|Nagant M1895 revolver|
|Place of origin||Belgium/Russia|
|Used by||See Users|
World War I
Russian Revolution of 1917
Russian Civil War
Spanish Civil War
World War II
Chinese Civil War
Tuareg rebellion (1990–1995)
|Designer||Émile & Léon Nagant|
|Manufacturer||Nagant, Soviet Arsenals (Tula & Izhevsk), Państwowa Fabryka Karabinów|
|Produced||1895–1945 (1895–1898 Nagant, 1899–1945 Tula, 1930 Warsaw, 1943–1945 Izhevsk)|
|No. built||~2,000,000|
|Variants||Single-action NCO version, .22 caliber sporting model|
|Mass||1.8 lb (0.8 kg), unloaded|
|Length||10.5 in (235 mm)|
|Barrel length||4.5 in (114 mm)|
|Caliber||7.62mm (7.91 mm or .311 in actual bullet dia.)|
|Action||Double action, Single-action|
|Rate of fire||14–21 rounds/min|
|Muzzle velocity||891 ft/s (272 m/s)|
|Effective firing range||50 yds (46 m)|
|Feed system||7-round cylinder|
|Sights||Fixed front post and rear notch|
The Nagant M1895 was chambered for a proprietary cartridge, 7.62×38mmR, and featured an unusual "gas-seal" system, in which the cylinder moved forward when the gun was cocked, to close the gap between the cylinder and the barrel, providing a boost to the muzzle velocity of the fired projectile and allowing the weapon to be suppressed (an unusual ability for a revolver). Its design would inspire the M1893 Pieper Carbine and Steyr 1893 revolver.
Léon Nagant and his brother Émile were well known in the Russian Tsar's court and military administration because of the part they had played in the design of the Russian service rifle, the Mosin–Nagant Model 1891. The Nagant M1895 was adopted as the standard issue side arm for the Imperial Russian Army and police officers, where it replaced earlier Smith & Wesson models such as the Model 3.
Until 1918 it was produced in two versions: a double-action version for officers, and a cheaper single-action version for the lower ranks. It continued to be used after the Russian Revolution by the Red Army and Soviet security forces. The distinctive shape and name helped it achieve cult status in Russia and in the early 1930s the presentation of a Nagant M1895 revolver with an embossed Red Star was one of the greatest honors that could be bestowed on a Party Member. The common Russian name for the revolver, наган (nagan) became synonymous with the concept of the revolver in general and was applied to such weapons regardless of actual make or model.
As early as 1933 the M1895 had started to be replaced by the Tokarev semi-automatic pistol but was never fully replaced until the Makarov pistol in 1952. It was still produced and used in great numbers during World War II and remained in use with the Russian Railways, postal service, and some remote police forces for many years. In the Russian Federation, it was only retired from use with postal security service in 2003, and from bailiff security service (Федеральная служба судебных приставов) in 2009.
Revolvers typically have a small gap (sometimes called the flash gap) between the cylinder and the barrel to allow the cylinder to revolve. The bullet must "jump" this gap when fired, which can have an adverse effect on accuracy, especially if the barrel and chamber are misaligned. The gap also is a path for the escape of high pressure hot gases. Expensive revolvers such as Korth and Manurhin are hand-fitted, keeping the gap to a minimum. Mass-produced revolvers may have a gap as large as 0.25mm.
The M1895 by contrast, has a mechanism which, as the hammer is cocked, first turns the cylinder and then moves it forward, closing the gap between the cylinder and the barrel. The cartridge, also unique, plays an important part in sealing the gun to prevent the escape of propellant gases. The bullet is deeply seated, entirely within the cartridge case, and the case is slightly reduced in diameter at its mouth. The barrel features a short conical section at its rear; this accepts the mouth of the cartridge, completing the gas seal. By sealing the gap, the velocity of the bullet is increased by 15 to 45 m/s (50 to 150 ft/s.) This feature also eliminates the possibility of injury from gases escaping through the gap, which can injure a finger if the user hold the gun with a finger positioned beside the gap.
The disadvantage of this design is that Nagant revolvers were laborious and time-consuming to reload, with the need to manually eject each of the used cartridges, and reload one cartridge at a time through a loading gate. At the time the revolver was designed, this system was obsolete. In British service the Enfield No.2 uses a top-break cylinder and star extractor to simultaneously eject all spent cartridges and in American service the Smith & Wesson Model 10 uses a swing-out cylinder and star extractor to simultaneously eject all spent cartridges; therefore replacing older single-action revolvers with a side-loading gate and ejector rod to remove spent cartridges individually in succession. However, the Nagant design did have the advantage of requiring less machining than more modern designs.
