Here is the updated replacement post for the old one, it has some new information and better pictures.
Nagant side plate markings 1941 – 1945
In 1938 the format of the serial number of the revolver was changed. Instead of just being a numeric sequence it became a numeric sequence preceded with 2 Cyrillic letters. These letters were assigned in some designated, but not publicly known sequence in order to hide production numbers. The arsenal names had been removed from most types of weapons in the 1928 -1929 period in order to hide information about the arsenals.
The side plate marks were pretty consistent from the time arsenal marks were changed until 1941. The only real exception to this being the narrow date on the late 1935 dated revolvers.
Serial Nos. 14700 and 24898 1935
1935 side plate markings showing the difference in the arrows and width of the date. The early style is on the left, late style on the right. Note the different late style arrow in the star, the arrow point on the right has flat sides and the fletching is wider. This arrow would reappear later.
Early and late 1940 sideplate marks
Factory mark on revolvers manufactured at TOZ 1929 – 1940. Note the serifs on the numbers and the narrow width of the fletching and the shape of the point on the arrow within the star.
In 1941 Tula production is listed as 118,453 revolvers (Bolotin). In 1941 the factory mark changed noticeably in that the face of the numbers was altered and the shape of the arrow was changed and looks more like the late 1935 arrow with wider feathers shown above.
First the numbers, there are three different types of numbers used on the 1941 dated revolvers. None of them have serifs on the bottom of the numbers - 1940 vs. 1941 and the ‘9’ character is simpler (no ball terminal on the lower part of the ‘9’). The ‘4’ on the 1940 and the early 1941 have an open back (the upper area of the character is not closed), however, the later 1941 mark has a closed top ‘4’ and the ‘1’s have a longer upper slash (beak?). There is also an example with an open top ‘4’ with curved upper slash ‘1’s.
Shown below are examples of the known sideplate marks for 1941.
Note that there is no letter following the digits of the date. Also note that arrow on serial ПН663 only has four feathers on the fletching of the arrow.
This is the first variety observed from 1941. The arrow point is uneven and the arrow stamp is broken. The star is even and looks like the late star from 1941. The reason this is defined as early is that the revolvers seen with this mark have the same acceptance commission mark as the 1939-1940 dated revolvers.
(First picture courtesy Mosin Mike)
These 1941 dated Tula side plates show an open top ‘4’, rather than open back. The arrow is different as well, 5 wide feathers and an uneven point that goes further up into the upper point of the star. The star stamp is even on the bottom. The ‘1’s have a short curved upper slash.
The next variety has a slightly different same number face than previously shown version and has a different the five feather arrow, the point doesn’t extend as far into the upper point of the star. The lower legs of the star appear to be even, unlike the next variations.
(Courtesy Mitchell) Serial ЛА363
This example shows the side plate mark on a 1941 Tula manufactured revolver with numbers that are almost like the 1940 and earlier dated revolvers. The ‘1’s have a short curved slash. The ‘4’ has an open back and the left stroke is curved (Roman nosed ‘4’). The arrow has 5 wide, thin feather marks and a wide angle point that doesn’t go as far up into the upper point of the star. Note that the lower legs of the star are even length.
The next variety is very similar, except that the lower right point of the star is shorter.
Serial ПИ604 The arrow is similar to the previous examples but the lower right point of the star is noticeably shorter than the left.
The final known mark for 1941. The number face is now distinctly different than the previous examples. The arrow now has a longer point and only 4 feathers.
Serial ПН663. The ‘1’s have longer, straight top slashes and the ‘4’ has a sharp closed top. The arrow has a sharp point that neatly fits in the upper point of the star and only 4 wide feathers. The lower right point of the star is now noticeably shorter than the rest of the points. I believe this to be the latest of the 1941 marks because there are 1942 dated side plates that differ only in the date.
Last edited by jleiper; 05-13-2012 at 01:02 PM.
In late 1941 Tula was evacuated to the Ural area. 1942 dated Tula revolvers are known and the markings on them are puzzling. There is known at least one 1942 dated revolver with pre 1941 type numbers. There is also an example with late 1941 type numbers and the star marking still has a short right leg. Note that there is no ‘г’ following the date on these examples.
1942 dated side plate showing a pre 1941 type marking. Note the curved arrow barbs, narrow individual fletching, etc. and the numbers with serifs and ball terminals. The star seems to have a short right leg like the late 1941 sideplate as well.
