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Russian Nagant Revolvers

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by General Tso, Sep 22, 2010.

  1. General Tso

    General Tso member

    Oct 24, 2009
    I saw that these were available for around $100. I love guns, but I don't know anything about these. What is the general consensus on these? Are they junk? I'm buying one because that price can only go up. I heard they can be converted to 32 ACP. Is that true?

    Sent from my ADR6300 using Tapatalk
  2. rondog

    rondog Mentor

    Jun 29, 2007
    Never had one, but I've "heard" they can shoot .32 Longs, I think it is, not .32 acp. The acp is rimless auto ammo. They also have a beastly trigger pull, and they're the only revolver that can be successfully suppressed. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vvF4yurWSc0
  3. evan price

    evan price Mentor

    Dec 7, 2005
    http://www.ohioccw.org/ Ohio's best CCW resour
    Not junk.
    Buying as an investment, not really that sensible. There's thousands of them and they are all built with typical Soviet indestructibility. They won't be scarce and expensive anytime soon.
    They can be converted to 32 acp by changing the cylinder. Buying the 32 auto cylinder will cost as much or more than buying the Nagant in the first place.
    The ammo is either the Nagant round (not cheap, not easy to find) or you can substitute 32 S&W Long (Not cheap, not easy to find). Or buy the 32 auto cylinder, like said above, not cheap, not so many around.
    You can reload for them, but the 1895 Nagant brass is not easy to find and not cheap if you find it, or the 32 S&W Long brass, which is also not cheap and only slightly easier to find.
    The trigger feels like dragging a cinder block through a gravel parking lot with your tongue.
    The ergonomics are- well, there aren't any.

    On the upside, they are reliable and hit what they are pointed at. The sliding-cylinder gas seal trick is neat as an oddity but really not that useful. Typical Soviet "better idea".

    I'm told the barrels were made from the leftovers from trimming down Mosin rifles to carbine length.
  4. CajunBass

    CajunBass Mentor

    Jun 2, 2005
    North Chesterfield, Virginia
    Well, I suspect the Nagant predates the "Soviet" era even, but it's a typical ingenious solution to a non-existant problem, that's for sure.

    I've got one. It's a neat "toy" to have, but I admit I've never fired it and probably never will. The trigger pull in D/A takes two men, a boy, and a small dog to pull. The S/A is not that awful but it's still pretty stiff.

    I didn't get it to shoot it. I got it just because (1) it was cheap, (2) I have a C&R, and (3) it's just "goofy" enough to make me want one.

    32 Long ammo will fit the cylinder. Rather you "can" fire it, I have no idea. :D
  5. RON in PA

    RON in PA Senior Member

    Dec 25, 2002
    S.E. PA, USA
    There are much better ways of investing ones money. The only reasons to buy a Nagant are its historical connections with Russian history of the first half of the 20th century and because it's a unique firearm. It's cheap to buy, but expensive to shoot and forget about shooting them double action unless you have the hand strength of a gorilla.

    I own five and when I shoot them it is usually with Serbian made Hot Shot ammo of the proper caliber. It's very good quality ammo. You can also shoot .32 long and .32 magnum, but in both instances cases will bulge and you don't get the gas seal effect.
  6. vaupet

    vaupet Active Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Belgium, Europe
    They are of course BELGIAN guns, designed in the 19th century in Liege and used by the Belgian officers until the introduction of the Browning High Power.

