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  1. #1
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    Default Ammo For Nagant M 1887

    Very new here.

    I just came across this revolver from my father in-laws estate. He was a aviation mechanic during WWII and I don't have a clue how he obtained this gun. It has a holster that holds 6 rounds. The holster has a symbol like a crown and "T 6" stamped in the leather.

    From my searching, I can verify it is a Swedish made Nagant M/ 1887. It has the Husqvarna markings. 3500 PTB (Per Theodor Bergsten). (Landstormen) L No 5861. The cylinder is marked with the number 5110.

    My confusion/question is:

    The chambers are empty, but the holster was loaded with crusty rounds marked "W-W 32 S&W LONG".

    Is this the right ammo for this gun?

    All the other info I have found is that it uses 7.5mm m/87 (black powder), unless it was converted to .32 ACP.

    How do I know if it has been converted?

    Is there anything from the numbers that would indicate production date or how old it is?

    I do have some photos. This revolver is not for sale, but any info you can throw my way would be helpfull.

    Thanks
    Last edited by Husq; 11-23-2008 at 11:21 AM.

  2. #2
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    Husq,

    Congrats on having a nice 1887 Husqvarna Nagant revolver! It is the best black powder revolver I have ever shot (way better than Colts, Remingtons, S&Ws, etc.), regarding freedom from cylinder binding with repeated shots and long-term small groups. With proper BP loads, it matches ballistics for USA 32-20 in 4-5 inch barreled revolvers (such as S&W Hand Ejector, Colt Police) -- I get 770 fps with 118 grain, nearly pure lead 32-20 bullets. With nitro (smokeless loads) it provides much weaker ballistics, thanks to combination of largish cylinder-barrel gap (typical of excellent BP revolvers) and long throat.

    The 7,5 Nagant is pretty much a handloading proposition, IF you want proper ammo. 7,5 Nagant rounds for Swiss and French Ordnance Revolvers apparently are good fit and may be found, even though not loaded for long time. Proper sized cases can be made from USA 32-20 brass.

    Many folks shoot 32 S&W longs or shorts, even 32 H&R Mag!, or 32 ACP ammo, the latter in special cylinders chambered for this little cartridge. Only 32-20 cases are a close match for 7,5 Nagant, as regards rims and heads, but are longer -- I fireform them and use them full length with 0,315 or 0,314 bullets soft or pure lead bullets, other shorten them and use 100+ grains, 0,320 healed bullets. I find that Speer 98 grain Hollow base wad cutter bullets work well with various nitro powders, although I have not yet attained same velocities as with black powder (I use Hodgden 777 FFg). I use an 8 mm Lee Factory crimp tool to crimp the 32-20 cases onto the undersized bullets. Bore of my 7,5 Nagant is close to 0,320, as measured on recovered Speer HBWC bullets.

    32 S&W shorts and longs are undersized for the back end of the chamber, resulting in buldged cases and poor gas sealing. 32 H&R mag lead bullet loads have same problem. Norma lists 15.000 psi as max operating pressure for 7,5 Nagant. Even in properly chambered guns 32 S&W rounds are held to less than this and 32 H&R lead bullet loads are lower pressure than the jacketed bullet loads (about 21.000 psi). Poor sealing of chamber, large barrel-cylinder gap and long throat of 1887 Swedish Nagant, as well as undersized bullets, reduce actual chamber pressures even more for these ill-fitting rounds.

    Like most military double-action revolvers, the hammer spring is stout. I had my gun worked over by a good pistol smith and use Federal small pistol mag match primers (soft primer cups) and get excellent double and single action trigger pulls and totally reliable ignition. Looks like 3-4 inch 6-shot groups at 50 meters may be attainable. I shoot mine in action-shooting matches and it easily goes 7-8 cylinders full (6 rounds) of BP loads with cylinder still turning easily and bullets hitting where I aim. FYI, the gun has a rebounding hammer, allowing loading 6 rounds. Only bummer with this military revolver for action-pistol shooting is that the chambers must be emptied and reloaded one round at a time, as with single-action only revolvers.

    Further questions are welcome,
    Niklas

  3. #3
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    Default Ammo For Nagant M 1887

    Long helpful answer (information overload), but I'm still a little puzzled.

    Are the rounds marked "W-W 32 S&W LONG" the right round for this revolver? (if not will they work)

    Because the number on the cylinder doesn't match (3500/5110):
    How do I know if it has been converted to .32 ACP?

    I don't load my own rounds, so I would have to buy a store bought version (if available) or buy them from another source.

