TFBTV: Japan’s Type 14 Nambu (or “How Patrick Might Have Lost His Foot”)

    It served the Imperial Japanese military for 40 years and drew inspiration from several sturdy European designs of the day, so how well does the Type 14 work? Well, we set out to find out!

    Many thanks to Christian for the German subtitles and Osamu for the Japanese subtitles.

    Transcription below …

    – While I’m clearing this awesome malfunction, I want to say thank you– (gun fires) Whoa! – [Voiceover] OK. So, that happened.

    But we’ll get to that later.

    The gun we’re taking a look at today is the Type 14 Nambu pistol.

    The pistol was designed by Kijiro Nambu in 1902 and served the Empire of Japan from 1906 to 1945.

    Over 400,000 were made, and it fires eight millimeter Nambu, a rather weak cartridge with the same energy delivery as.380 ACP.

    The Japanese have historically been very revered for their prowess on the field of battle.

    And when they modernized, they became immensely industrious.

    Japan quickly emerged as a world power after rapid industrialization, and in a short while mighty factories began to produce arms for the empire.

    The Type 14 is a product of the Land of the Rising Sun.

    But I won’t place as much faith in it as I do the old Honda Dream.

    – Alright, so here we are at the range with the Type 14.

    Let’s see how she shoots.

    (gun fires) First round, we had a malfunction.

    (gun fires) (gun fires) (gun fires) (gun fires) (gun fires) (gun fires) So the first mag didn’t go so well.

    Maybe subsequent magazines will.

    Alright, this is magazine number two with the Type 14 Nambu.

    (gun fires) That actually resulted in a double feed when I tried to…

    fix the malfunction, so I’m gonna have to redo this one.

    Alright, malfunction repaired.

    Let’s try and get the rest of the mag done.

    (gun fires) (gun fires) (gun fires) (gun fires) (gun fires) (gun fires) (gun fires) I will say that when it shoots, it does shoot pretty well.

    It feels OK.

    My only complaint is that the back of the gun has a very sharp ridge that digs in pretty good to the web of your hand.

    But other than that, if it didn’t malfunction, it’d be OK.

    – So it’s my turn to give the Nambu a try.

    And, well, I guess we’ll just see how it goes.

    I’ve got a target set up about, I guess 15 yards out, something like that.

    So let’s give it a shot.

    (gun fires) (gun fires) (gun fires) (gun fires) While I’m clearing this awesome malfunction, I want to say thank you– (gun fires) Whoa! (laughs) Holy sh–! Oh! So we’re gonna give this another shot.

    If you saw before, me remove the magazine, these guns do have a magazine disconnect.

    So I pulled the magazine out to clear the malfunction and when I touched the bolt handle, it fired for no good reason at all.

    I do want to thank the designer of this gun for his efforts for the Allies in the war.

    Because this is pretty terrible so far.

    Let’s see if we can actually hit the target without shooting myself.

    (gun fires) (gun fires) I’ve had more rounds come out and hit the ground than hit the target.

    (gun fires) (gun fires) (gun fires) (gun fires) If you notice the slide closed, or I guess the bolt closed whenever you pull the magazine out because the bolt hold open is on the magazine itself, making quick magazine changes kind of a figment of the designer’s imagination.

    Well, at about 15 yards we have pretty good combat accuracy.

    You’ll notice a couple ones up here at the top of the target and I’ll be honest, those are here because I was kind of terrified of the gun at this point.

    But, you know, it’s pretty accurate for what it is.

    Still, I think the Type 94 might be a better gun.

    – Alright, we’re gonna try and get through a full mag with the Type 14.

    (gun fires) And take two, here we go.

    (gun fires) (gun fires) (gun fires) (sighs frustratedly) This time it just didn’t cock the…

    firing pin.

    (gun fires) (gun fires) (gun fires) Ironically, still about as reliable as a Reising.

    – So now it’s my chance to see if I can get it to run through a full mag.

    If I can get it to insert.

    (gun fires) (sighs) (gun fires) Alright, so now that I’ve cleared the malfunction, time to try again.

    (gun fires) – [Man] And have another malfunction.

    – Hmm.

    What it’s doing is it’s trying to stovepipe.

    (sighs) (gun fires) (gun fires) (gun fires) (gun fires) (gun fires) (gun fires) (gun fires) (gun fires) (gun fires) – I’m starting to think maybe there was something to Imperial Japanese soldiers using bayonets and swords rather than stuff like this.

    (gun fires) (gun fires) OK.

    (sighs) Alright, guys, so that’s our range day with the Type 14.

    Unfortunately, it didn’t go so well.

    And I wouldn’t recommend that this be a home defense gun anytime soon.

    – No, I think a rock would be better suited for that.

    – (laughs) But we put a hundred rounds through it.

    A number of factors could contribute to this gun’s unreliability, including the ammo.

    It could just be a bad design, however, I know other Nambu owners will say that they work fine.

    So maybe there’ll be a part two on this, but until I can find some more ammo, which is very hard, it might just be a wall hanger.

    – That said, we do want to remind you to practice gun safety.

    The catastrophic failure we had earlier, where the gun fired without me touching the trigger, could’ve hurt somebody pretty bad if we weren’t following those rules.

    – Absolutely. That’s no question, guys.

    So anyway, stay safe out there.

    Thanks for watching TFB TV. Hit that subscribe button.

    Steve Johnson

    I founded TFB in 2007 and over 10 years worked tirelessly, with the help of my team, to build it up into the largest gun blog online. I retired as Editor in Chief in 2017. During my decade at TFB I was fortunate to work with the most amazing talented writers and genuinely good people!