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Nagant revolvers are most famous as Soviet weapons. However, the origin of those revolvers is in Belgium. Designed by Nagant brothers, Emile and Leon, these revolvers saw the light in late 1880s.
While those revolvers were used in numerous countries, most of them were produced and used in Russia. Adapted into service by Tsarist Russia in 1895, those revolvers had served until the 1940s as military sidearms. Afterwards, they were relegated for use by second-line troops and security troops.
Curiously enough, Nagant revolvers are still in use, mostly by security. Those revolvers are about three times older than people who carry them - which does not prevent them from reliable service.
Technically, Nagant revolvers had very outdated reloading system even at the moment of their adoption into service - at this time Colt and Smith & Wesson revolvers already featured swing-out cylinders. Nagants, on the other hand, had to be reloaded by loose cartridges through the loading opening on the right side of the frame.
Nagants had curious features - like gas-sealed cylinder. During shot, cylinder shifted forward, inserting the front of cartridge into barrel. To achieve this, Nagants used proprietary cartridges, with bullets completely enclosed by cases, which had cylindrical shape with tapered mouth.
The whole system, intended to make full use of gunpowder gases, was quite complicated. It made Nagant one of the rare revolvers capable of mounting a suppressor. This feature was actively used by NKVD and special forces of Red Army. Suppressor, named the Bramit device, was developed by Mitin brothers, and mounted on barrel per necessity.