    This would help me with historical information:
    Is there anything from the numbers that would indicate production date or how old it is?

    The holster has a symbol like a crown and "T 6" stamped in the leather.
    Any ideas or info on the history of the holster?

    Thanks

  4. #4
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    You might be able to measure ID of chambers just past head and compare with standard chamber dimensions for 32 ACP or 32 S&W long, both are straight walled cases. My Lyman 47th Edition Reloading Handbook gives 0,3375 for 32 Auto and 0,337 for 32 Smith and Wesson long. For comparison, 32-20 is 0,353, which is very slightly smaller than for 7,5 Nagant. Rim diameter for 32 ACP is 0,358 (it is "semi-rimless"), 0,375 for 32 Smith & Wesson Long, and 0,408 for 32-20 (again close to that for 7,5 Nagant). Of course, the 32 Smith & Wesson Long factory loads should be a loose fit in 7,5 Nagant chambers, allowing quite obvious lateral movement.

    UNLESS the cylinder is a replacement, chambered for 32 Auto or 32 Smith & Wesson Long, 32 Smith and Wesson Long is NOT the CORRECT ammo, althought is can be fired in a 7,5 Nagant chamber with no reported ill effects other than buldged cases, lots of blowby, greatly lowered velocities and likely poor groups (because of undersized bullets). The use of such ill-fitting ammo is common in Swedish 1887 Nagant and Russian 1895 Nagant revolvers.

    The different serial number on cylinder indicates a replacement cylinder, but, it may only be result of common military arsenal practice of using any parts that fit or can be fitted, in which case, it would still be 7,5 Nagant chambered. IF it is chambered for 32 Auto or 32 S&W Long, I would expect such marking somewhere on cylinder. You might also look at pictures of Swedish Nagants (say on GunBroker, etc.) to see if cylinder on yours looks like original Husqvarna Nagant cylinder. The few cylinders I have seen that were not chambered for 7,5 Nagant have different external appearances.

    Hope this is additionally helpfull,
    Niklas

  5. #5
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    Niklas, thanks for the info.

    Neat revolvers, really.

    Carried by many of the great Arctic explorers, too.

    I believe '87's were the pistols used by Amundsen's team to kill the dogs at the "Butcher Shop" Depot on his great trip to the South Pole.
    Formerly LeeSpeed; I believe in God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth...and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary...I believe in the Holy Spirit...the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.

  6. #6
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    Lee,

    I have been quite impressed with what this 8mm BP revolver from late 1880s can do with proper BP ammo. I really enjoy shooting mine. When I took it to a local gunsmith, he was impressed with the quality of parts fitting and their finish.

    I continue to experiment with nitro loads (Green and Blue Dot powders) under Speer 98 grain, pure lead, hollow base wad cutters. I am very impressed with small group sizes with them, even at velocities of only about 600 fps. Busting clays at about 50 meters, 30-50% of time was no problem.

    I have also done a few experiments with 0,323 soft lead cast bullets. These weigh about 107 grains and are made by cutting off the front part of 0,323, 200 grain cast bullets. Initial test results gave about 750 fps, with plenty of room for more 777 FFg powder, suggesting velocities well over 800 fps should be attainable at well under 15.000 psi. Initial group sizes were decent, but, no careful testing has been done.

    Niklas

  7. #7
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    Niklas:

    I really enjoy your posts. I post some over on the Military Pistol Forum as I am a pistol nut. I've always liked the idea of playing around with the Swede Nagants but have never bought one. Heck, I've never even seen one!

    Lots of fellows laugh at the light Euro pistol cartridges like the 7.5. But the truth is, some of those calibers were made to execute cowards and shoot prisoners and the like at a time when the "combat pistol" concept didn't really even exist. But in a fight, they sure beat a swagger stick!

    These days it seems pistols aren't used much for "commercial" purposes {?} in Scandinavia, but in "The Ole' Days" even after WW2 I bet things were different.

    I wonder how many rådyr have been put in the pot by a well placed pistol shot...?

    Last edited by 9.3x57; 11-23-2008 at 07:53 PM.
    Formerly LeeSpeed; I believe in God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth...and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary...I believe in the Holy Spirit...the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeeSpeed View Post
    Niklas:

    Lots of fellows laugh at the light Euro pistol cartridges like the 7.5. But the truth is, some of those calibers were made to execute cowards and shoot prisoners and the like at a time when the "combat pistol" concept didn't really even exist. But in a fight, they sure beat a swagger stick!

