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Old April 28, 2014, 09:00 PM   #1
Model12Win
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Nagants: are they gone forever?

Hey everybody! I've been in the market for an M1895 Nagant revolver chambered in 7.62x38mmR for a while now. I used to remember these guns being cheap as can be, selling sometimes for under $100 or close to.

After searching online the other day however, I've noticed that these aren't particularly easy to find and they prices have nearly tripled.

What I'm wondering is, are these revolvers going to be imported again? Is there any good sources for one? I live in eastern Kansas near Topeka and I am in the market for one. I would prefer a "new old stock" gun that hasn't been fired since the war but I know I can't be picky.

I would love the chance to own one of these neat little guns, but my hopes were dashed recently. Please give me some information on the availability of Nagant revolvers in 2014 and there import status if anyone knows.

Thank you so much!

Last edited by Model12Win; April 28, 2014 at 09:17 PM.
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Old April 28, 2014, 11:16 PM   #2
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They flooded the market, were snapped up and disappeared, probably for ammo. Call your local pawn shops, might have better luck there.
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Old April 29, 2014, 12:37 AM   #3
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I've got a little discussion going on about this same topic over in c&r..seems most people are still finding them but it is in the mid to high 200 dollar range..to much for that gun IMO I'll take my chances and hope we get more someday soon.but if you feel you have to have it they are out there if you are willing to pay and if they are completely dryed up 10 years from now 250 might not looks so bad,on the other hand they could get a warehouse full tomorrow and start selling for 99 bucks again that's just a chance you have to take in the c&r game
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Old April 29, 2014, 10:23 AM   #4
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In practical terms they are an inferior design from a bygone era. They were made well enough, but not particularly well made. They use ammo that is used by nothing else.

Their biggest claim to fame is the unusual gas seal design (making them interesting, but not any better than anything else) and being the revolver most likely to be used by the NKVD for putting a bullet in the back of your neck because you didn't display sufficient revolutionary spirit.

Out dated so long ago even the Soviets couldn't give them away....

As a historical collectable, they have a place. As a working handgun, they leave a LOT to be desired.

Americans love cheap. Even if its crap, if its cheap we buy it. And when the supply is limited, after the initial stocks are sold, value becomes a variable issue, depending on demand, and supply.

Also remember that the less than $100 revolver when gas was less than $2 isn't going to be less than $100 when gas is pushing $4 per gallon. And neither is anything else we buy.

its a combination of people thinking that anything scarce is valuable (sometimes it is, sometimes its a fantasy), and the fact that our money isn't worth what it used to be, even a handful of years ago.
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Old May 1, 2014, 07:07 AM   #5
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44, Don't hold back your opinion just let everyone know how you really feel about these little pistols! I bought one several years ago and a small amount of ammo because they are unique, inexpensive and I wanted to examine the gas seal feature more closely. I never even took the hang tags off of my "arsenal new" revolver, shot it with Nagant ammo and some .32 long that I had, terrible double action, accuracy ok at 15 yards ( could hit a soldier at that distance if he tried to run away from a battle) with the correct ammo but not so with the longs, makes a wonderful conversation piece and a perfect example of how to produce a firearm with limited material and skill. Would I trust my life on one? You bet if I did not have anything else available. It was cheap to buy and crudely made, however they are not " crap".
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Old July 4, 2014, 07:01 PM   #6
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Just came across this tread looking for something else, reading 44AMP's reply and laughing hard! Cheap guns used by NKVD "for putting a bullet in the back of your neck because you didn't display sufficient revolutionary spirit" Really?

Nagant was a choice of officers of Tzar's army since 1895, long before revolution, NKVD and other crap that happened to Russia in 1917. The design, at the time, was second to none. Accuracy was great. Yes, double action sucks, but it wasn't meant to be a full time DA revolver. It was really an SA revolver with DA option for emergencies. At the time DA revolvers were barely introduced anyway.

As for accuracy of this cheap NKVD gun, just refer to an image below, SA form 30FT. 14 rounds. Target is shot from 1917 Nagant, pretty much stock with exception of some extra internal parts polishing and replacement front sight.





P.S. Of course if you compare Nagant to current production S&W and Ruger DA revolver it could be called crap. But I'd take a Nagant over almost any revolver produced before WWII. The only down side is the finicky way to reload it, but just for self defense seven shots are plenty, if you can place them right.
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Old July 4, 2014, 07:35 PM   #7
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Someone on the board got a really nice 1921 Nagant with great markings for $200 on Gunbroker recently. You can find them at anywhere from $150 and up.

The $99 Nagants are gone, I think.

I bought several of these when they were inexpensive, not one dog in the bunch.

The Nagants have seemingly gone the way of the Lee-Enfield, the No. 5 Carbine, the K98, the FN49, the K31, the SKS, and all the others, imported in the thousands, available everywhere for a while, and now gone, disappeared into the great American gun market. I won't be surprised to see the Mosin Nagant rifle being harder to find in a few years.
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Old July 5, 2014, 10:38 AM   #8
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Cheap guns used by NKVD "for putting a bullet in the back of your neck because you didn't display sufficient revolutionary spirit" Really?
Really.

