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TT-33 2.JPG
A Soviet produced TT-33 pistol made in 1937
Type Semi-automatic pistol
Place of origin Soviet Union
Service history
In service 1930–present
Used by See Users
Wars World War II, Korean War, Chinese Civil War, Vietnam War, Laotian Civil War, Cambodian Civil War, Cambodian-Vietnamese War, Sino-Vietnamese War, Soviet war in Afghanistan, Cambodian–Thai border stand-off, and numerous others
Production history
Designer Fedor Tokarev
Designed 1930
Manufacturer Tula Arsenal, Izhevsk Arsenal, Norinco, Femaru, Radom Arsenal, Cugir Arsenal, Zastava Arms, FÉG
Produced 1930-1952[1]
Number built 1,700,000
Variants TT-30, TT-33, TTC, M48, M48 Tokagypt, M57, M70, M70, R-3, Type 51, Type 54, Type 68
Weight 854 g (30.1 oz)
Length 194 mm (7.6 in)
Barrel length 116 mm (4.6 in)
Height 134 mm (5.3 in)

Cartridge 7.62×25mm Tokarev
Action Short recoil actuated, locked breech, single action
Muzzle velocity 480 m/s (1,575 ft/s)
Effective firing range 50 m
Feed system 8-round detachable box magazine
Sights Front blade, rear notch
156 mm (6.1 in) sight radius

The TT-30 (Russian: 7,62-мм самозарядный пистолет Токарева образца 1930 года, 7,62 mm Samozaryadnyj Pistolet Tokareva obraztsa 1930 goda, "7.62 mm Tokarev self-loading pistol model 1930") is a Russian semi-automatic pistol. It was developed in the early 1930s by Fedor Tokarev as a service pistol for the Soviet military to replace the Nagant M1895 revolver that had been in use since Tsarist times, though it ended up being used in conjunction with rather than replacing the M1895. It served until 1952, when it was replaced by the Makarov pistol.


Soviet junior political officer armed with a Tokarev TT-33 Service Pistol urges Russian troops forward against German positions during World War II. The picture is allegedly of political officer Alexey Gordeevich Yeremenko, who is said to have been killed within minutes of this photograph being taken.[2]

In 1930, the Revolutionary Military Council approved a resolution to test new small arms to replace its aging Nagant M1895 revolvers.[3] During these tests, on January 7, 1931, the potential of a pistol designed by Fedor Tokarev was noted. A few weeks later, 1,000 TT-30s were ordered for troop trials, and the pistol was adopted for service in the Red Army.[4]

But even as the TT-30 was being put into production, design changes were made to simplify manufacturing. Minor changes to the barrel, disconnector,[5] trigger and frame were implemented, the most notable ones being the omission of the removable backstrap and changes to the full-circumference locking lugs. This redesigned pistol was the TT-33.[4] Most TT-33s were issued to officers. The TT-33 was widely used by Soviet troops during World War II, but did not completely replace the Nagant.

Design details[edit]

Externally, the TT-33 is very similar to John Browning's blowback operated FN Model 1903 automatic pistol, and internally it uses Browning's short recoil dropping-barrel system from the M1911 pistol. In other areas the TT-33 differs more from Browning's designs — it employs a much simpler hammer/sear assembly than the M1911, with an external hammer. This assembly is removable from the pistol as a modular unit and includes cartridge guides that provide reliable functioning. The Soviet engineers also added several other features such as locking lugs all around the barrel (not just on top), and made several alterations to make the mechanism easier to produce and maintain, notably a captive recoil spring secured to the guide rod which does depend on the barrel bushing to hold it under tension. Production even machined the magazine feed lips into the receiver to prevent damage and misfeeds when a distorted magazine was loaded into the magazine well.[6]

The TT-33 is chambered for the 7.62×25mm Tokarev cartridge, which was itself based on the similar 7.63×25mm Mauser cartridge used in the Mauser C96 pistol. Able to withstand tremendous abuse, large numbers of the TT-33 were produced during World War II and well into the 1950s.

The TT-33 omitted a safety catch other than the half cock notch which rendered the slide inoperable until the hammer was drawn back to full cock or pulled back to full cock and then lowered manually, which made it unsafe to carry when loaded. It also had a tendency for the magazine catch to accidentally release the magazine while drawing or firing the pistol, if the magazine was damaged in any way.


The Chinese Type 54 with holster.
The Yugoslavian M57 variant with loaded 9-round magazine.

The Wehrmacht captured a fair number of TT-33s and issued them to units under the Pistole 615(r) designation. This was made possible by the fact that Russian 7.62 mm Model 1930 Type P cartridges were nearly identical to the German 7.63×25mm Mauser cartridge. Therefore German ammunition could be used in captured Russian arms, but not vice versa. Due to much higher pressures, the Russian cartridges should never be used in the German Mauser pistols. Such use could be very dangerous.[6]

Licensed production[edit]

A crude Pakistani-made knockoff copy of the TT-33 Pistol.

