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1943 M1895 Nagant Revolver


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#1 George Patton

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Posted 07 June 2012 - 05:12 PM

Here is my newest acquisition: a 1943 M1895 Nagant Revolver.

The Nagant was designed by Leon Nagant (brother of the designer of the Mosin-Nagant rifle) of Belgium in the late 1800s. It used a unique "gas seal" mechanism where the entire cylinder moved forward a few millimeters to lock the onto the barrel when the hammer was cocked. This increased the muzzle velocity of the bullet (as no pressure was lost out of end of the barrel closest to the cylinder when fired), and increased the accuracy when compared to a traditional revolver. The gun was adopted by Russia in 1895, and saw service through the First World War. Under Soviet control, the revolver became a popular gun for Red Army officers. The more advanced semi-automatic Tokarev TT-33 began to supplement the Nagant in the 1930s, but the gun remained in production until 1945, primarily because it was viewed as a status symbol. Besides the gas seal, it has a few other interesting features. It is one of the few revolvers that can be used effectively with a silencer, and takes unique ammunition where the bullet is actually fully enclosed by the brass casing (this is necessary to create the gas seal, but it also means that the ammunition is $1 per round and I had to import it from Italy!). The Nagant apparently still remains in use with Russian Railways today.
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My revolver has an interesting history (assuming my sources are correct). My revolver carries the "star and arrow" stamp, with a date marking of "1943r".

The marking indicates the revolver was made at Tula arsenal (indicated by the Tula "star and arrow"). Tula was out of commission from late 1941 through 1942 as the factory was relocated to prevent its capture by German troops. When the factory resumed production in a new location, Tula had a new stamp -- a "star and hammer" (ie: a hammer where the arrow used to be). My example is dated 1943, yet has the "star and arrow" insignia that had not been used since late 1941.

The date stamp is the key to deciphering this: the cyrillic "r" was a mark used solely by Izhevsk Arsenal. When Tula relocated in late 1941, the Tula parts and equipment were taken to Izhevsk and the assembly was completed there. Given that they were already stamped with the Tula "star and arrow", Izhevsk stamped the "r" to indicated that this was completed at their arsenal. It is very hard to find information on this interesting marking, but I believe what I just said is correct. This revolver is certainly an interesting piece of history.

Attached File  M1895 Nagant 2.jpg   116.26KB   35 downloads
Attached File  M1895 Nagant star.jpg   48.63KB   35 downloads

Finally, a few of my thoughts about the gun: This is my first revolver. Prior to this, I was exclusively a semi-automatic pistol and rifle owner. First off, the trigger pull is extremely heavy when used in double action mode. Apparently it is well over 20 lbs. A "GI" 1911 has a trigger pull of about 6 lbs. The ammunition (Nagant 7.62x38) is really unique. I've never seen anything like it, and I had to get it imported from Fiocci in Italy. At close to a buck a round, its about the same price as .44 Rem. Magnum up here. I spent close to what I paid for the gun on ammunition when all was said and done. The accuracy is good for a 69 year old gun. From 20 meters I could get 3 inch groups (I alternated between single and double-action fire on the same target) that were in the black near the bulls-eye. The recoil isn't bad. The round has significantly less kinetic energy than a 9mm Luger round, so it is quite light. Overall, its a fun gun to shoot with a very interesting history.

Attached Files


Edited by George Patton, 07 June 2012 - 05:22 PM.

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Best Regards,
Alan


#2 Gebirgsjaeger

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Posted 07 June 2012 - 05:58 PM

Great find, Alan! And normally they are good shooters. Are you a reloader? As far as i know Fiocchi is one of a few makers for this ammo. Great made Revolver, Congrats!
Regards, Ulrich

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#3 George Patton

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Posted 07 June 2012 - 07:21 PM

Thanks Ulrich.

No, I'm not a reloader. But if I keep it up with these abstract calibres, I might have to become one.

