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New .32 ACP Nagant Conversion Cylinder--Range Report

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Cosmoline, Oct 29, 2006.

  1. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Well-Known Member

    I picked up one of the new batch of .32 ACP cylinders that's starting to filter out to the shops now. You can find some at Makarov.com and some other sources.

    A local dealer had two. Both fit, but one was better than the other. If possible, I'd advise trying before you buy or getting the wholesale outfit to fit one to your Nagant when you order it. Nagants have variance in their specs over the decades so not all cylinders will fit all Nagants, though supposedly they've improved the fit this time around.

    I noticed some stickiness in double action mode. It appears to be caused when the hand that pushes the cylinder forward and cycles it doesn't have a smooth furrow to run along and gets hung up. After a few boxes of ammo I noticed I was able to get smooth DA on most of the chambers, as the hand had been filing the surface down. You could also use a very light precision file that will fit in the groove or even a hard piece of steel to wear the surface down a bit, in the places you see the hand scraping blue. Be very, very careful when filing around the star.


    POI was just a little above 7.62 Nagant handloads. The groups were about 2" at 10 yards with 71 grain FMJ's, and I noticed some shaved jacket. That's compared with the usual 1" or less group with 7.62 Nagant at that range. I suspect a heavier lead bullet, if it exists for .32 ACP, would be a nicer fit.

    I'll keep working with this one to smooth it out, but so far so good. Function is 100% in SA mode, and 80% in slow DA mode. Fast DA is mostly impossible, and will require some adjustments to the cylinder latch contact points. There was no serious blowback. The rounds went off with a very odd "pop" I've never heard before. Then again I've never heard .32 ACP out of big revolver before [:D]
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2006
  2. Onmilo

    Onmilo Well-Known Member

    That "pop" you hear is due to shooting .308" bullets through a .312" bore dimension.
    You can hear a similar pop if you fire a .22LR cartridge in a .22 Magnum chamber.

    I am glad you were getting good groups.
    I have had some friends who tried the earlier cylinders and the bullets would keyhole on the target past 15 meters.

    One guy had good results slightly trimming .32 H&R Magnum cases and loading jacketed .32 magnum bullets under 3 grains of Unique using a standard .32 S&W die set.
    He had to slightly file the case base so the cartridges wouldn't bind against the recoil plate and they would fit and function just fine in the standard Nagant cylinder.
  3. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Well-Known Member

    I'm thinking of handloading some .32's with the .309" Hornady XTP's that I've been using in the Nagant handloads or possibly some wadcutters. There's a lot more room to play with than is usually the case with .32 ACPs. A much bigger OAL limt, for one thing. I'm also considering having the chambers on the .32 ACP cylinder reamed out for .32-20's as others have done.
  4. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Well-Known Member

    I ran into some more stickiness as I increased my rate of dry fire. After some more filing to adjust timing, I finally have it operating at near 100% on fast double action. I noticed it went through stages of being OK in single action, then ok in both sa and slow double action, and finally OK in fast double action. Suffice it to say my hands have now had an amazing workout, between filing and test dry firing! I can barely type. Though I didn't use my orignal cylinder as an exact model, it's interesting to note the filing ended up making the new one a close match. After filing the star to fit, I had to file a little bit off the cylinder latch cuts on the cylinder. I used simple hand files rather than a dremel because a little goes a long, long way. One second too much with the power grinder and the whole thing is totally ruined. I recommend shaving a little bit of steel off on all seven spots, then dry firing for effect, then repeating, until it's smooth. From what I can see, they deliberately made these cylinders with too much steel at the contact points with the cylinder latch and hand, so the extra steel could be removed to fit the revolver. This may be why only one in three or one in four seem to fit. I doubt one in ten would work fine right out of the box. If you don't feel up to hand fitting it yourself, this is something any good gunsmith could do in about an hour or less with his tools. But the lesson du jour is don't assume these are flawed because they don't work right away in your Nagant.

    I can't wait to try it out. There's something to be said for a revolver that can fire five different cartridges! .32 S&W, .32 S&W Long, .32 H&R Mag, 7.62 Nagant and now .32 ACP.
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2006
  5. jagdpanzer347

    jagdpanzer347 Well-Known Member

    Excellent report Cosmo. How much less blowback is there comparing the .32 cylinder versus the 7.62 cylinder when using .32S&W long?

  6. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Well-Known Member

    Considerably less. I'll be test firing the cylinder again shortly, but unless I misjudged the timing very badly the blowback should remain limited. On first firing I got hit with one fragment out of 50 bullets, but there was none of the pressure wave you get with .32 H&R. Plus it was a lot more accurate.

