Gletcher NGT Nagant CO2 BB revolver: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Nagant CO2 BB revolver
Gletcher Nagant CO2 BB revolver

This report covers:

  • Unique design
  • Unique firearm cartridge
  • Loading gate
  • Power
  • It disassembles!
  • Cult status

Today, we’ll start our look at Gletcher’s Nagant CO2 BB revolver. This lookalike BB gun comes in both black and silver finishes, with a $30 premium for the silver. It’s a 7-shot solid-frame revolver whose prototype firearm (the Russian 1895 Nagant) was designed in the 19th century — so there are some differences from today’s standard handguns.

Unique design

For starters, the Nagant revolver pushes the cylinder forward to mate with the rear of the barrel for less gas loss at firing. The BB gun replica only simulates that with a spring-loaded barrel that moves in and out as the cylinder turns — but don’t fret. That function on the firearm made the double-action trigger-pull very heavy! The BB-gun trigger is light.

Unique firearm cartridge

The Nagant cartridge is a 7.62X38mm rimmed cartridge. The brass case contains the bullet deep inside. From the side, it appears to be a wadcutter round or even empty. When the cylinder goes forward, the brass neck of the cartridge enters the rear of the barrel, where it expands upon firing, sealing the gas and giving higher velocity than a similar cartridge fired in a revolver with a standard cylinder gap. The gas sealing design meant the Nagant could use a silencer effectively because there isn’t any gas escaping at the cylinder gap. The BB gun cannot duplicate this function even if the cartridges were long enough, because CO2 doesn’t provide the same pressure as gunpowder.

The revolver came in 2 basic models — a double-action officer’s model after which the Gletcher BB gun is modeled and a single-action enlisted-man’s revolver. Most of the single-action guns were later converted to double-action operation, anyway, so this BB gun is very representative.

The handgun weighs just less than 2 lbs., which is close to the weight of the firearm. The trigger-pull is easier than the one on the firearm, and I’ll measure that for you in the next report.

Loading gate

Because of the long cartridges, Nagant revolvers have to be loaded one cartridge at a time through a loading gate on the right side of the receiver. This is more for their extraction and ejection than for loading because the cartridges are actually no longer than the cylinder. But getting one out after it has been fired takes a long push.

Nagant BB revolver loading gate
The loading gate swings down to the right side of the handgun.

Because of the loading gate, the cylinder does not swing to the side as do the cylinders of many solid frame double-action revolvers. To eject the cartridges one at a time, you push in the ejector rod while turning it clockwise (from the shooter’s perspective). Then pull it forward and swing it to the right side of the gun. Theoretically, it pushes each fired cartridge out of the cylinder. In reality, the cartridges from this BB gun simply drop out on their own when the cylinder is turned to align them with the loading gate because they do not expand when fired. The ejector rod is just there to add realism.

BBs are loaded into the front of each cartridge. They sit in a plastic sleeve until smacked by a blast of CO2 gas.

Nagant BB revolver loaded cartridge
The BB goes into the front of the cartridge, where it fits into a plastic sleeve.

Power

The specs say this BB gun delivers a 5.1-grain steel BB out the muzzle at 328 f.p.s. That’s moderate enough to give a good shot count. I’m thinking it will be in the 70-80 full-power shots, at least. Of course, I’ll test that in Part 2.

I asked for the black gun because I don’t like silver guns. I don’t believe there were any original nickel-plated Nagants. This one looks like the original, which is exactly what I want in a lookalike BB gun.

The CO2 cartridge is stored inside the grip. The piercing screw head is cleverly disguised as the lanyard loop that’s found on the firearm.

Nagant BB revolver grip off
The plastic grip panel pops off, and the CO2 cartridge goes in the grip.

The grip panels are checkered plastic. They appear very similar to the wooden panels on the firearm. The sights are a fixed post up front and a notch in the frame at the rear. The only provision the firearm sights have for adjustment is by drifting the front sight sideways in its dovetailed slot. On the BB gun, the sights do not move.

It disassembles!

Disassembly is quick and easy. Rather than tell you about it, I prepared a short vodeo that explains the steps shown in the owner’s manual.

Cult status

Russians love their Nagant revolvers. Communist Party members of the 1930s were sometimes presented with a special revolver that had a red star embossed on it. Although this revolver was replaced by the Tokarev pistol in 1933, production continued for many more years. The last organization to officially use the Nagant was the Russian Federation’s bailiff security service, which retired it in 2009!

This revolver is different than the Mosin Nagant rifle we looked at a few weeks back. There’s nothing strange about this gun. It mimics the firearm it copies as closely as possible. If it also shoots well, we’ll have a winner.