The Nagant M1895 was made in both single-action and double-action models before and during World War I; they are known colloquially as the “Private's model” and the “Officer’s model”, respectively. Production of the single-action model seems to have stopped after 1918, with some exceptions, including examples made for target competition. Most single-action revolvers were later converted to double-action, making original single-action revolvers rather rare.
Whether fired in single action or double action, the Nagant M1895 has a markedly heavy trigger pull (about ~12 lbs for single and ~20 lbs for double). Enthusiasts have been able to adjust the pull by adjusting the V shaped spring, either by grinding it or shimming it.
History and usage
The M1895 revolver was used extensively by the Russian Imperial Army and later by the Soviet Union after the Russian Revolution. In Russian service, it was known for its extreme sturdiness and ability to withstand abuse. As one former Imperial Russian officer stated, "if anything went wrong with the M1895, you could fix it with a hammer".
It was widely employed by the Bolshevik secret police, the Cheka, as well as its Soviet successor agencies, the OGPU and NKVD. Seven Nagant revolvers were used by communist revolutionaries to execute the Russian imperial family and their servants in July 1918. In the police role, it was frequently seen with a cut-down barrel to aid in concealment by plainclothes agents. Despite the advent of the more modern Soviet TT pistol, the M1895 remained in production and use throughout World War II. The Nagant's sealed firing system meant that the Nagant revolver, unlike most other revolvers, could make effective use of a sound suppressor, and suppressors were sometimes fitted to it.
Suppressed M1895 Nagant revolvers, modified in clandestine workshops, also turned up in the hands of Viet Cong guerrillas during the Vietnam War as assassination weapons. There is an example of a suppressed Nagant M1895 in the CIA Museum in Langley, Virginia, USA.
The weapon was considered "antique" in Belgium and it became legal to be in possession of the weapon. In 2013 the weapon was again prohibited. Nagant revolvers have been found with the terrorist Amédy Coulibaly in 2015 and with a Dutch arms dealer.
- Nagant “Private's model” («солдатский» наган) - a single-action version for non-commissioned officers and soldiers
- Nagant “Officer’s model” («офицерский» наган) - a double-action version for officers
- suppressed Nagant with sound suppressor known as the "BRAMIT device" (BRAtya MITiny - "Mitin Brothers") - produced since 1931 for Soviet reconnaissance and scout troops
- Ng wz. 30 (Nagant wz. 30)
- KR-22 «Sokol» (КР-22 «Сокол») - .22 LR
- Nagant 1910 - An improved version with a swing-out cylinder. It was never accepted into service and had poor civilian market sales.
- Shadow-7 - Carbine variant with a 450mm barrel, produced in 2020 by Russian company Test-Oruzhie, chambered for 5.45×18mm.
7.62mm Nagant is also known as 7.62×38mmR (Rimmed) or "Cartridge, Type R". The projectile is seated below the mouth of the cartridge, with the cartridge crimp sitting just above the bullet. When fired, the crimp expands into the forcing cone, completing the gas seal and ostensibly increasing muzzle velocity by approximately 75 ft/s.
The 7.62 mm caliber was chosen, in part, to simplify the tooling used in barrel-making and manufacture of projectiles because the Russian service rifle of the time, the Mosin–Nagant M91, featured an identical bore diameter, being chambered for the 7.62×54mmR rifle cartridge. Actual bullet diameter of both the revolver and rifle bullets is 7.91mm or .311 inch.
Aftermarket cylinders for .32 can be installed, allowing the Nagant to safely fire .32 H&R or .32 ACP. Shooting any ammunition other than the 7.62x38mmR cartridge with the original cylinder can result in bodily injury from bullet shrapnel or escaping gas, and the excessive pressures produced by some .32 ammunition could also result in catastrophic failure of the cylinder or frame.
Proper fitting ammunition can be reloaded from .32-20 Winchester brass by using the Lee Nagant die set or .30" carbine dies and 9mm Luger shell-holders in the reloading press. This allows the reloaders to work up a load that fits their needs and is specific for the Nagant. While this eliminates the bulged/split/stuck cases experienced when using .32 S&W and .32 H&R, the gas seal that made the Nagant famous will still not fully function, due to the .32-20 not being long enough to protrude past the cylinder like the original Nagant ammunition.
