Logo
 
Home      Type II Model A
 



NAMBU MACHINE PISTOLS
Type II  Model A
THE TYPE II, Model A, Machine Pistol patented by Kijiro Nambu in 1935. Rejected by the Army but used by the Imperial Naval Marines in the Sino-Japanese War and Shanghai invasion. A 50 round cartridge magazine extended from the pistol grip. The projection at the bottom of the magazine was a latch used to lock the weapon in a vehicle mount.
 
After World War I, new submachine gun [machine pistol] designs were appearing in the world markets. The importance of this new infantry weapon was being created by inventors and industrial promoters to the ruling military establishments in many countries. Its significance in a post world war era was being underestimated and lacking in priorities. Although Japan was plagued with wars, the Military High Command was not aggressive in their strategy for a rapid fire pistol even though they had been experiencing positive results with their machine gun activities.

In the late 1920’s, both the Japanese Army and Navy increased their attention for use of such ordnance. Through the early 1930’s there was a limited amount of importations of foreign machine pistols for research and testing by the services. One model, which showed favoritism, was the Schweizerischi Industrie Gesellschaft [SIG] MODEL 1920 in 7.63mm caliber. Some were purchased for the Army and equipped with a barrel shroud attachment for bayonets. They were eventually used on the eastern fronts. The Navy issued some to their Marine units.

In the late 1920’s, both the Japanese Army and Navy increased their attention for use of such ordnance. Through the early 1930’s there was a limited amount of importations of foreign machine pistols for research and testing by the services. One model, which showed favoritism, was the Schweizerischi Industrie Gesellschaft [SIG] MODEL 1920 in 7.63mm caliber. Some were purchased for the Army and equipped with a barrel shroud attachment for bayonets. They were eventually used on the eastern fronts. The Navy issued some to their Marine units.
 
ithout any command organization for need or assignment of such weapons the Japanese military government maintained a passive attitude toward this type of ordnance thusly funding was of minimum concern and mostly allocated for foreign weapon evaluation. There was very little allotment for development of such weapons by the military arsenal systems. This passive attitude would eventually play a major role in Japan’s military ordnance strategy. It did in fact force civilian weapon producers to finance and develop their own machine pistols and market them to Japan’s military, and at the same time, present them on the world market to recover development costs.

The Navy in fact did not have a machine pistol as a standard for use before or during World War II, but only utilized what foreign weapons they had captured during conquests and a small amount produced and supplied by the Army.

 

One of the first civilian machine pistols was developed by Kijiro Nambu and presented through his company, Nambu-Ju Seizosho K.K., in 1934. [This same year his company received a design award for an automatic pistol, which later would be adopted as Type 94 pistol]. The machine pistol would be the first of three in a series of SIG/Bergman patterns. It was offered in the Japanese standard 8mm bottleneck cartridge. Designated Type I, [Note their use of Roman numerals], it was offered as Model A in 300 rounds per minute cyclic rate and Model B at 600 r.p.m. Utilizing a 50 round capacity magazine, it measured 27.2 inches in length and had a weight of 7.1 pounds. The barrel was surrounded in a tubular jacket with cooling openings while the wood stock was attached in a variety of options to accommodate fixed and folding styles. A unique design of the weapon was the use of a high capacity curved cartridge magazine that extended from inside the pistol grip. World designers would not utilize this feature for nearly 2 decades when Czechoslovakia and Israel incorporated it into their machine pistol applications.
 

Tested in 1936 and 1937, the Army rejected the weapon as unreliable, but cited that they might reconsider if further modifications and improvements were made.

The second in the series had several redesign features and was designated Type II, Model A. Kijiro Nambu, company president, applied for its patent on September 22 and December 19, 1934. Patents were issued in July and October of 1935.

