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Old November 24, 2011, 01:01 AM   #26
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To understand the Nagant, you have to understand the school of thought regarding handguns in late 19th Century Europe. First of all, the handgun was viewed more as an officer's badge of rank rather than a serious fighting tool by most powers at the time. The revolver was, at most, a last ditch self-defense weapon and/or a tool for shooting deserters as they tried to flee the battle. As such, so long as the Nagant's trigger still allowed for "minute of Cossack" accuracy it was plenty good enough.

As to the cartridge, it was actually not substantially more underpowered than most of its contemporaries such as 7.5 Swiss Ordinance, 7.5 Swedish Nagant, 8mm Gasser, or 8mm Lebel Revolver. One must understand that ideas about handgun effectiveness were quite different in the 19th Century than they were today. In a time before antibiotics and modern medicine, getting shot with anything was far more likely to be fatal. During this time period, cartridges like .32 S&W Long were quite popular for police use here in the U.S. Probably the two most powerful military handguns in use at the time were the British .455 Webley revolvers which, while much better than most of their contemporaries, are no power-houses by today's standards and the American .45 Long Colt which was chosen primarily for its ability to take down an enemy's horse. Once you understand the thoughts and ideas of the time, 7.62 Nagant seems like a perfectly suitable cartridge.

In today's world, the only purposes for which the Nagant is particularly well suited are historical interest and fun at the range. With exponentially better handguns available chambered for far more effective cartridges, choosing a Nagant for anything but the two previously mentioned purposes makes little sense to me.
Smith, and Wesson, and Me. -H. Callahan
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Old November 24, 2011, 07:51 AM   #27
Colonel Custer
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Definetly agree with Kraigwy
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