The TT-33 was eventually replaced by the 8-round, 9×18mm Makarov PM pistol in 1952. Production of the TT-33 in Russia ended in 1954, but copies (licensed or otherwise) were also made by other countries. At one time or another most communist or Soviet bloc countries made a variation of the TT-33 pistol,

The TT pistol copies made notably in China as the Type 51, Type 54,[7] M20, and TU-90

Poland produced their own copies as the PW wz.33, manufactured from 1947 to 1959 and Hungary rebarreled the pistol to fire 9×19mm Parabellum as the M48, as well as an export version for Egypt known as the Tokagypt 58 which was widely used by police forces there.[6]

North Korea manufactured them as the Type 68[8] or M68.[6]

Romania produced a TT-33 copy as the TTC, or Cugir Tokarov well into the 1950s. These have been made available for commercial sale in great numbers in recent years. However, to be importable into the United States, a trigger blocking safety was added.

Both legal and illegal TT pistols are still manufactured in various Pakistani Khyber Pass factories.

Production in Yugoslavia (Serbia)[edit]

Zastava produces an improved version of the TT-33 designated M-57.

The M-57 has a longer grip and longer 9-round magazine (versus 8 rounds in TT). a 9x19mm version is also made by Zastava designated M70A as well as a compact version M88.

Zastava manufactures a sub compact pistol M70 (a.k.a.Pčelica ("little bee")) roughly based on TT design in 7,65mm Browning (.32 ACP) or 9mm Kratak (.380 ACP).

As of 2012 M57A, M70A and M88A are imported into the U.S. by Century International Arms.

Production in China[edit]

The TT pistol was copied in China as the Type 51, Type 54,[7] M20, and TU-90.

Norinco, the People's Liberation Army's state armaments manufacturer in China, manufactured a commercial variant of the Tokarev pistol chambered in the more common 9×19mm Parabellum round, known as the Tokarev Model 213, as well as in the original 7.62×25mm caliber.

The 9mm model features a safety catch, which was absent on Russian-produced TT-33 handguns. Furthermore, the Model 213 features the thin slide grip grooves, as opposed to the original Russian wide-types. The 9mm model is featured with a magazine well block mounted in the rear of the magazine well to accept 9mm type magazines without frame modification.

The Norinco model in current production is not available for sale in the United States due to import prohibitions on Chinese firearms, although older handguns of the Model 213 type imported in the 1980s and 1990s are common.

7.62×25mm ammo is also rather inexpensive and locally produced or imported from China, also made by Norinco.


Type 54 with manual safety

Interarms marketed World War II-surplus Russian-made Tokarevs in Europe and the United States as the Phoenix. They had new wooden grips with a phoenix design on them and were overstamped INTERARMS on the barrel. Later gun laws banned their sale due to their lack of a safety.

The TT-33 is still in service in the Bangladeshi and North Korean armed forces today while police in Pakistan still commonly use the TT pistol as a sidearm, though unofficially, as it is being replaced by modern 9 mm Beretta and SIG pistols. The TT-33 pistol is also occasionally supplied to the People's Armed Police under the name Type 54.[citation needed]

The Tokarev is popular with pistol collectors and shooters in the West because of its ruggedness and reliability. In the US, the supply of surplus 7.62x25 ammunition has become scarce and it has become more expensive to shoot.

However, some complaints include poor-quality grips (which are often replaced by the wrap-around Tokagypt 58 grips) and a hand grip which extends at a vertical angle awkward for many Western shooters.

Another complaint is the poor placement of the post-production safeties installed to comply with US import regulations; many shooters disassemble the pistols, remove them and restore the Tokarevs to the original configuration.

Nonetheless, the Tokarev, as well as its variants in 9mm, are renowned for its simplicity, power and accuracy.[9]


Tokarev Pistol historical usage map

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Monetchikov, S. TT: Small Russian miracle. "Bratishka" magazine website. December 2007
  2. ^ Article about the picture on Russian language Wikipedia. Retrieved on 2 March 2013.
  3. ^ World.guns.ru. "Tokarev TT pistol (USSR/Russia)". Retrieved 2008-01-29. 
  4. ^ a b Cruffler.com (March 2001). "Polish M48 (Tokarev TT-33) Pistols". Retrieved 2008-01-29. 
  5. ^ Tokarev, Vladimir (2000). "Fedor V. Tokarev". Retrieved 2008-01-29. 
  6. ^ a b c d Bishop, Chris (2006). The Encyclopedia of Small Arms and Artillery. Grange Books. pp. 13–14. ISBN 978-1-84013-910-5. 
  7. ^ a b Kokalis, Peter. Weapons Tests And Evaluations: The Best Of Soldier Of Fortune. Boulder, Colorado, USA: Paladin Press. p. 96. ISBN 978-1-58160-122-0. 
  8. ^ "Modern Firearms". Retrieved 14 November 2014. 
  9. ^ AlphaRubicon.com, Information concerning the Norinco Type 213, its disassembly, and handling
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an Jones, Richard D. Jane's Infantry Weapons 2009/2010. Jane's Information Group; 35 edition (January 27, 2009). ISBN 978-0-7106-2869-5.
  11. ^ "Bangladesh Military Forces - BDMilitary.com". Bangladesh Military Forces - BDMilitary.com. Retrieved 14 November 2014. 
  12. ^ a b c Marchington, James (2004). The Encyclopedia of Handheld Weapons. Lewis International, Inc. ISBN 1-930983-14-X.
  13. ^ Hogg, Ian (2002). Jane's Guns Recognition Guide. Jane's Information Group. ISBN 0-00-712760-X.
  14. ^ JAEGER PLATOON: FINNISH ARMY (1918 - 1945) > PISTOLS (Page 2): Mauser M/96, Nagant and TT-33
  15. ^ JAEGER PLATOON: FINNISH ARMY (1918 - 1945) > PISTOLS (Page 2): Mauser M/96, Nagant and TT-33
  16. ^ a b c d e "Modern Firearms". Retrieved 14 November 2014. 
  17. ^ "Lietuvos kariuomenė :: Ginkluotė ir karinė technika » Pistoletai". Retrieved 14 November 2014. 
  18. ^ "Weapon". Retrieved 14 November 2014. 
  19. ^ http://www.fas.org/nuke/guide/dprk/nkor.pdf
  20. ^ "Pakistan Army". 

