Nagant M1895

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Nagant M1895 revolver
Nagant Revolver.jpg
A Nagant M1895 produced in 1941 by the Tula Arsenal with its 7.62×38mmR ammunition
Place of originBelgium/Russia
Service history
In service1895–present
Used bySee Users
WarsBoxer Rebellion
Russo-Japanese War
World War I
Russian Revolution of 1917
Russian Civil War
Polish-Soviet War
Spanish Civil War
Winter War
World War II
Chinese Civil War
Hukbalahap Rebellion
Korean War
Vietnam War
Tuareg rebellion (1990–1995)
Production history
DesignerÉmile & Léon Nagant
ManufacturerNagant, Soviet Arsenals (Tula & Izhevsk), Państwowa Fabryka Karabinów[1]
Produced1895–1945 (1895–1898 Nagant, 1899–1945 Tula, 1930 Warsaw, 1943–1945 Izhevsk)
No. built~2,000,000[citation needed]
VariantsSingle-action NCO version, .22 caliber sporting model
Mass1.8 lb (0.8 kg), unloaded
Length10.5 in (235 mm)
Barrel length4.5 in (114 mm)

Cartridge7.62×38mmR, .32 ACP (aftermarket cylinder)
Caliber7.62mm (7.82 mm or .308 in actual bullet dia.)
ActionDouble action, Single-action
Rate of fire14–21 rounds/min
Muzzle velocity1100 ft/s (335 m/s)[2]
Effective firing range50 yds (46 m)[3]
Feed system7-round cylinder
SightsFixed front post and rear notch

The Nagant M1895 Revolver is a seven-shot, gas-seal revolver designed and produced by Belgian industrialist Léon Nagant for the Russian Empire.

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 bullet and allowing the weapon to be suppressed (an unusual characteristic for a revolver).[4] In fact, a 38mm long shell covers the whole bullet for this very purpose as well. This way, early Nagant users would avoid dealing with gases of black powder.

Its design would inspire the Pieper M1893 carbine[5] and Steyr 1893 revolver.[6]

Russian M1895[edit]

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.[7]

Production began in Liège, Belgium; however Russia purchased the manufacturing rights in 1898, and moved production to the Tula Arsenal in Russia, and was soon producing 20,000 examples per year.[7]

Until 1918 it was produced in two versions: a double-action version for officers, and a cheaper single-action version for the lower ranks.[8] 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,[9] 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.

Technical characteristics[edit]

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 holds the gun with a finger positioned beside the gap.[10]

Holstered Nagant with the gate open for loading.

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 Webley Revolver 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[11] or shimming it.[12]

History and usage[edit]

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"[citation needed]

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.[13] 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.[14]

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 has been considered to be "antique" in Belgium so 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.[15]



  • 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[16] with sound suppressor known as the "BRAMIT device" (BRAtya MITiny - "Mitin Brothers") - produced since 1931[17] for Soviet reconnaissance and scout troops
  • Ng wz. 30 (Nagant wz. 30)


  • TOZ-36 (ТОЗ-36) - since 1962[18]
  • TOZ-49 (ТОЗ-49)[19]
  • KR-22 «Sokol» (КР-22 «Сокол») - .22 LR[20]
  • Nagant 1910 - An improved version with a swing-out cylinder. It was never accepted into service and had poor civilian market sales.[21][22]
  • Shadow-7 - Carbine variant with a 450mm barrel, produced in 2020 by Russian company Test-Oruzhie, chambered for 5.45×18mm.[23][24]



7.62×38mmR (7.62 mm Nagant) cartridge, left, shown next to a .32 S&W Long Cartridge (middle) and a .22 LR cartridge (right) for comparison.

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.

Aftermarket cylinders for .32 can be installed, allowing the Nagant to safely fire .32 H&R Magnum or .32 ACP[citation needed]. Shooting any ammunition other than the 7.62x38mmR cartridge with the original cylinder can cause bodily injury from bullet shrapnel or escaping gas, and the excessive pressures produced by some .32 ammunition could also cause catastrophic failure of the cylinder or frame.

Comparison of .32 Smith & Wesson Long, .32 H&R Magnum and 7.62×38mmR Nagant

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 as the .32-20 is not long enough to protrude past the cylinder like the original Nagant ammunition.

Swedish / Norwegian[edit]

7.5 mm Swedish/ Norwegian Nagant round

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).

