20. A Thoroughly Failed Pistol Design
To add to the users’ woes, the Type 94 Nambu Pistol had too many parts, which made daily maintenance and upkeep overly onerous. The parts were not finely machined and often failed to fit well with each other, so the pistol frequently jammed. It had a small grip, and a correspondingly small magazine that held only six rounds. And the magazine, which was held in place by bolt pressure inside the pistol, was hard to reload and insert. It frequently disengaged and came loose if the pistol was jarred, placed on a hard surface, or was simply inserted into a holster.
The biggest problem, however, which made the Type 94 one of history’s most dangerous pistols, was its tendency to discharge unintentionally. The cause was a sear bar located outside the pistol that could easily snag on the user’s holster or uniform. If that happened while a round was chambered, and the pistol was then jostled, wiggled, or placed on a hard surface in a manner that depressed the sear bar, it could discharge accidentally. The accidental discharge could occur even with the safety switch in the ‘on’ position.