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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This morning I went to my club range and took along my 1931 dated Tula Arsenal 7.62 Nagant revolver. Earlier this year I lucked into four boxes of Fiocchi Nagant ammo for only $20 a box.

I set up my chronograph and fired one cylinder (seven rounds) over the skyscreens. Average velocity was 962 fps which figures out to 199 fpe for the 97 gr FMJ bullet. I was surprised by this figure. From what I have been reading lately, Russian milsurp only produces around 750 fps or so.

My Nagant has an impossibly heavy DA trigger which seems to be par for the course with M1895's. I had to use both of my index fingers with a two handed grip just to get it to cycle the cylinder. Thw SA trigger pull was heavy but I could pull it with just one finger. So all shooting was done SA.

I shot four groups of seven rounds each at ten yards. Average group size was four inches. The Nagant shot to point of aim with the Fiocchi rounds with the bullets hitting around the X ring of a 25 yard target center.

Reloading the Nagant is a chore to say the least. Using the swiveling ejector rod to punch out the cases one at a time insures that the barrel is unlikely to overheat from rapid fire. Just over half of the ejected cases had split case necks. Given the over the bullet crimp this cartridge uses, I'm surprised that all of the cases didn't split.

I have to wonder why the Imperial Russian Army traded in their S&W .44 Russians for this complicated small caliber blaster. Somebody probably got paid off big time....

I'm a long time handloader and I've considered trying to handload the 7.62 Nagant. The Fiocchi cases are boxer primed and use the standard small pistol primer. I cast a .312" button nose wadcutter that looks like it would work in the Nagant. The cases would have to be trimmed down to eliminate the split necks and that would mean that the gas seal feature would no longer be in use. The real problem would be obtaining a correct set of dies and a shell holder for this round. I know that Lee offers a set of dies that use the .32-20 case, but I doubt that they would work properly with the Nagant case. I know that some Nagant shooters use .32 S&W Long and .32 Magnum ammo in their M1895's. But that doesn't appeal to me. Oh well.....

Conclusions: The gas seal Nagant is an interesting revolver from the last 19th century. But IMHO it is nothing more than a novelty today. I like oddball handguns and cartridges. This Belgian designed piece ranks right up there in the oddball department.


Roadster
 

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Hi Roadster,

I too am a fan of strange pieces. Thank you for the report.

Do you happen to know of a website featuring strange firearms? Like the one built into the tophat etc?

Thank you again for the writeup.

Josh <><
 

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I'm not a reloader, so I have no idea how useful (or useless) this information is, or if it will even work, but I'll quote it here on the off chance it's actually helpful.
I found this on the Milsurpshooter.net site.

If you reload shooting the Nagant will not cost any more than any pistol.

Run 32/20 brass through an M1 Carbine sizer.

Prime and load with 2 to 3 grains of BullsEye.

Load almost any cast .32 bullet, seating the bullet below the case mouth and crimp.

They come out looking a lot like the Nagant round.

Have fun.
Again, I can't vouch for that, but I'd rather give out useless information than have useful information and not give it out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Kilroy,

Thanks for the info.

I've got about 700 or so .32-20 cases on hand and I've got a set of Hornady .30M1 Carbine dies. I'll have to run a handfull of cases through the .30 M1 die and see what happens.


Roadster
 

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My father has a M1985 Nagant Circa 1917. Nice piece, it is in immaculate condition and around the house we've got perhaps 2 or 3 boxes of shells for it, it gets shot around once a year, if that often. It's accurate with the single action pull, and the wadcutter rounds sure leave nice holes in the target.

Definitely NOT the gun to use in a gun fight though! Slow to reload and I have my doubts as to the capability of the 7.62 Nagant round in terms of power. But a great piece for any collection and tons of fun to play with.

-Rob
 
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