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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Dismantling the Lockwork of the Nagant (The Secret of the blind hole):

I have not seen on the web so far any instructions for taking the Nagant lockwork apart. There are instructions for removing the cylinder, but the lockwork does not get any attention.

Over the years, I have noticed that few Nagant owners -even those with advanced collections - have ever noticed the blind hole, nor do they know how to use it.

So, unless you already know all this, brake out one of your M 95's and follow along:

ATTENTION! - Check your revolver to be sure it's not loaded. If you have any ammo, be sure it's locked away and kept safe from children.


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1. First, remove the side plate screw from the right side of the revolver and pull off the side plate from the left. Sometimes, the side plate can be too tight. If so, place the screw back in the hole and turn it a few times. Then, give the screw a few light raps with a block of wood to knock the plate loose. remove the screw and take off the side plate.




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2. With the hammer cocked, a threaded blind hole will be noticed above the main spring and below the tail of the hammer. Take the side plate screw and thread it into this hole(see white toothpick - in the image above).



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3. Now, pull the trigger and hold it all the way back. With the trigger back, you will notice that the mainspring is being held by the side plate screw in the blind-hole. While holding the trigger all the way back, it is now possible to lift out the hammer. It may be necessary to move the hammer slightly back and forth if it is a tight fit. With the hammer removed, you may now release the trigger.




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4. With the hammer removed and the trigger all the way forward, the tension of the mainspring is now being held by the side plate screw and the trigger guard. It is now possible to remove the hand, by pushing it back out of the slot in the frame and lifting it free of the trigger. You may now lift out the trigger.



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5. As above, hold the trigger guard and loosen the trigger guard screw (see pointer). With the trigger guard screw about half way out, the trigger guard is free to move down pivoting upon the lower trigger guard stud. It has been suggested that the flat end of the mainspring may be used as a screwdriver for the trigger guard screw. I advise caution for you don't want to distort or brake the end of the spring if the screw is a tight fit.



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6. With the trigger guard hinged down, it is possible to lift it free of the frame. The main spring may now be removed, though it may be necessary to take the side-plate screw out of the blind hole so you can work the mainspring back and forth a few times before to make it come out.


NOTE: The above instructions have covered the process for not only the gas-seal model 1895, but also the non-gas-seal Nagants, such as the 7.5 adopted by Sweden and Norway. In fact, these 7.5 MM Nagants have letters stamped into them (A., B., C., etc.) to guide you through the steps to take them apart.




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7. It is now easy to remove the "hammer block" by pulling it out of it's grooves in the frame.



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8. The "recoil plate" (breach block) may now be pivoted back out of the frame and lifted free.

9. With the lock work removed, it is possible to take the grip screws out and remove the grip plates. This is a good idea, for sometimes rust has started under the grips and a little cleaning and oiling may be in order.


TO REASSEMBLE:

DANGER!! BE SURE TO REPLACE THE HAMMER BLOCK AND RECOIL PLATE! IF THE NAGANT IS FIRED WITHOUT EITHER ONE OF THEM IT MAY CAUSE SERIOUS INJURY OR DEATH!!!


Re-assemble in reverse order.




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When you get to the point of replacing the trigger, be sure the tail of the trigger fits into the recess in the hammer block (see pointer above). The rest should be manageable.




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By the way, the revolver used in the above demonstration was a Polish Ng.30 made at the Radom plant in 1935.

Best regards, and be safe.

Greg Crockett
 

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Wow, I am pretty sure if I ever buy a nagant I would be too afraid to take it apart. However, I applaud and appreciate you showing how you did and especially for posting pics. Impressive
 

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I plan to take apart my just received 1932 Tula Nagant and give it a good cleaning so this thread will really help. Thanks for your effort in posting this.
 

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Wow, I am pretty sure if I ever buy a nagant I would be too afraid to take it apart. However, I applaud and appreciate you showing how you did and especially for posting pics. Impressive

I must confess to feeling a little trepidation myself!

But with a nagant on order from interstate (and I have no idea of its condition, whether cosmoline-packed or not) I might well have to suck it up and at least try :)


Many thanks for a very informative thread.
 

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Hi Guys,

It really is not bad! The pictures here are eazy to follow. There are other sources too- You Tube vidios come to mind.
A good cleaning & a little polishing where needed, make it a even nicer shooter! I had two that were simply loaded with 70 year old grease!

I managed to install one part in error. I studyed the pictures on the board & just moved the part to the correct place & all is well!

You have a cell phone, please take a few close up pictures BEFORE you take it apart! With the hammer cocked & at rest!
If you still have a assembly problem.
I will give you $45 including shipping for your usless pile of parts! BIG SMILE!

Be safe,
point6
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you, everyone, for your kind words regarding my instructions and photographs.

