SOLD FOR: $1675
Make: Waffenfabrik Bern
Model: Nagant Model 1878
Serial Number: 2910
Year of Manufacture: 1880
Caliber: 10.4mm (.41 Swiss)
Action Type: Single or Double Action 6 Shot Revolver with Side Loading Gate
Markings: The left side of the frame in front of the cylinder is marked with a boxed “+ /V”, a “+ / 0”, the serial number “2910”, “+ / WAFFENFABRIK / BERN” and with an ovalled “+ / Backwards ”S””. The front face of the cylinder is marked “1230”. The rear face is marked “MB” and with an ovalled “+ / Backwards “S”. The circumference of the cylinder is marked “2910”, “+ / O” and “2”. The right side of the trigger is marked “6”. The body of the ejector rod is marked “12”, the handle of the rod is marked “30” and with a “+ / 0”, and the screw at the front of the rod is marked “11”. The shaft of the cylinder pin is marked “1230” and “1”, and the front face of the pin is marked “910” and with an ovalled “+ / Backwards “S”, the latter of which is also marked on the bottom of the trigger guard. The upper left shoulder and the upper right shoulder of the barrel are marked with a “+ / O”. The underside of the barrel is marked “1230”.
Barrel Length: 5 7/8”
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a beaded blade fixed to a base that is integral to the barrel. The rear sight is a square-notch integral to the topstrap.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are checkered brown hard rubber on an oval shaped saw handled grip frame with an integral oval grip cap. There is a stud with a lanyard ring attached in the middle of the grip cap. The left grip has a large smooth cross in the center, marked “2”, opposite the grip screw in the right grip. There is discoloration and light wear from age and use. The checkering shows light wear without mars. There are no chips or cracks. Overall, the grips rate in Very Fine-plus condition, as Antique.
Type of Finish: Blue
Finish Originality: Original
Bore Condition: The bore is bright and the rifling is sharp. There is no erosion.
Overall Condition: This revolver retains about 60% of its metal finish. Strongest finish is in the flats of the frame and trigger guard/sideplate. The bottom of the grip frame shows finish loss on the edges with most other surfaces having gone to a light patina, the barrel, and to a lesser extent the grip frame, have gone to a light patina with the barrel having gone to white at the muzzle, and there are light nicks and scuffs throughout the pistol. All markings are fairly clear. Overall, this revolver rates in Fine condition, as Antique.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The double action is a little heavy, but smooth, and the single action is crisp. The cylinder lockup is tight with minor play at each stop. We did not fire this handgun. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: None.
Our Assessment: The first modern Swiss Army revolver was the M1872 double action revolver similar to the French MAS 1873 Chamelot-Delvigne revolver, made in Belgium, and was chambered in a 10.4mm rimfire cartridge. In 1878, the Swiss came up with a new 10.4mm centerfire cartridge, and introduced it in the M1878 revolver, which was the first Swiss made revolver. Older M1872 revolvers were converted to centerfire as the M1872/78 model. This M1878 revolver has about 60% of its finish remaining, and while it shows its age externally, the bore is bright with sharp rifling and the action works well. This revolver is a nice piece of military history, and sure to pique the interest of military revolver collectors. Good luck and happy bidding!