49 thoughts on “Gletcher NGT Nagant CO2 BB revolver: Part 1

  1. Hi,I have one in silver and one in blue,I also have three firearm versions
    two are standard and one is a special target single shot with a target
    grip.
    I added a .32 auto cylinder on one of them,with a date 1940 Tuvla the
    target doesn’t have a date,I think it was customed by the gunsmith
    for target shooting.The bb versions are nice and very realistic I have
    just started collecting air gun versions of my regular firearms
    and I


  2. Another neat looking replica bb pistol. Sure would be nice if it was good shooter. That opens up another beginner type question for the group. I do not understand the physics well enough for smooth bore bb pistols, Is it possible to get better accuracy then what we normally see. Is there really any accurate bb pistols out there ? I am not talking about a 2″ group at 5 meters but perhaps a 2″ group at ten meters. We have a small group that normally shoots pellet guns at ten meters. Just for fun a friend of mine and I shoot our blowback P08’s at those 3″ sight and see targets and do occasionally hit them. Great feeling for a bb pistol at ten meters . Perhaps BB with his extensive background could tell us of some good accurate bb pistols. Thank you. Harvey


    • Harvey,

      Yes, it is possible to do better with BBs than what you have seen. The Daisy 499 is proof of that.

      But as distance increases the accuracy of a smoothbore gun goes sour quickly. I have tested the 499 at both 5 and 10 meters, and the difference was striking!

      /blog/2013/03/shooting-the-daisy-avanti-champion-499-at-10-meters/

      If a long gun can do it, so can a handgun. There should be no difference in accuracy between the two, as long as both are built to the same high standards. But I don’t know of a BB pistol that is made to the same standard as the 499.

      B.B.


      • Thank you very much for the link on the 499 and 5 and 10 meter shooting. If I were a gunsmith I would try to convert my Umarex Browning Buck Mark to a single shot BB pistol. Wouldn’t that be cool, a break barrel single shot bb pistol. Thanks again.
        Harvey


        • Harvey,

          For BB pistols that are (relatively) accurate at 10 meters, I would suggest the SIG Sauer P226 X-Five Open Combo, sold here at P.A. You can put a quality red dot on the rail system, and that will add a bit more acuracy than the open sights, which feature an adjustable rear sight (unlike the non-“Open” model).

          This pistol is both as accurate as the non-blowback Makarov, and unlike most BB pistols (including the Mak), it has a feather light and crisp trigger. Don’t let the blow-back persuade you this is not an accurate gun. It will reliably hit pop cans at 40-50 feet if you take your time between shots. With a 10 meter range, it will group at less than 2 inches on a target.

          For an accurate BB long gun I’d recommend a brand new Daisy Model 25.

          Michael



            • Edith,

              I had already been considering purchasing one of those for about six months. Then, after B.B.’s positive series on it, I got my posterior moving and bought one. It was the final push I needed to just, ahem, pull the trigger.

              It is an amazing BB pistol, both the regular version and especially the “Open” version.

              Michael



    • Harvey, Accurate bb guns that “B.B.” has tested (that I can remember), other than the 499, Umarex Makarov /blog/2009/04/new-makarov-pistol-part-3/ , Umarex Ebos /blog/2010/11/the-umarex-ebos-part-3/ , Umarex MORPH /blog/2013/01/umarex-morph-3x-co2-bb-pistol-and-rifle-part-5/
      Also not bad was the Umarex NXG with bbs. Starting to see a Umarex theme here. /blog/2014/10/umarex-nxg-apx-multi-pump-air-rifle-kit-part-3/

      If I have missed some (which I am sure I have), please, anyone, add to the list. I can’t explain why, but I like bb guns. If only they would build them to shoot a little further and a little harder. They are so darn easy to load. Also, ammo doesn’t get damaged very easy.


      • Hi Bradley. I have the non blowback Makarov and that little pistol is amazing. With it’s short 3.5″ barrel, I still can’t figure out why it outshoots some of my longer barrel guns such as the Crosman Vigilante and S&W M&P 45 shooting BBs. I agree with you on the ease of loading BBs. Thank you for your post.
        Harvey


  3. Very interesting that cylinder on the firearm moved forward and aft and that the shell neck entered the back of the barrel. Both innovative and both make sense. While not sure, it would seem that Co2 revolvers would benefit from seals at the front and rear of the cylinder to maximize gas delivery. The same could be said for repeaters that use a rotery magazine. Basically, the same principle.

    Off topic, the “New Product” section of the P.A. site is showing some new pellets that drastically depart from traditional pellet design.

    – A pill shaped, boat tail, .22, 30 grain, for PCP’s only.
    – A more traditional design except that the waist is very long and straight, and the tail is very short.

    It would be interesting to see some test results on these new styles. Gimmick, new trend or break through ?


    • Chris,

      Those new pellets are a new trend gimmick hoping for a break through.

