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The M1895 Nagant, or simply Nagant for short, indigenously known even simplier as a "nagan", was a Russian revolver used during both World Wars. It held a 7 round cylinder and fired the 7.62x38mmR Cartridge. It saw extensive use in WWI by Russian troops and German soldiers who captured Nagants. In 1933, the M1895 Nagant was in some cases replaced by the Tokarev TT-33, although the Nagant remained in service and was used extensively during the Second World War as well as the first. The Nagant was eventually largely replaced by the arrival of the Makarov Pistol in the 50s, although it still remains in limited service by police units to this day.
Non-gas seal revolvers have a small gap between the cylinder and the barrel; the small gap between the cylinder and barrel is necessary to allow the revolver's cylinder to revolve, presenting a new, loaded chamber for firing. This necessitates that the bullet jump the gap when fired, which may have an adverse effect on accuracy, especially if the barrel and chamber are misaligned, and also presents a path for the escape of high-pressure and high-temperature gases from behind the bullet. The M1895 has a mechanism which, as the hammer is cocked, first turns the cylinder and then moves it forward, closing the gap between the cylinder and the barrel. The cartridge, also unique, plays an important part in sealing the gun to the escape of propellant gases. The bullet is deeply seated, entirely within the cartridge case, and the case is slightly reduced in diameter at its mouth. The barrel features a short conical section at its rear; this accepts the mouth of the cartridge, completing the gas seal. By sealing the gap, the velocity of the bullet is increased by 50 to 150 ft/s (15 to 45 m/s). Holstered Nagant with the Abadie gate open for loading.However, success had its price. Nagant revolvers had to be reloaded one cartridge at a time through a loading gate, with the need to manually eject each of the used cartridges, making reloading laborious and time-consuming.
The Nagant M1895 was made in both single & double-action models before and during WWI; they are known colloquially as the “Private's model” and the “Officer’s model”, respectively. Production of the single-action model seems to have stopped after 1918, with some exceptions, including examples made for target competition. Most single-action revolvers were later converted to double-action, making original single-action revolvers rather rare.