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From: Norman Johnson <>
Newsgroups: rec.guns
Subject: Re: (Fwd) Russian Nagant Revolver Question
Date: 28 Oct 2000 08:28:27 -0400


#I would like to use this pistol for security in my car (stored in
#trunk rear round) simply because of the price, I would much rather
#let a 49.00 pistol wear and pit than a 400.00 pistol.
#My main concern is the ammo, it's a strange looking cartridge and I
#don't know if it is able to withstand the moisture and temperature
#changes. I purchased the newly manufactured ammo.
#Any suggestions?

Although this pistol is a little marginal for self defence when one considers
the other available guns out there today, if you chose to do this be aware of
some of its idiosyncrasies.

First, it is really slow to reload.  These guns are usually new looking but
have generally been arsenal refurbished.  In some cases care has not been the
best.  Cases tend to stick badly in the chambers of some guns so you should
put a box or so through your gun before depending upon it for protection.

Second,  The triggers are about as miserable as they come.  Mine feels like
about a hundred pounds.  :-))

Third, if the cases happen to be just a little long, the trigger sometimes
refuses to return to firing position.  This makes getting off a second shot
pretty iffy.

Ammo (Fiocchi) is usually around 30-35 dollars per box of 50.  It will
withstand the moisture and temperature changes as well as any ammo.

If the trigger can be controlled, this is a very accurate little revolver.

God Bless!


From: Norman Johnson <>
Newsgroups: rec.guns
Subject: Re: (Fwd) 7.62 Nagant Revolver Reloads
Date: 21 Jan 2001 16:42:38 -0500

#I just read the blurb in the MidwayUSA catalog and the Blue Press about
#using Starline 32-20 brass to make cheap reloads for this pistol.
#Considering the cheap price of Nagant revolvers, I am intrigued.
#Does anyone have any experience with the Lee die set?  Blue Press used a 30
#Carbine die set to form the brass initially and a 32 S&W to size it
#afterwards.  Does anyone know if I need any of that if I just get hte Lee
#die set from Midway?

While the above approach will make brass that is shootable, many will
find that it is not at all satisfactory.  Because of the design of the
this particular revolver, the "throat" that the bullet enters as it
leaves the case (actually the remainder of the cylinder) is grossly
oversize for the bullet.  One of the most critical aspects of making lead
(or any other) bullets shoot accurately is fitting the bullet to the

If mine is a typical example, despite the worst ever 100 pound trigger,
these are very accurate little revolvers.  It seems a shame not to get
the gun's full accuracy potential.

Because of all the interest in this project, this my attempt to document
efforts to reform .223 brass to 7.62 Nagant Russian Revolver.  Once I had
learned the idiosyncrasies of the beast, it was pretty straightforward, albeit
somewhat time consuming. 

Suggested tools and materials:

.223 brass and corresponding shell holder
.30 Carbine reloading dies - mine is an RCBS
reloading press ("O" type, heavy duty type not required; I have also done this
on my Lyman Spar-T)
disk sander (not necessary but it does help to speed things along)
case lube (suggest Motor Honey)
knock-out rod (details in text)
mallet (mine is rawhide)
blank shell holder or metal disc about shell holder diameter
case trimmer with .30 caliber pilot

1.  Shorten .223 brass.  After trying a number of ways, I found that the
easiest way, and very fast, was to use my disc sander.  It takes about 3
seconds per case using a no. 60 grit.  No, the disk does not fill up with
brass.   Push the case into the sander disk, removing material to about half
way between the neck and the shoulder.  This may seem a little short to you,
but the case lengthens considerably as it is swaged. 

2.  Using a case inside-outside deburrer, remove the burrs.  This is done so
that the case mouth may be opened without crushing, using an expander button,
or preferably, a Lyman "M" die. 

3.  Remove primer decaping pin assembly from the .30 Carbine full length
sizing die.  Important!  Set the die so that it touches the ram firmly
when the ram is raised.

4.  Lube the case liberally (I use Motor Honey) and run it into the .30
Carbine die about 1/3 of the way.  Do not force it beyond where it feels
good and tight.  Doing so is to assure that a stuck case will result.
Take it from one who learned (several times) the hard way.  Back case out
of die.

5.  Re-lube case and ram to about 2/3 the way home.  Same warning as in 4,
above.  Back case out of die.

6.  Re-lube case.  This time you can run it all the way home.  It will back
out pretty easily.  Notice that at this point, the swaging process has been
accomplished just past the web of the case -- that's good. 

7.  Re-lube.  Using a blank shell holder, set the sizing die so that it
presses firmly, but not hard, against the shell holder when the ram is
raised fully.  The spring of the press, when the case is rammed all the
way home, will assure that the case rim is not swaged.  This can also be
done by laying a metal slug, like a slug from a knock-out hole in an
electrical box, on top of any regular shell holder.  The blank shell
holder is just a little more convenient.

8.  Ram the case all the way home.  Use a knock-out rod to remove the
case.  Two things are important here.

First is that the knock-out rod should be as large in diameter as
possible.  This will depend on the particular sizing die used.  My RCBS
die has a 1/4x28 thd decapping rod.  It will accommodate a .210" rod
which I made from a very long bolt that originally had 1/4x20 threads
rolled onto its end; one of those rods used to hold cable reels together.
To assure that it will not bend when struck with a mallet, the rod should
be only as long as is necessary to drive out the case.  Mine is 3 1/2"
long.  The rod head is handy to act as a retainer so that it does not
fall out of the die, but is not necessary.  Note that it is not difficult
to drive out the fully swaged case when done as prescribed here, and the
rod need not be hardened as long as it is not too long.  Mine is as soft
as any steel gets.

Second, when driving out the case, do not try to emulate Paul Bunyan.
Tapping the rod (I use a rawhide mallet) 3-4 times will remove the case
without bulging out the head.  One mighty whack risks messing up the head
spacing, and more important, makes it difficult to get into the .223
shell holder.  Out of about 80 cases that I have made so far, only a
couple have given me resistance.  They were fixed by chucking into my
drill press and using a quick swipe of a half round file.  If there is a
slight rounding of the head, it will not adversely effect the outcome.
This is a good time to wipe the lube off of the cases.  Also, decapping
can done any time one chooses.  I use a universal decapping die for this

9.  Chuck case into your trimmer and set to reduce the case length to 1.51". 
Notice that the brass has lengthened significantly as it steps through the
swaging process.   If it has been shortened as directed in step 1, only a few
turns of the trimmer handle will be needed. 

10.  You might want to try chambering your cases now to make sure that
they will fit.  My die reduces the very base of this tapered case to
.360-.362".  This is as perfect a fit as one can get in my revolver.  I
do not know if these guns vary much in chamber diameters.

11.  Next use either the provided .30 Carbine RCBS expander die or,
preferably, the Lyman "M" die to prepare the case mouth to receive the
bullet.  If you expand prior to chambering for the first time, depending
on how much you bell the mouth, you may be alarmed to discover that the
case will not chamber.  This is because of the relatively steep taper of
the case which will not stand for much belling and still chamber.  Don't
worry, the loaded cartridge will have this bell removed by the crimp.

It is possible that the case mouth will benefit from annealing to keep it
from splitting but I chose to skip this process until I see need for it.
I have annealed the original brass because of the radical crimp applied
to the factory rounds.

At this point, your brass is ready to load. 

If anyone is interested, I have a jpg or two of the brass as it passes
through the swaging stages.

For further questions, please email me directly as I often cannot read

God Bless!


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