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Auction Date: April 30, 2016

Lot 1632: Tokyo Arsenal - 16 Shot

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Extremely Rare Documented Serial Number 3 Japanese "16 Shot" Prototype Semi-Automatic Nambu Pistol
Estimated Price: $16,000 - $22,500
Item Views 591 Bid Activity Average
Serial #Tokyo Arsenal - 16 Shot ManufacturerTokyo Arsenal Model16 Shot
TypePistol Gauge8 Mm Nambu Catalog Page322
Barrel5 Inch Round FinishBlue GripBlack Checkered Plastic
Stock ClassCurio & Relic Handgun RatingSee Condition
DescriptionThis is an exceptionally rare example of a Japanese "16 Shot" prototype Nambu pistol. These were a very limited design with only a few ever recorded or found. (The highest recorded number is serial number 14.) These were manufactured by the Tokyo Artillery Arsenal in Koishikawa circa 1921. These rare pistols were never officially adopted by the Japanese with all of the known examples being discovered reported by returning GI's after WWII. These were a completely new prototype design that was intended to utilize some of the best features of both the Grandpa and Papa Model 1902 Nambu pistol combined with the experimental increase in magazine capacity that was being develop by several other European countries. This pistol is massive, as the magazine is almost twice as wide as the standard Type 14 Nambu with the grip frame measuring approximately 1 1/4 inches wide. Interestingly they also made the upper receiver wider and also the breech bolt wider and flatter to compensate for the increased magazine width. This last feature is somewhat similar to the Lahti pistol design. It has many unique features such as the short front and rear bridges with an integral barrel/barrel extension, lightening cuts on both sides of the barrel extension, massive enlarged trigger guard bow and wide trigger, the magazine release is a small button mounted on the front of the lower grip strap, large concave cocking knob, with an internal recoil spring. It is fitted with a short tangent rear sight is marked 50 -3 (50- 300 meters) with a drift adjustable front sight (similar to the type 14) with no cut in the back strap. As noted this is serial number "3" and that serial number can be found on the lower back strap, the underside of the bolt, the spine of the magazine and base plate. It has a high polish blued finish overall with the trigger and safety lever showing straw colors. It is fitted with a set of replacement unnumbered black molded plastic, checkered grip panels. This exact pistol is photographed in Fred L. Honeycutt's book, Military Pistols of Japan.

ConditionVery fine plus retaining 95% plus of the original blue finish overall with only minor edge and high spot wear. The smaller parts; trigger and safety lever retain 40% of their soft, faded straw color mostly in the protected areas. The replacement grip panels are both in very fine condition with both sides slightly loss on the frame. Mechanically excellent. This is the only 16 shot prototype Nambu pistol that writer can recall ever offering at auction!
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