Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 530: Japanese Model 1902 'Grandpa' Nambu Pistol with Stock

Auction Date: September 10, 2021

Rare Documented Japanese Model 1902 'Grandpa' Nambu Semi-Automatic Pistol with Matching Combination Holster/Shoulder Stock

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $22,500 - $35,000

Rare Documented Japanese Model 1902 'Grandpa' Nambu Semi-Automatic Pistol with Matching Combination Holster/Shoulder Stock

Manufacturer: Japanese State Military Weapons
Model: Grandpa Nambu
Type: Pistol
Gauge: 8 mm Nambu
Barrel: 4 inch round
Finish: blue
Grip: checkered hardwood
Stock: hardwood
Item Views: 1126
Item Interest: Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 364
Class: Curio & Relic Handgun

This is an exceptionally rare pre-war 1902 model Large Nambu pistol commonly called a 'Grandpa' Nambu. This specific pistol is listed by serial number in the book "The Hand Cannons Of Imperial Japan and has a large size combination wooden holster/shoulder stock that is also numbered (overstamped number) to the pistol. Writer believes this to be an arsenal alteration for the Thailand contract (see page 53 of "Japanese Military Cartridge Handguns 1893-1945" by Derby & Brown.) The lower front edge of the grip frame is also marked with a small Thai symbol which may account for why it still has the matching stock. This series of pistols were the first real Japanese production semi-automatic pistols that were refined overtime into the prolific Type 14 Nambu series. Approximately 2,350 total were produced before production changed to the later 'Papa' Nambu series. This pistol was produced at the Tokyo Arsenal and is so marked with the Kanji characters on the right side of the frame over the serial number and the four intertwined cannon balls on top of the chamber area. These pistols are equipped with adjustable tangent rear sight on top calibrated from 100-500 meters and a fixed inverted "v" front sight and the grip safety on the front of the grip strap. The grips are the original checkered hardwood versions, and it is complete with a correct (and matching) nickel plated Grandpa magazine that has the large wooden base with the checkered edges that is numbered "2108" on the back of the spine. The stock is the correct version that has the hollowed out section to house the pistol with the numbered telescoping front section.

Rating Definition:

Very fine, retaining 85% plus of the arsenal refinished blue finish, showing just some minor rub marks on the under side of the barrel, along the side of the recoil spring housing from going in and out of the stock, as well as the edges and high spots with some slight thinning on the front grip strap. The grips are fine, showing a nice matching dark brown color with minor handling marks and scratches on the sides from use. The stock shows much of the varnish on the wooden part with all the metal surfaces having been arsenal refurbished with the matching pistol serial number on the top edge. The stock itself shows several age cracks in some areas, a couple have been pinned to keep them from propagating, but none of them detract from the scarcity of this pistol. Mechanically fine. A very fine representative example of a pistol worthy of any World War II or Japanese Military collection.

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