Friday, October 5, 2012

8 MM Nambu

8 MM Jap Nambu with ammo 8 MM Jap Nambu The Japanese military moved into the 20’th century in 1904 by introducing the 8 mm Nambu semi auto pistol called the 04. That replaced the 9 mm Jap revolver, which was a low powered rimmed 9 mm. In 1925 the type 14 was introduced having been designed by General Kijiro Nambu in the 14th year of the Taisho Emperor. The 14 is a recoil operated locked breech pistol. The model 14’s shape was partly inspired by the Luger and the action was partially derived from the Broomhandle though it had some of its own original features. The 14 was an improvement over the model 4 though it was still complicated and somewhat unreliable especially during bad weather. The magazine which holds 8 rounds is hard to remove and the safety requires two hands both bad features in a combat handgun. During the campaign in China they found out that the trigger guard was too small for use with gloves so an oversize model was introduced to remedy that situation. It was the mainstay through WW ll though other weapons were employed. Some Japanese officers, however bought superior weapons such as a 9 mm or the 1911 45 ACP as the Nambu is underpowered. Like some other military powers the handgun was regarded as a badge as opposed to a serious combat weapon.
7 mm Nambu ammmo The 7 mm Baby Nambu was utilized by some Japanese officers who had to buy their own weapons. The 7 mm used a .283 diameter bullet weighing from 56 to 70 grains. The listed factory load shows a 56 grain at about 1250 FPS rendering it useless for serious social work. The 7 mm diameter is unusual in a handgun and as far as I know the only gun chambered for a round in this caliber. It was a light, small and underpowered weapon and is seldom seen today. The 8 mm round was somewhat more powerful then a 32 auto but not by a lot. It is in the same class as the 8 mm Lebel revolver and the 8 mm Roth Steyer. Neither should be considered a serious military round. It uses an 8 mm .320 diameter bullet weighing from about 85 to 105 grain bullets. The military round featured a 103 grain bullet at about 1060 FPS. In power it is inferior to most of the side arms used by most other countries involved in the fray. Here is a load that I found to work well and is accurate. The crude sights make it hard to shoot accurately until you get used to them. The trigger can be a challenge to master, being a fairly typical military type. Load BULLET VELOCITY COMMENT 4 X 231 85 grain 1026 good load The pistol resembles a Luger in looks however the designs have nothing in common. The cartridge resembles a 30 Luger but isn’t loaded as hot. One in good shape usually goes for several hundred dollars and can be found with some searching around. Ammo is somewhat available as are reloading components. If you can’t find cases, they can be made from 40 S & W necked down. It is worth the effort to locate ammo and shoot it. Like all historical military weapons the Nambu is a great addition to any collection and well worth owning.
Note resemblence between Luger and Nambu

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