Gletcher NGT Nagant CO2 BB revolver: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

Nagant CO2 BB revolver
Gletcher Nagant CO2 BB revolver

This report covers:

  • No safety
  • Some problems with the CO2
  • Second cartridge
  • Velocity
  • Daisy BBs
  • Crosman Copperhead BBs
  • Shot count
  • Sound
  • Trigger-pull
  • Evaluation so far

Today, we’ll look at the Gletcher Nagant CO2 BB revolver. We’ll check the velocity, the trigger-pull, and one or two other things that might come up with this interesting BB gun.

Some of you said you own Nagant revolvers and were glad to see this BB revolver. This is one time when I feel ill at ease with you readers, because I don’t have any experience with the firearm. Of course, the gun I’m testing is a BB gun that differs from the firearm, so I can learn as we go.

No safety

Someone asked if this revolver has a safety, and that started a discussion on revolver safeties. The Nagant revolver does not have a safety on either the firearm or the CO2 BB gun.

Some problems with the CO2

The CO2 cartridge is installed in the grip by removing the left grip panel, inserting the cartridge and turning the lanyard loop at the bottom of the grip to pierce the cartridge. Put a drop of Crosman Pellgunoil on the tip of each new cartridge before you install it.

The first time I did this, I noted that the lanyard loop has to be turned pretty far to pierce the cartridge; and there’s a spot where the gas starts flowing out rapidly but the cartridge hasn’t sealed. At that point, you have to keep turning the lanyard to seal the CO2 cartridge against the face seal.

After piercing the first cartridge, I wasn’t able to put the left grip panel back on the gun. When I finally used pressure to get it to snap over the cartridge, it unsealed the cartridge and all the gas came out. I determined that the CO2 cartridge was not sealed well enough. So, the next time I knew to turn the piercing screw a full turn more than I did the first time.

Second cartridge

I installed the second cartridge and noted the same amount of turning before the cartridge was pierced. This time, I was prepared and kept turning the lanyard loop after the gas started to flow. Once the gas stopped hissing out, I turned the lanyard loop one additional full turn to better seat the cartridge against the face seal.

If you remember, I had a similar problem with the Gletcher Mosin Nagant rifle I tested recently. I mentioned then that I thought the face seal was thicker than what I’m used to seeing. And, here it is again. I think this is not a problem as much as it is a difference that you have to take into account when installing a CO2 cartridge. Be prepared to turn the piercing screw more than you’re used to with other CO2 airguns.

Nagant CO2 BB revolver grip
That small notch in the front of the left grip panel (arrow) is where you insert a fingernail to pop off the panel. Be sure to screw in the piercing pin an extra turn before trying to replace the panel.

This time, the grip snapped in place as it should and no gas was lost. I think this will happen to some people, depending on the cartridges they use. And, this cartridge was the same one I used for the test. After you see the results, I think you’ll agree that it did well.

I shot each shot and waited a minimum of 10 seconds before the next. If you shoot faster than that, the velocity will drop a lot faster than what you see here. You’ll also get fewer shots, because more cold, dense gas will be used on each shot.

Velocity

The Nagant is both single-action and double-action. Sometimes, how you fire the gun makes a big difference to the power, so I’ll try it both ways.

Daisy BBs

The first BBs I loaded were Daisy Premium Grade steel BBs. In single-action, they averaged 390 f.p.s., with a high of 403 and a low of 375. The spread was 28 f.p.s.

In double-action, Daisy BBs averaged 386 f.p.s. — so virtually no difference. The high was 396 f.p.s. and the low was 377 f.p.s. So, the spread was 19 f.p.s. I wouldn’t make much of that, though; because when the CO2 cartridge is new, it tends to get a few shots at a higher velocity.

I will say that all the BBs loaded into the tips of all the brass cartridges easily. In fact, I was surprised how easily they loaded. I don’t know if that’s due to a larger size hole or a softer material inside the cartridge.

Crosman Copperhead BBs

Next up were Crosman Copperhead BBs. They averaged 385 f.p.s. in single-action, with a 17 f.p.s. spread from 377 to 394 f.p.s.

In double-action, Copperheads also averaged 385 f.p.s. The spread here was also 17 f.p.s. and ran from 375 to 392 f.p.s.

Shot count

How many shots will you get from a CO2 cartridge? I estimated 80-90 in part 1, when I thought the average velocity was only 328 f.p.s. Here’s what I actually got with Daisy BBs:

Shot…..Vel.
50…….352
60…….325
70…….326
80…….305
90…….257
102…..171

A couple shots failed to register through the chronograph near the end, which is why the final shot was 102. Based on these numbers, I see at least 11 good cylinders on one cartridge. That’s 77 good shots. You’ll hear the power start to drop off after shot 80.

