Type 94 Nambu Pistol
The Japanese WWII era Type 94 Nambu Pistol has garnered a reputation as one of history’s worst pistols to have ever been issued to a military. Its basic maintenance was difficult because it was overly complex and had too many parts, rendering disassembly and reassembly awkward; it was prone to firing off unintentionally if jarred; and added to the design defects were manufacturing defects stemming from poor workmanship and inadequate quality control in the production plants.
Among the Type 94’s myriad problems was that it did not have a hammer, but used a firing pin instead – and a weak firing pin at that, which broke easily when firing. When firing, accurate aiming with the sights could be impossible because the front blade atop the muzzle and the rear ‘v’ were often misaligned. The pistol had too many parts, which made cleaning and daily upkeep overly onerous.
The parts were not finely machined and did not fit well with each other, which led to frequent jamming. It had a small grip, and a correspondingly small magazine that held only 6 rounds. And the magazine, which was held in place by bolt pressure inside the pistol, was hard to reload and insert, and often disengaged and came loose if the pistol was jarred, placed on a hard surface, or 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, even with the safety switch in the ‘on’ position.