The Most Dangerous Pistol Ever Made

Some guns are bad, some are horrible, and some are horribly bad. The Type 94 Nambu may well be the most dangerous pistol to ever enter into military service, as it features one crippling feature that could result in a fatal injury to the user under the right (or wrong) circumstances. So what makes it so dangerous?

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Transcript …

– So this is it.

The most dangerous pistol ever made.

What you’re looking at isn’t something I cobbled together out of spare bits of metal in my garage, but a Japanese Type 94 Nambu pistol.

We’ve taken a look at the Type 14 in the past, and, uh, that didn’t go so well.

So this is just about the ugliest firearm I’ve ever seen, as it looks like it was made by a fellow who had a little too much shochu before heading in to work.

While the late-war Japanese firearms all generally look pretty bad, this one may take the cake.

There have been some horrendous service pistols adopted however, this one stands out.

And even the, quote, good examples, are horrible.

Before we get into it the Type 94 is chambered in 8mm Nambu, a bottleneck cartridge that only delivers about as much energy as.380.

That’s 9mm on the right.

Mags hold six rounds, and are loaded by depressing a small tab on the right side.

The pistols are locked by means of a short falling block that is mechanically interesting.

Sights are comically bad, but to be honest, there isn’t a whole bunch about this gun that isn’t.

So enough talk, let’s hit the range and see why the Type 94 is so dangerous.

So here it is.

Pretty unassuming really, looking, I mean it’s ugly, but, a lot of late-war Japanese guns are ugly.

As long as they worked though, they were okay.

So let’s put some ear pro on, throw a round in.

(magazine slides in) I’m gonna fire a couple of shots just to make sure it works okay.

(pistol fires) (pistol fires) (pistol fires) (pistol fires) (pistol fires) You know really it’s not a terrible shooting pistol but the problem is, you don’t have to pull the trigger to shoot it.

(pistol fires) Let me show you why.

So the Type 94 has an exposed sear bar.

And that’s gonna be that right there.

Now (bolt releases with a metallic clink) you heard it release right there, and the problem was, that in theory, if you holstered it, that could rub something and go off in your leg.

There’s all kinds of rumors and stuff that the Japanese would surrender to Americans like this, um, I don’t know if those are substantiated or not, but I’m gonna demonstrate one more time (cycles pistol) that you can in fact fire it without touching the trigger.

(pistol fires) And now of course that kills the, or actually, it did reset, let me see if I can fire it one more time here.

(pistol fires) (dry fires) (cycles pistol) (dry fires) (cycles pistol) (pistol fires) So yeah.

In theory you could, I guess, compete in IDPA and not ever have to touch the trigger on this pistol.

Also, not the most handsome pistol I’ve ever seen.

(pistol fires) (pistol fires) (pistol fires) (pistol fires) (pistol fires) (pistol fires) All right I’m going to see if I can accurately shoot this gun without pulling the trigger.

(pistol fires) (cycles pistol) (pistol fires) (cycles pistol) (pistol fires) Three out of three, not bad, actually.

So something tells me that the Type 94 would not make it through a modern firearm manufacturer’s legal department.

Other people also basically become apologists for this pistol and say that it was meant to be carried without a round in the chamber and with the safety on at all times.

The safety of course only blocks the movement of the sear bar, which is actually kind of funny in and of itself.

But realistically, they made over 70,000 of these and the fact that something like that could happen, I mean, think, if you were holstering your pistol it’s possible that you could bump that sear bar and shoot yourself in the leg.

That is not something you want to happen if you’re stuck inside of a tank or, well, really at any point, ever, when you’re doing anything.

But this is a terrible gun.

It’s extremely dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing.

I kind of barely know what I’m doing, but even then, every time I take this thing out it’s bizarre.

And you show people that this was designed this way, and it was okayed by an ordnance board.

And that’s the most shocking part is that other Japanese firearms are spectacular.

They had some real stinkers.

This one is, in my opinion, absolutely horrendous.

Anyways everybody, I hope you enjoyed this video.

Big thanks to Ventura Munitions.

We hope to see you next time.



Alex C.

Alex is a Senior Writer for The Firearm Blog and Director of TFBTV.


