M1895 Nagant Revolver - Cheap "Reloads"

Discussion in 'Curio & Relic Discussion' started by telero, Oct 27, 2014.

  1. telero

    Salem area, Oregon
    Active Member

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    For anyone that doesn't know what a Nagant revolver is, it's a 7-shot, 7.62x38R, gas seal revolver used by the Russians. There is surplus ammo as well as new manufacture, but both can still be a bit spendy. This is about how to make some fun (read cheap) plinking reloads. These use wax bullets and no powder. The bullets used can be found here: http://www.gunfighter.com/waxbullets/

    I am not responsible for most of the information below, just thought it might be interesting to some. The original idea as I found it was from TheNagantMan on youtube as well as his own site:

    There are a bunch of good informational videos about the Nagant revolver, real reloading for it, and information about these reloads on his page at: http://thenagantman.com/click-page-2.html. This reload information is at the very bottom.

    He tends to go on a bit, so I figured I'd post a few overview pictures, as well as how I would reload without any actual reloading equipment.

    An uncocked Nagant revolver. Looks about like any other revolver

    When cocked, notice the cylinder has moved forward and sealed to the barrel. This does a few things. From what I understand, it allows more pressure to develop, allowing a lower powered charge to be used. It removes the cylinder gap blast typically experienced by revolvers. And it means the revolver could work with a silencer if the barrel was appropriately threaded.

    This is some Prvi Partizan 7.62x38R ammunition. It is new manufacture, non-corrosive, and boxer primed. I don't have a picture of the surplus ammo that is corrosive and berdan primed. But we don't want that for this exercise anyway. Notice that the bullet is seated below the end of the case and the case is crimped at the neck.

    This is fired round. The bullet has been forced out and the brass has been reformed to the size of the chamber. For the reloads we don't need to do any case sizing.

    Unfired vs Fired

    For reloading, these are the steps I take below. I am using the about the least expensive method possible, but if you already have any reloading tools at all, they could certainly be of use.

    For depriming the used brass, this is probably the most expensive tool I used, the Wheeler Bench Block. To go cheaper you'd need to use a piece of scrap wood with the appropriately sized holes drilled in it. For this I set the case over a hole in the bench block, inserted an appropriately sized punch, and hammered the primer out. Drilling a hole all the way through a piece of wood that is big enough for the primer, then countersinking a slightly larger hole big enough for the case would be cheaper. Using your decapping die in a reloading press or using a standalone hand decapper would be more expensive (but slightly easier).

    These 7.62x38R cases use a small rifle primer.

    The the cheap way to seat the primer is to use a flat hard surface and push the primer into place. As long as you apply even pressure with a flat tool to the primer, it won't set the primer off. You need a hard, pointed blow to get it to ignite. Still wear gloves and eye/ear protection for safest results. I am using the bench block again to support the case, as I don't want it falling over as I press the primer in place. A piece of scrap wood with the appropriately sized hole could also be used. Using the priming tool built into your reloading press or a hand primer are the more expensive alternatives.

    The primer won't seat as deep with the cheap method, but there won't be enough pressure to cause any problems since we aren't using any powder in these loads.

    A wax bullet. This will be loaded upside down in the case, creating a bit of a wad-cutter style cartridge

    Again supporting the case in a bench block, using a hard flat tool to push the bullet into place. A drilled piece of wood could be used. Or if you want to use a reloading press, a 7/8-14 bolt screwed into the die holder in place of a reloading die will give a good surface to push the wax bullet in place. Excess wax will be cut off by the mouth of the case.

    For a cost breakdown you have:
    Corrosive, berdan primed: About 30-35 cents per round, plus shipping. Essentially non-reloadable. Maybe cheaper from a gun show, not sure haven't checked for a while.

    New Prvi Partisan:
    Non-corrosive, boxer primed: About 50 cents a round. Available from Cabela's. Easily reloadable with wax bullets, possibly reloadable through more difficult means with lead/copper and gunpowder.

    Wax Reloads:
    Primers: 4 cents each
    Wax bullet: 2.5 cents each
    Brass: 50 cents each the first time, which you also get to shoot the original full power bullet from. Subsequent loadings are 5 cents each if you load at least 10 times. With no powder and no sizing, this brass should virtually last forever.
    Overall, approximately 10 cents per reload, getting cheaper as you go on.

    The wax bullets are available here: http://www.gunfighter.com/waxbullets/
    Made in Oregon, price includes shipping. The .38 caliber are what fits with just a little bit of excess that gets cut off when seating.
    Windsor and nwwoodsman like this.
  2. Modeler

    Molalla, Oregon
    Soccer Fan

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    Interesting thread and interesting gun, thanks! I've always thought those rounds looked, shall we say, "uncircumcised". Maybe that's why my Jewish friend likes his so much?

    Waiting for the:s0051:....
  3. telero

    Salem area, Oregon
    Active Member

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    It's a pretty fun gun. Almost no kick with factory loads, no kick with the wax bullets. Super heavy double action trigger pull though. It's a pretty good one to bring out for new shooters.
  4. Gaucho Gringo

    Gaucho Gringo
    Vancouver, WA
    Well-Known Member

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  5. Reno911

    Silver Supporter Silver Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer 2017 Volunteer 2018 Volunteer

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    I knew I should of bought 1-10 of these when they were under a hundred.
  6. kilimanjaro

    Skagit County
    Well-Known Member

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    Yep, another milsurp has disappeared into the Great American Gun Market.

    They are not making any more of anything on the surplus market, when it appears, that's the time to pounce. Anybody remember Lugers for $29.95, or matching Mauser K98s for $20 at Warshal's in Seattle?

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