One of the things I like about Nagants and other military revolvers of that general era is how easy it is to take them appart for cleaning and inspection. Consider the Japanese Type 26, Italian M1889, French 1873 and 1892, Gasser M1898, etc, all of them are so well designed from a maintenance point of view. It's unfortunate that modern revolvers are not designed as well as they did in the past.
 

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Hi Guys, It really is not bad! The pictures here are eazy to follow. There are other sources too- You Tube vidios come to mind. A good cleaning & a little polishing where needed, make it a even nicer shooter! I had two that were simply loaded with 70 year old grease! I managed to install one part in error. I studyed the pictures on the board & just moved the part to the correct place & all is well! You have a cell phone, please take a few close up pictures BEFORE you take it apart! With the hammer cocked & at rest! If you still have a assembly problem. I will give you $45 including shipping for your usless pile of parts! BIG SMILE! Be safe, point6
Excellent idea on the photos, I shall do just that as soon as I get the grip off - in case lol I have Ballistol which has worked well with cosmoline removal on various bayonets I have bought, am presuming this would be OK as it not only cleans but lubricates.
Thank you, everyone, for your kind words regarding my instructions and photographs. One of the things I like about Nagants and other military revolvers of that general era is how easy it is to take them appart for cleaning and inspection. Consider the Japanese Type 26, Italian M1889, French 1873 and 1892, Gasser M1898, etc, all of them are so well designed from a maintenance point of view. It's unfortunate that modern revolvers are not designed as well as they did in the past.
Have only had experience of a semi-auto pistol (and a bog-standard striker fired one at that) so revolvers are completely new territory to me. The Nagant I am purchasing is a 1940 Tula, odds are it will have the cosmoline treatment! So I am sure your instructions will be most welcome. Think they are quite uncommon in Aust (only legal reason for possession of handguns is competition shooting or a collector's licence), hence the complete impossibility of sourcing nagant ammo here. I will be attempting to use it in Service Pistol comps. Attempting being the operative word lol
 

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Disassembling the Nagant

MANY THANKS! I tried this for identifying ser# inside the side plate, then did it again and made sure all friction points got a little lube and now the third time to get it all the way to the spring/trigger guard. Had problems with the parts that the trigger interacts with but close inspection of your pictures and what I had in front of me and it all made sense. I will take it apart again and remove trigger guard/spring so I can shim the spring with a lead bullet for easing the trigger pull. It does get easier each time and makes more sense. Anyone with a Nagant should do this if for no other reason then it lets you undestand better how it all works, and it does get very easy!

Thanks again

paul
 

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Thank you for doing this! I had no clue when it came to these revolvers. Just brought home my first two tonight and I already feel like I know them backwards and forwards! They appreciate the cleaning.
 

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Thanks very much for your wonderful thread! I have 2 of these gems that I got back in the 90's when they first hit the US. One is a 1901 and the other a 1915 and they have both been refurbished. Both of them seem to have nice barrels with sharp rifling. They are just weird enough to be interesting. I have always been fascinated by the gas-seal feature of these revolvers. Looks like some very thoughtful and very precise engineering and manufacturing expertise went into the fabrication of these guns. I'm thinking they will be a real hoot to shoot....................................RayT
 

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I glad to see this thread. I bought one this morning. I have no idea how to field-strip it. It looks like it was arsenal refinished. Where do you put the screw-driver. Does it fit in the holster. I know an old war story I know is true, Master Gunny Bill Gerst had an old woman try to shoot him in the back, what saved his life was the stiff double action of the 1895 Nagant. She could not pull the trigger. God was with the finest Marine I every knew. We lost Bill about six years ago. Rest in peace Bill. Gunny1
 

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Having just disassembled and reassembled my 1932 Tula without knowing about the blind hole I'm going back after dinner to do it again, your way! Many thanks. Excellent resource.
 

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Just a question about step #5 as written. How can you use the mainspring to unscrew the trigger guard screw if it is not removable from the revolver while the trigger guard screw is being unscrewed (assuming you don't have a spare one)? That is a trick I just haven't yet been able to accomplish.

I also assume loosening and tightening screws is why the Russians issued a screwdriver with these pistols.

So much for the 'smartass' part of the post.

One thing I also think needs mentioning (and hasn't been mentioned anywhere else in the stickies) is the 'bullet trick' that can be used to somewhat lighten the trigger pull of these revolvers. Here it is:

The biggest problem many have when shooting the Nagant is that the double action trigger pull is horrendously heavy, to say the least. The DA trigger pull can be lightened significantly with a simple, non-permanent, modification to the gun. This is called 'the bullet trick'.

In the picture below step #3 in the original post, you will notice that the lower leg of the mainspring is sitting on, or nearly on, the rear portion of the inside of the triggerguard when it is in its 'relaxed' position (trigger forward). The lower part of the mainspring's function is basically to exert force on the trigger to return the trigger to the forward position when pressure is taken off the trigger. The main problem is so much force is being applied by that spring that it makes the trigger pull extremely heavy.

