Gun Review: Russian M1895 Nagant revolver in 7.62x38R (VIDEO)
By Terril James Herbert
Russian firearms are a lot of things: crude, quirky, utilitarian, behind the times, perhaps even a good buy. The Mosin-Nagant rifle and the later AK-47 won’t win any beauty contests. Neither would the Makarov pistol of Bond film fame, being little more than a crude Walther PPK knock-off. Another curious pistol in Russia’s 20th century arsenal is the m1895 Nagant revolver — a handgun that was innovative, yet obsolete on the same coin. A handgun so interesting I just had to buy it not once, but twice.
A touch of history
Despite its primitive look, the 1895 Nagant has a nearly unrivaled service history. That story started in the early 1890s when autocratic Russia was seeking a new handgun to replace its 44 caliber Smith & Wesson break-top revolvers. Emile and Leon Nagant, who were known to the Czar for their work on the magazine system on their recently adopted M91 Mosin-Nagant rifle, had a solution in mind.
My Nagant was made in 1944 at the Izhevsk arsenal during World War II. (Photo: Terril Herbert)
Nagant revolvers had already been adopted by a number of countries, but this new Russian revolver featured a few upgrades that impressed the Czar. In particular the use of