    Lee,

    When 7,5 Nagan was issued to Swedish officers, most apparently had only sabers -- better than a swagger stick, however....... I know less about actual uses of 7,5 Swedish Nagants than Russian Nagants. Common application of Russian Nagants was "muzzle to head", as for Tokarevs, probably Makarovs too. For that, they are excellent.

    For Americans, consider that 32-20 was 3rd or 4th most common chambering for Colt SAA and that 32 S&W Long and 32-20 were once common chamberings for military and police revolvers (all those nice S&W and Colt double action revolvers), not to mention all those 32 caliber "pocket pistols" that were once so popular and the most common pistols in gunfights in western USA mining towns.

    A 32 caliber hole from 32-20 through lungs of whitetail deer usually gets venison, rådjur should fare no better. I have killed many foxes with 32-20 at ranges up to about 100 meters, head, neck, lung shots mostly -- one shot kills. I suspect that those Husqvarna 32-20 and 25-20 single shots accounted for far more rådjur than Nagans. I simply don't recall any stories about Swedes hunting with revolvers or even owning them.

    Shooting my 7,5 Nagan in action pistol matches, I have yet to feel poorly equipped when shooting knockdown targets calibrated for 38 Special factory 158 grain loads or when shooting bottle and plate racks (smallish knockdown targets) at 7 to 20 yards. Only bummer comes when reloads are needed -- empties have to each be punched out by hand with ejector rod and reloads dropped in one-by-one.

    Niklas

  9. #9
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    I'm really happy to have found this thread because my son-in-law has been given a 7.5 Nagant Husqvarnapistol with an L No 8603 which we assume means that is the 8603 of the original 14,000 that was manufactured. It's in really good shape and has a set of pearl handles. We've been trying to determine what ammo that it requires because we are not sure if it has been re-chambered for .32 or not. We intend to find out. We're not re-loaders so buying original 7.5 mm ammo is cost prohibitive. And even that is confusing because apparently one needs to know whether the pistol requires .312 or .325?

    Just so that I'm clear on what I've read here, and in the interest of safety - check me out please. From what I've read one can use .32 S&W Longs or Shorts in this pistol but expect the casings to swell and some accuracy and velocity will be lost. Is that correct?

    Thanks for the help.
    Larry

  10. #10
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    You can use 32 longs in it, but it is not recommended. Read the above posts by NiklasP again, some good information there.
    Bad fouling of the cylinder and barrel and poor accuracy is what you'll get in reward for using it. But in a real world emergency, or if you'd just want to hear it go bang a couple of times, it will work.

    That L prefix number you found is not the serial number, but a rack number for the Landstormen corps, to which it was obviously issued after completed military service. Look for the proper serail number, a HVA made m/1887 can be fairly accurately dated through the serial number.

    The m/1887 was redistributed to Landstormen in large numbers after the introduction of the m/1907 pistol. During WWII it was also issued to the then newly formed Hemvärnet (home guard). In the 1950's, Husqvarna bought a large number of ex issue revolvers which were refurbished and then sold to civilians, as well as the police, the royal mail and Driftsvärnet, sort of a subdivision of Hemvärnet, organized with workers at tactically important plants, mills, power stations et al.
    The police uses it for dog training, firing blanks. The Royal Mail variant is easy to spot thanks to the large postal horn stamped into the frame.

    And there you have it, the Reader's Digest version!

    Pettson
    Last edited by Pettson; 12-05-2008 at 10:35 AM.

  11. #11
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    I did some experiments with loading the 7,5mm swiss/swedish and I am with Niklas here, black powder seems to be the ideal propellant so far for them.
    I have some relaods with .325" bullets and NC made for testing, but was not able to go to the range yet.

    Those BP loads are a lot of fun, big BANG, lots of smoke and sparks and quite good groups.

    Chris
    Collector's Creed:

    This is my rifle.
    I have many like it, and they are all MINE.
    My rifles are my life. Without my rifles I am useless.
    I must buy any cheap Milsurp, before Bubba does.
    I will learn all about restoration and preservation of guns.
    I must clean my rifles and shoot them often.

    So be it, until all old military rifles have found a loving home.

  12. #12
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    Thanks and I did appreciate the post from NiklasP - very thorough. I think, as you say, we may just want to hear it go bang a couple of times. There's not much chance that it has been re-chambered for a .32 but we will check.

    As it turns out I was mistaken because the L No is actually 2110 and it appears that the Serial Number is 8603; this number is stamped in several different places including on the left side in front of the cylinder directly under the stamped name Husqvarna So when would you say this gun was made?

