The 1895 Nagant revolver is a unique wheelgun that stands out from many designs. The Nagant revolver is well known as a Russian revolver, however it was actually designed by Emile and Leon Nagant in Belgium in the early 1890’s. In 1898 the full production began in Russia.
The unique features that make the 1895 Nagant stand out, are also the same features that made it out classed, almost as soon as it was produced. The Nagant revolver shares some similarities with American single action revolvers, such as a loading gate and the utilization of an ejection rod. The most unique feature is that the cylinder moves forward to close the gap between the cylinder and forcing cone. Special ammunition was also developed with that concept to help prevent any gasses from escaping out the side of the revolver. The gap closure is said to have excellent qualities for attaching a suppressor, however, most examples of the 1895 Nagant revolver in the United States would require some muzzle work to make this possible. You can see the difference between the pre and post cylinder engagement in the photos below, as well as the case ejection process.
The design that forces the cylinder to index forward before each shot causes the double action trigger pull to get quite heavy, even compared to modern double action revolvers. Given the slow loading and unloading of the Nagant revolver, the addition of a seventh round was a welcomed advantage, for an overall, disadvantaged design. Despite all that, the 1895 Nagant is a fun little revolver to shoot and admire for its ruggedness and easy handling.
BEFORE YOU FIELD STRIP ANY WEAPON, REMEMBER the four rules of gun safety:
- All guns are always loaded.
- Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy.
- Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on the target.
- Be sure of your target and what is beyond it.
TFB FIELD STRIP: THE 1895 NAGANT REVOLVER
Step 1. As always, check each chamber to ensure that there is no ammunition in the gun. Twist the ejector rod that sits just below the barrel and pull it out toward the muzzle. The rod is captive.
Step 2. With the rod out of the frame, the ejection rod housing attached to the barrel can then be turned counterclockwise. Align the marks on the left side of the gun while turning the ejection rod housing.
Step 3. Once the ejection rod housing has been rotated, the cylinder retaining pin is exposed and free for removal.
Step 4. Next, open the loading gate on the right side of the Nagant revolver. The cylinder can then be pushed out of the right side of the gun. There is a spring loaded cylinder inside the center of the cylinder. If needed you could slightly depress the center cylinder to assist with the removal of the seven chambered cylinder.
Step 5. The last step is to remove the center cylinder. There is a shallow index notch cut into the center cylinder (highlighted in yellow). Push the center cylinder down and rotate the index notch to the open notch in the main cylinder body as shown in the photo below.
This ends the field strip process for the 1895 Nagant revolver. Reassemble in reverse order. I’d like to thank my friend Kirby for allowing the use of his Nagant revolver for TFB’s Field Strip series. For more in-depth information about the 1895 Nagant, you can check out Bloke’s TFB TV video below.