RIA: Polish Ng30 Nagant Revolver

The Model 1895 Nagant revolver is pretty common in the US thanks to large imports of Russian revolvers, but we rarely see Polish Nagants. These were adopted as a sidearms for police organizations under the designation Ng30, and manufactured at FB Radom through the 1930s. Typical of FB Radom production, the quality is superb.


  1. I have a spam can of that ammo that was run up in 1977. 1070 rounds in 14 round boxes. I suspect that is when all those reworks were done. Does anybody have any idea why the Soviets were planning to reissue these guns and to whom?

    • Mobilisation stock – they were warehoused as secondary issue handgun (or rather tertiary – after the Tokarevs). That’s why there gazilions of them sold for peanuts in 1990s, when they were taken off the racks.

  2. Some police departments in Russia still use the Nagant Pistol, maybe its surplus ammo that was meant for a Police use, then possibly they upgraded to the Markarov.

  3. 01:17 – “Russians re-sold the tooling to Poland”?! Erm, nope, they did not. This tooling was bought from the then defunct Nagant Bros., and it was bought at liquidation bargain price, meaning cheaper than the metal was worth. This cheapeness was BTW the Number One reason behind the whole choice of the Nagant revolver for the Police. “The military is toying for years with choosing their pistol, and as we are the secondary client, it would take forever to get any of these pistols. In the meantime, we can make a quick caper. This, whatisname, revolvers are pretty shitty, to be honest, but the tooling is ours to take, so let’s get a production for us up and running before the big boys choose their own handgun and shunt us aside”. And that’s precisely what they done, and how it concluded: they started production in 1930, and in 1936 when the Vis pistol finally hit the production lines, the Nagant fabrication was out in a second. The “1937” dated revolvers were manufactured in Q1, which was still FY 1936. But before the military came to start making their own pistols, the Police completely rearmed the uniform division and still had a sizeable mobilisation stash ready, with assembly of new Ng 30s still dated 1937 when the parts were made going on as late as Q1, 1939.

    And before anybody starts to make noises about the Nagant being pipsqueak, let me remind you that .32 Colt Official Police was even weaker, and was not at all consider an anathema by the 1930s peace officers in America – let alone in Europe, when .32 ACP was considered a viable MILITARY cartridge by then. Anyway, in 1930s Poland a revolver was a big city cops armament – the rural cops were issued rifles instead…

    • It was you, Leszek, who wrote in the Berdan II discussion that the M1895 Nagant was pipsqueak 😉

      But yes, it was definitely good enough for a police revolver cartridge. You are, however, I believe wrong about the .32 New Police / S&W Long still being widely used by US law enforcement officers in the 1930s. It was a common police cartridge around the turn of the century and before WW1, but by the 1930s it had been mostly replaced by .38 S&W / Colt New Police and especially the .38 Special.

      While still widely used, as a primary military cartridge .32 ACP was been slowly replaced by more powerful cartridges even in Europe. Yugoslavia was among the last ones to adopt it officially, I believe. Most European nations which revised their military handguns after WW1 chose something more powerful. That did not mean that .32 ACP didn’t do the job in most instances, but it was clearly sub-optimal for military use, since you could easily use a more powerful cartridge without making the recoil excessive or the gun too complex and expensive.

      • Anyway military load for 7.62 Nagant (energy-wise and momentum-wise) is more close to .380 Auto than .32 Auto. .380 Auto known in Europe as 9x17mm Browning was used as military service cartridge during WW2 (by Hungary in FEMARU 29M and by Czechoslovakia in vz. 24 automatic pistol)

    • 7.62 Nagant maybe considered being pipsqueak when compared to modern powerful cartridge, but lets compare it to other 1890s revolver cartridges.
      As I wrote in Berdan II
      6,7-7,0g @ 270-290 m/s (powder charge: 0,26 – 0,32g)
      which in imperial give:
      103.9-108.5 gr @ 886-951 fps (charge: 4.03 – 4.96 gr)
      assuming average values it give 268.52 J
      Austrian 8mm Gasser (for Rast & Gasser 1898 revolver) give 255 J
      French 8mm (for Modèle 1892 revolver) give 196 J
      When no match to earlier .4-something revolver, it fares well compared to contemporary revolver cartridge

      • The 196 J (145 ft·lbf) energy for the 8mm M1892 / French Ordnance is for the original black powder load. The smokeless loading had 0.3 grams (4.6 gr) of smokeless powder and actually generated slightly higher pressures than the 8mm Gasser (per C.I.P. specs, so virtually no possibility of incorrect data there). The commercial Fiocchi load (111 grains @ 880 fps for 191 ft·lbf or 260 J) is said to be very close to the French smokeless military load. There is no reason to doubt that, since it conforms to the C.I.P. spec.