Late 1941 style numbers and arrow on this example. Note the short right leg on the star.
The bulk of the revolvers seen dated 1942 have the Tula factory mark on their side plate. The published production number for Izhevsk in 1942 is 15,485 revolvers. Were these actually the Tula marked revolvers? This seems likely because there don’t seem to be any examples of Izhevsk marked revolvers. With the exceptions shown above, the examples of 1942 dated revolvers seem to have a Tula star marked side plate, but all the parts are marked like those of the Izhevsk marked revolvers made in mid 1943 and later. They show the same circled ‘ЗБ’ acceptance mark and Izhevsk marked parts. The barrels are marked the same way with markings on the right side (by the front sight) and a number or letter marking on the left.
The side plates of the first examples have a solid, but tapered, fletching on the arrow with curved barbs on the point. The star appears to be “wider than tall”. The number face is different than the later revolvers. The ‘1’ has an upper slash and the ‘4’ has an open top. These are the first side plates with the date followed by a ‘Г’. Note also the ‘Г’ appears to be almost an uppercase letter (very unusual – it is always lower case in Russian?).
The revolver on the right is serial ГЖ389
Shown above are two sideplates with the early 1942г arrow from Izhevsk?
The next variety has a more traditionally proportioned star. The arrow within the star originally has curved barbs and solid, but constant width fletching. This arrow is commonly seen with the right barb of the arrow point broken (clear into the early 1943 dated revolvers). This is by far the most common marking seen on 1942 dated revolvers.
(Picture on the right Courtesy Pioneer13120)
One from a Russian site (Stalin presentation) and from Pioneer13120.
Shown above are two examples of the late 1942 г marked side plates. Note that the arrow fletching is now narrow and solid, but has constant width sides. The date is followed with the Russian letter ‘г’. Note the broken arrow point on the revolver shown on the right. The same stamp was used into the 1943 production.
At this time, I am still trying to determine if there exist 1942 dated revolvers with the arrow in triangle Izhevsk marking like the ones observed from the 1943-1945 period. However, I don’t believe that the side plates of the Nagant revolvers manufactured at Izhevsk in 1942 were ever marked with the triangle and arrow of the Izhevsk arsenal, but with the star and arrow of Tula and the 1942г date marking.
This mark has been observed on a very few 1942 and 1943 dated revolvers. The mark is the logo of the Государственный оптико-механический завод (ГОМЗ) or Government Opitcal-mechanical Factory in Leningrad. In the early part of the war, a significant portion of that factory was evacuated to Kazan. There are 1942 and 43 dated examples of revolvers with this mark and they seem to have Tula star marked parts - unlike the 42 and 43 dated Tula 1942-3г marked revolvers which have Izhevsk marked parts. This also may have been the origin of the KOMZ factory which made PU scopes as well. So, maybe some of the tooling from Tula was moved to Kazan as well as Izhevsk?
Last edited by jleiper; 07-07-2010 at 12:16 PM.
1943-5 Marks at Izhevsk
Arrow and star marked revolvers from early 1943 with the ‘г’ in the date are clearly marked with the same arsenal stamp as the late 1942г marked guns. Shown below is an example of a 1943г dated revolver. The side plate matches the frame (and is NOT renumbered), but all of the parts are Izhevsk marked. The frame has a ‘ЗБ’ AC mark and the barrel is marked like an Izhevsk barrel – the only thing on this revolver that indicates Tula manufacture is the side plate mark. These are the last star marked revolvers with the 1942г or 1943г type date marking.
Example of a 1943г dated “Tula”. Note the open back ‘4’.
An odd sideplate note the difference in the face of the numbers – especially the ‘1’.
Now, lacking documented information I am going to try to put forth a guess as to what happened next. Tula production was restored sometime in 1943 so Tula marked revolvers actually manufactured at Tula now appear with a star and at least 3 different hammer marks in 1943. None of these revolvers have the ‘г’ following the year. The face of the numbers is consistent in all three varieties. However, since the star marked sideplate is now taken back by Tula, Izhevsk needs its own mark. The mark used on Izhevsk rifles at this point in time is a small arrow in a triangle.
The Izhevsk mark on a 1941 dated rifle
There have been observed examples of Izhevsk revolvers with a very small Izhevsk triangle and arrow mark in a circle and a 1943г date. I believe that these were the first Izhevsk marked revolvers with an actual Izhevsk factory mark. This small mark was apparently unsatisfactory and was quickly replaced with the first full size mark.