Best Regards,
Alan


#4 Gebirgsjaeger

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Posted 07 June 2012 - 07:24 PM

That one is a much better Revolver than the Swiss M 1882 with its 7.5mm caliber. Never found a fitting load for it. Do you have the holster with it?
Regards, Ulrich

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#5 George Patton

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Posted 07 June 2012 - 07:49 PM

Yes, I have the holster and the cleaning kit. Its typical post-war refurb stuff, but its better than nothing.

For yours, I think Fiocci makes the 7.5mm ammo (I'm assuming your revolver is the Schmidt M1882). I've never seen one of those over here, but I've read about it.

Best Regards,
Alan


#6 Gebirgsjaeger

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Posted 07 June 2012 - 07:53 PM

Yes it was this one! Sold it because it won´t shoot any good no matter which ammo i´ve used.
Regards, Ulrich

Horrido!

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#7 George Patton

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Posted 07 June 2012 - 10:35 PM

Yes it was this one! Sold it because it won´t shoot any good no matter which ammo i´ve used.


Was the barrel worn out? A revolver is pretty simple, so it should be shooting fine if its in good condition. I believe a standard one has three moving parts (hammer, trigger, cylinder) -- just a bit simpler than a modern Glock pistol (I think the simplest one has 5).

Best Regards,
Alan


#8 Gebirgsjaeger

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 07:58 AM

No Alan, the barrel was good as the whole Revolver looked like new. I tried it with 4 different sorts of powder and many different bullets like different weight, bullet diameter, FMJ or Lead. And the best accuracy was with 5 rounds to hold the 8 ring which is bad for Service Revolver Matches. Later i heard that they aren´t that accurate.
Regards, Ulrich

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#9 SKYLINEDRIVE

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 10:29 AM

Very nice Revolver Alan!!!!

#10 Volga Boatman

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 11:33 AM

Ahh...the legend at last. When I used to read Sven Hassel, whenever the NKVD was mentioned, they were always waving a Nagant around! It was one of those words that used to put the fear of God into Sven's unit, like "Watchdogs",(Field Police), or "Siberians":eek:
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#11 Hufflepuff

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 04:31 PM

Great revolver! I know that the marking "1943r" is abbreviation for 1943 г., with г being short for года, "of the year" in Russian. So literally made in the one thousand nine hundred and forty third year! (Тысяча девятьсот сорок три года) ;) Being a Russian major is so much fun!

Excellent find here mate, great condition!

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#12 George Patton

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 12:24 AM

Thanks, and thanks for the Russian language lesson! However, as I said, the "r" is more than just a marking to indicate the year in which it was made. It was likely a special marking to indicate a Tula revolver finished Izhevsk arsenal. Izhevsk was the only arsenal to stamp the "r" on revolvers (and every other weapon they made as far as I know) -- making this revolver more "unique", and with this information, this revolver can be tied to the Battle of Moscow. At least, I think so. ;).

Best Regards,
Alan


#13 Poppy

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 12:40 AM

Nice bit George. Nice picture, good info. Well done man.

#14 George Patton

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 12:53 AM

Thanks Poppy -- I picked up a few "new" guns over the past few months. I'll post some photos and their history when I get some time.

Best Regards,
Alan


#15 Poppy

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 01:05 AM

My Pa had a S+W .357 [which tore a piece of my forehead off when I was 8?], a .38 long barrel, and a trophy shoot Ruger .22 semi auto. Not to mention a whack of long guns....Now, we cant even carry a slingshot in town...Pathetic. The crooks carry, we worry.

#16 Hufflepuff

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 01:56 AM

Thanks, and thanks for the Russian language lesson! However, as I said, the "r" is more than just a marking to indicate the year in which it was made. It was likely a special marking to indicate a Tula revolver finished Izhevsk arsenal. Izhevsk was the only arsenal to stamp the "r" on revolvers (and every other weapon they made as far as I know) -- making this revolver more "unique", and with this information, this revolver can be tied to the Battle of Moscow. At least, I think so. ;).


Ah, I see! So it's not so much a translation thing as it is just a factory marker thing. But still, that's pretty interesting

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