        • I didn’t known that 8mm M1892 started as black-powder. They adopted Lebel 1886 (with 8x50R Lebel) for smokeless powder, so why they later adopted black-powder revolver?

          • I don’t know why, but it certainly did start as such, there is no doubt about that. One reason could be simply that the first prototypes were introduced in 1885. Photo of primary source here:


            The business around ballistics is very unclear and the commonly quoted numbers seem a result of uncritical data copying without information about the primary source. It appears in for example “Pistols” by Jeff Kinard, an Anglosphere source and therefore somewhat dubious when it comes to French weapons, and anyway without mention of the powder used or anything. To me, 0.3 grams of T bis smokeless powder, 7.8 gram bullet and 1,200 bar maximum pressure don’t make sense if the muzzle velocity was only 225 m/s. Only if the the revolver vents a huge amount of gas through the cylinder gap (which it to my knowledge doesn’t) it could perhaps be possible. Here’s some reloading data, albeit with modern powders, of course:


            Vectan A1 is the recommended replacement for T and T bis powders.

    • “it was bought at liquidation bargain price”
      This explain a lot. When compared to other revolvers available in 1920s Nagant looks not good. It is slower to unload/load that swing-out or top-break, as you have to do it one-by-one for each case/cartridge, which negates bonus from additional chamber, gas-seal which complicates design and give negligible boost to muzzle velocity (I don’t remember exactly, but it was less than 5%)

      • Reloading in police use was probably not a practical issue. 7 shots should have been plenty for nearly all normal uses of a police handgun. That said, the M1895 Nagant was no doubt an obsolescent design already in 1895. Top-break revolvers were an old invention by the 1890s and the US and French armies had adopted swing-out cylinder revolver designs in 1892. Loading and unloading was also much easier with the Schmidt M1882 (or the slightly later M1898 Rast-Gasser) despite a basically similar, traditional one-by-one loading system.

        • Too bad today’s American police couldn’t hit a barn with handguns. Isn’t the Nagant revolver ideal for suppressor use because of that lack of cylinder gap?

        • Whole Russian revolver competition was rigged so Nagant would win.
          OTOH, little noted thing, but Nagant at least had good DA mechanism (Warnant) unlike Colt New Navy/Army… Colt only got similar stuff with Police Positive.
          Other competitors:
          Period S&W were not great, both intricate DA mechanism and being breakdown
          Mle.1892 had weak cylinder latch
          Piepers were unreliable due the weak latch (same problem as Colt New Navy/Army, cylinder rotated left and it had only single rear latch, being based on same Leon Hamal patent as Colt New Navy). Later models used more solid crane latch (as on some Dan Wesson revolvers), but it was delicate and problematic in dirty conditions.
          Rast Gasser would still not be there for a few years.
          Swiss one was probably the best compromise having Abadie door and ejector rod with spring.
          Webleys were OK, but breakdowns had much worse lifetime than solid frame, ~500 rounds of jacketed rounds will wreck Webley (cylinder gap will start to suck). With lead it will be OK, but still two times less lifetime than solid frame. And running them on real smokeless (not cordite) only increased problems.

          Don’t forget also that officers wanted something light, common complain vs S&W Russian was that it was too heavy and a lot of them used Belgian .38 copies.

          • The basic mouvement of the Nagant 1895 uses the system patented by Charles-François Galand. The same system was used by Colt just to the Colt Python and many others: Webley-Scott, French revolver 1892, Rast-Gasser, Swiss 1882/29, Swedish Nagant, etc.
            It is the most used mouvement in revolvers

      • As mentioned earlier, reloading cartridge 1 by 1 like a repeating weapon can be an advantage if we have to shoot in emergency while reloading.

        I think tactics have to be adapted (like doctrine behind military rifle shot with magazine cut)
        That might also force police officer to practice “civilian” style and spend more time aiming than shooting.

  4. Not surprisingly the Russians more or less absorbed whatever stocks of these were to be found when they invaded and ultimately overran Poland. I heard recently of one that was brought back by a US serviceman who traded a Soviet for it when they linked up in Germany at the end of WWII.