Shown below are two examples of the small circled Izhevsk arrow in triangle factory mark.
1943 production ИГ397(Russian deactivated revolver) and ЛКXXX (Alpenflage)
2 examples of the small Izhevsk mark from 1943. Note the open back ‘4’s and the very curled bottom of the ‘3’ and ‘9’.
There is an intermediate sideplate mark with a different arrow within a triangle in a circle that was used between the first small Izhevsk mark and the final mark. This mark has the early style 1943 numbers and a triangle that is not an equilateral triangle, it is shorter vertically and the bottom bar is just under the horizontal diameter of the circle. The arrow point is also slightly different having a barbed head rather than the flat back point of the later marking. An odd feature of this mark is the dot in the bottom left part of the arrow fletching. This dot seems to be found on all examples of this marking.
The final Izhevsk factory mark found on later 1943 production is an equilateral triangle with an arrow in it. This final mark would remain the essentially same with only date and location changes until the end of production in 1945(or later?). Production for Izhevsk for the year 1943 is listed as 107,260 (Koldunov).
Shown above are examples of the Izhevsk factory marks found on later 1943 production. The first is the intermediate mark, the second is the later equilateral triangle and arrow. Note that this 1943 revolver also has the factory mark a bit higher on the side plate than other observed examples.
1943 Izhevsk triangle and star with the later, lower location.
Serial ЕК323 1944 production at Izhevsk and serial ЭК194 1945 production at Izhevsk.
The only differences are the dates and the minor differences in location of the factory mark and shape of the arrow. Production at Izhevsk was 190,960 (Koldunov) in 1944 and 1945 production is unknown (probably around 50,000 pieces). Production at Izhevsk may have continued as late as into 1946. There are examples with what appear to be hand stamped dates on side plates as late as 1954!
Last edited by jleiper; 07-07-2010 at 12:43 PM.
1943 Tula Restoration
Meanwhile back at the ranch….
As said previously, production of revolvers was restored at Tula in 1943. The first revolvers produced there were probably marked with some kind of workers hammer in a star and the 1943 date. Again, the revolvers with the arrow in star Tula factory mark and the 1943г date mark are early 1943 Izhevsk production.
1943г Arrow in star Serial КР434 1943 Izhevsk production.
Three different types of Tula sideplate markings have been observed with 1943 dates. The face of the numbers is consistent in all three varieties. Note the face of the numbers used, the ‘4’ is closed with a flat top. The terminal of the ‘3’ doesn’t have as much curl as the Izhevsk examples and the ‘1’ has no upper slash.
The first mark is a worker’s hammer in the star. I’ve only seen one of these. The hammer has a point on the right side of the head and large handle – i.e. the handle area on the haft is full size and the rest of the haft is a simple line.
The first (?) variety of 1943 sideplate.
The next variation is a star with a different type of workers hammer. It has reverse angles on both sides of the head of the hammer and a tapered haft.
The second mark found on 1943 dated Tula revolvers
The next mark is a small hammer or in Russian a молоток. The small hammer has been called a “scepter”, but is in reality another type of worker’s hammer or molot. One of these has also been seen without a date. This same hammer was also used in 1944 leading to the conclusion that this mark was used in late 1944.
A 1943 marked side plate with the small hammer (courtesy 7.62x54r.net)
Last edited by jleiper; 07-07-2010 at 12:56 PM.
1944 at Tula or “How many marks?”
As we have seen, the shaped hammer heads were introduced in 1943 and there are observed examples of the small molot dated 1944.
A 1944 sideplate with the late 1943 style hammer
In some sequence the mark was further changed several times through out 1944. Shown below are other examples. It is too bad that the serial numbers aren’t sequential to help identify the order these marks were introduced. I think the order that I have shown them in is correct, but it is only a guess based on the face of the numbers and what marks preceded and followed across the year boundaries.
Now I am going to guess again. Changes in the number stamps and logical changes to the hammers. The first part of the year used the 1943 face for the digits of the date. No upper slash on the ‘1’, flat topped ‘4’s and a plain ‘9’ with some curl on the terminal.
Going into 1944 the mark transitioned to a more normal hammer. This is a metal workers hammer with a long pointed right side within a star. Note that the hammer head is solid – not an outline and the haft is a tapered line The ‘4’s are still flat topped like the 1943 examples with the small hammer. It is almost universal to see damage to the left side of the top point of the star on this variety.
