htm

Type 14 photos: t14gallery.htm

Type 94 photos: t94gallery.htm

Foreign Private Purchase Pistols: Foreign Handgun Photo Gallery

Japanese Flare Guns: Nambu World: Japanese Flare Guns


Accessories (Including Holsters):

            Collectors do not live by guns alone. They need accessories, too! For info on accessories, click on these hot links:

Type 26 Revolver: t26accessories.htm

Papa Nambu: papaaccessories.htm

Baby Nambu: babyaccessories.htm

Type 14:  t14accessories.htm

Type 94: t94accessories.htm

Bring-Back Documents:  bringbackdocs.htm


Japanese Handgun Markings:

            A common question is: what do the markings on my Type 14 pistol mean? This section will answer this question for over 99% of Type 14s.

            Please click here: Nambu World: A Brief Overview of Type 14 Markings


How Many Japanese Handguns Did They Make?

            Production figures for Japanese handguns are amazingly low. By special arrangement with Mr. Dan Larkin, this site now presents the most detailed and up to date data available on Japanese handgun production based on reports of surviving speciments. For details, please click here: productionfigures.htm


Japanese Handgun Ammunition:


            The single question that seems to come up most often is: where can I get 8mm Nambu ammunition?  To find out where you can get it and other Japanese calibers and how to reload them, as well as to learn about these cartridges, click here: Ammunition & Reloading


WWII Japanese Handgun Manuals:

            The Japanese published manuals for their handguns, but they are now much rarer than the guns themselves. So far I have obtained reprints of a Type 14 and Type 94 manuals, and an original Type 14 manual. I have translated the T14 manual and will be publishing it as soon as I get it polished up a bit. I also have an original Japanese manual on shooting techniques that I will post here.

            To check out the Type 14 manual, click: t14manual.htm

            To check out the Type 94 manual, click: t94manual.htm

            Shooting techniques manual: (to come)


WWII Allied Manuals on Japanese Handguns:

            Several manuals printed by the Allies to teach their forces about the Japanese had sections on Japanese handguns. I have four such original WWII manuals and have posted the extracts so you can see what the Allies knew about Japanese handguns during the War.

            To view these and a WWII US Army poster on Japanese Infantry Weapons, please click here: Allied WWII Manual Extracts on Japanese Handguns


 Books on Japanese Handguns:


The new Derby & Brown book Japanese Military Cartridge Handguns, 1893-1945, updating the Derby classic The Handcannons of Imperial Japan, is now available!

For a review, info on how to get it, and an evaluation of the other books on the topic and where to get them, please click here: Books on Japanese Handguns


Periodicals Covering Japanese Handguns:


            There is a newsletter devoted to collecting Japanese guns and militaria called BANZAI. I subscribe. Although the production is a little rough, the content is excellent and it seems a good way to network into the circles of those in the know (a valuable thing in itself). Their website reproduces several past articles of interest and has other neat stuff on Japanese guns. Check it out at:



Articles on Japanese Handguns:


            I have now found quite a few articles in various publications such as American Rifleman, Guns & Ammo and Shooting Times regarding Japanese handguns. I am compiling a list of these with full bibliographic citations. If I have missed any, please let me know. Better yet, e-mail me (see below) for my postal address and send me a copy. I will gladly reimburse mailing and photocopy costs.

            Click here to go to the list: somearticles.htm


Videos Covering Japanese Handguns:

            So far I have only found one. It is a documentary called gJapanese Guns of WWIIh. I saw it on the History Channel International while in Dallas-Fort Worth in August, 2003. It took two months to arrive, but it was worth waiting. It is rather padded with general WWII footage and has a few errors (e.g. it gives the Type 14fs mag capacity as seven rounds). It also covers only the basics (e.g. the only handguns covered are the Type 14 and Type 94 pistols), but is still enjoyable. It shows close-up footage of many Japanese guns being fired, both archival WWII material and fresh footage of a guy from the Oregon Military Museum doing live firing. In one shot he shoots the Type 94 by pressing on the external sear. To see this and to find out more, including how you can get a copy,

please click here: video.htm


Bulletin Boards:

            Want to find others gsufferingh from Nambu-mania? Try one of these bulletin boards:

Gunboards Public Message Forums - Firearms Of The Rising Sun Japanese Militaria :: Index


The Japanese & East Asian Firearms Forum


Parts for Japanese Handguns:



            Old guns get tired and need help. Where can you get it? Click here: parts.htm

            It seems there are a lot of counterfeit Type 14 grips about being passed off as original. Here is a little study of what I have seen: t14grips.htm



Japanese Handguns and Canadafs Gun Laws

            If you are not Canadian you may be wondering why I keep talking about guns I have bought but donft yet have in my possession. Click here to find out about the complications of handgun ownership in Canada: gunlaws.htm

            Here is an article on what Canada's firearms registry reveals about the number of Japanese guns in Canada: Nambu World: Japanese Military Firearms in Canada.


Buying Japanese Handguns:

            How can you tell if the gun you are looking at has been refinished or faked in some way? This section has tips—some general to buying any old gun, and some specific to these ones. Click here: buying.htm


My Experiences Shooting Japanese Handguns:

            For reports on what itfs like to shoot these things, please click here: shooting.htm

          Be sure your gun is in safe condition before shooting it!


Disassembling Japanese Handguns:

            Many of these guns have been damaged by people trying to get them apart without knowing how. Others have never tried to do so for fear of damaging them. However, instructions with step-by-step photos are readily available in standard reference books. You probably already have these books or know someone who does. Please click here to find out: disassembling.htm


Photos and Information on Japanese Handguns:

            For a selection of links to other sites with photos and information on Japanese handguns, please click here: photoinfolinks.htm


Japanese Handguns in the Movies & Trivia

            Did you know James Bond uses a Japanese handgun in one of his movies? What model is it, where does he get it, and what does he do with it? For the answers to these and other trivia questions, please click here: movies.htm


Identification of Japanese Handgun Variants:

            As soon as I get a chance I will post here a summary of the dates when different variations were introduced (e.g. large trigger guard, mag retention spring, different grip styles, etc.). There was often overlap but I will just put the basic dates here.


Vocabulary for Japanese Handguns:

            This section will have a brief Japanese-English glossary of gun-related terms with the kanji (characters), pronunciation and English translation (to come)


Terifs Travels:

            I have posted here some accounts of my travels that are directly related to Japanese military history and militaria.

To read about my February, 2006 tour of the battlefields and caves of Okinawa, please click here: Nambu World: Teri Visits the WWII Battlefields and Caves of Okinawa

To read about Japanese military museums, please click here: Nambu World: Military Museums in Japan


Canada and the Pacific War

            Canadafs role was smaller in the Pacific Theatre than in the Atlantic, but still includes many interesting stories. This section is just getting started, but will include a wide range of topics about Canadian involvement in the Pacific. To check it out, please click here: Nambu World: Canada and the Pacific War


My Wish List:

To find out what things I am looking to add to my collection, please click here: wishlist.htm


E-mail me:

(PLEASE NOTE: I CAN NO LONGER ANSWER QUESTIONS ABOUT VALUES/PRICES. Please donft ask. There is a section at the top of the page on gResearching Your Japanese Handgunh and also lots of detailed photos with explanations in the gallery section if you are looking to identify where and when your gun was made)



(to come)


The contents of this website are copyright Teri, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 unless otherwise indicated, and may not be reproduced without her prior written consent.

Created May 25, 2003. Last updated July 30, 2012.