  5. Mechanicly Nagant revolver is excellent made,
    However one thing I hate in it,it is very slow reloading and loading procedure which recquires extraction rod instead extractor itself like Smith Wesson or it’s sub contracting company ELG Lieg have or well known Webley from Mk1 to MK6 series…

    I love my Webleys,
    very fast extraction and ability to load ammo into cylinder,never had a single problem with them…
    ELG Lieg in .32 caliber very small and only got 5 shots in cylinder might looks identical with companies like American eagle,Smith and Wesson,Iver Johnson or H&R but mechanicly this revolver very similar in every way to Webley pattern parts and I would call that one mini Webley…

    That small revolver was made and designed in Belgium and have some crownings and proof marks…..
    From my opinion revolver should be simple in design,have less amount of moving parts and easy to load and unload othervise it not worth it…

    Not need to go that far but we can see those revolver modifications and improvements here in America by leading 2 large companies Colt and Smith and Wesson…

    While Colt building large caliber revolvers by improving certain outer designs while Smith and Wesson over jumped Colt and create larger capacity cylinders for model like 686 which have 7 shots and model 627 or 327 have 8 shots instead…
    So far Smith and Wesson made super huge revolver model 500 with X frame,this is an monster not a revolver and have rounds that have 700 grain loads (very heavy recoil)….

    I familiar with Nagant revolver even when I was living in Poland,personaly me and some of my friends only had Russian versions of revolvers,none of us had crossed on original Polish versions before….

    Everyone was more familiarized with Radom VIS pistols or Luiger’s very rarely with Nagant revolver,truth is that nobody liked a revolvers a way how bulky they looks or at least how it function…..

    My first revolver was Colt peacemaker than later Smith Wesson in .38 caliber,eventualy I sold them into good collector’s hands but I never had any single mechanical problems with them…..

    Nagant revolver was also used in city’s police shooting range or gallery,science I knew lot of police officers I also was allowed to watch and visit any time on weekend….
    Nagant revolver shoots very smooth but pain to reload,however lot of time had passed science I left Poland and now most pistols in police or army service,very limited security agencies use some revolvers still…..

    In today modern world pistols is most wildly used handguns in any country,for some reasons nobody like revolver because it have less amount of ammo and take some time and practice to reload while pistol you press magazine catch and insert another magazine than press on slide stop and ready to go again…

    • Well, you do have a valid point. The Nagant revolver is slow to load compared to semiautomatic pistols. But it’s still better than nothing, considering that ammunition was not easy to come by in Imperial or Soviet Russia at the time (and the supply scenario was worse in Poland when it got itself back together). Which would you have on a very tight Police budget? A semiautomatic handgun with perhaps ONE detachable magazine (hard to get spare magazines in 1920’s Poland) or a revolver with a cylinder intact and a bag of cartridges? Or if you’re going to compromise, have a semiautomatic handgun fed by strip charger (like the Mauser C96, the Bergmann-Bayard, or the Steyr-Hahn)?

      SAY SOMETHING!!!!!

      • “hard to get spare magazines in 1920’s Poland”
        After 1918 Poland could not equip even its Armed Forces in consist weapons, Police situation was even worse.

        “Which would you have on a very tight Police budget?”
        That lighter one

        • So I suppose you refer to whichever choice carries less weight. In this case, the revolver wins by having fewer moving parts to maintain, right? Unless you plan on arming your policemen with Baby Brownings, get revolvers chambered for a decently powerful round… or am I wrong?

          • I am not sure number of moving part in Nagant vs blow-back 1920s automatic pistol in .32 Auto or .380 Auto. The first one have DA trigger, and mechanism of moving cylinder forward (to form gas-seal)

    • “So far Smith and Wesson made super huge revolver model 500 with X frame,this is an monster not a revolver and have rounds that have 700 grain loads (very heavy recoil)”
      I never understand why produce so big revolver, is .454 Casull not enough for hunting? I see only one reason to produce it: marketing (see we build revolver which is BIG)

  6. Daweo,
    This is the world of competition,stronger and wiser companies survive and stay long in business until new things get invent,than the companies that ones was build good stuff no longer needed…
    If .454 Casull not enough??
    Appears that is not enough,from the corporations point of view bigger is better but from physics point of view is not,sometimes smaller caliber is better but that depands on case,the load of propellant and type of propellant which so far 4 types exist…

    We can compare several rounds for example like 5.56x40mm,7.62x39mm,7.62x51mm and finaly 4.6x30mm,from the testings I did in range personaly with Mp7A1 4.6x30mm is perfect round and do more damage than previously listed calibers…
    Unfortunately because of 7 and 1/4 inch long barrel MP7A1 not capable shooting for longer distances and primary designed for close quarters self protection…

