What to do with my Nambu

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What to do with my Nambu

Postby Dilligas » Wed, 15 Jun 2011 09:50:03

Guys, I picked this thing up for 20 bucks at a yard sale back in the late 80's. Been sitting in my safe ever since. The original grips are missing, and came with some homemade alum. grips. The lever has broken on what I assume is the safety on the left side. It has all matching #'s including the magazine. Ironically, it also came in an old "US" holster. I just thought it was a neat find, but really don't want it taking up space any longer. Does it have any value? Any trade value? Just looking at options here.


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Re: What to do with my Nambu

Postby Dilligas » Wed, 15 Jun 2011 10:29:31

Tonight I will take some pics, I'm sure that will help everyone decide if it has any value. As I posted on another forum, I was originally interested in this because it came in an old "US" holster. The holster has a Captains name carved into it and thought it would be cool to research the guy and see if he was stationed in the pacific and maybe took it as a war prize. Back when I first got it, there was no easy way to trace that sort of thing, but now-a-days I'm sure its pretty easy.


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Re: What to do with my Nambu

Postby Dilligas » Wed, 15 Jun 2011 14:56:07

Some quick pics with my phone;

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Re: What to do with my Nambu

Postby Dilligas » Wed, 15 Jun 2011 14:57:36

And the holster with the name carvings;

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Re: What to do with my Nambu

Postby Hiwaytahell » Wed, 15 Jun 2011 17:14:37

I think you should sell it to me for 20.00. I have the cash. :hysterical:
Your Nambu was produced in Feb. 1944 according to the date code...19.2 under the serial number.
You are correct the safety is broken off...
Assuming there are no import marks on it, more than likely it's a GI bringback from WW2.

IF it was mine... I would get another pair of grips (gunbroker), and a safety ( might be hard to find...not sure).
Replica, or original holster (gunbroker again).
And keep it.
That is a great piece of history, with many stories behind it.
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Re: What to do with my Nambu

Postby Jakeiscrazy » Wed, 15 Jun 2011 18:28:18

Very cool pistol!

Here what I suggest: Sell it to me for $21 dollars!

But seriously do what Hiwaytahell said but also pick yourself up a Ruger Mark 1. The Mark series was based off the Nambu. It should be fun to compare the two! I wouldn't if you can even find ammo for this gun.
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Re: What to do with my Nambu

Postby Dilligas » Wed, 15 Jun 2011 20:14:16

Well, I've made a bit of progress with some research. I contacted a fellow named Dan Larkin who has put together a database of all Nambu's made. He had this to say; "your pistol is a Kokubunji First Series example produced in February 1944 (19.2). The current observed serial range for that pistol month is 18808 to 19056. The reported high 19.1 is 18792, and the reported low 19.3 is 19102. So, you pistol falls within the observed range. Of the 35 possible arsenal/series/yearly date code combination markings, the Kokubunji First 19-date ranks #11 in terms of a rarity listing of examples produced with just less than 1,800 examples made."

I also contacted Teri who has the Nambu World website, she says the wooden handles were extremely fragile and solders would often make "field" handles out of just about anything from bamboo to metal from downed aircraft, she said mine look to be from the latter but no real way to tell.

Pretty cool eh?

Today has been pretty fun figuring this stuff out, still not sure what I'm going to do with it. :roll:


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Re: What to do with my Nambu

Postby Dilligas » Wed, 15 Jun 2011 20:15:39

Jakeiscrazy wrote:Very cool pistol!

Here what I suggest: Sell it to me for $21 dollars!

But seriously do what Hiwaytahell said but also pick yourself up a Ruger Mark 1. The Mark series was based off the Nambu. It should be fun to compare the two! I wouldn't if you can even find ammo for this gun.


Very true, From wikipedia

"However, there was one redeeming quality that had apparently caught the eye of William B. Ruger who had acquired a captured Nambu from a returning US Marine, shortly after World War II ended in 1945.[2] Bill Ruger duplicated two Baby Nambus in his garage,[3] and although he decided against marketing them, the handgun's rear cocking device and the Nambu's silhouette was incorporated into one of the most popular .22 semi-automatic pistols to ever enter the US firearms market, when in 1949 the Ruger Standard (and later Mark I, II, and III) pistols were sold to the US public.[2]"


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Re: What to do with my Nambu

Postby DCPearceMD » Mon, 01 Aug 2011 10:08:29

In excellent condition, the Baby Nambu sells for $3000-$5000. Unfortunately, yours does not meet this standard. There is some value to it as a collector's item, though. I would be willing to pay you a very fair price for the gun and holster if you are interested in selling them. Let me know what you might be willing to accept as a fair price. DCPearceMD

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Re: What to do with my Nambu

Postby kanata67 » Wed, 03 Aug 2011 03:32:27

his fair price probably would be higher than my outbid of $22 :roll:
seriously I think it's a very cool piece but if it has no personal attachment sell it for a profit and buy something you want. tell you what... $25 plus shipping and you can sell the holster to DCPearceMD :roll:
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Re: What to do with my Nambu

Postby DCPearceMD » Fri, 05 Aug 2011 15:24:19

In all honesty, if I were you, Dilligas, I would keep it. I would keep it just as it is. Some GI probably made those grips from a piece of downed aircraft aluminum so that he could use the weapon in a crunch. Aluminum wasn't readily available otherwise at that time. You never know. The person who made those grips may have been in hiding after bailing out of a damaged airplane and worked feverishly to make a broken found weapon functional in case he was discovered by the enemy before finding his way back to friendly territory. I would spend time researching the names on the holster to see if I could learn more about the brave soul(s) who might have used that weapon to save himself (themselves). It's highly unlikely that you or anyone else would ever attempt to fire the weapon anyway.

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Re: What to do with my Nambu

Postby RugerJoe » Sat, 24 Sep 2011 08:26:36

Id personally hold on to it too. That really is a neat little piece of history.

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Re: What to do with my Nambu

Postby tacdriver » Wed, 13 Feb 2013 20:58:10

You have a nice piece of history imho, If it were I, I keep at as is, thank you for sharing the story and pictures


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Re: What to do with my Nambu

Postby Donkey » Sat, 09 Mar 2013 10:53:52

OOOOH! I like!

Send me a PM if you are interested in parting with it!


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Re: What to do with my Nambu

Postby RWBlue01 » Sat, 09 Mar 2013 13:47:57

Very nice.

Thanks for showing it. It is were mine I would put it next to my grandfathers Japanese rifle bring back.

I have no idea about the value.


It may be worthwhile to see if the NRA museum would want it. Gift, purchase or just store it on display until you want it back.


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