Kornblum1 demonstrated that nitrocyclohexane 3 was the major isolable product from the reaction of iodocyclohexane 1 and silver nitrite. Earlier work by Rosanow2 (1915) claimed the additional formation of tertiary nitro compound 7, a result that Kornblum did not confirm. If indeed nitrocyclopentane 7 did form, a ring contraction is required. Ring contraction of cyclohexyl carbocation 2 sacrifices the greater stability of a secondary carbocation for a primary carbocation (4) and presumably some loss in stability through ring contraction in forming cyclopentyl carbocation 6. There is no evidence that primary nitrocyclopentane 5 is formed. However, a hydride shift in 4 would afford the more stable tertiary carbocation 6 that would lead to 7.
1) N. Kornblum and C. Teitelbaum, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 1952, 71, 3076.
2) See reference in Kornblum paper.