  13. #13
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    Pettson:

    I'm always interested in pistol use over there.

    If sold to civilians, what for? Meaning, was there a day in Sweden when pistols were commonly owned by "normal" folks?

    What were they used for? Organized target shooting?

    I can't imagine a time when in Sweden civilians chose or needed to to be armed for personal protection.

    Or was there a time when "gun nuts" were allowed what they wanted?

    Your thoughts?
    Formerly LeeSpeed; I believe in God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth...and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary...I believe in the Holy Spirit...the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeeSpeed View Post
    Pettson:

    I'm always interested in pistol use over there.

    If sold to civilians, what for? Meaning, was there a day in Sweden when pistols were commonly owned by "normal" folks?

    What were they used for? Organized target shooting?

    I can't imagine a time when in Sweden civilians chose or needed to to be armed for personal protection.

    Or was there a time when "gun nuts" were allowed what they wanted?

    Your thoughts?
    Gunlicenses were introduced in Sweden in 1918. Before that everything was free. Those who had a gun in 1918 were required to register it but of course many gun owners refused to do so. That is the reason that you still find lots of unregistered pre-1918 made guns in Sweden.

    Since 1918 any shotgun/rifle/handgun/SMG/MG etc etc. that uses shells or cartridges are licensed. Today valid reason for licenses are hunting, targetshooting, collecting and in rare occasions personal protection.

    You can use any gun regardless of the reason behind the license for self defence.....IF you meet the legal requirements for using self defence.......you may get away with it or you may end up in jail yourself if the court think you exceeded your right to self defence(using too much violence).

    As a curio it was the conservative members of parliament that was most pro-license in 1918. They wanted to prevent the lefties to get guns for a possible revolution.

    In june 1917 we had riots in Stockholm and in other places in Sweden.....food was rationed heavily due to the war and some of the lower classes were on the brink of starving......the riots were called the "Hunger riots" and this was the closest we were to a revolution in Sweden.

    During spring and summer 1917 the gunshops in Stockholm were selling large quantities of guns........all handguns were selling like hot cakes......most gunshops sold all guns they had. Every man of the middle and upper class felt the need for a handgun to defend himself and his family if and when the reolution came.

    As you all know the revolution in Sweden never came but the gun licenses are still with us.

    //Anders

    Pics from the riots in Stockholm 1917

    In the first pic please not the gentleman with hat and walking stick in the left of the pic...that is the then finance minister and leader of the social democratic party Hjalmar Branting that gets in the way as the mounted police is charging the protesters.



    Last edited by Anders; 12-06-2008 at 07:01 AM.
    Of all the money e'er I had,
    I spent it in good company.
    And all the harm I've ever done,
    Alas! it was to none but me.
    And all I've done for want of wit
    To mem'ry now I can't recall
    So fill to me the parting glass
    Good night and joy be with you all

  15. #15
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    Anders, thanks very much for the lesson in civvy pistol ownership. VERY interesting!!

    Strolling "next door", IIRC, both Norway and Finland had very liberal pistol laws up until relatively recently, too {??}.

    Has hunting with a pistol {small game or large, birds, etc} ever been legal in Sweden, Norway or Finland? {I can imagine possibly many birds, small game and rådyr have fallen to the pistol/revolver over the years, but I'm wondering if the game laws have ever actually allowed it}. I believe all hunting with pistols in Sverige and Norge is illegal now? No idea about Suomi.
    Formerly LeeSpeed; I believe in God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth...and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary...I believe in the Holy Spirit...the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeeSpeed View Post
    Anders, thanks very much for the lesson in civvy pistol ownership. VERY interesting!!

    Strolling "next door", IIRC, both Norway and Finland had very liberal pistol laws up until relatively recently, too {??}.

    Has hunting with a pistol {small game or large, birds, etc} ever been legal in Sweden, Norway or Finland? {I can imagine possibly many birds, small game and rådyr have fallen to the pistol/revolver over the years, but I'm wondering if the game laws have ever actually allowed it}. I believe all hunting with pistols in Sverige and Norge is illegal now? No idea about Suomi.
    In Sweden you may get a .22 handgun license for killing off small game that you have trapped......you will not get a hunting license for a handgun of larger calibers.

    Most common use for handguns in Sweden is target shooting and of course collecting.

    Norway basically has the same rules concerning handgun ownership as Sweden....in Finland it has been a bit easier to get a handgun license but after the two recent school shootings there the Finnish government intend to tighten the gun laws.......from what I have heard they will end up being similar to Sweden's gun laws.

