Grandpa Nambu Gallery


            I have never seen a Grandpa Nambu except in books, and probably this is true of most Japanese pistol collectors. In fact, I donft know if there is even one in all of Canada, where I live. However, through the generosity of a very advanced US collector, Mr. Shin Nimura, I am able to post here pictures not just of A Grandpa Nambu, but THE Grandpa Nambu, Serial number 1. It has been described in the Derby & Brown book as gwithout peer, the most desirable and valuable of all modern historic Japanese handgunsh (p. 50).


            This pistol is of enormous historical value as it shows the earliest development of the Nambu pistol, dating back to 1902. This photo shows some characteristics which are standard distinguishing features between Grandpas and Papas, and some that are unique to this pistol. Although there are several minor differences in appearance between Papas and Grandpas, the easiest for the non-specialist to note are that the Grandpa has a fixed (not swiveling) lanyard loop, an extremely small trigger guard, grips that do not cover the grip safety pin (bottom left of trigger guard in photo), a non-metallic magazine base and a stock slot in the back of the grip (most Papas either had no such slots or had them filled by order of the Navy). A unique feature of this particular pistol is that the magazine base is made out of horn rather than wood, as was standard on almost all Grandpas except some late production models. Papa magazine bases are made of aluminum. If you look carefully you will also see that the trigger spring on this gun is a coil spring rather than a leaf spring as on most Grandpas. The Grandpa was the first gun to use the 8mm Nambu cartridge that became the standard service pistol round in Imperial Japan.

(Photo courtesy of the Shin Nimura collection)


            There were two types of Grandpa wooden holster/stocks, gsmallh and glargeh. This is the small type and is carved out of beautiful maple wood. A rare leather holster was also made for those who did not want to use the wooden shoulder-stock/holster.

(Photo courtesy of the Shin Nimura collection)


Here is the stock attached to the pistol, showing the ingenious telescoping metal extension, which allowed the stock to be of more compact dimensions.

(Photo courtesy of the Shin Nimura collection)


Last updated: May 6, 2004. All contents are copyright Teri unless otherwise specified and may not be used elsewhere in any form without prior permission.


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