It was tested initially in June 1937 but had numerous malfunctions and was rejected by the Government. In August of 1937, the Cavalry School again tested the weapon, but they recommended against it stating improvements were needed in both construction and operation, even though the Army did use a small quantity in 1937/38 during the Shanghai conflict. The Navy also was furnished “samples” for their combat maneuvers. Without the encouragement from its own government, the company turned to world markets to sell the gun and indicating it was being used by their military. In January 1936, the British military had shown an interest in the weapon and solicited comments from its Armory Department. They returned comments in a memo on 29 February 1936 and agreed to purchase one sample and 1000 rounds of ammunition for testing and evaluation. A later communication from the Ambassador in Tokyo on 7 March 1938 however, indicated the weapon was no longer being manufactured and samples were not available.

A major setback for the manufacturer was offering the gun on the world market in their 8mm bottleneck cartridge, as it was used only by the Japanese and they had no experience with use of the test calibers.

Without any international sales, and rejection by their military, further action was halted in favor of a substantially new and less complex design by the Nambu firm. Based on some of the features of the original Type I weapon, they presented the Type III Model A Machine Pistol to the Government in 1939. After considerable testing by various services it was modified and designated Type III model B. The Government accepted the gun. Adopted by the Army for production and distribution, its official designation was Type 100 Machine Pistol.

 

In mid 1944, government orders were issued for an additional machine pistol of simpler design that could be cheaply built to supplement the existing Type 100 weapon production. The Nambu firm who had merged and was renamed as Chuo Kogyo K.K., received some government funding to resurrect the Type II weapon development project in an effort to refine it into an acceptable gun in the shortest period of time.

 

It continued to retain the recoil spring, and buffer features. The bolt-retracting unit as an assembly was maintained and the magazine protruded from the bottom of the gun. The lumber was a stock, which extended from the shoulder rest point along the entire length of the gun and stopped just short of the barrel muzzle. It was hollowed out to form a guard for the trigger. A separated sectioned receiver was attached to the stock to serve as the base for the action assembly. Using the standard 8mm pistol cartridge, it operated at a cyclic rate of 600 r.p.m. . The selective fire weapon was 25.25 inches in length overall and a barrel length of 9 inches. Its weight was 7.75 pounds with a fully loaded magazine. The gun also contained a provision for bayonet attachment with an alternate feature on the front end of the stock, that incorporated a metal cap and lugs for fixed mounting application.

The basic advantage of the weapon was its shortness as noted in the overhang of the buffer section. It also allowed use of minimum size bolt of less weight. The disadvantage was the expense to manufacture because of the forming and machining operations required. Its 1944 debut was too late in the war and only a small quantity were produced, the highest serial number observed being number 9.




Type II  Model B
TYPE II, model B in prototype as a selective fire weapon. The Allies in World War II dubbed it BULLPUP. The stock front end is capped with a metal plate and lugs for fixed mounting.

 
 AUTHOR FOOTNOTE. The original nomenclature for the automatic weapon of pistol cartridge design was referred to by the Japanese as “rapid fire pistol”. The earliest reference to a more distinctive change was in advertising the Nambu Type II weapon on the world market. It was referred to as “Machine Pistol” in conformity with European designation of the particular type of ordnance and to distinguish it from the semi automatic pistols in title being produced by the Nambu firm. The term: “Sub Machine Gun” which has been alternately used in the past several decades was applied by the Allied military during and after World War II for descriptive purposes to match the English technical language. It is therefore appropriate to use the proper title of “Machine Pistol” in these works as intended by the originators.
 

 

REFERENCE: This works is excerpted from the soon to be published book: 

DRAGONS OF FIRE by william m.p. EASTERLY


 


 
 
 
 
All content and graphics (including Web pages, illustrations, photos, articles HTML code and all other materials) on this site are protected by U.S. and international copyright laws and international treaties. Material on this Web site may NOT be copied without the expressed permission of the Owner (William M. P. Easterly)  which reserves all rights. Re-use of any of DragonsofFire.com or The Belgian Rattlesnake content and graphics in any format for any purpose is strictly prohibited. DragonsOfFire.com permits the printing of pages from the web site only for personal and non-commercial use of our visitors, provided: all copyright and other notices on any such printed copy are accurately reproduced, and such pages are not subsequently copied or distributed in any manner to any other parties. Except for the above stated use, permission for any other use of materials from the Web Site must be granted in advance in writing by william m.p. Easterly