    One side benefit of all this work with the 95 is my already strong trigger finger is getting even stronger. I'll have to get a video of speed firing the Nagant with the Fiocchi or .32 ACP just to prove it's possible.
  7. jagdpanzer347

    jagdpanzer347 Well-Known Member

    Thanks Cosmo. I haven't shot my Nagant yet and was curious. I did buy a box of .32 S&W to try it out with though. How much does a .32 acp cylinder go for? I really only bought the revolver as a curio and mate to my Mosins. But I would like to shoot it occasionally. Perhaps I should buy some Russian target ammo or some Fiocchi and ration it out?

  8. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Well-Known Member


    They've got them for $69. I found mine for $59 but he was selling them at cost. As the site notes:

    The Fiocchi is accurate, though its real value is its brass. I did a writeup on handloading it using Lee's hybrid die set, which you can still get at Midway. It may be easier to just use .30 Carbine dies, but none of them are perfect.
  9. jagdpanzer347

    jagdpanzer347 Well-Known Member

    Well, I only paid 79.95 for the Nagant. I guess I might buy a little Fiocchi and save the brass. Still shooting the Glock?

  10. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Well-Known Member

    The Glock was too boring. Nothing to fiddle with on it.
  11. jagdpanzer347

    jagdpanzer347 Well-Known Member

    Yeah, Glock Perfection right out of the box! Seriously, I can't think of anything I would change on my G22. But the 1911, oh man, what a dream to tinker with. Hard to believe my Series 70 is still stock.

  12. confed sailor

    confed sailor Well-Known Member

    Last edited: Oct 31, 2006
  13. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Well-Known Member

    I took a Vets Day trip out to the range by bike (all 30 miles round trip) and tried out the new cylinder. I had to file out extra steel in the places indicated below in order to make it function in DA and fast DA:


    I fired off 250 assorted rounds of .32 ACP. There were two FTF, but both were with a box of 35 year old rounds that had a lot of dust on them. There's a bit of blowback, and some of the FMJ's flecked jacket bits on my face, but it was nothing serious.

    Accuracy continues to be fantastic. In SA the trigger is excellent, and I was able to get in a 6" target at 25 yards even with my hands tired, cold and shaking from the bike trip.

    I guess the moral of the story is, when they say some gunsmithing is needed on these cylinders, they mean it. Don't be afraid to get one by mail, but be prepared to do some painstaking file or dremel work.
  14. provence

    provence Member

    I apologize for resurrecting an ancient thread. I just wanted to say that Cosmoline's tips were a big help to me in getting my Nagant's .32 ACP cylinder to work properly. A little gentle filing was all it took.

    The Nagant is much more fun to shoot when I don't have to advance the cylinder by hand. :)
  15. jjohnson

    jjohnson Well-Known Member

    No Apology

    Hey, don't sweat over resurrecting a thread. It's pertinent information. I have a Nagant I have yet to fire, too, and need to be reminded now and then.

    I have also contemplated a 32 conversion since the Nagant round is expensive for factory ammo and an annoying cartridge to reload.

    I thought makarov.com went out of business - who's the current supplier of the .32 cylinders? I don't want to spend a fortune to convert a $79 handgun with an abominable trigger. Like many reloaders, though, I most certainly have a tinkerer's streak in me.... :D
  16. provence

    provence Member

    Buymilsurp.com has had the .32 cylinders for 69.00. When I bought my Nagant a .32 cylinder along came with it. It required a little filing to make it work right. It's fairly accurate with .32 ACP.

    I've also tried S&W longs with the original cylinder. They keyholed at seven yards. No risk of over-penetration there!
  17. stantheman1986

    stantheman1986 New Member


    The Fiocchi .32 S&W long hollow base wadcutters shoot great out of my Nagant! No need for a .32 cylinder for me.

    If you get lucky and get a Nagant that has a bore on the tighter side, they also shoot well with .32 H&R magnum. Mine groups halfway decent at 10 yards with the H&R mags, plus a little more pop and power. Good enough to have fun with the gun.

    Now that HotShot makes 7.62 ammo, I may need to try some. I have yet to fire the correct ammo in my revolver.
  18. Eightball

    Eightball Well-Known Member

    This seems to be one of the least abhorrent acts of thread necromancy, and is actually interesting information.
  19. chaoslodge

    chaoslodge New Member

    I am relatively new and very glad this thread has found its way to resurrection. I just got my Nagant a few weeks ago and immediately fell in love with the clunky thing. I have been consistently amazed at how as I get older my tastes in firearms seem to also move toward older pieces.
  20. BHP FAN

    BHP FAN Well-Known Member

    Well,as I just got a .32 acp cylinder for my Nagant revolvers,this is most timely!

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