    //Anders
    Of all the money e'er I had,
    I spent it in good company.
    And all the harm I've ever done,
    Alas! it was to none but me.
    And all I've done for want of wit
    To mem'ry now I can't recall
    So fill to me the parting glass
    Good night and joy be with you all

  17. #17
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    Thanks Anders for nice summary of historical information, as well as some pics of police 90 years ago.

    Niklas

  18. #18
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    Rssurecting a great thread,

    Quote Originally Posted by NiklasP View Post
    Husq,

    Norma lists 15.000 psi as max operating pressure for 7,5 Nagant.

    Further questions are welcome,
    Niklas
    Thanks for taking the time to post that, Niklas.
    Has anyone ever run across a 7.5mm Nagant revolver that takes un-resized .32-20 cartridges? I know .32-20 is listed as 16,000 cup, whats' the BP on Black Hills .32-20?

    Check this out?
    http://forums.gunboards.com/showthre...olice-revolver

  19. #19
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    Default Wanted to share a pic!

    Seemed fare that this informative thread (thanks NiklasP) contained a pic. Silly, the revolver in my safe for a year but havent made time to test-fire it yet. You should get one yourself Lee!



    Regards,
    ARILAR
    Arms are for hugging

  20. #20
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    Arilar, can you post more pictures of that beautiful holster please?
    Steve

  21. #21
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    Story, I don't think that .32-20 cartridges would fit in the 1887 Nagant cylinder. With the little research that I just did, it appears that the pressure of the .32-20 cartridge is excessive for the Nagant. The Remington 100 gr. lead ammo is advertised as around 1,200 fps. IMHO, 100-115 gr lead bullet ammo for the Nagant should be in the 700-800 fps range.
    If you want to reload using .32-20 cases without trimming, there are .311 wadcutter bullets that would work.
    For handloading your Nagant, I suggest that you first slug your bore. Mine turned out to be .308, which seemed odd, as most sources say that the bores are around .325.
    I use trimmed .32-20 cases and 100-115 gr. .308 lead bullets. I tried jacketed bullets, but with light powder loads, they were getting stuck in the bore. For powder, I found that 2.2 gr. of Trail Boss works well. That is a .5cc Lee dipper full.
    I tried a few rounds with 4.0 of Unique, but that seemed way too hot. I have dropped the level to 3.0 of Unique, but haven't got the chance to try that load yet.
    I found that my Nagant was very accurate with the 100-115 gr. lead bullet/2.2 Trail Boss load, shooting very close to POA. The load seemed very mild, although I haven't chronographed it.

    Tom

  22. #22
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    Great to see this thread has been so popular. These revolvers are neat, fun and accurate revolvers to shoot.

    An actual 32-20 cartridge, loaded to 32-20 cartridge length, is too long for 1887 Nagant cylinder. What I actually do is to seat 32-20 bullets deeper enough that bullet tips do not extend past end of cylinder. For loading data I use Hodgdon 777 FFg data for 32-20, with loading reduced to account for reduced powder volume from deeper seating of bullet. I also put one or two 0,060 fiber wads under 32-20 bullets to obtain better gas seal. Fortunately, 777 FFg is easily compressed. Bore on mine is 0,320 and bullets I use are 0,314 or 0,315 and pure or nearly pure lead. Bullets I pick up after shooting have fully engraved rifling markes on them. I get 765 fps with this load -- don't recall amount of 777 FFg I use and don't have access to loading notes.

    When I load 32 caliber hollow base wadcutter bullets, I full length resize 32-20 brass in 32-20 dies and then seat this bullet deep enough to be slightly below face of cylinder. Best powder for consistant velocities has been 777 FFg, for 800 fps and very nice groups. The 32.20 necks give enough neck tension to give good burns of powder. Nice groups!!

    Those 32-20 ballistics quoted by a previous poster are for rifles. For USA-made Colt and S&W double action 32-20-chambered military and police revolvers, muzzle velocities are about 750 fps or so. 32-20 SAAMI chamber pressures are about 13.000 psi and Norma gives 15.000 for 7,5 Nagant. Chamber pressures Hodgdon gives for 32-20 777 FFg loads are less than SAAMI, as my approximation 7,5 Nagant loads seem to also have. After firing 100s of these loads, I see absolutely nothing to indicate pressures above what this Husqvarna-made, Nagant-designed revolver can handle.

    Niklas

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