      The basic design for those pellets are really not that new, they have been around for some time now from other manufacturers. Some of those designs look to be easier to manufacture than the traditional diabolo.

      Thanks for pointing them out. I for one intend to give some of the lighter ones a try in my low powered air rifles and see how they do. Who knows, one of the new trend gimmicks just might be a break through.


    • Chris,

      The Piledriver isn’t new. The marketing is, though. I tested them back when I worked at AirForce, in 2004. They were lousy then.

      I will be testing some solid pellets (bullets) soon, and they will be in the test.

      B.B.




  4. Hello B.B.,
    I have a Marauder pistol in .22 and use it a lot. I recently found out that the Crosman 1720t is essentially the same gun except it’s .177 cal, single shot, and has a Lothar Walther barrel. Have you ever shot one and do you think you might ever review one?


    • Feinwerk
      I got a 1720T. Matter of fact my second one.

      Very good shooting gun. I had one of the 1399 stocks on mine at first. Now I have a R.A.I. adapter with the AR butt stock on it. Also got a Hawk Varmint scope that’s a 2.5-10 power 1/2 mildot side wheel scope.

      If you get one I believe you will like it.


      • Hey Gunfun1

        There has been a couple of times that I wanted to talk to you about the TX200 and the Monsoon but would rather not commandeer BB’s blog.

        Would you be available for off-line discussion? Please let me know.

        Thanks,
        Vana2


        • Vana2
          Sure but I don’t want to list my email on the blog.

          If you want to post your email address I will email you. Also if you want if you have texting on your phone we can swap phone numbers in our emails. I text back and forth with Buldawg pretty much everyday and also Reb and RDNA here there.

          So however you want to do it.



  5. B.B.

    Will additional cylinders be offered as an accessory? I see the possibility of having multiple cylinders preloaded with BB shells, then when one cylinder of shells has been shot, remove the cylinder, put in a new loaded cylinder and continue shooting.


  6. I have been waiting for this report for a long time. I hope this gun proves itself through your tests. There is also a plastic airsoft BB version, but the airsoft market is less likely to adopt these cartridge firing guns as the “firepower” is not enough for a skirmish.
    Question: will PA sell extra cartridges?


  7. “I asked for the black gun because I don’t like silver guns. I don’t believe there were any original nickel-plated Nagants. This one looks like the original, which is exactly what I want in a lookalike BB gun.”

    Roger that, BB; I had one of the original ones about 10 years ago; it was pretty neat, as it was totally unlike any handgun I had ever owned before. I only ever shot it at paper targets; the accuracy was pretty good (especially for the small rudimentary sights) and the recoil was minimal. At the time, ammo was hard to find in my area (I only ever fired 100 rounds through it) and I didn’t know about alternatives; so, I wound up selling it to a friend of mine who really wanted it. In retrospect, I should have kept it…hindsight is always 20/20! Thanks for this reminder about the good old days. =D



  8. B.B.,

    I wonder why the gas efficiency the Nagant’s design offered wasn’t enough to make other revolver makers copy the design? Did the firearm Nagant still have the potent side gas discharge of other revolvers at the cylinder-breech juncture? It seems to me that this might be a two-handed shooter’s dream revolver.

    Also, wasn’t this gun the “Agatha Christie” model, a revolver that actually DID have a safety, making her error, technically speaking, not an error?

    Michael


    • The firearm Nagant has no discharge of any gas between the cylinder and breech. However, the gain in the muzzle velocity is not so great, something on the order of 150fps.
      What safety on the Nagant are you referring to? The Nagant, both powderburner and CO2, has no safety at all. If you are referring to the first pic titled “Gletcher Nagant CO2 BB revolver” in the blog this is an incorrect picture. I don’t know where it came from. The CO2 Nagant has no safety as you can clearly see on the next picture titled “The loading gate swings down to the right side of the handgun.”.
      A safety on a revolver doesn’t make any sense.
      By the way, the CO2 Nagant is manufactured by WinGun in Taiwan. Gletcher is only a distributor. I have the CO2 Nagant directly from WinGun without any markings.


      • Rob,

        I was not “referring to” a safety on the Nagant. I was ASKING if it had one. I recall reading that while Agatha Christie did not do her homework when she wrote of a revolver having a safety in one of her novels, folks have pointed out that one particular, unconventional revolver did indeed have a safety, so technically, Ms. Christie was not in error.

        I simply was asking if this was the revolver that had a safety. Thank you for answering my question. Why would anyone put a safety on a revolver, you ask? I have no idea. Perhaps if one of the designers of that gun is still alive, he might answer your question.

        However, you are incorrect about the photo at the start of this blog, which came from Gletcher. The air gun does indeed have the lettering visible in the photos. Your Nagant must be special.