    The Tsar made a license agreement and the soviets continued production. It is said thet they are still the issued sidearm of customs officers in remote parts of Russia were they serve the 4th or 5th generation (a bit like your B52's:D)
    nice link: http://www.chuckhawks.com/nagant_revolver.htm
  7. Nasty

    Nasty Active Member

    Mar 28, 2004
    AIM always has the Hot Shot ammo in stock, so no problem getting ammo. As said, heavy and coarse double action, but mine is like glass on single action. It's very accurate if you do your part.
  8. jon_in_wv

    jon_in_wv Senior Member

    Jul 8, 2006
    While the DA trigger pull of the Nagant is really stiff, I don't think it was meant to be fired that way. It was meant to be fired SA like most weapons of the era but it was capable of firing DA in a pinch so it was considered an improvement. Mine actually has a beautifully light and crisp single action pull and its pretty accurate. its not something I would shoot a lot though. If I had a 32acp cylinder for it I would probably take it out once in a while.
  9. hardworker

    hardworker Member

    Jul 18, 2010
    Be careful about ordering the 32 acp cylinder because more than likely it will require gunsmithing to fit the gun. And if you go to a gun show you can find 32 longs for 15 or so per box. Otherwise, you're stuck with expensive 7.62 nagant at 30ish a box. I'm waiting for someone brave enough to load this thing up with the new 327 federal.
  10. MCgunner

    MCgunner Senior Elder

    Dec 3, 2005
    The end of the road between Sodom and Gomorrah Tex
    The Nagant trigger technique is a might different. You place your index and middle finger from both hands on the trigger and apply about 355 lbs of pressure and you MIGHT get it to go off in DA. Takes slightly less to fire SA, like maybe 280 lbs. :rolleyes: Worst danged trigger in all of handgundom. Knock yourself out. I'll take a pass. Friend has three of 'em and none of his has any sort of decent DA OR SA pull.
  11. Billy Shears

    Billy Shears Participating Member

    Mar 16, 2008
    In actual service, the Russians (and Finns) found that you could remove one of the grip panels and put a small metal shim between the front strap of the grip frame and the mainspring, it fits in there so that when you put the grip panel back on it can't fall out or move around inside. This puts a little pressure on the spring, and has the effect of reducing the double action pull. It's not going to make it comparable to a nicely tuned S&W, but it will make it into a gun whose DA trigger can be manipulated using mere human strength.
  12. hardworker

    hardworker Member

    Jul 18, 2010
    Just think of shooting a DA nagant as finger exercise for every other pistol and revolver in the world. As far as ammo goes, the 32 mags are about as powerful as you'd want to push this old pistol. The 327 fits in there but that's a lot of pressure for the old gun.
  13. harmon rabb

    harmon rabb Senior Member

    Mar 14, 2009
    This is what I came in here to post. Man this thread is cracking me up. I'll add that the SA trigger on mine is actually not bad though. DA is truly horrendous, of course. I handed it to a buddy at the range who took one shot in DA, laughed his ass off, then said "you have got to be kidding me."

    They're fun as a historical oddity, and as a range toy you bring out once in a while. They're so cheap, might as well own one, but I wouldn't even look at it as a real gun purchase. More like toy you need to be careful with during play.
  14. Quiet

    Quiet Senior Member

    Apr 29, 2007
    bouncing between the 909 & the 702
    I like my Tula 1929 Nagant M1895 revolver.
    I have shot 7.62x38mmR Nagant, .32S&W Long and .32H&R Magnum out of my Nagant M1895 revolver.

    Do not use .327Magnum out of a Nagant M1895 revolver, unless you want it to kaboom.

    Here's a pic of my Tula 1929 Nagant M1895 revolver.
  15. Stainz

    Stainz Senior Member

    Apr 24, 2003
    Pinson, AL
    If you reload, you can adapt .32-20 brass and size it in an M1 carbine carbide sizer - and load it with .32 dies (I liked the 100gr LDEWC .313" by Meister). Lee made a Nagant set, but it still needs a modified seating plug and that carbide M1 Carbine sizer. In retrospect, as the short cased homebrews don't 'bridge the b/c gap' anyway, you'll have more fun with the somewhat anemic Serbian 'Hot Shot' brass ammo, which runs ~$105 delivered for 4 boxes. The triggers are nasty - especially in DA, where a 20 lb trigger is to dream for. You won't shoot it as much as you would an old .38 Special S&W 10, that's for sure.