[Note: I said in part 1 that this revolver is rated at 328 f.p.s. with a steel BB. That’s what it said on the Pyramyd Air website description. The owner’s manual says the gun shoots at 361 f.p.s. After reporting my results to Pyramyd Air, their website has been updated to show a max velocity of 403 fps. I also spoke with a Gletcher representative, and he stated that they used average velocity. That’s what they’d been using in Europe, where this gun has sold for years. They’ll be retesting their guns.]

Sound

For some reason, this revolver is very loud. I normally make no comment about the sound, but this Nagant seems louder than the average CO2 pistol. I think you’ll notice the difference.

Trigger-pull

I estimated the single-action trigger-pull at 3 lbs. But it measured 5 lbs., 8 oz. on my electronic gauge. This means the revolver has a very nice single-action trigger.

I estimated the double-action pull at 12 lbs., but it’s actually 8 lbs., 8 oz — give or take. The double-action pull has a number of stops through the pull, so it isn’t very smooth. I imagine that’s what the firearm trigger is like, only much heavier.

Evaluation so far

I like this little revolver a lot. So much, in fact, that I’m considering buying a firearm to go with it. I may keep buy this test gun if it’s accurate. If not, then it will have been a good experience to test this one.

54 thoughts on “Gletcher NGT Nagant CO2 BB revolver: Part 2

  1. B.B.,

    Would you mind elaborating on what part of this experience has motivated you to own the firearm version?

    Speaking of firearms…I shot one of the new Winchester 1873’s this weekend. This is the model that navy arms and turn bull together are producing. Stunning gun, great accuracy and I immediately enjoyed the short throw that comes standard in these models obviously targeted at the cowboy action shooters. Matter of fact it was my friend Mark that is a cowboy action shooter that let me shoot this gun he just received.

    Don’t let Edith near one of these or she’ll trade that 94 in a heartbeat.

    Kevin



    • Is this a new run by Winchester? I’ve always wondered about rifles designed for pistol calibers. “Why not just have a pistol?” is my question. On the other hand, the ’73 has great history, and my understanding is that the smoothness of the action has no equal.

      Matt61


      • I’d also like to know more about this gun! I really liked my 30/30 but it was a bit loud and I’m inclined to agree the shorter throw should enhance follow-up accuracy.


      • As of last year, and for a few years more (if not made permanent), there is a demand in MI for such…

        MI is allowing rifles using straight wall pistol cartridges within a certain size range to be used for deer hunting in the southern part of the state — what used to be called the “shotgun zone” (though actual pistols were valid for quite some time). Basically .357Mag at the low end, and one or two of the newer rounds larger than .44Mag at the upper end (.38Special is too short, along with all common semi-auto ammo… and .30Carbine [which in all other aspects IS a pistol cartridge] doesn’t break the .35 caliber limit).

        As a result — high demand for .357Mag, .41Mag, and .44Mag carbines and rifles (most of which are lever action designs — Henry “big boy” and Marlin 1894, for example)… And I succumbed with the Marlin — but haven’t taken time to locate a range on which to sight in the scope. Less recoil than a handgun, likely more accurate given sight radius if using iron sights, and easier to fit a scope than most handguns.


      • Matt,

        The Winchester model 1873 I shot is a reintroduction by Winchester with some significant upgrades compared to the older 1873 models. The reintroduction appeared about 2 years ago.

        An option for this new Winchester 1873 is to order upgrades that are done in cooperation between Navy Arms and Turnbull. You can get an octagonal barrel in 20″ or 24″, the factory stocks are replaced with deluxe, hand selected, nicely figured American walnut and the wrist and fore-end are hand checkered, the metal is case colored including the steel butt plate, a special marble arms gold bead front sight is added and a classic semi buckhorn rear sight is installed.

        Best of all this is not a replica ITS A WINCHESTER. Finding a nice vintage Winchester 1873 with all of these options would set you back $25,000-$35,000 in these parts. You can find this reintroduction brand new unfixed for around $2,400.

        Why a pistol cartridge in a rifle? Because back in the Wild West it wa easier to only have to carry one cartridge. Today it’s the cowboy action shooters that have lead the resurgence of demand for rifles in pistol cartridge calibers.

        kevin


  2. The Gletcher Nagant Revolver has a safety. If you swing the loading gate all the way down, it locks the trigger and the cylinder. At least that’s what it does on my silver one.

    I wish that they would supply these and the Webley revolver with BB cartridge-shells that load the BBs from the back like the Colt Peacemaker. Higher velocities plus the possibility of loading Marksman airgun darts. Finned projectiles work more accurately with smoothbore barrels than round balls. That’s what all modern tanks use now. I’ve tried this with my Peacemaker, loading a felt cleaning pellet ahead of the dart to keep it from falling out the barrel or jamming the cylinder. The cleaning pellet just falls out of the way.


