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  #1  
Old 09-17-2010, 02:31 PM
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Default m1895 Nagant shooting .32 S&W longs?

This is off-topic being about M1895 Nagants, but since I am questioning the use of SMITH & WESSON .32 caliber Long's I thought I would post it on the forum

I am new to Nagant's, in fact I just ordered two from SOG and will pick the best one and sell the other.
I hear alot about 32 ACP cylinders, but I thought i have also heard of people shooting some types of S&W ammo through them with the factory cylinder.

Is that dangerous? What types and calibers are they using?
I did a little googling and here is what I came up with, it seems to be fairly well split between the never use anything other than 7.62 and the S&W and H&R are fine

Q: I have been told that Smith & Wesson .32 Long cartridges can be safely fired in the Russian Nagant 7.62 Military revolver. Is this true?
A: The .023" difference in head diameter between the .32 S&W Long's .335" and the Nagant's .358" is enough to nix the idea even at the lowly pressure of the .32 Long. Ruptured handgun brass is always a bad thing. The correct case to create 7.62 Nagant amino is the .32-20, although the case won't be long enough to form the gas seal. If the high cost, limited availability and hassle of the 7.62 Nagant round vexes you, get an extra .32 ACP cylinder for it. They are available from Century Int. Arms, (561) 998-1997, Century International Arms, Inc. for $59.95 and will provide plenty of safe, cheap fun.
COPYRIGHT 2005 Publishers' Development Corporation
COPYRIGHT 2005 Gale Group
from the wikipedia
The revolver can be fired using the .32 Smith & Wesson Long, and .32 H&R Magnum cartridges, but this practice is not generally advised. The Nagant revolver was not designed to fire these rounds, which have different dimensions, so the shooter should be aware of the risks before attempting to use them in the revolver. Aftermarket cylinders for .32 can be installed by the shooter, allowing them to safely fire .32 H&R
************************************************** ****************
One saying it is ok
In an effort to get around the problem, various outfits sell a Korean-made replacement cylinder to adapt the Nagant to the .32 auto cartridge. Unfortunately these don't always work well and often need to be hand-fitted by a gunsmith.
All this is unnecessary. The Nagant will cheerfully digest ordinary American .32 S&W Long cartridges, or the considerably more powerful .32 Magnum. This last puts the old pistol back in the running as a serious weapon; there are commercial hollow-point loads for the .32 Mag that are not too far behind the standard .38 Special in effectiveness. For some reason not many people seem to know that the Nagant will take these commonly-available .32 loads; if word could be gotten out I think this would become a much more popular firearm.
(Some people have broadcast dire warnings against using any cartridge but the one for which the weapon was designed. These are the same sort of people who carry a modern revolver with the hammer down on an empty chamber, and drive 55 even when nobody's looking, and wear a rubber when getting a blow job, and so on. Somebody like that really should leave guns alone altogether. In fact plenty of people routinely shoot .32 S&W and Magnum loads in Nagants with no harm done, barring bulged cases - which doesn't hurt anything unless you plan to reload them - and occasional stiff extraction. The Nagant is a very solidly constructed weapon and capable of handling reasonable pressures; after all, the original Russian military load was more powerful than the .32 S&W and not far below the modern .32 Mag.)
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Old 09-17-2010, 02:36 PM
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I wouldn't recommend using .32 Magnum in a Nagant.

Also, don't actually plan on hitting anything with them in double action, even with Nagant ammunition. The action on surplus Russian pieces anyway, shall we say, leaves something to be desired.
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Old 09-17-2010, 03:21 PM
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The spare cylinders in 32 acp may require fitting to the gun. some will drop right in and work others require hand fitting it all depends on your gun. .32 S&W long can be fired in the Nagant revolver but will cause some case splitting and bulging. Wrapping clear scotch tape around the cartridges will help them from sloppiness in the cylinder and may prevent splitting.
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Old 09-17-2010, 03:30 PM
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By the way, Lee makes a set of dies so .32-20 brass may be converted for use in 7.62 Nagant revolvers. However, this set will not reload actual 7.62 Nagant brass, just the .32-20's. I've got it and used it- works pretty well.
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Old 09-17-2010, 04:07 PM
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SOG (Southern Ohio Gun) has the Nagant ammo for $22.95, $21.95 for 20 boxes (50 rounds each)

I have heard that about bulged and split cases and that the slug may not be overly tight going down the barrel.

I am probably not going to shoot it alot, I prefer my 28-2 and 686
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Old 09-17-2010, 04:15 PM
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Last year I won a Nagant revolver in a internet "postal" match. I've played with it on several occasions since then. It is an interesting design and the revolver seems well made.



I fired some Aguila ammunition in the 7.62 Nagant revolver just because so many claim that it is ok to shoot .32 S&W Long in the Nagant's factory cylinder. I've already tested the revolver for accuracy with .32 S&W Long and satisfied myself that it is a non-event to fire .32 S&W Long ammunition in it. All that remained was to test .32 S&W Long for velocity and consistency.



Aguila .32 S&W Long 98 grain lead round nose fired in the Nagant revolver

574 fps muzzle velocity
72 ft./lbs muzzle energy
25 extreme spread
15 standard deviation

By studying the 7 cartridge cases in the above photos, one may see a slight bulge in the .32 S&W Long that forms when it is fired in a Nagant revolver. I've fired most of a box and have not yet had a split. It will be noticed that the ejector rod is extended in the photo. I failed to notice this and actually later loaded and fired the revolver once over the chronograph with the ejector rod extended.

