A friend has sent me a request to identify a shotgun he recently inherited. I've been able to find out some things about it, but I'd like to request any information my readers can supply: most especially, any readers in Japan, because that's where the gun was made.

I've included a composite image to show the details. It's a conventional boxlock gun in 12 gauge, made by the TYK company, presumably for sporting purposes; it's clearly not a military gun of any kind. It bears a nitro proof mark and a serial number, plus a mark I haven't been able to identify, "NRS" on the water table in some sort of script.

The TYK company is "Teikoku Yakkyo Kabushikigaisha," and so far as I have been able to determine this company (or at least one with the same initials) still exists, though they don't seem to be in the gun trade. TYK is (was) located in Tokyo according to the barrel top rib marking. The barrel rib is also marked "Hercules," and the receiver is marked "Universal," both fairly common names in guns: they convey a message of strength and utility for a variety of purposes. I have located a catalog/price list for this company (shown below) that shows an identical gun on the cover. I have zero ability to speak Japanese, let alone read it, so I have no idea what this says.

We believe the gun was produced for export trade, some time after the end of World War Two and most likely for sale in Australia or New Zealand, given the markings in English and the associations the labels would have had for English-speaking people. There is also the English-style straight wrist stock. Nearly all imported shotguns in the USA have pistol grip stocks, English style ones being distinctly in the minority. At a very rough guess we think 1950-60 might be about right for the time of production.

I would like to ask that any of my readers who may be able to help to identify this gun, its manufacturer, and when it may have been made please contact me by clicking on this link, which will send me an e-mail. Your help is very much appreciated!