The Nambu Type 14 (南部十四年式拳銃 Nambu Jūyon-nen Shiki Kenjū) is a Japanese pistol that was designed and produced by Nagoya Arsenal. It was the primary service pistol of the Imperial Japanese Army during World War II.
Based on the earlier Type A pistol designed by Kijirō Nambu, the Type 14 was developed at Nagoya Arsenal in the mid-1920s, although Nambu himself had no role in its design. The aim of the project was to create a cheaper and simpler version of the Type A that would be easier to mass-produce. In 1925, the finished pistol was produced at Kokura Arsenal in Tokyo and adopted by the Imperial Japanese Army, primarily being issued to officers.
The Type 14 served as the IJA's standard service pistol throughout the Second Sino-Japanese War and, by extension, World War II. Some users complained of its lack of stopping power, owing to the small dimensions of the 8mm cartridge compared to the more powerful 9×19mm and .45 ACP pistols used by European and American troops at the time. Despite this, it proved to be a popular souvenir among American troops in the Pacific Theater, and resultantly many found their way to the United States after the war.
Although initially produced at Kokura, production was expanded to Nagoya Arsenal in 1927. Kokura Arsenal ceased production of the Type 14 in the early 1930s and from then on it was produced only at Nagoya. Manufacture of the weapon continued until 1945, and many of the examples made during the final years of production are of low quality, owing to the wartime strain on available resources.
One variant of the Type 14 was produced, unofficially known as the Kiska. It featured an enlarged trigger guard to facilitate for thick gloves, and was designed in response to feedback from IJA troops serving in cold regions of Manchuria.
The Type 14 was a recoil-operated pistol that operated on the same design principles as the Nambu Type A. Several improvements were made to the design, however, including the addition of a safety catch. The single recoil spring of the Type A was replaced by twin recoil springs that ran across either side of the bolt. The Type 14 also used a fixed rear sight rather than an adjustable tangent sight, and a milled cocking piece rather than a rounded knob.
The striker spring of the Type 14 was, much like its predecessor, rather weak and could wear down quickly after prolonged usage, ultimately rendering the weapon inoperable if not maintained properly. Additionally, the magazine catch was perceived to be too tight, which made reloading the weapon unnecessarily difficult.
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