        While Gletcher is the importer/brand, the manufacturer is indeed, as you say, Wingun, in Taiwan, officially named The Republic of Taiwan (not to be confused with mainland China, officially named The People’s Republic of China), on the island of Taiwan (formerly called Formosa),

        Michael


        • Michael,
          I thought that your question about the safety on the revolver in the novels by Agatha Christie was related to the Gletcher photo of the CO2 Nagant at the start of this blog which shows a safety lever. Apparently, the Nagant revolvers sold by Pyramyd Air do not have safeties which is very nice, and more authentic. So that photo was misleading. This problem is now clarified by Ethel in the post below. She will be getting updated images.
          I didn’t ask why would anyone put a safety on a revolver. I just stated that a safety on a revolver doesn’t make sense. There are not too many revolvers with safeties. The revolvers I know from the literature having the safety catch are the Imperial-German-Reichs-Commisions-Revolvere M1879&1883, the Webley-Fosbery self-cocking (auto) revolver and the Apache pin-fire revolver (late 19th century). Anything else? I also read that some Smith&Wesson modern double action revolvers have been modified to add a manual safety. Regarding Agatha Christie, most likely, her husband Max Mallowan, archeologist, owned the Webley-Fosbery auto revolver with a safety catch when they were digging out antiquities in Mesopotamia. The safety device on the Webley-Fosbery auto revolver makes sense because it was carried at full cock. Perhaps, Agatha Christie knew that particular revolver well. In a way she was correct.
          The CO2 Nagant I own comes DIRECTLY from WinGun in Taiwan (if you wish the Republic of Taiwan) and that’s why it has no markings. Otherwise, it’s identical.
          Rob


          • Rob,

            Safeties on revolvers send B.B. into a tizzy here at home. When he reads novels and the writer is clueless and writes about the shooter taking off the safety, he goes on a protracted rant about stupid authors. I believe almost all the BB and pellet gun revolvers have safeties because the people designing the guns also don’t know any better.

            Thanks,
            Edith (or Ethel if you prefer 🙂 )


      • The Pyramyd website mentions a safety. The picture at the top of the blog shows a small lever under the loading gate which might be that safety. But the subsequent pictures with the loading gate open does not show this, and the BB revolver I received did not have that lever. which is all the better as it looks more like the real gun. However, I did discover a clever safety on the gun. If you swing the loading gate all the way down, It acts as a safety, locking the cylinder and the trigger. I don’t know if the real thing also functions this way. Gletcher has announced on their site a rifled barrel, pellet firing version that will be coming soon. Looks just like the BB revolver I ordered, so will probably function the same way. I got the BB silver version and will probably get the black one in .177 pellet when it comes out. I ordered a replica leather holster that has a built-in cartridge pouch, and my silver gun fits like a charm. There were no production silver Nagant revolvers, but I bet some members of the Russian nobility or some Politburo officials would have had theirs custom nickel plated to stand out among the crowd. The silver gun brings out the intricate features of the mechanics of the gun and looks like it is fit for a Russian prince to have. The only complaint I have is that Gletcher used some Allen head and Philips screws in some locations on this replica. Technology that wasn’t used on the actual firearm. Maybe I can change them out some time to slotted head screws?


        • lioniii,

          You are correct. The images on Pyramyd Air’s site for both versions of the gun were copied from Gletcher’s site. I’m working on getting updated images and correcting those product pages.

          Thanks for alerting me to this discrepancy.

          Edith


  9. I had an opportunity to buy a powder-burning NG pistol of this type at a very reasonable price. Passed on it because of its looks. To me, this thing is very ugly and has lots of protrusions to snag when drawn. Also, ammunition availability seemed dubious.

    Les


  10. There was also a silenced version of this firearm developed for covert Russian operations, which was the only successful suppressed revolver ever designed. This is because the gas seal camming mechanism that pushed the cylinder forward to lock up with the barrel breech and the special cartridges prevented expanding gases from escaping the barrel/cylinder gap. It would be interesting if Gletcher offered a version of that since an airgun silenced Nagant would be very realistic in terms of low decibel firing noise.


  11. Michael–The downside to the Nagant gas sealing revolver is a complicated lockwork, and a poor double action trigger pull. The slight gain in velocity was not considered to be worth the cost and complication. There may have been problems if you tried to adapt the system to higher pressure, more powerful cartridges. Once the Russian factory was set for production, the Russians continued to produce obsolete firearms for many decades. Ed


  12. What an intresting b b gun. I came across a Husqvarna made nagant which is beautifully made. It was converted to 32 acp or 32 S&W.
    The original I believe was 7.5 mm Swedish revolver. Each chamber has been sleeved. Sights filed and barrel crowned. It is also a six shooter. It’s as well made and finished as a 1890s colt.



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