Nambu World: Type 14 Rubberized Canvas Holster-JMCH X

            By 1941-42 leather was getting scarce. The Japanese came up with an ingenious solution. They made holsters out of several layers of canvas bonded together with latex. These “rubberized canvas” holsters not only solved the problem of scarcity of leather, they were also almost indestructible in tropical climates, unlike leather, which rots easily when exposed to heat and humidity. The Type IX uses rubberized canvas for the spare striker pocket, while this one, the Type X, uses leather. I got this holster in a package deal with a vet along with a Type 94 cleaning rod and a 19.6 (June, 1944) dated Kokubunji Type 14 pistol. His buddy had seized it from a Japanese police officer on the streets of Tokyo early in the Occupation when the Japanese police were not yet authorized to carry sidearms.


The holster is in almost mint condition and shows only a tiny bit of scuffing to the thin leather edging on the upper front edge of the flap, which is where the user’s arm would come into contact with it as he swung his arms while walking. Here is a shot of the back. As you can see, the strap rings are square and painted with black lacquer. The hinge that holds the flap on is made of leather so that it will remain flexible. Leather is also used for the edging, closure strap, toe cap, inner blocks, stud reinforcements, edge spacer and the cleaning rod retaining loop inside.


            Here is the holster with the flap open. The ammo pouch is made of fewer layers of rubberized canvas so that it will be a bit more flexible than the body. The body and flap on almost all of these holsters that I have seen are hard as a rock. If the material has hardened and you try to flex it, the layers may start to separate. If you are buying a rubberized canvas holster, be sure to check the closure tab on the flap on the ammo pouch, as this is where de-lamination is most likely. The shoulder straps, if present, are almost always starting to de-laminate as well.


            This close-up shows the spare striker pocket better. As you can see it is made of leather, probably for added flexibility. A certain amount of give in the material is necessary here to allow it to expand as the striker (firing pin) is pushed in and then contract to provide a close fit and retain it by friction.


These holsters generally only have an inspection mark, not a date. The ones I have seen all have this kanji, which is Na, the first character in Nagoya.


Another key wear point on these holsters as well as the leather ones with spring closures is the very fine leather used to cover the springs in the closure strap. In many cases it is severely worn or even totally missing. Fortunately this example is in fantastic condition with no wear at all to this leather. There is a small spring inside each of the three ridges formed by the two lines of stitching. They are about like the springs used in ballpoint pens but shorter. Note that even with almost no wear to the holster the lacquer is starting to peel off these small fittings. This is most likely due to inadequate surface preparation in the late wartime rush to increase production.



Last updated: June 27, 2006. All contents are copyright Teri unless otherwise specified and may not be used elsewhere in any form without prior permission.

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