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Need assistance with Nambu Type 14 markings

9057 Views 55 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  03man
It is my understanding the markings in the photo read left to right as Nagoya Arsenal, Kokubunji factory, first series, ???, 4.

What is that fourth marking please and what might be the date of manufacture? Thanks for any assistance.


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03man has it right. This pistol is a Nagoya Nambu 1st series (Kokubunji factory) which followed after original Nagoya Nambu production reached #99999. The Nagoya arsenal, Toriimatsu factory, started production with 1st series #50000, and continued into the 2nd series after #99999 was reached..

- tge
The serialization of pistols is similar to that for rifles. The Japanese standard was to add a Kana symbol before the serial number to indicate each 100,000 block of numbers. This kept the numbering to a maximum of 5 digits. So when there is no Kana character (non-Kana series), that is the first block (#1 through 99,999). Collectors refer to this as "no series" or "original series". The Kana series order "IROHA" comes from a Buddhist poem.

All Nagoya Nambu pistols were manufactured at the Kokubunji factory in Nambu's private company, Nambu Rifle Manufacturing Company. Below are the reported serial ranges. Remember that Nagoya arsenal, original series, Chigusa factory, ended production in 7,11 with serial number around 7824.

Nagoya Nambu, original series (no prefix), began in date 8.12 (serial # around 7830) through date 16.10 (serial # 99,999)
Nagoya Nambu, 1st series, date 16.10 (serial # 0) through date 19.8 (serial # around 20,300 when production ended)

Hope this helps.

- tge
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Good Grief! Let's not change it.

This is the same technique used by the Germans where they had non-letter code for the first block of 9999, followed by a, b, c,.... So the "a" block was the second production series.

- tge
Thus the "second production series" would be "the second production series of 1 to xx,xxx, which was produced with the circled kana symbolt "ee", written as "イ".

OK... while we are on this subject. This raises the question on whether block numbering is "0 to xx,xxx" or "1 to xx,xxx" for series after the first production run hit 99,999.

- tge
Well, we are now certainly stepping into the quagmire of what is the correct vocabulary for naming these series. If we are to call the initial series of 1 to 99,9999 as such "Initial Series" and then the following series イ - 0 to イ - 99,9999 as the "1st Series" it really does not sound right as the distinction between the two (Initial vs. 1st) is not clear at all for the general reader to understand.
I believe the collector developed system of calling イ as the 1st series, ロ the 2nd, ハ the 3rd and so forth in itself was a mistake, because it precludes the initial series as part of the series of serial numbering and have to come up with an even weird name such as "No Series".
Think about it, "no series"..... now what in heck is that supposed to mean ?
I think the best way to describe it is the "Initial Series", "I series", "RO Series", "HA Series" so on and so forth. That being the most closest to the original intent by the Japanese aresenal HQ. But that requires the general reader to understand the Iroha order which ain't happenin', so second best is the way that 03man described, as the "Initial production series", "Second production series (イ)", "Third production series (ロ)", "Fourth production series (ハ)" so on and so forth.
I kinda like the "no series" designation! :) (hehehe)

You are slowly convincing me that the proper way of assigning series naming is what you suggest. But boy that will be hard to backtrack from the old nomenclature. It will be a lot harder on the rifle collectors than the pistol collectors.

- tge
Yep, it will be a long and arduous attempt to change this long used system. TGE, me thinks you should be Da Man to do this, stand up to the plate, be a He-Man and right the world's wrongs !!

Me thinks I am being set-up! :p
Ok, guys, how's. About a compromise ?
No series = No Kana series
1st series = 1st Kana series
2nd series = 2nd Kana series
So on so forth. This would be adding just one word, won't change the n
Numbering order that we are all used to, and still be "correct".

Edokko on flt ua-837 seat 24k about to take off to Japan

Sounds reasonable; let's discuss when you get back from Japan. I still think you should write a Banzai article on this topic to set the record straight.

What do you mean Seat 25K! I thought you fly First Class to Japan! Or should I say First Kana Class! ;)

- tge
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