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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Pics of the first double zero T-14 produced by Nagoya Toriimatsu factory on 16.10
Please, note a center cut on the underside of the bolt to accomodate a center tail striker.
 

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Now that is really cool! I'm suprised that Oldie didn't beat you to it! ;) Thanks for sharing!
 

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Val, nope, yours is second only. One of these days I'll beat you to it and find 00-50000, hehe.
Congrats again for a super nice catch !!
 

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Another super rare T-14. Any history on its capture?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Unfortunately, no history attached with the gun. Judging by the condition - it had not seen much action.
 

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One word says it all "Nice"
 

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Incredible find, really nice condition.

Want to give us some idea of where/how this one came to light?
 

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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.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
As described in Derby/Brown book, these were most likely labeled "non-standard" weapons due to the lack of interchangability of the center-tail strikers with the standard left offset strikers, thus making these guns "unfit" for front line troops.
 

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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.
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.

These guns are quite rare. The highest reported example is 50185, and the next low normally-marked example is 50189. To date, 31 Double Zero examples have been reported to my database. Of those, 17 are 16-dates, and 14 are 17-dates. As a side note, of the 35 possible arsenal, series, and year date codes available in T14 production, the 16-date Toriimatsu guns (all Double Zeros) are the "rarest" if you only consider the number produced. Even fewer of them were produced than the very scarce "Taisho" T14s. Based on reported examples, there could only be up to 81 16-date Toriimatsu guns, while there could be up to 115 Taisho guns. But, since the Taisho guns were produced much earlier and fewer of them survived (only 15 have been reported), they are harder to find and more valuable than the 16-date Double Zero guns. Regardless, the all Double Zero-marked guns are very rare and desirable T14 variants, and anyone possessing one of them should be justifiabley proud.
 

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Thanks veloce and Rampage for the explanations. Sort of makes you wonder about the story in the Derby and Brown book of the US Army Air Corp airplane mechanic who got one from a pilot of one of the Betty's bringing the surrender commission. Maybe its completely true, but a pilot carrying a formal surrender commision wearing a parachute? Then when asked for his parachute by the souvenier seeking mechanic, the pilot voluntarily just gave this guy his pistol rig because he "didn't need this anymore"? Maybe fact is stranger than fiction, if this story is true.
 

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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.
 

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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.
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?
 

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Yeah, the fact that #50032 was in use, to us, kind of flew in the face of the new "second-class arm" theory. But, it is a very logical explanation. I doubt if the gun was privately purchased through normal channels (again, the second-class arm thing). But, it could have been "appropriated" at some point and put into use. Lord knows, servicemen everywhwere will appropriate just about anything not nailed down (with 31 years in uniform, I'm pretty confident about that statement). It all boils-down to "who knows" -- including the part about the mechanic's story. Yes, even though we purchased this gun from the original owner and heard the story direct from his lips, without some corroborating proof, we'll just never know for sure.
 

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The story may be true, but the pistol is superb. Really great find.
 
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