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Discussion Starter #1
The other thread on Japanese semi-auto designs was getting long, so I decided to start a new post.

Fred,

Here are the three drawings from that 1937-dated US patent to Saburo Watanabe we were discussing last night. I was initially surprised to see a Japanese-origin application for this kind of technology being filed and granted in the US at a date so late into the 1930s. Then, I looked at the particulars and saw that the patent was granted on an application with a priority date in 1933. I guess the Japanese at that time didn't regard this design as a military secret.

C/
 

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Thanks, Chip! Is it convenient to post now the Nambu patents from the same period. The patent shown above is not for the final design; it's an interim configuration, part of the development program at NSS.

You also asked about the trainer production at NSS. I never corresponded with the company. I know it was reorganized in the '60s and may have been renamed. Just haven't kept up with that. Anyway, all those companies have saved their history. The stuff you need is in a box somewhere, and it would take a dedicated individual to find it. All the original Wasp engine drawings are still available at my company; finding them is another story. Have you corresponded with NSS, or maybe Sumitomo, a reorganized part of the company?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Is it convenient to post now the Nambu patents from the same period. You also asked about the trainer production at NSS. The stuff you need is in a box somewhere, and it would take a dedicated individual to find it. Have you corresponded with NSS, or maybe Sumitomo, a reorganized part of the company?
Sure, I can post some of the Nambu drawings. Give me another day or so as the records are in another area of storage.

On the trainer information, I learned many years ago that, unless you have a personal contact with whom you've established a strong personal relationship, most arms queries are forwarded to the circular file. I got a personal introduction to the former Deputy Plant Manager of the Heirinkan Firearms KK who gave me a lot of the information Frank Allan and I used in the Naval Special project. The amount of training rifle information, although not yet published, was considerable as well. On the other hand, I once wrote a cold letter (w/o personal introduction) to a corporate history director of a company I felt was once involved in training bayonet manufacture. The logo present on the blade was almost identical to their current trademark. In my first letter, I simply forwarded a copy of the blade marking and asked him to confirm that this mark was once used by his company. I received a short, but courteous, letter in the affirmative. In a followup letter, I thanked him for his reply and asked him if his records contained any information about the training bayonets his company once produced. Never received a reply. Too bad, but I suppose that's how things are.

C/
 

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Chip, my experience was similar. I actually received a letter from the JSDF equiv of our G2 requesting that I not bother them any more since all records of the type I was interested in were destroyed at the end of WW2. I ignored the letter, kept sending more letters to whomever, and eventually found people interested in preserving the history before it disappeared. Of all things my success came primarily from the acknowledgments, sources, and notes in John Toland's The Rising Sun. If you look at that area of his book, you'll see how many letters I probably wrote. But once I found the right person, he gradually introduced me to a lot of the right people. I was then on easy street.
 

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Chip, my experience was similar. Of all things my success came primarily from the acknowledgments, sources, and notes in John Toland's The Rising Sun. If you look at that area of his book, you'll see how many letters I probably wrote. But once I found the right person, he gradually introduced me to a lot of the right people.
Yes, I agree that nothing succeeds like being persistent, however, most of the folks to whom we'd like to direct our questions are now long dead. I guess we now have to place our trust in a few younger people who share our passion for knowledge and have access to old records.

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John Toland's The Rising Sun.

That book has come in handy for alot of things. It got me through a couple of research papers in high school. It also got my dad and I to talking about his experiences in the war. That is one powerful book!
 

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Thanks, Ray. I'm probably repeating myself, but there was one ordnance officer I was just determined to find, and it's my favorite success story. I kept asking Col. Tatsumi in my letters whatever happened to him. After a few letters, he wrote and told me that at one of the reunions he asked around and was told a wild rumor that he emigrated to the U.S. after the war. I thought about what he'd said, surmised where he probably went if true, visited the tel. operator's office the next morn at work, searched thru a hard copy of the directory for that city, and was talking with the gentleman on the phone that evening. That's when you realize things are clicking. I'm trying to emphasize how much fun a project of this type can be.

One of my book dealers called last week, and we talked about an hour. He reminded me of when the book was being written, most Japanese rifles/pistols were still being kept under the table at the shows. If you were interested in Japanese collecting, you had to ask the dealers if they had anything. Sometimes, somethng neat came out from under that table. Other times, a simple reply, "never fool with it." Another dealer called last week and wanted the pistol book to reprint in, of all places, Thailand. Now we have to ask, "whatever happened to made in America." Everything's flip-flopping.
 

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If you were interested in Japanese collecting, you had to ask the dealers if they had anything. Sometimes, somethng neat came out from under that table. Other times, a simple reply, "never fool with it."
While I rarely see anything neat that's Japanese under folks tables anymore, you'd be surprised at how many dealers still use that worn-out mantra of Japanese stuff not being worth anything.

C/
 

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While I rarely see anything neat that's Japanese under folks tables anymore, you'd be surprised at how many dealers still use that worn-out mantra of Japanese stuff not being worth anything.

C/
Chip, I'd rather keep these dealers in the dark as long as we can. I once bought a three rifle pile for $150 from one such dealer at a show. The rifles consisited of an all matching Tokyo Juki with mum (later variation using early reject stocks), a complete and marked navy trainer, and a GEW converted trainer, all in 98% condition. Also, another gun shop dealer sold me a both matching mag, original cleaning rod, holstered T-94 in a whopping 99% condition for $175, which sort of came together with a T-14 with two mismatched mag but with cleaning rod, spare pin, original lanyard and holster for $350. These deals were all within the last 3 years. They were instances of pure ecstasy as a collector, but can only happen with a deal from a dealer "who don't know".
 

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Chip, I'd rather keep these dealers in the dark as long as we can. They were instances of pure ecstasy as a collector, but can only happen with a deal from a dealer "who don't know".
Boy, isn't that the truth. Unfortunately, with the increasing popularity of internet auction houses, many dealers are a lot more price-savvy than they once were. Now all we have to do is find the ones w/o internet skills.

C/
 
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