Excellent condition World War II Soviet Model 1895 Nagant revolver with belt.
Sold at Auction: $200
Only 200? O_O
They’re common as dirt, not very good at anything as they’re very clunky to work with, the trigger is dicks, requiring something over 25lbs of pressure to break, it’s exhausting to shoot, reloading is a chore, imagine a Single Action Army without a loading gate, and the ejector rod is not spring assisted. Someone once described the reloading as "like a quadriplegic Single Action Army", and I guess that fits. It’s overall just incredibly obsolete, couple that with big stockpiles of it, and a lack of cheap ammo, you’ve got yourself a very cheap gun.
It’s chambered for an old obsolete cartridge, with a very unique kind of gas-seal casing, 7.62x38mmR, most of the casings length is the casing extending past the bullet. Original Russian military loadings of this cartridge were not actually too bad, something in the neighborhood of a .32 H&R Magnum cartridge, so not too shabby for a revolver, no handcannon or anything, but by no means a pea-shooter.
Thing is, nobody has made that loading for maybe 60 or 70~ so years, so if you want to shoot the gun, you’re pretty much stuck with cheap, downloaded targetloads from Fiocchi, which don’t reach at all the full potential of the gun. They’re also not as cheap as the guns pricetag might give you the impression of.
Reloading the cartridge itself is supposedly annoying and difficult, the casing is not like other casings.
Their main draw today is for collectors (and fortunately for them, these are common and plentiful, and even one in good condition like the one discussed here can be had for a very agreeable price), and for those people who want to go with into NFA territory, given how the cylinder locks forward, completely sealing the gap between the cylinder and the barrel, this revolver can quite effectively be silenced, unlike almost every other revolver.
Leon Nagant didn’t design the gun for this purpose in mind (the gas seal was just to get an extra bit of velocity out of the cartridge), but it just happens to work. The Russians sure caught on to it because archive photos exist of these very revolvers, fitted with varying silencers.
By threading the barrel of this revolver, fitting it with a .32 caliber Silencer, and using proper gas-seal ammunition (such as the meek Fiocchi loads, which are actually pretty fitting for this kind of task), you can make one hell of a quiet little gun.