The Swedish and Norwegian Nagants used a different cartridge, the 7.5 mm Nagant. This ammunition is interchangeable with the 7.5mm 1882 Ordnance (aka Swiss 7.5mm revolver).[25][26]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Tadeusz Kozieł (2007). "Przemysł zbrojeniowy w Polsce w latach 1918-1939" [Arms industry in Poland between 1918 and 1939]. (in Polish). Retrieved 2013-08-08.
  2. ^ Schreier, Philip (July 18, 2022). "The Model 1895 Nagant Revolver". Shooting Illustrated: An Official Journal Of The NRA.
  3. ^ a b "Dossier Nagant Revolver". Retrieved 2010-07-20.
  4. ^ a b "Nagant Suppressed". YouTube.[dead YouTube link]
  5. ^ McCollum, Ian (January 28, 2015). "Mexican Pieper Revolving Carbine". Forgotten Weapons.
  6. ^ McCollum, Ian (December 26, 2018). "Steyr 1893 Gas-Seal Trials Revolver". Forgotten Weapons.
  7. ^ a b Kowner, Historical Dictionary of the Russo-Japanese War, p. 248.
  8. ^ Виталий Крючин. Арсенал: НАГАН: история жизни с продолжением // журнал «Братишка», май 2008 года
  9. ^ Постановление Правительства РФ № 248 от 24.03.2000 «Об обеспечении служебным оружием, патронами к оружию и специальными средствами должностных лиц организаций федеральной почтовой связи»
  10. ^ Published on Nov 11, 2012 (2012-11-11). "Mythbusters Revolver Cylinder Gap". YouTube. Archived from the original on 2021-12-21. Retrieved 2020-05-07.
  11. ^ "M1895 Nagant Revolver Trigger Job". YouTube. Archived from the original on 2021-12-21.
  12. ^ "How to adjust the trigger pull of the 1895 Nagant revolver - Surplus Rifle Forum -".
  13. ^ Rappaport, The Last Days of the Romanovs: Tragedy at Ekaterinburg (2009), p. 181
  14. ^ "Silenced 7.62 mm Nagant Revolver". 2000-09-18. Retrieved 2010-07-20.
  15. ^ "Hoe een antieke revolver in handen kwam van criminelen en terroristen". Retrieved 2017-01-15.
  16. ^ Jeff Kinard (2004). Pistols: An Illustrated History of Their Impact. ABC-CLIO. p. 161. ISBN 1-85109-470-9.
  17. ^ 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.
  18. ^ Terčový revolver TOZ-36 // «Střelecká revue», 4, 1970
  19. ^ Terčový revolver TOZ-49 // «Střelecká revue», 10, 1978
  20. ^ Е. Александров. Под малый калибр. // «Калашников. Оружие, боеприпасы, снаряжение», № 8, 2010. стр.48-49
  21. ^ "Nouvelle page 0".
  22. ^ "The Belgian 1910 Swingout Cylinder Revolver".
  23. ^ "Самозарядный карабин "Тень-7" калибра 5.45х18". Test-Oruzhie.
  24. ^ H, Hrachya (11 December 2020). "Russian M1895 Nagant Carbine Chambered in 5.45x18mm". The Firearm Blog.
  25. ^ "Data" (PDF). Retrieved 2020-05-07.
  26. ^ Frank C. Barnes (2012). Cartridges of the World: A Complete Illustrated Reference for More Than 1,500 Cartridges. Gun Digest Books. p. 335. ISBN 978-1-4402-3059-2.
  27. ^ Jowett, Philip; Snodgrass, Brent (5 Jul 2006). Finland at War 1939–45. Elite 141. Osprey Publishing. p. 45. ISBN 9781841769691.
  28. ^ "M1895 Nagant Revolver". Retrieved 2012-09-11.
  29. ^ "Czechoslovak Weapons of World War II: part 1: Czechoslovakia was well-armed and fortified before World War II, but appeasers in Britain and France pulled the rug out, making "Munich" a synonym for betrayal. - Free Online Library". Retrieved 2022-12-30.
  30. ^ "M1895 Nagant Revolver". Retrieved 2016-04-23.
  31. ^ Jowett, Philip; Snodgrass, Brent (5 Jul 2006). Finland at War 1939–45. Elite 141. Osprey Publishing. p. 45. ISBN 9781841769691.
  32. ^ Small Arms Survey (1998). Politics From The Barrel of a Gun (PDF). Cambridge University Press. p. 40. Archived from the original (PDF) on January 12, 2011.
  33. ^ Постановление Правительства Республики Казахстан № 1060 от 28 августа 1996 года "О внесении изменений и дополнений в некоторые решения Правительства Республики Казахстан"
  34. ^ Jones, Richard D. Jane's Infantry Weapons 2009/2010. Jane's Information Group; 35 edition (January 27, 2009). ISBN 978-0-7106-2869-5.
  35. ^ Small Arms Survey (2005). "Sourcing the Tools of War: Small Arms Supplies to Conflict Zones". Small Arms Survey 2005: Weapons at War. Oxford University Press. p. 166. ISBN 978-0-19-928085-8. Archived from the original (PDF) on November 9, 2010.
  36. ^ 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"
  37. ^ 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»
  38. ^ 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»
  39. ^ «Организации и их территориальные подразделения могут использовать до вывода из эксплуатации по техническому состоянию… 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.)
  40. ^ 13 мая 1895 года // журнал "Мастер-ружьё", № 5 (122), май 2007. стр.92
  41. ^ "Spanish Civil War, Pistols (1936–1939)". Republicanos. Archived from the original on 2005-11-24.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  42. ^ "В Донецке вооруженные люди в управлении военизированной охраны Управления Донецкой железной дороги завладели... 4 пистолетами ТТ и 5 револьверами «Наган»" В Донецке боевики завладели оружием управления охраны железной дороги // УНИАН от 28 июня 2014
  43. ^ В Запорожской области охранник украл пистолет из сейфа // "Индустриалка" от 31 июля 2017


  • Wilson, Royce: "The Nagant M1895 Revolver". Australian & New Zealand Handgun, Issue 4 (January 2006).
  • Kowner, Rotem (2006). Historical Dictionary of the Russo-Japanese War. The Scarecrow Press. ISBN 0-8108-4927-5
  • Gerard, Henrotin: The Nagant revolvers., Ebook (2001).
  • Gerard, Henrotin: Nagant revolver Model 1878 explained., Ebook (2014).

External links[edit]