    • Lioniii,

      I just tried that and fired the revolver several times. The gate on my gun only holds the cartridges inside the cylinder. Are you sure your gun isn’t locking up because a cartridge is slipping back and binding the action?

      B.B.


      • BB……….The Nagant will fire with the loading gate swung all the way down if it is cocked to begin with. If it is uncocked, the trigger and the cylinder are locked, The gate must be swung 180 degrees from its closed position. I have tried this out numerous times with and without shells, always pointing the gun downward to prevent the shells from binding and the locking operation is consistent. When the loading gate is all the way down, you cannot cock and/or fire the gun double or single action.

        At least that is how it works for my revolver. Maybe I have some kind of prototype? My gun does not have that little lever under the loading gate showing up in the Pyramyd images.


        • lioniii,

          The blog test gun doesn’t have the lever, either. The image shown on the blog came from Pyramyd Air’s website. I’ve alerted Pyramyd Air that their images need to be replaced. We’re waiting for new pics now.

          Edith




          • Maybe this loading gate safety is only a feature on the silver version?

            The loading gate will lock the action on my CO2 Nagant if swung down more than 90 to 180 degrees from the vertical closed position. As far as I can see, the hinge gate seems to be putting some pressure on the exposed fat spring.

            Some shooters loading/unloading this revolver might be fully cocking the hammer to access the next cylinder, then lower the hammer by pressing the trigger and restraining it with their thumb. If your timing is wrong or you inadverdently press the trigger with enough pressure, the gun will fire.

            There is no half-cock feature like on the Colt Peacemaker that lets you rotate the cylinder manually. The safer way to load or unload, would be to partially cock the hammer just so as to unlock the cylinder, then restrain/lower the hammer, then continue rotating the cylinder manually to the next position it clicks/locks into. The gun will not fire if your hand slips from the hammer this way, as you will not need to press on the trigger to lower it. There must be some kind of hammer transfer bar mechanism that prevents the gun from firing unless the trigger is pulled.


            • To clarify my previous comment…….

              When rotated down more than 90 degrees, the hinge end of the gate seems to be putting pressure on the exposed flat spring. How that might lock up the action I can’t imagine, but it does.

              Instead of a a hammer transfer bar, it is more probably a trigger-hammer safety mechanism that is preventing the gun from firing unless the trigger is pulled…..Which makes that the second safety device on the Silver CO2 Nagant!


            • Lioniii,

              I does seem the silver gun has a different action than the one I am testing.

              I can rotate the cylinger with the hammer dow and the gate open, so unloading is very eassy. Not so for the silver gun, I guess.

              I will film this in the next report.

              B.B.


              • BB…….

                I learn something from this blog everytime……….I never tried rotating the cylinder with the hammer down as it was counter-intuitive to me from my experience with real revolvers, single or double action. But from your last message I tried it on the silver gun and found out the cylinder does rotate with the hammer and/or the loading gate down. This makes the loading procedure that I described in my previous comment unnecessary. The resistance from the spring loaded breech made me think that the cylinder locked up with the hammer down and the loading gate down.

                However, the fact remains that the hammer and trigger are locked up when the loading gate is down more than 90 degrees from vertical. I’m afraid attempting to put more force on the trigger or hammer to cock it with the loading gate down will break some thing. The resistance to movement is much more than the normal and overcoming it will enter the realm of “ham-fisted”. I await your video with much interest.




  3. I hope that this gun is accurate. So far I am more than convinced to buy one. By the way I am convinced to buy most, if not all of the recent historical BB gun replicas (Mauser, Luger, Peacemaker, Webley MKVI and now the Nagant).
    I just really don’t know what you expect from the real Nagant firearm. I read a lot of issues to reload ammo for it. But, hey, what am I saying? You live in Texas, buying another revolver should not be a matter of having a good reason for. You want it, you buy it! Go get one and tell us about it.


  4. B.B.,

    This gun is growing on me. Like others here I might just get one if this ends up being accurate. That DA trigger pull is pretty light, given all that it has to do mechanically. I wonder if some of the “stops” you describe might smooth out as the gun breaks in?

    I am a revolver fan anyway, so it doesn’t take much for me to get interested. To me revolvers are just so much more cool than semiautos.

    I know the firearm was small-framed but not small caliber, but small revolvers like .32s have always seemed to draw me in, so the small size of the Nagant is a plus for me. It looks quite a bit like the Colt Police Positive, which was my grandpa’s service weapon (in .32 no less).

