by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier
This report covers:
When I recently tested the Gletcher Nagant BB revolver, several readers asked me to also test the pellet revolver. I had to wait for them to come in, but they have. So, today I’m starting my report on the Gletcher Nagant pellet revolver. There was a lot of interest in the Gamo PR-776 pellet revolver pellet revolver that I just finished testing, so I expect interest will be high for this one, as well.
The NGT R is what Gletcher calls this model. It’s a 7-shot CO2-powered pellet gun that has both single-action and double-action operation. Like the firearm it copies, this pellet revolver is small and light. It weighs just 1.5 lbs.
While the model 1895 Nagant firearm was issued as a sidearm to several countries in both world wars, it’s inadequate to stop men reliably. The cartridge fires a 98-grain lead bullet at 1,070 f.p.s., which puts it roughly in the 32-20 class. At the time, It was considered adequate by many European and Asian countries, but time has demonstrated its shortcomings as a man-stopper.
I’m testing a silver gun, but there’s a black one, if you prefer. It sells for $25 less. My preference is for the black model, since that was the only finish the original revolver had.
The Nagant pellet revolver is more expensive than the Gamo, but it’s a very close copy of the Nagant firearm. In this case, the airgun operates easier than the firearm it copies. A Nagant firearm revolver has a reputation for a heavy double-action trigger-pull, but I find the trigger on the pellet revolver is much lighter and smoother.
The realism of these revolvers has to be seen to be fully appreciated. You have to understand how the Nagant firearm works. When the hammer’s cocked, the cylinder moves forward to mate with the rear of the barrel. When the gun fires, the long cartridge case swells, its neck sealing off the expanding gas and putting more push behind the bullet. This overcomes one objection shooters have with revolvers — that they lose gas at the cylinder/barrel gap. The Nagant has no gap.
As an aside, the lack of a cylinder gap also means the Nagant revolver can be silenced. Although Hollywood shows silenced revolvers in many films, it’s actually impossible to completely silence them because of that gap.
This feature is a benefit that the CO2 gun uses as well. The brass shells that come with the pellet revolver are also very long — like the firearm cartridges. The cylinder doesn’t slide forward, but the barrel is spring-loaded and pushes back into the front of each chamber. When the hammer’s cocked, the spring-loaded barrel pops back into a recess in the front of the cylinder. This, plus the long pellet shell that reaches the back of the barrel, helps seal the CO2 gas when the gun fires. The velocity given by the factory is a mild 328 f.p.s., but we saw with the BB revolver that Gletcher was grossly underrating their gun. In part 2 we’ll discover what this revolver really does.
The action is both single- and double-action. The firearm’s double-action pull is fairly heavy, but the double-action pull on this pellet revolver is pretty nice. I’ll measure it for you in part 2.
The gun holds 7 cartridges that load singly at the right rear of the cylinder. Swing the loading gate down, and the cartridges slide in one at a time. They also slide out of the chambers with ease. You can use the ejector rod to remove the cartridges if you like. It’s fully functional, but absolutely not needed because the cartridges do not swell when fired.
Pellets are loaded into the cartridges from the rear, where they’re held in a plastic bushing. They travel the full length of the shell before entering the rifled bore, so I don’t know about accuracy. That’s a jump of more than a full inch before engaging the rifling. Popular wisdom says you don’t want the bullet moving far before it contacts the rifling, but we’ll test the gun and see.
The sights are fixed, just as they are on the firearm. The front sight blade appears to be mounted on a dovetail that would slide from side to side, but the entire piece is cast as one single unit.
The Nagant revolver is on the smallish side. If you have a problem with the larger-frame revolvers, this might be one to investigate. While the grip looks 19th century, and certainly is, it’s shaped well for a revolver. I find it more ergonomic than a small-frame S&W.
The grip, of course, is where the CO2 cartridge goes’ but on this revolver, you almost can’t believe the small grip can hold an entire cartridge. They use all the room inside the grip and even intrude into the frame a bit.
The grip panels are plastic with coarse checkering. They resemble the wooden panels on a Nagant firearm quite well. The left panel pops off to reveal the CO2 compartment, but the fingernail nick is very small; and when the panels are on the gun, they’re 100 percent tight.
This should be an interesting test report. I hope you enjoy it.