The Nambu Type 14 was a semi-automatic pistol that was used by Japan during World War II.


It had a maximum effective range of 50 meters and fired 8x22mm Nambu rounds, with an eight round magazine capacity. The total weight of the Type 14 was about 650 grams and the length was 23cm. The muzzle velocity of the Nambu was 325 meters per second and the iron sights on the Type 14 were fixed in position.[1] Despite appearances that are very similar to the Luger P08, the Type 14 was in fact not copied and was actually a very original design.


The Type 14 had no official variants, but the design underwent some slight modifications throughout the course of the war. These included the enlarging of the trigger guard in order to make the weapon more comfortable for a soldier wearing gloves, and modifications to the cocking system in order to cut production costs towards the end of the war.


The Type 14 was conceived by weapons designer Kijiro Nambu, and was initially meant for use by non-commissioned officers, but it was also issued to ranks such as platoon leaders or lieutenants.[2] It was developed in Japan in 1925, and used by the Imperial Japanese Military in several conflicts including the Second World War. A large influencer for the design of the Type 14 was the Mauser C96. The Nambu was known as having a relatively reliable design and field service history, albeit lesser stopping power when compared to other handguns such as the American Colt .45. The Nambu Type 14 was developed from earlier Japanese pistols and was made as a cheaper weapon to produce.[3]

The Nambu Type 14 was utilized by the Japanese in both the Soviet-Japanese border conflicts, the Second Sino-Japanese War, and World War II. It is estimated that approximately 280,000 Type 14 pistols were produced. Production estimates of the Type 14 were about 600 being made every month.[4] After production of the pistol was discontinued in 1945, many Type 14s continued to make appearances as war trophies in the homes of returning US servicemen, who found them unique due to their rather unusual design.


  2. L. Rottman, Gordon. Imperial Japanese Infantryman 1937-45: Sword of the Empire. Osprey Publishing (2005)
  3. Hogg, Ian. Military Small Arms of the 20th Century 7th Edition. Krause Publications (2000)

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