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TT_pistol — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.
214953 videos foundNext > 

Range Time with the TT-33 Tokarev Pistol

A little range time with my Soviet TT-33 Tokarev pistol in 7.62x25mm using surplus Czech ammo.

Tokarev 7.62 x 25

Shooting, discussing, and field stripping a Romanian TT-33 (Tokarev) copy, the TTC.

Zastava M57 Tokarev Pistol 7 62x25 Full Review

Fun Gun Reviews Presents: Zastava M57 Tokarev Pistol in 7.62x25. Based on the Soviet TT side arm, the M57 is a new manufactured handgun out of Serbia and imported by Century Arms International.

lucky day ! found pistol TT

TT-33 Tokarev Pistol Field Strip

This video shows two methods of performing a basic field strip of the Soviet/Russian Tokarev TT-33 pistol.

Norinco Model 213 9mm Tokarev TT Pistol - Texas Gun Blog


TT-33 Tokerev shooting 30 Mauser

Comparing 7.62 x 25 to 7.63 x 25 out of my TT-33. Unforunately the 30 mauser (7.63x25) was too old and the primers didn't have that much pop left in them. I think the surplus 7.62x25 is to...

M57 Zastava TT 7.62x25


Tokarev TT-33 pistol

Tokarev. I tried to do a first person shoot on this. The recoil you see in the video is looks worse than it is. The camera was zoomed in slightly and my arm was not in the correct firing position....


214953 videos foundNext > 

207 news items

Pakistan Tribe

Pakistan Tribe
Wed, 11 Mar 2015 04:54:55 -0700

ISLAMABAD/KARACHI – Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf leader Shireen Mazari in her personal social media account said that the killing of MQM worker by a TT Pistol has raised more questions on Nine Zero, PakistanTribe reported. She further said that there ...
The Nation
Thu, 26 Mar 2015 18:52:30 -0700

The weapons recovered during operation included five G-3 rifles, 23 sub machineguns (SMGs), two light machineguns (LMGs), 22 shotguns, 19 rifles of 7mm, four 8mm rifles, two 223 rifles, 25 rifles of .22, three 222 rifles, one M-4 and one TT pistol ...

The Nation

The Nation
Tue, 24 Mar 2015 19:02:55 -0700

More weapons were recovered on their tip which included two rocket launchers, one mouser, one carbine, two awan bomb launcher and four TT Pistol and l560 rounds,” he said. He said that 59 other persons were also apprehended and are detained for 90 ...
Russia Beyond the Headlines
Mon, 10 Nov 2014 08:09:03 -0800

How do you best rate the reliability and effectiveness of a weapon? Technical specifications, testing and expert opinion go a long way, but for the TT pistol there is also a more sinister endorsement: It is favored by criminal circles and hitmen in ...


Fri, 20 Mar 2015 05:28:39 -0700

A statement added that an automatic rifle, a TT pistol, two hand grenades, various ammunitions, a detonator, and a slow burning fuse were found during the search of Maric's home. Several shooting incidents took place in the Petrovaradin neighborhood of ...

ARY NEWS (press release) (blog)

ARY NEWS (press release) (blog)
Sat, 21 Mar 2015 09:41:15 -0700

Officials told that the law enforcers seized two ball-bombs, a hand grenade and a TT pistol from the arrested suspects. It was further said that the suspects during interrogation confessed to have attacked a police mobile with a grenade under the ...

The Express Tribune

The Express Tribune
Mon, 16 Mar 2015 22:37:30 -0700

One was a TT pistol given to a 13-year-old militant in Darra Adam Khel and another one was a locally-made magazine for the AK-47 rifle. Other than these two occasions, I have not found any militant stupid enough to use locally made sub-standard ...
Wed, 04 Mar 2015 23:11:03 -0800

... state in Azerbaijan, declared themselves 'emirs' and planned to stage acts of terrorism and sabotage, the press service said. As a result of a special operation four Makarov pistols, one TT pistol, five pistol magazines, 35 bullets, around one ...

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