    A caution: the chambers are tapered - thus the M1 Carbine sizer. If you must shoot straight walled ammo, like .32 S&WL or .32 H&RM, realize that the cases will bulge - and may split - and spew propellant back at you. Wear good glasses - and do not shoot .32 H&RM ammo - you could get pieces thrown back from the inverted B/C gap... stick with mild .32 S&W Long ammo.

    They are neat pieces of Victorian-era engineering, designed by the Belgian Nagant brothers - and a million or more were made at the Tula and Izhevsk arsenals in Russia - those are the re-re-arsenaled models you buy now for ~$100. They were as low as $60-$70 - in great shape - and with a cleaning rod, screwdriver, lanyard, and holster a couple of years ago. Internal cleaning and lube can help, too. The gun is held together by one screw - the wishbone/leaf spring can be trapped by said screw, and the trigger group removed. Parts are fitted - and some 'spares' are around - but likely need fitting to be serviceable. Checkout the 1895 Nagant specific sub-forum at 'gunboards.com'.

  16. zxcvbob

    zxcvbob Mentor

    Sep 15, 2007
    S.E. Minnesota
    I have one. It is quite accurate (much to my surprise) with Fiocchi ammo, but it seems awfully anemic. The trigger is not even all that bad in single-action mode. About 1/4 of the cases split at the mouth on the first firing. I intend to anneal the rest and try reloading them using .30 Carbine dies.

    I started trying to form cases from .223 brass, but got stuck at the "turn down the case web in a lathe" step. I'll get back to it someday.

    It's a neat gun. Impractical and will probably never be valuable. OTOH, a couple of years ago SKS's were selling for $100 and now they are $300+.
  17. Fat Boy

    Fat Boy Active Member

    Sep 23, 2007
    Kansas Plains
    I think these are solid, (over-built) revolvers. The one I have shot was accurate, and very little recoil, and was enjoyable to shoot. The trigger-pull is heavy; no question but for me manageable. I think these revolvers would make an excellent truck or utility gun- Ammo has been available from MidwayUSA at reasonable prices.

    Just my opinion, YMMV
  18. Mooseman

    Mooseman Active Member

    Aug 15, 2005
    Just outside of Philadelphia
    I bought one because they're such a cool piece of history. I wouldn't dream of using it for carry because of the oddness of the action, cost of the rounds, etc. The trigger pull is pretty impressive but I didn't give me any trouble in double action. I wouldn't hesitate to buy another if I saw a good deal on one.

    I'd love to put a can on one but I'm not sure I'll ever get around to it.
  19. Packman

    Packman Active Member

    Nov 12, 2007
    Southwest Florida
    My dad's had one of these since before I was born. He got it in trade for a credit at his store the customer couldn't pay off. It's actually a Swedish Nagant, near as I can narrow down. Says "Husqvarna" on the side. I've never been able to find too much information on it, and I lost much of what I had when my old computer died.

    We've shot about 300 rounds of Aquila .32 S&W Longs out of it over the years. The cases pretty much always bulge and sometimes split. Now we haven't shot it in a few years. We were buying the ammo 18$ for a bag of 100 at the gunshow, but the guy who sold it isn't there anymore. He always insisted it was factory ammo, but looking back...Had to be reloads. At that price? Not to mention it was being sold in a plastic bag...After we lost track of that guy, I looked at the normal prices of the ammo and nearly had a heart attack. My dad and I haven't shot it since.

    Really neat gun though. I have fond memories, I'm pretty sure that was my first handgun I shot. DA trigger is super long, very heavy, but smooth enough. Single action is workable and fun. All I can tell you is it's minute of milk jug accurate.
  20. cleardiddion

    cleardiddion Participating Member

    Dec 4, 2007
    Mine ate up .32 H&R, .32 longs, and .32 shorts just fine. You can get a conversion cylinder to shoot .32 acp but from what I understand the accuracy won't be anything spectacular.

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