    So far Mp7A1 is top rated smg in the world while FN P90 second and Kriss Vector third but if we can test Russian version PP2000 its 9mm Luger but it fires special SBP9 round which translated as ( Saboting Point),unlike ordinary conventional armor piercing round SBP-9 penetrates 8mm thick steel plates and so far there is no armors in the world that can save from SBP-9 round…

    Mechanicly PP200 is compact,light weight and only bolt mechanism,barrel and upper housing plus certain small parts made out of steel,lower housing made out of polymer plus if stock get damaged or weared out next magazine can be insert in back area where stock folds and could be used as stock support instead (should that proved necessary)..

    Iam well familiarized with all Russian smg’s by view in person,firing certain types and how mechanicly they function…..
    Most widely used smg’s in Russia now is PP2000,AEL 919 Kashtan,PP22 Book (not sure why Russians gave such nick name)on behalf of newer made models of previous models….

    PP22 would be consider ecquivalent to Italian Socimi 821,USA Ruger MP9 or our Polish Pm84 and PM98 Glauberyt..
    All those models is closed bolt operation and most identical in construction while certain parts varying from each other but main mechanical principals are same…

    Sometimes some countries think they got the best technology but despites that efforts other countries would study and develop something on their own but it would be based on something that already been made..
    For example somebody made shovel while another country add motor to it or another country would make a better fancier handle however shovel it still would be a shovel nothing more than that and still would make same purpose to dig,same thing with firearms or other things like engines also reassemble that basics…

    But if you invent something new like laser or gauss types of weapons those types of weaponry unavailable on open market,although prototypes do exist but maybe have large size chemical batteries or slow to fire or another type of crap problems…

    If weapon improvised and upgraded than that a bad news for whole country and possibly world,
    Energy weapons do more damage than projectile type weapons and while armed with energy weapons enamie infantry is defanceless against it…
    If weapons like Gauss gun or Rail gun fires projectile at velocity of 25-50 Mega Joules by 4 to 6mm than person would be disintegrated by kinetic energy,same size caliber would blow huge holes in concrete structures and further more use of explosives no longer would be recquired…

    Science and technology is important discipline we cannot neglect or avoid in world,
    Those principles was ruled the universe and any civilizations from first formation of universe,it was like God chosen or designed that everything operate in those principles and there is nothing that can break those rules…..

    Which leads to further more things like theory of reletivety,gravity and antigravity and planty of other things that still not fully understandable…

    From the beginning of the time God had create guardians who altimately create certain rules among formation of universe and space..
    There is specific places that exist in universe which called uncharted dimentions,thats where guardians is and that how numerouse things flows from one to another for example evil and good,life and death,matter and antimatter and planty other things that science yet to find out..

    If everyone was study careful would notice certain unknowns like there is 3 different time zones exist in universe:

    For example we all runs and operating by phantom time or mechanical time while there is also Space time or galactic time and Quantum time which point out that there is shifts in certain zones which concludes that there is 6 different dimensions exist and 7th one is special that’s is where God believed located in…

    Acording to some research black holes generates those 3 time line barriers which can create unknown affects in space,glaxy might be destroyed at one point of view while another point of view it also might be recreated..
    Acording to science black holes not destroy captured objects but simply preserve it inside while later would leak and release certain objects…
    All of those calculations never possible to calculate and it leads into 2 things theories of paradox and total infinity which cannot be decoded by physics language…

    The technology and science is not just been discovered or created now,
    It was exist by several millions if not billions of years old ago,only now we rediscover it and reinvent things that ones was left forgottened..
    However we still is not technolagicly evolved yet,in order to get there things like greed,anger and ignorance have to be abandoned in order to achieve the wonders that every man or woman want to acomplish..

    It might be hard to understand but any being or creation that been unveiled would try to reach the source where originaly it came from,sometimes the origin source and reality meet together and transform that being insto something that never been spoken in several thousand of years……

    There is soo much things to be studied than a firearms,
    However the weapons plays important role to reach certain criteriums until full success than firearms would also be nolonger necessary….

    • “not sure why Russians gave such nick name”
      Probably to better distinguish it, as names are easier to remember that alpha-numeric codes.

      “Gauss gun or Rail gun fires projectile at velocity of 25-50 Mega Joules by 4 to 6mm”
      It would require so big energy storage system, that it probably could be use as static weapon or ship armament only.

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