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  • MrEllis

    My daily carry, because I’m a loose cannon.

    • Swarf

      McBain!!

  • Ian McCollum

    I rather like the Type 94.

    • Bob

      I’ve never shot it or even handled one, but I suspect you are in the minority here… I think for my surplus .380 level pistols needs I’ll stick with my Makarov.

      • Ian McCollum

        I’m sure I am – it has a pretty entrenched reputation.

        • CountryBoy

          Unfortunately, “entrenched” can also mean “six feet under”!

    • I dont hate them, but I sure dont like them!

    • Darren Hruska

      Well, despite it being very crude and having that “fatal” design flaw, the gun did seem to run relatively well. So, it MAY have that going for it. That, and its value as a collector’s piece.

    • Zebra Dun

      The most accurate rifle I ever owned was a Type 38 Arisaka in 6.5 x 50 mm, it was literally a tack driver but was almost as long as I am tall and had the most frustrating bolt action to operate.

  • Big Daddy

    You didn’t say for whom.

    If we are talking about the operator and people around him how about this Taurus.
    http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2014/03/20/brazilian-police-pistol-accidental-discharges/

  • marathag

    Near as dangerous as any other pistol that had a fixed firing pin on the hammer.

    Also, Lugers have exposed sears too, it’s just a little harder to get at

  • UD

    What happened to Patrick? I enjoyed his insights as a shooter….

    • sauerquint

      He did a really sneering, whiny review of a Colt that just destroyed any credibility he had.

      • UD

        Must have missed that. Though Colts are HARDLY gods weapons….

        • ostiariusalpha

          They’re not. And that article came out in November, in which a bunch of whiners came out in the comments section to nitpick his criticism of the Colt MARC 901; Patrick has had plenty of articles on TFB since then. In fact, he has one on concealment mirrors published just today.

    • MrEllis

      Where is the dude?

    • Patrick R.

      I have decided to focus on other things currently. While I really enjoyed working with Alex on the YouTube channel it just isn’t in the cards for me at this time. I may appear in a video here and there as I am able to.

  • Ed

    Sad thing was this was a general issue pistol to tank and aircraft officers. Type 14s where meant for Officers as a whole. This was made for vehicle and aircraft crews who couldn’t hold a rifle or carbine for fighting. Overall this pistol is much like there tanks. Over complicated under powered and was laughed at by American GIs.

    Many GIs did bring Type 94s back to the USA after the war…… mostly as a joke and object of ridicule.

    • Zebra Dun

      Did not expect the Tank or aircraft crews to survive long enough to have to use a pistol except to finish off wounded, shoot cowards and deserters or commit suicide.

  • DW

    You guys actually aim them? There’s a chance the bolt breaks off and flies backward…
    Still doesn’t make you a 1980s SEAL though.

  • A guest

    But soju is Korean…

    • ostiariusalpha

      Actually, he said shōchū. Both shōchū and soju ultimately derive from the Chinese shāojiǔ, so you’re wrong on all counts. 😄

  • Strongarm

    Having a risk in a par with single action handguns with unguarded stud triggers. Are they all dangerous…

  • jerry young

    to say the least it’s an interesting although dangerous firearm, for a collector it would be a good addition, for use I would only shoot this at a range and that’s all, as far as the magazine this is the same way most .22’s are loaded today and I wouldn’t mind that feature on some of my other larger caliber guns, ugly is in the eye of the beholder I kind of like the looks a least it doesn’t look like it was hammered out of a few pieces of tin

  • Hans Gruber

    The pistols are locked by a ” Short lol-ling block” Hehehehe

  • L. Roger Rich

    Glisenti is a crap gun from Itally

  • Zebra Dun

    There was a biography of some world war two soldier or Marine translator who observed a pep talk by a Japanese Officer to his men before going on a banzai attack, about half way through the talk with lots of gestures pistol in hand the Officer accidentally shot himself and died where upon all the men were some disheartened or emboldened killed them selves too.
    He may have been armed with one of these, though I believe most went to the Japanese Air Forces.
    I have seen one in a museum and it is an ugly pistol.

  • Great_Baldung

    Dangerous AND uglier than sin.

    You can’t beat old Japanese pistols, can you?