The Nagant will give a really good accuracy performance with the .32 S&W Long ammunition, better in fact than it shoots its own proper ammunition. It handles, balances, and points much better than it looks. The trigger is reasonable in singe action mode. The trigger is dreadful in double action mode. Part of the reason for this is due to the function of the gas seal effect. The trigger mechanism moves the cylinder forward to accomplish the gas seal as the gun is cocked. The Nagant is hopeless to load and unload with any speed. Slower than molasses, it operates like a Colt Single Action Army but with a curious pivoting ejector rod that has no spring to retract it. If under attack or fighting hand-to-hand in a combat situation, one would have it's cylinder's compliment of 7 shots with no reasonable way to reload in a timely manner. The gas seal system, for which it is famous, does work but for no purpose since the ammunition is so feeble.



Here's the test using proper Fiocchi factory 7.62 Nagant ammunition which is loaded with a 98 grain jacketed bullet.

672 fps MV
98 ft./lbs ME
84 ES
28 SD



I also shot the Aguila .32 S&W Long ammunition in a couple of revolvers made for the cartridge. I used a circa 1917 Smith & Wesson Model 1903 Hand Ejector and a circa 1915 Colt Police Positive with a 4-inch barrel.


Aguila 98 grain lead round nose fired in the Smith & Wesson Model 1903. This revolver is 98% and tight as new. It sports the 3 1/4-inch barrel which has a sparkling bright bore.

631 fps MV
87 ft./lbs ME
50 ES
20 SD



Aguila 98 grain lead round nose fired in the Colt Police Positive. This revolver has seen better days but still has a little original finish and is serviceable. It has a 4-inch barrel.

728 fps
115 ft./lbs ME
37 ES
16 SD

I was surprised that the ammunition registered nearly 100 fps more velocity from the Colt than from the Smith & Wesson. The 3/4-inch longer barrel of the Colt shouldn't have mattered significantly with the low-pressure ammunition used. The Nagant gave the lowest velocities for the Aguila ammunition which could be attributed to the fact that it is incorrect ammunition and doesn't fit the revolver's chamber. Still, it was the Nagant that recorded the most consistency with the ammunition.

Comparing the Smith & Wesson Model 1903 Hand Ejector with the Colt Police Positive finds the Police Positive is much the better gun for pleasant shooting. It gives a fuller grip and is better balanced though it is still pretty small and concealable. For me, the Smith & Wesson Model 1903 has a stunted grip frame with thin panels that don't afford a truly adequate grip for my fairly large hands. I enjoyed the Police Positive so much that I shot it for a while at a spinning disc target I had brought with me. I forget about actually shooting this Police Positive from time to time and need to take it out more for some great .32 fun.

The Nagant is also efficient to grasp and feels solid in the hand. It has a well-designed grip that only looks different to American eyes. However, when considering the loading operation of the Nagant, one would have been just as well off to try to beat back the German hoards in 1941 armed with the Colt Police Positive .32.



An Ohehler Model 12 chronograph was used. 10-shot strings were fired for average.

Last edited by bmcgilvray; 09-17-2010 at 04:19 PM.
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Old 09-17-2010, 07:05 PM
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I wonder if the bulged cases could be considered "fire formed" and reloaded just for the Nagant?
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Old 09-17-2010, 10:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmcgilvray View Post
Last year I won a Nagant revolver in a internet "postal" match. I've played with it on several occasions since then. It is an interesting design and the revolver seems well made..
Thank you for the interesting report and fine photos. An enjoyable read, indeed!
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Old 09-18-2010, 12:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Cartwright SASS View Post
I wonder if the bulged cases could be considered "fire formed" and reloaded just for the Nagant?
Since it headspaces off the rim, all you have a is bulged case I'm afraid lol.
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Old 09-18-2010, 05:08 PM
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I have a .32ACP cyl. Most will require fitting, and .32ACP isn't a whole lot cheaper then Nagant ammo if you shop around.

Whoever said the Nagant DA trigger pull is 'somewhat stiff' must be fond of understatments. I regard mine as a SA.

I think the cleaning rod that is mounted on the Nagant holster is actualy intended to unload the empties. It's MUCH faster then trying to use the 'Rube Goldberg' ejector rod.

Last edited by therevjay; 09-18-2010 at 05:11 PM.
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Old 09-18-2010, 07:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmcgilvray View Post
Last year I won a Nagant revolver in a internet "postal" match. I've played with it on several occasions since then. It is an interesting design and the revolver seems well made.
Very nice report, Bryan.

Buck
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Old 09-19-2010, 12:10 AM
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Among those who've tried it, Magtech brand ammunition is often reported to have split cases.

Magtech does load one of the few JHP loadings for the .32 SW Long. Some countries, such as India, have handgun laws that make the .32 SW Long the most potent of the calibers that can be legally owned. (They turn out crude Webley copies for the local market in India, well not really copies, since they bought the original machinery...) In India the Magtech offerings are regarded as the fancy imported stuff. That tells you a little something about the quality of domestic sporting ammunition there.

Anyway, the official firearms safety rule is to fire any firearm only with the ammunition for which it designed and stamped. I also suggest that you might have to delete the part in the first post that was copyrighted?

The Nagants were popular for a long time in Russia. Supposedly you could fire them out the slits in a tank without the worry of it jamming, unlike a Toke. I remember a filmed interview with an old Cossack officer who claimed that Nagants were wonderful because one could repair them with a hammer...
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631, 686, cartridge, chronograph, colt, commercial, ejector, fiocchi, gunsmith, hand ejector, military, model 1903, russian, s&w, sass, webley

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