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WWII Japanese Type 26 Revolver with Hardshell Holster

Product Description

WWII Japanese Type 26 Revolver with Original Hardshell Holster

Please check out my website at newmarketarms.com FIRST for this and other antique military firearms.

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This is an original and fine condition Japanese Type 26 Revolver that comes with an original standard Type 26 Hardshell holster.

The Imperial Japanese military came late to officially adopted sidearms with adoption in the late 1870s of the Smith & Wesson break action revolver in .44 Russian caliber. A decade later, the Japanese determined that a domestically produced sidearm was needed and in 1888 the Tokyo Artillery Arsenal began research and development into a replacement. The final design was completed in 1893 and adopted in 1894.

Ordinarily, Japanese military firearms are typed according to the year of adoption by the military. The new sidearm is an exception, however, because the weapon has been officially referred to as the Type 26, referring to the 26th year of the reign of Japanese Emperor Meiji. Technically, with the adoption of the new revolver on March 29, 1894, the weapon should have been referred to as the Type 27, but the Type 26 became the official name.

The new revolver design was based on several existing revolvers designs of the late 19th century. The top-break system is similar to, and undoubtedly based on, the earlier Smith & Wesson design. The simple internal lock mechanism and opening side plate are based on the Austrian Rast & Gasser revolver. And the break-actuated extraction system and trigger design are based on the British Mark I Webley revolver.

The Japanese Type 26 Revolver is generally known as having very good fit and finish and is also known for its two principal shortcomings. The first is that the revolver is double-action only, which reduces accuracy for single shots and requires a long, heavy trigger pull. The second shortcoming, which is much more serious for a military firearm, is the cylinder stop design. In the Type 26, the cylinder stop only engages the cylinder notches once the trigger is moved to the rear and the hammer has begun its rearward travel. Once the trigger is released after the weapon has been fired, the cylinder stop recesses into the frame and the cylinder is free to revolve. This is a problem because the cylinder can revolve through rapid movement of the revolver or brushing against something such that the when the trigger is pulled the cylinder can come to rest in the firing position on an empty chamber.

Although the shortcomings of the Type 26 were serious in a military sidearm, these were somewhat offset by the ease of disassembly for cleaning and repair. The Trigger Guard is first to the rear and downward. This releases the Side Plate, which opens to the rear. Most Type 26 Revolvers I have observed have scratched and dented finger recesses at the side plate, which occurs when someone unfamiliar with disassembly of this weapon attempt to pry the side plate open while the trigger guard is still attached. This particular Type 26 has a perfect recess.

The Type 26 fires a thin-rimmed 9mm x 22mm centerfire cartridge with a lead, unjacketed bullet. The standard military round used a 149-grain bullet firing at a relatively slow 500 feet per second.

The Type 26 was only manufactured at one location, the Tokyo Artillery Arsenal at Koishikawa, Tokyo. In terms of military firearms, the total production run of Type 26 Revolvers was very small with only 59,227 being produced from 1893 to 1925. All Type 26 Revolvers can be categorized into five distinct types, based on Harry L. Derby, III’s and James D. Brown’s definitive work, “Japanese Military Cartridge Handguns 1893-1945,” and these are limited early production with no external markings, limited early production with external markings but no serial number, standard production, limited modified final production and arsenal reworks. This particular Type 26 is serial number 50453, which places this in the standard production category.

Type 26 production officially ended in 1925 but, for all intents and purposes, Type 26 production stopped on September 1, 1923, when the “Great Kanto Earthquake Disaster” occurred. The earthquake, measuring 8.3 on the Richter scale, devastated Tokyo and killed 144,000 people. As a result, the remaining Type 26 production at the Tokyo Artillery Arsenal was very small with 400 revolvers manufactured in 1923, 60 revolvers in 1925 and 200 in 1925. Although an exact year of production cannot be ascertained because production records no longer exist, the approximate year of production of this Type 26 is around the late teens or early 1920s.

Due to the nearly three decades of production of the Type 26, the serialization and marking of these revolvers changed over time. Beginning at approximately serial number 40,000 and continuing through the balance of the standard production category, the Tokyo Artillery Arsenal used both serial numbers and assembly numbers that were not linked to the revolver’s serial number. These assembly numbers were assigned in repeating consecutive series that ran from 0 to 999.

The Side Plate retains 95% of its original blue finish. The Side Plate hinge is still tight and swings smoothly. As noted previously, the knurled portion of the finger groove area of the Side Plate is in fine condition with minor marring, which is seldom found on these Revolvers. The Sideplate Hinge Screw has an only slightly marred single slot, convex head and it retains traces of its original blue finish.

