The rifles serial No is N70063 and was manufactured at the Tula Arsenal in 1926. I have no knowledge of its history other than it was imported into Germany from Eastern Europe and from there into the UK.
It is the oldest Nagant that I have restored and therefore I had a particular interest in this rifles restoration process.
As with many Nagant’s coming out of Eastern Europe they have had a horrible varnish applied and therefore the rifle looks fairly rough, however if you look through the poor finish there is often some reasonable woodwork underneath. Original stocks were made from Birch or laminated birch and pre WWII stocks were oil finished. Receiver to wood fitting is marginal at best on Nagant's and regardless how tight the king screws, the action will move during recoil, therefore the customer requested the action be bedded which alleviates this issue, prevents warping and improves accuracy. The woodwork is removed and any repairs made good. The rifle is bedded around the chamber, recoil lug and the receiver tang. The barrel should touch the end of the forend but nowhere else between that point and the bedding. Once the bedding is completed, the woodwork is cleaned and all the years of grim, bruising and varnish is removed. Historical markings are retained and a new finish in keeping with the original is applied.
Trigger, Barrel & Action
The receiver is fully bedded and the barrel is not floating within the forend. The rifle is fully stripped and all the parts are cleaned in solvent, years of debris, rust and solidified oil is removed. Parts are polished, checked for wear or damage and the rifle rebuilt to its original specification. The rifles blueing was good and therefore the metalwork in this case was not re-blued. Nagant triggers are course at the best of times, so the customer requested that the original trigger be tuned. Tuning the original trigger is not as good as a aftermarket replacement but no wood has to be removed and therefore originality can be retained. The barrel, headspace and firing pin protrusion are gauged and the trigger pull is measured. The action is function tested to ensure all the rifles mechanisms operates correctly and dummy rounds are cycled through the rifle to ensure the rifle feeds, extracts and ejects without fault.
The standard infantry sights are battle worthy but the foresight post is course and easily hides the target even at moderate ranges. Therefore a simple, yet effective method of improving accuracy is to change the tip of the fore sight post to a point. This provides a better sight picture and a more precise point of aim.