(Mfg. by the Tula Imperial Arms Factory)
(Click PIC to Enlarge)
Barrel Length............. 4.3 inches
Overall Length........... 9.6 inches
Weight...................... 1.65 lbs
Cylinder capacity....... 7 rounds.
Qty mfg..................... Unknown. (In production from 1895 - 1945)
Source: .................... Surplusrifle.com
Canadian Market Value Estimate: $300
1899 Nagant Revolver
(19 picture virtual tour)
Observations: (by "Claven2")
Note: Pics of revolver provided courtesy of MILSURPS.COM member Claven2.
The model 1895 Nagant revolver was developed in 1894 by Emile and Leon Nagant of Belgium. In 1895, it was adopted by the Imperial Russian Army for issue to officers and NCO’s to replace the obsolete Smith & Wesson .44 Russian top-break revolver then in use.
The initial supply or revolvers was manufactured in Belgium, but in 1897 production started at the Tula Imperial Arms Factory. The revolver pictured is from Tula’s second year of production.
Initially, The Imperial Army produced the 1895 Nagant in two models. The Single Action model was produced for issue to NCO’s while the officers were issued a Double Action model. Presumably the Czar wanted his officers to be better armed than the enlisted men in case of a rebellion. After the communist revolution, the majority of revolvers were converted to DA/SA by the Red Army.
The Nagant revolver is unique in that the cylinder moves forward at the moment of firing to reduce the cylinder to barrel gap to zero. This, coupled with the long brass case and rebated projectile resulted in a “gas seal” that made the Nagant the only revolver made that was suitable for use with a silencer – something which the NKVD was known to use to full advantage.
While the model 1895 was made obsolete in service by the introduction of the TT-30 and TT-33 Tokarev pistols in 1930 and 1933 respectively, not enough Tokarevs were ever on issue to completely retire the model 1895 prior to WW2. In fact, small arms shortages caused the model 1895 to be manufactured until 1945, along side the Tokarev pistol. Tula was the only factory to produce the Nagant until the second world war when Izhevsk tooled up for production and also made it until 1945. Later made revolvers are characterized by rougher machining, loose fit, and sometimes are equipped with bakelite (as opposed to wood) grips.
Most of the Nagants on the market today have been arsenal refurbished at least once. WW1 era guns were usually re-arsenalled after the revolution for conversion to DA/SA, upgrading of the sights to the latest pattern, and often also to remove the imperial ownership eagle proofs. Additionally, many Nagants were refurbished after WW2 for inclusion in the war reserve of small arms of the Soviet Union.
Collector's Comments and Feedback:
1. The depicted Nagant revolver was originally made at Tula in 1899 and has all matching serial numbers. It has been re-arsenalled, probably sometime prior to WW2. The original hammer was most probably a single action only model and it has been updated with a later Tula made double action hammer. The rebuilt marking can be seen on the frame next to the serial number and is a box without a line or slash through it – generally considered to be an earlier rebuild mark. At the time of rebuild the barrel was also replaced and the original round front sight blade was replaced with the later notched style. On the loading gate side of the revolver, you can still make out the outline of the original Imperial eagle proof mark.
It’s also probably that the revolver was either rebuilt or repaired after WW2 as evidenced by the Izhevsk made trigger guard it is now equipped with. Izhevsk did not make Nagant Revolver parts at the probably time of the first rebuild.
The original grip checkering was much finer, and when worn down from use, the Soviets re-checkered over the older checkering with a coarser pattern. Those grips that weren’t as serviceable were replaced on some revolvers with either coarse checkered birch or bakelite.
The depicted accessories were made in 1951 as part of the Soviet war reserve of arms.
Collectors should look for matching serial numbers on the frame, the inside of the side plate, and the face of the cylinder. WW2 dated revolvers are much more common than the pre-WW2 era specimens, with pre-WW1 and 1934 made revolvers being the rarest and commanding the highest prices. 1934 is a rare production year as very few were made while Tula was tooling up for TT-33 Tokarev production.
As with most recent Soviet weapons imports, non-import marked examples will command higher prices. (Feedback by "Claven2")