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Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Silent Revolver (Stechkin) Meets Nagant:

Did the quiet Russian have a Belgian granddad?

Way-Back on 10th July 2014 I did a post about the very effective Russian silent captive piston SP4 ammunition and its neat Stechkin OTs-38 revolver - in service since 2002:
Now lately (4th February) I've been looking at the old Belgian designed (but Russian built) Nagant M-1895 revolvers and their weird but effective 7.62x38R cartridge.

Nagant M-1895 Revolver with 7.62x38R Gas Seal Rounds.

- Now, I don't claim to be smart or anywhere near a MENSA* candidate - but would you believe how long it has taken me to notice that these different purpose cartridges from widely separate eras - over a hundred years apart - may be related?

The Nagant round is known as 7.62x38R and the Stechkin captive piston SP4 is designated 7.62x42.(7.62x41?)


Well they both have their flat-nose projectile loaded down inside the case eh - and they both work by sealing the propellant gases (in different ways). . And 'silenced' operation is possible with both. 

I'd only be guessing but I reckon that the modern ballistician /designer who was working on the silent captive piston cartridges may have started with the old Nagant cartridge shape in his head .. and may have even used the Nagant revolver as a development mule for his clever, silent, blast-free 155grain slug running sub-sonic at 650 foot per second.

SP4 Silent Ammunition.
Just a hunch but I'd bet ten bucks (or Roubles) on there being a link somewhere. Has anyone else made this connection?

I've seen a few brainless 'commie-hater' disrespectful comments online about the Nagants "weak and ineffective" performance and "this clunky Russian designed revolver" .. Wrong on both counts eh. - I found this reference to the design requirements for the then new Belgian-Imperial Russian Revolver:

1/. It had to take down a horse with a single shot at 25-35 meters.
2/. It had to be light weight - less than 922g (2.03lb.) preferably around 825g (1.82lb.)
3/. It had to hold seven cartridges
4/. It had to use the same bore dimensions as the Moisin-Nagant rifle - so that rejected rifle barrels could be used to make the revolvers barrels
5/. It had to be single action - as double action was thought to impede accuracy
6/. It had to be single loading as opposed to using a star extraction system. This was to reduce manufacturing costs - not to make it stronger
7/. It had to be able to use smokeless powder as well as black powder.

That original 7.62x38R cartridge used a 97 grain flat-nosed lead bullet at 1080 ft. per sec. to develop a useful muzzle energy of 290 foot pounds.

These M-1895s were widely known as the "Three Line Revolver" - this refers to the Russian name for a tenth of an inch as "a Line" - thus a .30" calibre gun was a "3 line".

It is thought that more than 3 Million  M-1895 Nagant Revolvers were built - and they have seen plenty of action.

Marty K.

* Mensa is Latin for 'table' - I can vaguely remember having to decline by rote in 1st form at school .."mensa, mensae, mensis, mensarem, mensam ...." (That would be 60 years ago - Bloody Jesuits!!).