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The Nambu Type 94 was an 8mm handgun designed by Colonel Kijirō Nambu of the Imperial Japanese Army. It is often regarded as the worst handgun ever to see military service.
The Type 94 could fire the 8x22mm Nambu Cartridge out of a six round magazine with a muzzle velocity of about 300 meters per second. Its total weight meanwhile was about 580 grams unloaded with a total length of 181 millimeters. The construction of the weapon can best be described as shoddy craftsmanship even at the height of the weapon's design when adequate materials were accessible. The quality went even farther down as the war progressed.
The Type 94 was, unlike Nambu's earlier pistols, a completely new and original design. It was designed to overcome issues that surrounded the Nambu Type 14, including weight and size. The Type 94 cost more to produce than the Type 14 and was generally less reliable in every way. The main issue with the weapon was that it could often be accidentally discharged simply by knocking a sear on the side of the receiver. This led to accidents in which it prematurely fired whilst in the holster of a soldier in action. The Type 94 was mostly issued to airmen and vehicle crewmen, and as such did not see much use. In total, around 70,000 examples had been produced during the war.
The Type 94's serious design flaws were reportedly taken advantage of by Japanese troops. Upon finding themselves in a hopeless situation, Japanese soldiers and officers would often commit suicide rather than be captured by the enemy. If captured, Japanese officers who were issued with the pistol apparently presented it to their captors as expected, but before it could be confiscated they would hit the side of the receiver, causing it to fire at themselves, killing them. However, most reports are either unproven or missing details. Still, U.S. forces issued a bulletin during the war to warn soldiers participating the Pacific battles not to pick up any "Japanese autoloading pistols" as they may be a danger to the user, and also warning of any potential suicide attempts that might be deployed by high-ranking Japanese P.O.W.s wielding the weapon.
- ↑ http://world.guns.ru/handguns/hg/jap/nambu-type-94-e.html
- ↑ The Illustrated World Encyclopedia of Guns
- ↑ Infantry Weapons of World War II
- ↑ Firearms Curiosa