Except they aren't/weren't "cheap" guns until they hit the US market. On the US market, they were cheap guns, selling for less than 1/3 the cost of a US made revolver. Until the supply began to dry up. Then the price went up.

Yes, they were the choice of Czarist officers. And a pretty good choice, considering what was available to them. Although, personally, I would choose a S&W .44 Russian, over the Nagant, if I was able to.

And to be precise, I didn't call the Nagant crap. I said Americans love cheap, even if it is crap. And the Nagants were cheap. Not crap in the working sense, Nagants seem to work fine. But not a top shelf gun, by any standards.
A solid, dependable working tool, yes. A great revolver, not so much.

The NKVD used them a lot. Tokarev autos became the standard, but Nagants continued to serve for a long time.

Catching one in the back of the neck, from your own side, was a common punishment for failure in the Soviet military during WWII. Lots of things, particularly lack of sufficient adoration for and obedience to Communist ideals, would get you denounced, taken away and shot. Failure to achieve the ordered objective (no matter the actions of the enemy) was often a death sentence. The Soviet system was big on that. The Nazis may kill you, the NKVD certainly would. Great motivator, if not the best in humanitarian terms. (sarcasm)

Quote:
But I'd take a Nagant over almost any revolver produced before WWII.
I wouldn't choose a Nagant over a pre-WWII S&W (any), and I would choose a Webley Mk VI before a Nagant as well. If I could, I'd choose a S&W registered Magnum, a 1917, or even a Colt SAA over a Nagant, but then I have the luxury to be able to choose, which serving military, including many officers, didn't/don't have.
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Old July 5, 2014, 11:50 AM   #9
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The Nagants were selling here in the US for well over 15 years. Probably closer to 20.
Supplies on ANY vintage surplus commodity will eventually run out, and those pretty much have.

If you have to have one, pay whatever it takes to get one now.
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Old July 5, 2014, 12:04 PM   #10
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While I love european styled revolvers I honestly dont have the time nor money to invest in the calibers they shoot. Which really disappoints me. While I'd love a Nagant or Webley to play with but a gun I cant use isn't much good to me.
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Old July 5, 2014, 12:26 PM   #11
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Heck, I'd almost choose a Mle 1873 over a Nagant --at least that one punches a 10mm hole . A S&W no. 3 would also be an interesting, if enormous, choice.

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Old July 5, 2014, 12:27 PM   #12
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Ammo for Nagants and Webleys is currently made by Fiocchi, Prvi, and others. It's available online if you don't want to have your LGS order it.

I seem to have no problem finding ammo some folks claim is expensive or hard to find. Nagant ammo is around the price of good .357 ammo, maybe $30 a box. You can get 500 rounds of Prvi on Gunbroker for $215 shipped to your door right now. A crate of surplus is running about $130, that's over 1,000 rounds.

Webley a bit more per box, not much. I can reload Webley .455 for $0.36 apiece once I have the brass.
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Old July 5, 2014, 05:27 PM   #13
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Agree with 44 AMP above.

The guns were functional & that's about it.
Crude in design & execution.
Interesting curios & historical pieces, but I let all three of mine go last year, finally.

Part of a general reduction in guns I didn't shoot, for various reasons.
Not worth reloading for, not all that exciting to shoot, not particularly practical for anything here.

Defense & plinking handled by much better guns.

Still, if you HAVE to have one, pay the extra & get whatever you can find now.
Stocks won't be increasing, prices won't be decreasing.
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Old July 6, 2014, 12:23 AM   #14
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The thing about Russia is... They don't have any idea where a large number of their arms are located at this time. They have a hard time accounting for their nuclear arsenal, let alone small arms. There could be a warehouse with a million of them in storage they forgot about. Some could turn up in some ex-satellite state. Who knows.
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Old July 6, 2014, 04:00 AM   #15
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I load for my Nagant

I form .32-20 brass using a M1 carbine die and have mine shortened so that I crimp the bullet conventionally. I load in the .32 H&R range and it handles it easily. With my hand loads my Nagant is accurate from 50 feet. I load 90 grain RN and hollow points so I can use it for CCW if I feel like it. With my reloads if I have to shoot someone they will not have a good chance of survival.
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Old July 6, 2014, 05:47 AM   #16
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Don't forget it's also ugly as hell!
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Old July 6, 2014, 09:40 AM   #17
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Crude in design and execution? No
Cheap? No
Inexpensive curio? Yes
Ugly? Well yes, until you actually use it and can appreciate it's virtues.

I actually find it very functional for harvesting rabbits and squirrels. I prefer it over my buckmark. Super easy to clean when using proper ammo since you just have to clean the barrel (love the gas seal). With the more powerful Russian surplus ammo, it packs a pretty good punch. The weak Fiocchi and .prvi / Hotshot ammo is great for small game at close distances.
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Old July 6, 2014, 12:35 PM   #18
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Yes, crude in design & execution.
If you like 'em, great.

Mine were not worth scaring up ammunition for, couldn't keep up in either recreational or defensive roles, and were not worth going the .32-20 route to shoot.

