About Tokarev

Tokarev was a family of semi-automatic pistols developed specially for the purposes of the military of the Soviet Union. The Tokarev pistols were designed in the early 1930s by none other than Fedor Vasilievich Tokarev, who was a Russian weapons designer and deputy of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR from 1937 to 1950. In 1930, the Revolutionary Military Council approved a resolution to test new small arms to replace its aging Nagant M1895 revolvers. The famous Russian firearms designer, Fedor Tokarev, was immediately up to the task. His first weapon design, the TT-30 pistol, was noted by the Soviet Union, and it was adopted for service in the Red Army soon after the troop trials (for which Tokarev supplied a thousand pieces of the new handgun).

The TT-30 was manufactured between 1930 and 1936, with about 93,000 being produced. The first Tokarev pistols were chambered for the 7.62×25mm Tokarev cartridge. However, some of the pistols built in the later decades of the 20th century also utilized the more common 9x19mm Parabellum caliber. The TT-30 design was later upgraded to what is now known as the TT-33 pistol. Externally, the TT-33 is very similar to John Browning's blowback operated FN Model 1903 semi-automatic pistol, and internally it uses Browning's short recoil tilting-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.

However, the Soviet Military constantly felt the need for improvement, which is why they decided to replace the TT-33 pistols with new, more compact side arms. Thus, under the project leadership of Nikolay Fyodorovich Makarov, a new pistol design came into being, known as the Makarov pistol. The Makarov pistol, also known as the PM model, was more compact than the Makarov, which gave room for Soviet soldiers to carry the newly developed AK rifles. Although Tokarev pistols stopped being used by the former Soviet Military, there are still many military organizations across the world that use the pistols as their main side arms. The Tokarev, as well as its variants chambered in the 9mm cartridge, have been renowned for their simplicity, power and accuracy.