    In addition to this one, I am also very curious about the upcoming Gamo PR-776. It reminds me of the classic Crosman wheelguns of the ’70s and ’80s in that it shoots pellets through a rifled barrel, but this one has a full-size cylinder!

    Any plans to test that one when it finally gets in?

    Michael



      • B.B.,

        Pyramyd Air describes the Gamo PR-776 as being an 8 shot lead pellet shooter with a six inch rifled barrel. From the photos it looks to have a cleverly designed removable circular clip that fits behind the cylinder.

        I had to double-check that it is a pellet gun because it looks exactly like a certain Crosman BB gun that has just come out.

        Michael


  5. “I estimated the double-action pull at 12 lbs., but it’s actually 8 lbs., 8 oz — give or take. The double-action pull has a number of stops through the pull, so it isn’t very smooth. I imagine that’s what the firearm trigger is like, only much heavier.”
    BB,
    Roger that! The firearm pull feels much heavier; I never measured it, but it felt as heavy as my WWII PPK, which is in the 20+ pound range. As you already noted in Part 1, initially, there were two models of this gun, the officer’s model and the enlisted model, the only difference between the two being that the officer’s model had double action capability while the enlisted model did not; after 1922 all models were produced in double action. The one I had was from the 1940s; hence, it was a double action model, but it was far easier to shoot single action.
    Your blog is bringing back some good memories…I sure wish I had kept that gun!
    For anyone interested in the history of this unique replica, there is a great page here:

    http://7.62x54r.net/MosinID/MosinRareNagant.htm

    I can’t wait to see how this gun does in your accuracy testing. 

    Take care & God bless,
    dave


  6. The Russians do not seem fond of safeties in designing their weapons. All I know about the Nagant revolver is that it had some unusual mechanism for sealing the breech during the firing cycle. I don’t know if this rings a bell with anyone. Also, it makes me wonder about the inventor Nagant. I understand that he was a Belgian designer whose rifle was defeated in competition by the Mauser series of rifles, so he tried his luck in Russia. Only the magazine portion of his design was incorporated into the 1891 Mosin-Nagant rifle for nationalistic reasons. But this rifle designed by committee has been called the greatest sniper rifle of all time because of its historical record and performance. Now, he pops up again in pistol design, so clearly he found Russia to be a lucrative market.

    Gunfun1, you’re right, I was able to fix the trigger on my Daisy 747. Once I found that the adjustment screw was accessible on the surface of the gun (right below the trigger guard), my confidence soared. I can turn a screw as well as the next with my killer precision screwdrivers. It took less than a turn to getting that trigger to feel firm. Can’t wait to get back to shooting that pistol.

    Matt61


  7. B.B., I have owned two of these (the firearm, not the bb gun), and I still own one as a historical curiosity. They are somewhat crude in construction, but built like a tank. Parts on the gun rarely failed which is why the Russians had such a love affair with them. The double action trigger pulls were the worse I have ever seen in a firearm. I actually had to use barbell weights to pull the trigger completely through its double action cycle when trying to measure the pull weight. The linkage that pushed the cylinder forward just prior to firing is what contributed to a large part of that horrendous trigger pull, and because of this there is no practical way to do a trigger job that will make much difference. At the time I bought mine the ammo was not available, so I made a slight modification to the gun to get it to use 32-20 brass. Unfortunately this defeated the gas seal function when the cylinder moves forward. Brass was too short. I never was able to get the gun to shoot accurately. Tried everything under the sun and nothing worked. Smokeless powder, black powder, pyrodex, lead balls, 32-20 bullets, pure lead, hard cast lead, etc., and nothing helped much. I have seen people who claimed their Nagant was accurate, but they may have had a different definition of “accurate” than I did. They are still rather inexpensive, but if you buy one, don’t expect too much out of it.


  8. No, but it didn’t seem to be called for as it wasn’t shaving lead. After about three months of experimentation I decided it just was not a very accurate gun. Still worth having for its historical value though.


  9. B.B.,

    I have not experienced the issue loading the CO2 cartridges that you have. There is a quick hiss right at the final turn when it tightens down but that is it and this seems to be normal with many CO2 guns.

    I also think it’s louder than most BB pistols but it’s not horrible.

    I’ll let you see for yourself regarding accuracy but I do think you will be very pleased. At least I am. Mine also continues to operate with the gate fully down.

    G&G

    G&G


  10. Maybe. Both guns I owned had bad pitting in the bore as well. This could have been instrumental in the poor accuracy, but personal experience suggests this isn’t necessarily so. I used to own an early 94 Winchester with a badly pitted bore that would shoot cloverleaf at 100 yards.


  11. if Toussaint said that a little earlier it woulda helped with the diagnosis return time but better late than never.
    if the end Iof the trigger-pull is mostly about clamping the el against the chanber



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