Swedish / Norwegian
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Other Nagant revolver designs were also adopted by police and military services of Sweden (7.5mm M1887), Norway (M1893), Poland (Nagant wz. 30), and Greece (Περίστροφον M1895).
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- East Germany
- Belarus - training weapon
- Kazakhstan – at least up to 1996 were used by security guards
- Mali: People's Movement for the Liberation of Azawad
- North Korea:
- Russian Empire – since 13 May 1895
- Russia – in 1998 were still used by some law enforcement units; until 2003 were used by postal service security guards; at least up to 2006 were used by security guards
- South Korea
- Soviet Union
- Second Spanish Republic
- Kingdom of Yugoslavia
- Kingdom of Greece
- Ukraine – were used by railway security guards and industrial security guards at least up to 2017
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- Kowner, Historical Dictionary of the Russo-Japanese War, p. 248.
- Виталий Крючин. Арсенал: НАГАН: история жизни с продолжением // журнал «Братишка», май 2008 года
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- The BRAMIT device was designed and patented in 1929, but was not built and tested by the military until 1931. There was also a BRAMIT device for mounting on the M91 Mosin-Nagant rifle that used special subsonic ammunition.
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- Jowett, Philip; Snodgrass, Brent (5 Jul 2006). Finland at War 1939–45. Elite 141. Osprey Publishing. p. 45. ISBN 9781841769691.
- Small Arms Survey (1998). Politics From The Barrel of a Gun (PDF). Cambridge University Press. p. 40.
- Постановление Правительства Республики Казахстан № 1060 от 28 августа 1996 года "О внесении изменений и дополнений в некоторые решения Правительства Республики Казахстан"
- Jones, Richard D. Jane's Infantry Weapons 2009/2010. Jane's Information Group; 35 edition (January 27, 2009). ISBN 978-0-7106-2869-5.
- Small Arms Survey (2005). "Sourcing the Tools of War: Small Arms Supplies to Conflict Zones" (PDF). Small Arms Survey 2005: Weapons at War. Oxford University Press. p. 166. ISBN 978-0-19-928085-8.
- 13 мая 1895 года // журнал "Мастер-ружьё", № 5 (122), май 2007. стр.92
- Постановление Правительства РФ № 1584 от 30 декабря 1998 года "Об утверждении перечня боевого ручного стрелкового и иного оружия, боеприпасов и патронов к нему, а также специальных средств, состоящих на вооружении службы судебных приставов Министерства юстиции Российской Федерации"
- Постановление Правительства Российской Федерации № 248 от 24 марта 2000 года «Об обеспечении служебным оружием, патронами к оружию и специальными средствами должностных лиц организаций федеральной почтовой связи»
- Приложение № 2 к Приказу Министерства внутренних дел Российской Федерации № 611 от 4 августа 2006 года «Об утверждении перечней специальных средств, видов, типов и моделей огнестрельного и газового оружия, патронов и боеприпасов к нему, норм обеспечения ими работников военизированных и сторожевых подразделений ФГУП „Охрана“ МВД России»
- «Организации и их территориальные подразделения могут использовать до вывода из эксплуатации по техническому состоян��ю… 7,62 мм револьвер системы "наган"… иное боевое оружие, ранее приобретенное в установленном порядке и не включенное в настоящий перечень.»
Постановление Правительства Российской Федерации № 460 от 22 апреля 1997 г. «О мерах по обеспечению юридических лиц с особыми уставными задачами боевым ручным стрелковым оружием» (в ред. от 29 мая 2006 г.)
- "Spanish Civil War, Pistols (1936–1939)". Republicanos. Archived from the original on 2005-11-24.CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
- "В Донецке вооруженные люди в управлении военизированной охраны Управления Донецкой железной дороги завладели... 4 пистолетами ��Т и 5 револьверами «Наган»"
В Донецке боевики завладели оружием управления охраны железной дороги // УНИАН от 28 июня 2014
- В Запорожской области охранник украл пистолет из сейфа // "Индустриалка" от 31 июля 2017
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- Kowner, Rotem (2006). Historical Dictionary of the Russo-Japanese War. The Scarecrow Press. ISBN 0-8108-4927-5
- Gerard, Henrotin: "The Nagant revolvers". HLebooks.com, Ebook (2001).
- Gerard, Henrotin: "Nagant revolver Model 1878 explained". HLebooks.com, Ebook (2014).
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