Japanese Inagaki and Sugiura Pistols at RIA
The most common Japanese pistols used during World War II were the Type 14 and Type 94 Nambu designs, by a huge margin. However, there were a number of other handguns used in small numbers, and today we’re looking at two of those. The first is the Sugiura, essentially a copy of the Colt 1903 made under Japanese supervision in China. Some 6000 or so of these were made, including production which continued for a time after the end of Japanese occupation. The second is the Inagaki, which was a domestic Japanese design not copied from anything else. About 500 of these were made in .32 ACP before production stopped to convert the design to 8mm Nambu. The 8mm Inagaki pistols were not successful and never went into serial production, though. The first 500 made were used by the Imperial Japanese Navy and as pilots’ sidearms, where compactness was more important than terminal ballistics.