The theory for many years was that the zeros were added to note the actual sequential serial numbers of the guns (the series started at 50001 [or, possibly, 50000]). A more recent theory is that the zeros actually denote these guns as being "second class" firearms very similar to those Japanese rifles with the two zeros preceding the serial number. Double Zero-marked guns have center-tailed strikers/guides and center-slotted bolts/locking blocks. These are the only T14s produced with this difference. The modified parts will not fit any other T14s, and, similarly, those parts in other T14s will not fit the modified Double Zeros guns. Also, if you check Val's above image of the serial number, you will note that the two zeros have "cratered" edges indicating they were added after the serial number and after final surface buffing. So, the two zeros are an added marking -- they may have been added to denote these guns as being non-standard. Another feature of the Double Zero-marked guns is that almost all of them are in very nice, if not new, condition. One explanation for that fact is that they were not issued but, instead, kept in storage to be found by souvenir-hunters after the war.What is the prevailing theory on why these have the double zeroes? They sort of make you think of the double zero T-38's, but these are way too nice of condition to be out of service weapons.
Ah, thats good to know that. Maybe it was a private purchase by the pilot? Maybe that is why it would be in use if considered non-standard?Nagoya10,
The story of #50032 is what was told to my father when he acquired the gun from the original U.S. owner (the aircraft mechanic). The pilot didn't need the gun or parachute any more, as he had just landed back in Japan with the U.S. escort. He probably figured that, for him, the war was over. Also, that gun is not like most other Double Zeros in that it does show evidence of holster wear and use.