1944 Long solid hammer in star, pointed end of hammer, closed flat top ‘4’ (courtesy 7.62x54r.net)
(Courtesy Ron W)
Next is probably a simplified version of this. The face of the numbers is still the same. The hammer has a flat head with a tapered right side. The haft is still a tapered line.
(Right photo courtesy Ron W)
The haft on this these are straight, still the old style numbers.
1944 Tula will be continued ...
Last edited by jleiper; 07-07-2010 at 01:22 PM.
1944 at Tula or “How many marks?” continued
Now the next examples show a transition. The hammers and stars are fairly crude, in fact, they look like they were done with a chisel. The first one has the early face numbers in the date
Serial ИЛ318 1944 production at Tula
1944 ‘T’ hammer in star with early style closed flat top style ‘4’s. This star is crude, done with a chisel?
Serial КЛ80 1944 production at Tula
1944 ‘T’ hammer in star, open top ‘4’s and an upper slash on the ‘1’. Note the bent nose ‘4’ characters
Serial number ДС346 1944 production at Tula.
1944 Long solid hammer in star, flat end of hammer, open top ‘4’. Note that the hammer now has a flatter end on the right side but the head is still a solid mark.
Serial ИБ1078 1944 Production at Tula. 1944 hollow hammer in star, open top ‘4’s and a hammer with an outline head. This is probably the least common hammer type (or at least I’ve seen fewer of these than the other types).
1945 marks at Tula
The marks on the examples seen from 1945 production at Tula are pretty consistent. There is almost always damage to the top of the left side point of the star. The hammer is less crude than the late 44 examples but is no more than a simple ‘T’ with a tapered right top mark. Both types of ‘4’s are seen, flat topped and open back.
The first has very different numbers, but the star is not damaged so I have put it first
No slash on the '1', curved front stroke on the '4', some of the numbers look to be over struck.
1945 – ‘T’ hammer in star flat top ‘4’
1945 ‘T’ hammer in star open back ‘4’.
Production at Tula seems to have terminated in 1945.
That's all folks!
Last edited by jleiper; 07-07-2010 at 01:49 PM.
reserved for overflow ...
Wow! I am seriously impressed. I look forward to more. Big thanks!
Purists of the world, unite!
If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.
― Samuel Adams
Thank you so much for all your hard work, to rebuild this picture file!
It is a big help to all of us.
I have to pull out my revolvers & see what I have & what I have to find before the prices get even higher!
Looks like I need at least two - three more 1941 models!
Best to you,
Don't forget the marks inside the 1941s! You have to get them all!
Mine is a 1938, wide date like your first 1935 example, narrow arrow fletching no shaft connecting fletching to point of arrow. Ser. # П Б 368
If I can figure out how to get a decent picture I will post it.
I also have an article from the April 1969 edition of the American Rifleman (page 60) showing a 1938, but the arrow is complete in the photo.
Seen on U.S. Forces bumper sticker:
Its Gods job to judge the terrorists, its our mission to arrange the meeting.
Here are the normal sideplate marks from 1929-1935.
I have posted an early and late 1932 because there were major mechanical and marking changes in that year, but not to the sideplate marks. 1935 is unusual because of the two different marks. There were only supposed to have been around 12,000 revolvers produced that year, but serials have been seen as high as about 25,000.
Last edited by jleiper; 07-08-2010 at 01:18 PM.
More pictures added including the early 1940 mark I haven't published before - just another variation for point6!
Apologies for posting in this old thread, but since it was sticked I figured maybe that was OK. One question re markings - I notice that some have been "whited", is this something that has been done later, or at production? The nagant I have on order has had this done (from the small photo supplied on the seller's site). And is it desirable to remove the white? I would like mine to be as 'stock' as possible and authentic to the era.
Thanks for all the pictures. I picked up my 1944 at gander mountain Friday night. I have been wiping Cosmoline off it ever since. Although it was not too gunked up. I was thinking of dismantling it and wiping everything down with CLP and Hoppes in the barrel.
This is what is stamped on it, along with a ton of other numbers in many locations. i assume they are storage numbers and import numbers, etc. I ordered some surplus and new ammo from J&G yesterday so i can compare. It will be a while before I can get out to shoot it though. dead of winter in Minnesota.