Gletcher Nagant pellet revolver: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 2
Part 3

Gletcher Nagant pellet revolver
The new Gletcher Nagant pellet revolver comes in both silver and black. I’m testing a silver gun.

This report covers:

  • Description
  • Cartridges
  • Loading
  • Sights
  • Grip

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.

Gletcher Nagant pellet revolver right
The right side of the gun looks very much like the BB revolver, and also the firearm.

Description

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.

Cartridges

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.

NGT Nagant pellet revolver shells
The shells are very long, and the pellets load into a plastic bushing in the base.

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.

Loading

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.

Sights

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.

Grip

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.

Gletcher Nagant pellet revolver grip
The CO2 cartridge just barely fits in the small grip.

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.

41 thoughts on “Gletcher Nagant pellet revolver: Part 1



  1. The Russians made a target version of the Nagant pistol. I am sure that it had an adjustable rear sight. Can this pistol be fitted with an adjustable rear sight, or do I wait and hope that Gletcher will bring out a target version? Ed PS Thanks to having to do your number puzzle, my arithmetic is getting so good that I have stopped counting with my fingers when I do it.


  2. Got the black one this time……It works like the black BB version…..The action does not lock up when you swing down the loading gate.. I wonder if this silver one has that safety feature? The pellet cartridges do fit in the BB revolver. Maybe I’ll try use them to shoot darts out of the BB version? Just have to find shorter darts and figure out the wadding. The grip fit over the CO2 powerlet is tight, but works better than my BB Nagant. Gletcher didn’t really allow much for CO2 powerlet manufacturing tolerances. Some batches of powerlet fit better than others.

    The small grip design here shows that it may be feasible to come up with Smith & Wesson K or even J frame replicas..

    The Russians did come up with silencer equipped versions for their undercover agents and spies. Should be easy for Gletcher to develop an airgun version of that? Really just involves a barrel change. I’ve also seen pictures of a short gripped, snubby firearm version. But the problem will be where to put the CO2? Maybe they can do bulk fill with an internal tank or use the smaller soda fountain powerlet if those are still available?


  3. I just got my black Gletcher Nagant the other day and haven’t had a chance to shoot it yet. But I don’t think there will be much of an accuracy issue due to the pellets being loaded at the back of the of the cartridge. The Gamo R77, PR776, and the Diana R357 all have pellets loaded at the back of the cylinder, travelling the length of the chamber, before engaging the rifling in the barrel. These air revolvers have all had pretty good reviews in terms of accuracy.


  4. BB,

    FX has managed to achieve superb accuracy with their “smooth twist” barrels, so it is possible. Now issues such as the barrel moving around, fixed sights, etc. will likely not help in the accuracy department, but that is not what this pistol is for.

    I hope PA starts carrying the Gletcher UZM. After playing with a M712 some this past spring, that just might find a place in my “collection”.



  5. I’m glad to see more pellet (rather than BB — no offense, B.B.!) replica pistols hitting the market. Especially for the higher price of some of these replicas, I would want something that can hit the target, not just a plinker. Nicely done, as always. I lean more toward replica automatics rather than revolvers, but I’m looking forward to the accuracy test on this one.


    • I’m holding out for someone to start making them in a larger caliber, which I believe we’ll see in a revolver platform well before anyone tries to redo the 600.


  6. Oh No” just when I thought I’d cut back my buying sprees for a while
    this gun comes out. I already have the bb version one in silver
    and one in black and I own three firearm models.. I guess that I’ll
    have to get this one too.I haven’t had any problems with either of
    them.I do notice that the Gletchers are usually lower in power than
    some other brands. But I didn’t buy them for power I started collecting
    look alikes.Gletcher is supposed to have a full size version of their
    Nagant Sawed off model out soon.



  7. I received my Nagant pellet revolver yesterday, and it’s quite an impressive little shooter. The barrel is made by Lothar Walther in Germany. Unlike the spring pistols I generally shoot, this pistol performs best with a firm grip. Since I don’t want to add a spoiler to my post, I’m looking forward to the chrony numbers you get.


  8. B.B.,

    What Russian classic might Gletcher do next? Well, a blow-back selective-fire, CO2, wood furnitured Kalashnikov AK-47 (AKM Type 4). I would buy one, despite it likely being an expensive air gun.

    As for the pellet shooting Nagant, I’m even more excited about it than I was about the Gamo PR-776. I’ve promised my wife and myself that I will show a bit more restraint in buying air guns from now on, so I’ve already decided I can’t buy both this and the Gamo. But if this one is accurate, that would make the decision an easy one.

    Now if the Colt SAA were to come out in a pellet-shooting version, well then! Yes, Umarex is a different brand then Gletcher, but all of these cool CO2 replicas have to be made in the same factory or two.

    And I STILL haven’t given up on a CO2 Ingram Mac 10.

    Michael



      • Reb,

        They are not select fire in that they are semiautomatics and not fully auto but in case you don’t know Sig Sauer has come out with two semiautos, the MPX and MCX that hold 30 pellets each and shoot as fast as you can pull the trigger.

        These are CO2 rifles that use the 88 gram cartridges. They are available for preorder so no one knows how accurate they are yet but this is another one I am pulling for. When it comes to rifles I usually only buy very accurate ones but I would like this one just for the fun of it. They are supposed to be available as PCPs in about a year.

        Obviously they are not as exciting as the SMGs but then they sell for $200 or less. The SMG’s start at $599.

        G&G


        • Yeah, someone brought that up the other day and prompted me to take a peek. I guess that’ll have to do, for the time being . 🙂
          That’ll work!
          But I’ll probably hold out for the HPA versions and get an idea of the quality before I spend much money.
          I’ve also considered rebarreling a M712 for lead shot, including rifling but no buttstock available.




