The Vault

Japanese 1908 Hino-Komuro Pistol

We recently had the opportunity to take a look at a 1908 Japanese Hino-Komuro pistol – one of the most unique guns we’ve yet seen. It’s one of the very few true blow-forward designs ever built, and very few are known to still exist.

Over on the Hino-Komuro page of the Vault, we have photos of the gun and a copy of the US patent on the design (including several cutaway drawings). This pistol is so cool I can barely stand it. :)

 

Hino-Komuro pistol

Hino-Komuro pistol (cocked)

The design has no locking mechanism, and it is just inertia of the barrel traveling backwards that holds everything together until the bullet leaves the muzzle (as with any blowback design). The recoil energy from the shot has no way to push the breech of the gun rearwards, and so instead it acts on the barrel, pushing it forward against the recoil spring until it locks in place, ready for the next shot.

There are only about a half dozen known examples of the Hino-Komuro still existing, and most are in .32ACP caliber, with a couple in 8mm Nambu. Period advertising for the gun indicates that they were offered in other calibers as well (including 5mm and 6.35mm), although it is not known how many (if any) were made for other cartridges. It is believed that about 1200 guns were made in total between 1908 and 1912.

 

4 comments to Japanese 1908 Hino-Komuro Pistol

  • Ruy Aballe

    And Now for Something Completely Different!… Well, this was really unexpected. Thanks so much for posting the video and the picture – the best I ever saw of this rare Japanese pistol outside of two reference books.

    R.

  • Jeremy Barnum

    I’ve always been curious as to how blow forward weapons work. That’s at least one way, but didn’t the Mannlicher M1894 fire from a closed barrel?

    I’d love to own one of these pistols, but the price would be astounding. I would think that getting a custom reproduction would be relatively simple (if there were designs still in existence or a very, very overly kind collector), but since it could be technically firing from an open bolt I don’t know if that would run into issues with BATFE.

    Overall, very neat video!

  • Keith

    Jeremy,

    I’ll look out the patent numbers for the Manlicher blow forward designs and post them.

    Other blow forwards included Schwarzlose, and a patent by C.H.A.F.L. Ross, for a blow forward rifle.

    The Swiss produced a locked breech (hence not a “blow”) forward action carbine. The Sig AK 53, which these gentlemen have some info on in the vault.

    The Manually cycled “Semerling” pistol design is based on the Schwarzlose, and beautifully illustrates the compact dimensions which a forward acting design allows, in the Semerling’s case, it is a .45 with simillar dimensions to a .25.

    • Yury

      Hello!
      Dear sir ! I would appreciate if you provide me with links to Manlicher blow forward designs and “Semerling” pistol design is based on the Schwarzlose :

      ( Keith
      March 3, 2012 at 8:21 am · Reply

      Jeremy,

      I’ll look out the patent numbers for the Manlicher blow forward designs and post them.

      Other blow forwards included Schwarzlose, and a patent by C.H.A.F.L. Ross, for a blow forward rifle.

      The Swiss produced a locked breech (hence not a “blow”) forward action carbine. The Sig AK 53, which these gentlemen have some info on in the vault.

      The Manually cycled “Semerling” pistol design is based on the Schwarzlose, and beautifully illustrates the compact dimensions which a forward acting design allows, in the Semerling’s case, it is a .45 with simillar dimensions to a .25.)

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