Horrendous DA pulls, creepy SA pulls, variable accuracy, FMJ bullets, extremely slow & awkward re-loading.

Interesting historical curio, far down the list of efficient combat or defensive handguns.

I got my first in the mid-90s, sold all three last year.
If they'd fired an "easier" round, might have kept 'em.
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Old July 6, 2014, 05:30 PM   #19
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Quote:
Don't forget it's also ugly as hell!
Beauty is ALWAYS in the eye of the beholder. Personally, I have always considered the Colt SAA to be an ugly, awkward looking gun. What can I tell you?

Quote:
Yes, crude in design & execution.
Definitely NOT crude in design. At the time of its design, it was cutting edge technology by Frères Nagant. As produced under Stalin's regime? Yes, incredibly crude, as it was strictly made for utilitarian purposes and sheer numbers.

Nagant's use of a simple double action mechanism goes well back to the 1870s, even before William Mason's abortion of a double action Colt. Now THERE was a design that was crudely executed.

If you compare a Russian Nagant to say, a Polish Radom Nagant, there is no comparison. There is nothing crude about the execution of a Polish Nagant; Its execution exhibits world-class workmanship equal or better to anything that came out of Germany or Austria.
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Old July 6, 2014, 11:14 PM   #20
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There is a tendency to dismiss "milsurp" guns as cheap and junk because they are cheap. But that is a fallacy. There have been exceptions, but in general, a country will provide its armed forces with the best arms the nation can afford to make or buy. After all, the continued existence of the nation itself may depend on the quality of its arms.

That does not mean that time stands still. A rifle or handgun that was top quality in the 1890s might be second or third rate by 1940, and a real antique by 2014. The Nagant revolver, and the Mosin-Nagant rifle, were on a par with the weapons of other nations when they were first adopted by Russia. Unfortunately for the Motherland, economics did not allow their replacement when they became obsolete, and a devastating war required their continuation in service. (The same was true of the British Empire, with its Lee-Enfield and its revolvers.)

The Nagant revolver is not a practical gun today for most purposes; it is still an interesting gun and collectible. But it is not, and never was, junk or a gun good only for contact killing.

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Old July 7, 2014, 05:25 AM   #21
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This ^^^^^^^
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Old July 7, 2014, 10:45 AM   #22
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There have been exceptions, but in general, a country will provide its armed forces with the best arms the nation can afford to make or buy.
And usually when there are exceptions its a result of political, not military decisions. Or the one decision that is both, choosing only arms made in your country. Many nations have adopted, or kept arms that were inferior (in some ways) to other nations arms, because they were made there, and so the possible interruption of supply from a foreign nation was not an issue.

Even the US does this, to a degree. The few foreign designed arms we have adopted in the past century have all been required to be made in the US, or at least lip service paid to that account.

Nagants are "gone" forever, in the sense that all there are is all there are ever going to be. No one is making them, nor will anyone make them, as a commercial venture, again. Lots of guns in that class. Even the Luger, which is arguably more useful than the Nagant can't find a current, and enduring market for new guns. Everyone who has tried to re-introduce the Luger, including Mauser, has dropped it, after a brief production, as its simply not a money maker today.

SO I seriously doubt that between the obsolesence of the guns design, and its unusual ammo, it will make a comeback on the commercial market.

So go get one, If you want one, its an interesting piece of history. But don't think its more than an interesting piece of history, in practical terms, today.
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Old July 7, 2014, 11:00 AM   #23
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So go get one, If you want one, its an interesting piece of history. But don't think its more than an interesting piece of history, in practical terms, today.
I agree with most of what you say, but the one bright spot is that, given that there have been thousands imported into the U.S., Fiocchi will probably continue to make ammo for them for at least the next 20 years. I was blind dumb lucky enough to stumble onto a Polish Radom Nagant at a gun show back in the early 70s and was able to get Fiocchi ammo for it then when they came in the grey and yellow 25 round boxes. (I was really looking for a Russian, but I figured the Radom was better than nothing. LOLL!) I think at the time only a relatively few Russians were imported from Finland by Interarms, or else you had to stumble across a bringback.
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Old July 8, 2014, 12:32 AM   #24
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I bought some for $60 and took them back because I hated them.
Then in 2004 I paid more and bought a couple for $80 + $25 shipping and FFL.

What miserable revolvers Nagants are. That is after the Colt SAA was designed. That is a great revolver. The Russians should have built SAA.
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Old July 8, 2014, 01:02 AM   #25
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What miserable revolvers Nagants are. That is after the Colt SAA was designed. That is a great revolver. The Russians should have built SAA.
The Colt SAA is nothing more than a cartridge version of older Colt cap and ball revolvers that predate the Civil War. European designs, including the early large bore Nagants were light years ahead of the Colt SAA, or any other Colt for that matter.

One large bore Nagant, a 9.4mm, was in use by the Dutch as early as 1870, which seems to predate your Colt SAA by about 3 years.

At the time of its adoption by Russia in 1895, the Nagant was far superior to anything Colt had to offer.
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