  9. B.B.,

    You stated that popular wisdom says that the bullet (projectile) should not travel far before it engages the rifling. I have no reason to doubt that except for one gun on the market today in which the pellet travels a long way before it contacts the rifling. Of course I’m referring to the FX line of rifles with their “smooth twist” barrels.

    As I understand it the FX barrels only have rifling in the last couple of inches. As most here probably know, their rifles are extremely accurate. I have the Royale 400 and it is remarkably accurate. In one informal friendly competition I once shot 14 out of 16 heads off of those little green plastic army men at 35 yards with my Royale. The rules were that no part of the army men could be touched by the pellet except the head which had to be entirely removed.

    Anyway, I point this out only to say that I hope that the inch or so the pellet travels in this Nagant revolver before contacting the rifling does not hurt the accuracy. I’m rooting for this one.

    I will say that my Nagant BB revolver is one of my 2 or 3 most accurate BB handguns and I have most of them.

    G&G


  10. The Gletcher site shows a “coming soon” M1944 Mosin Nagant Carbine complete with folding bayonet. It looks nicely done and very realistic, however if the bayonet is made of metal I’m thinking that would be a really bad idea for the mail-order trade. Sure to generate far more bad press than is worth It.
    Just sayin’…


  11. David– I agree with you re the bayonet. The earlier 1938 carbine would have been a better choice. The m 44 is identical, except for the bayonet. Lighter, faster assembly, less metal, a much better choice. Add a rifled pellet barrel. and an adjustable sight ( at least the front sight) and it would be a better gun. 15 years ago ,I bought a nib Norinco kkw. (.22 cal.) The foam inner box had an empty compartment for a Mauser bayonet. I never saw or heard of a Norinco bayonet with this type of rifle, or by itself minus the kkw. It would seem that the original plan for the rifle was to sell it with said bayonet. I have 2 of these rifles, plus the tuk40 carbine (they are that good). My Mauser bayonet fits all 3. This was the time period when many politicians and police chiefs were calling anything with a bayonet an assault rifle. The Norinco bayonet never made it to the USA. and I am surprised that Gletcher is making this gun. Ed


    • I can read the headlines now…
      “Little Brother Spits Big Sister In Playtime ‘Accident’ ”
      “Cops Unload Glocks on 7-year Old Armed With Bayonet Equiped BB Gun”
      “This Ain’t No Red Ryder,” Says Outraged State Senater About Bayonet Bearing BB Gun”
      And we all know these to be true headlines, they just haven’t been written quite yet.
      As they say, just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should do it.
      Hope it’s made of rubber.


      • How about toddler kills pet with unattended lawnmower? 10 year old crashes family car into neighbor”s house. How about just not being stupid ,exhibiting some responsibility ,and not making everyone adhere to the lowest common denominator


      • If you feel there are irresponsible or immature persons in your household who can access your bayonet equipped M44 replica, then by all means, don’t buy it.

        Do understand, airguns, especially replica airguns are not toys! Other people including the police can shoot you dead if you brandish these things in public. The Gletcher M44 bayonet is the least of your potential problems if you cannot own or use airguns safely and maturely.

        First and foremost, firearm safety rules have to be observed even in handling airguns. These things can and have killed people. If your kids are not teachable in these matters, then do not have airguns in your house. But please know that if they encounter airguns and weapons outside of your home (like at a neighbor’s house), it is only your safety instructions that can ensure keeping them out of harms way by giving them the knowledge of how to behave around these things.

        Owning and shooting airguns is not like collecting baseball cards, stamps, or GI Joes. I would call it more of a risky sport rather than a hobby. “Hobbies” tend to be associated with kids more and that is partly where a conflict of safety perception lies. If you present airgun shooting as a “risky sport”, then there is a better understanding that if safety rules are not practiced, the activity will become no fun to indulge in very quickly.

        I was at a sporting goods store once when a man and his two elementary school age kids walked in and went to the firearms counter eagerly asking about pellet guns. The store clerk then proceeded to show them both airsoft and pellet airguns. It was obvious the man didn’t know anything about airguns, and when he asked the clerk as to what was the difference between airsoft and pellet guns, the clerk replied that there really was no difference. The salesperson was just interested in selling him something and was pushing the powerful break-barrel that commanded a higher price tag. I felt I had to step in at that point and explain. “The airsoft gun shoots plastic balls at low velocity and the pellet guns shoots lead pellets much faster . The airsoft gun can give you nasty skin welts or cause bad eye injuries. The pellet gun can kill people if used improperly.” I said. The choice was then instantly clear to this father and he took the airsoft gun to the cash register. He understood what his kids could handle at the time and made the mature choice. Perhaps later, with more maturity and knowledge, that family can advance to shooting pellet guns and even firearms.


  12. It’s a nice looking pistol but with my large arthritic hands I don’t see that this will be a gun I can grip very easy to fire. I tend to like large grips so my knuckles don’t need to strain to close my hand quite so tight. I got rid of a few guns because I had trouble gripping them.


  13. 103 David–I hope that the bayonet is easy to remove, and that parents will have the good sense to remove it. I think that is what happened to all the bayonets that came with the Daisy bb musket. Ed


  14. Would be curious if it has the leakingproblems the semiauto had ,and if it works with crosman co2 which some had problems with the bb version. 328 fps seems pretty weak. Would be curious if it actually goes out of your chrony faster. The most interesting ,to be released is the new SIG AIR 226 that lists over 500 fps.


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