In the pictures below steps #1 and #5 in the OP. you will notice that there is a 'pocket' between the mainspring and the triggerguard just in front of the pivot point for the triggerguard. The bullet trick consists of putting a spacer in that pocket. Typically, this spacer is a cylindrical cross section cut from an 8mm (.323") bullet (thus the name bullet trick), but I have also had various amounts of success with bullets down to .311" diameter (see below).

To install the bullet spacer, all you need do is :
remove the sideplate,
remove the triggerguard screw,
pivot the triggerguard in place,
install the 'bullet' in the previously described pocket.
pivot the triggerguard back to its original position, and hold it in place while replacing the triggerguard screw, and
Replace the sideplate.

If you look things over before you replace the sideplate, you will notice that the bottom leg of the mainspring now sits further away from the triggerguard when the trigger is forward. The bullet has altered the position of the mainspring to where the spring is exerting less return force on the trigger, and this will lighten the trigger pull. With this alteration, there is still more than enough force to return the trigger to its full-forward position.

I have done this modification on each of my three Nagants, and the trigger pulls on all three have been lightened from the modification. Two of them have very noticeable improvements, and the third shows a bit less improvement than I would have liked, but an improvement, nonetheless.

The machining of the inside surface of the triggerguard on the third pistol is a bit different from the other two (it has a narrower pocket, and is the one using a 'squashed-down' .311 bullet at this time. It is squished to about .260" across, and that gives me the most trigger detensioning while still allowing the trigger to return to the full-forward position), and I figure further experimentation with bullet sizes will further improve my results with this one.

The important part is that the DA trigger pull on each of these pistols have been noticeably reduced by the change. My DA results on targets is very significantly better with the bullet in place than they were without it.

Try it. It is simple to do, requires no permanent alteration to the gun, and works!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Hi Ronbo6. The reason I mentioned the use of a mainspring as a screwdriver is because this bad practice was suggested on another webpage. The author of this other instruction suggested that one should use pliers to pull out the mainspring. The fellow did not know what he was doing. There was alot of bad information around so I wrote up how to take apart the lockwork properly with images to guide people along. Otherwise owners might not understand how easy it is to maintain these fine old revolvers. I also wanted to share how well thought out the design was. (Yes, I did know about the Russians issuing screwdrivers.)

Adding info on the DA bullet trick is fine. People have posted how to do that with images on this forum in the past. My post was about good basic practices for the Nagant revolver nothing more.
 

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Hi Ronbo6. The reason I mentioned the use of a mainspring as a screwdriver is because this bad practice was suggested on another webpage. The author of this other instruction suggested that one should use pliers to pull out the mainspring. The fellow did not know what he was doing. There was alot of bad information around so I wrote up how to take apart the lockwork properly with images to guide people along. Otherwise owners might not understand how easy it is to maintain these fine old revolvers. I also wanted to share how well thought out the design was. (Yes, I did know about the Russians issuing screwdrivers.)

Adding info on the DA bullet trick is fine. People have posted how to do that with images on this forum in the past. My post was about good basic practices for the Nagant revolver nothing more.
Thanks for the response.

My comment about prematurely removing the spring was intended to back up your comments about using the spring as a screwdriver, and since I sometimes take great pride in being an ironic smartass, I worded it the way I did. Didn't mean to offend.

I have seen several previous posts about the bullet trick here, but evidently none of them ever made it to the status of a sticky. Although there is a reference to the bullet trick in one of the follow-up posts here, there wasn't any detailed info on how to do it. There haven't been any posts touching on the trick recently, and once information like this gets into the far back pages on the forum, it can get permanently lost pretty easily.

I chose to add the information to THIS sticky for two reasons:

1. I have a 'thing' about creating an excessive number of stickies on the boards.

2. It looked to me like the information in your post made it one that was going to be frequently read by a lot of new (and some old) Nagant owners and they could be made aware of this 'trigger improvement' when they did.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Because photobucket is no longer a proper host for images linked to other forums I found a new host and re-posted the images. So this instruction post is now back.
 

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Fantastic post, great pics, thank you!

I am wondering if you came up with the idea of a screw in the blind hole on your own (very smart, I've done some reading on M1895 gunsmithing but never saw anything like it, would be interesting to see the source if available).
And you are right - people are mostly using the pliers to get the mainspring out (I usually try to squeeze it with my fingers to get the hammer out after the triggerguard is removed) but your technique is the best!

Rondo6 - got an unmolested "SA" marked M1895 with great smooth trigger pull a few weeks ago, took it apart and there it was - a piece of an actual bullet inserted just like you've described : ))))
 
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