Both the Mainspring and the Rebound Lever (and Rebound Lever Screw) remain in their original bright finish. There is no pitting on these parts. The cylinder advance Hand retains its original bright finish with no pitting noted. The Trigger retains 95% of its original temper blue finish on the back arch and pivot arm and it retains 90% of its original blue finish on the front arch. The Trigger Guard retains 95% of its original blue finish with very minor wear noted on the sharp, outer edges and on the bottom of the bow from holster wear. The forward, cylinder portion has the matching partial serial number “760” on the right side. The crosshatching on the outer rear portion is in fine condition with minimal wear and retaining all of its original blue finish.

The Barrel retains 70% of its original charcoal blue finish with no pitting noted. The Front Sight is present and retains considerable original finish in the protected lee with holster wear noted on the sharp edges and on the edge of the front sight pin. The bore has strong rifling with a mirror finish and no pitting with frosting in the grooves. The bottom of the Barrel near the hinge point has the assembly number “87” as well as the matching partial serial number “760,” and there is an inspection stamp. The Hinge Pin Screw has a single slot, convex head and is unmarred and it retains traces of the original temper blue finish. The Barrel Hinge Pin has generally worn from holster wear to a pewter patina but is unmarred. The Barrel Latch retains 95% of its original blue finish with no wear noted on the knurled ends. The Barrel Latch Spring Plunger exhibits no wear and retains all of its blue finish.

The Extractor Cam retains the majority of its original blue finish with little wear noted. The Extractor Release retains the majority of its original blue finish with wear noted on the sharp corners of the disengage shoulder. The Extractor Release Tension Spring shows no wear and retains all of its original temper blue finish.

The Cylinder exhibits very minor holster wear on the outer surfaces but retains the majority of its original blue finish in the cylinder lock recesses and in the cylinder lightening cuts. The forward face of the Cylinder retains the majority of its original blue finish. The rear face of the Cylinder retains virtually all of its original blue finish with matching assembly number “87” and two “8”s on the face. All six chambers are very clean and exhibit virtually no firing wear. The Extractor also retains its original bright finish with no wear or pitting noted.

The Hammer retains 95% of its original bright tempered blue finish, to include the exposed head and the lower cam surfaces. The Firing Pin retains 95% of its original heat tempered blue finish. The Strut retains 95% of its original blue finish and the Strut Screw, which has an unmarred single slot, flat head, retains the majority of its original blue finish. The Hammer Stirrup retains 100% of its original blue finish and exhibits no wear, even where it engages the mainspring.

The Frame retains 95% of its original blue finish with wear noted on the sharp edges. The internal portions of the Frame exhibit no wear and it retains all of its original blued finish. The backstrap portion between the two grip panels retains most of its original blued finish. The flat portion of the Frame facing the Cylinder retains the majority of its original blue finish with very minor wear near the firing pin hole and the end of the Extractor where it engages the Hand. The right side of the Frame has the crisp Tokyo Artillery Arsenal mark over the kanji indicating “Type 26” over the serial number “37760.”

The Right Grip Panel is in fine condition, with its original oil finish and minimal wear to the checkering. The left panel is also in fine condition with its original finish and minimal wear on the checkering. There are no cracks or chips noted on this panel. Both Grip Panels fit securely in the frame when assembled.

The bottom of the pistol grip exhibiting a mixed plum and pewter patina with minor pinprick pitting. There are various sub-inspection kanji noted around the Lanyard Pin hole. The bottom, rounded end of the Lanyard Pin shows considerable holster wear. The Lanyard Loop also exhibits a plum and pewter patina with minor pinprick pitting.

This Type 26 Revolver comes with good condition and scarce standard Type 26 hardshell holster. This holster, made of high-quality cowhide, has the original ammunition pouch with 18 cartridge loops on the front. The cleaning rod leather pouch is present as is the original blued cleaning rod. The original flap closure is present and is still tightly stitched to the hardshell and the original two-piece brass closure is present although the leather is crazed on the strap and there is another hole in the leather to secure the strap to the brass stud. Both brass studs (for the shell and ammo pouch flaps) are present.

This Type 26 functions perfectly in every respect. The trigger pull is crisp and the hammer release is also crisp. There is no play at the hinge point and the extractor extracts smoothly and snaps back sharply. The cylinder rotates freely with no binding.

This revolver is C&R eligible and will come shipped in a new pistol hard case. This revolver will also come with an historic writeup and a CD containing all of the photos in the listing. I accept Visa and MasterCard and charge NO FEES. Please let me know if you have any questions or if you would like additional photos posted.

 

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