RARE Pre-Revolution Finnish Marked Russian Nagant Model 1895 Tula Arsenal Double Action Revolver, MFD 1915 C&R
Make: Made by the Tula Arsenal, Russia
Model: Nagant Model 1895
Serial Number: 38570
Year of Manufacture: 1915
Caliber: 7.62mm x38R
Action Type: Single and Double Action 7-Shot Revolver with Side Loading-Gate Cylinder
Markings: The left side of the frame is marked with a boxed “SA” (Suomen Armeiji – Finnish Army Property Stamp Adopted 1942) and with (in Cyrillic) “Tula / Imperial Peter The Great / Ordnance Factory / 1915”. The left side of the frame in front of the cylinder and the left front of the trigger guard are marked “38570”. The front of the trigger guard is also marked with a Hammer OTK mark and the left side of the trigger is marked with a Circled Hammer inspection mark. The right front of the frame is marked with a circled “K” point of aim proof and a Hammer OTK mark. The right side of the trigger and the bottom of the grip are marked “II” (we believe this to be the Russian character “peh” or “P”). The right side of the hammer has a mark that is illegible and the left side has a 5-pointed Tula Star, a mark we don’t believe was adopted until after 1928. The left rear of the frame is marked with an “Imperial Eagle / XX” Imperial Acceptance Stamp as used from 1915-1916. The front face of the cylinder is marked “3 8 5 7 0”, with a Hammer OTK mark and with two inspection marks.
Barrel Length: 4 ½”
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a half round blade fixed to the barrel. The rear sight is a “V” groove in the top strap.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are checkered walnut made in three pieces with a middle section that protrudes through the center of the backstrap and the center of the front strap in the bottom half. The left grip and the center section show oil staining. The checkering on the left grip and middle section shows heavy wear and the checkering on the right grip shows moderate wear but with areas at the top and bottom of the grip where the checkering is worn smooth. There is also a compression mark in the bottom rear corner of the left grip. The grips rate in about Very Good overall condition.
Type of Finish: The finish is a black painted looking finish.
Finish Originality: We believe the finish is original. The markings are very sharp, with raised ridges. What we see is bright clear areas where the finish is still thick and surface frosting and some pitting where the finish has thinned.
Bore Condition: The bore is gray and the rifling shows moderate wear. There is light erosion the length of the bore.
Overall Condition: This revolver retains about 75% of its metal finish. There is light pitting in the barrel and surface frosting in the frame, with deeper pitting around the lower right edge of the frame at the back of the trigger guard. The barrel shows thinning on its front edge and a few small marks on its left side next to the front sight. There are scratches through the finish on both sides of the barrel collar. There is thinning of the finish on both sides of the frame, small compression marks on the front edges of the frame and small compression marks through the finish around its top right rear edge. There are also a few small marks through the finish on the left side of the frame, the trigger guard and on the left side of the backstrap next to the hammer. The bottom of the butt shows a fairly large compression mark from the lanyard ring and several small marks through the finish. There are also a few marks through the finish on the cylinder. The checkering on the hammer shows moderate wear and the knurling on the ejector rod shows heavy wear and tool marks. The serrations on the cylinder latch are sharp. The screw heads are distressed. The markings are clear with raised edges. Overall, this revolver rates in about Very Good condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The single and double action trigger pulls are both stiff. When the trigger is pulled in double action or the hammer is cocked, the cylinder moves forward to seal against the barrel throat. The cylinder lockup shows a small amount of play. We did not fire this handgun.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: None
Our Assessment: From Wikipedia: “The Nagant M1895 Revolver is a seven-shot, gas-sealed revolver designed and produced by Belgian industrialist Léon Nagant for the Russian Empire. The Nagant M1895 was chambered for a proprietary cartridge, 7.62×38mmR, and featured an unusual “gas-seal” system, in which the cylinder moved forward when the gun was cocked, to close the gap between the cylinder and the barrel, providing a boost to the muzzle velocity of the fired projectile and allowing the weapon to be suppressed (an unusual ability for a revolver). Production began in Liege, Belgium but Russia purchased the manufacturing rights in 1898 and began producing them at their Tula arsenal. Until 1918, it was produced in double-action for officers and in single action only for non-commissioned officers.” This revolver was made in 1915 during WWI but before the Bolshevik Revolution began. The revolver survived WWI but in either the Winter War or in WWII, it was captured by Finnish troops and ended up with a boxed “SA” Suomen Armeiji Finnish Army property stamp which was adopted in 1942. The revolver has matching serial numbers and all the appropriate markings for a Nagant made in 1915, but the right grip and the hammer may have been replaced. The revolver has about 75% of its original finish remaining. The remainder shows light pitting, surface frosting, thinning and several handling marks. The right grip is quite a bit lighter in color than the left, but both show wear with mars in the checkering. The bore is gray with moderate wear in the rifling and erosion the length of the bore. Most of the Nagants captured by the Finns were kept as war souvenirs and the few that wind-up here in the United States usually have import marks. This rare revolver is great find for the collector of Nagants, and/or collector of WWI and WWII military handguns.