Bought a Polish TT-33 Tokarev pistol


March 14, 2005, 07:28 PM
I stopped by a local shop and they by chance just had a Polish TT-33 Tokarev sitting in the used guns case. I was very surprised by the finish, the gun was in much better shape than I expected. And even better, it came with the holster, extra mag and cleaning rod and are all nearly flawless. Gun is about 98%, finish has some divots and irregularities and is not perfectly smooth, but it looks like the irregularities are under the finish as there are no spots where it has been chipped away. Maybe that is a sign that it has been refinished. At first I thought that $199 was too much, but I couldn't pass it up and now after doing some searching, I feel that it was a great deal for no longer available surplus pistol in such great shape.

It is a 1952 model and was produced in the "circle 11" factory IIRC, that circle 11 mark is on top of the slide. It has the safety added, non-Polish grips and was imported by IAI in Knoxville, TN.

Are these safe to dry fire unlike the CZ-52? I love how 1911-esque this pistol is. I shot 50 rounds of S & B through it today and it shoots great. The mag release is very tough to use though, you really have to push it in with some force and then the mag will release. This Tokarev is much cooler than my CZ-52 (which is already cool) and I seem to be more accurate with it than the CZ, it must be the 1911 design.

Polish TT-33

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March 14, 2005, 07:33 PM
looks more like a 1903 than a 1911 to me. Nice gun.

Black Snowman
March 14, 2005, 07:38 PM
There's a Norinco knock-off at my local gun-store for $200 and I was tempted by it. Little better sights and much better trigger than my CZ 52. Seemed thinner too. Good grip feel. If had been Polish, it'd be home right now ;)

March 14, 2005, 07:40 PM
well, the grip is definitely 1903, but the operating mechanism people always refer to as being 1911 (I don't know if the 1903 is different than the 1911 in how the action works). Breaks down similarly to many 1911's.

March 14, 2005, 07:42 PM
Black Snowman, I've heard that the Norincos are poorer quality and can be a real headache sometimes. I would have been tempted too, but I would have skipped it as well.

March 15, 2005, 09:01 AM
Great price on a Pole, nowadays. Absolutely my favorite Tok. The firing pins will not break (at least as readily as the CZ-52s') on dry-firing, though I keep it to a minimum since my gun (like yours) is over 50 years old.

Here's a link to a great review of the breed by our friends at )

A few years back I picked up a really nice Polish Tokarev from SOG. I think it cost $129. The quality of manufacture of this Radom pistol was superb.

The Polish Toks came with these goofy left thumbrest grips, to make them importable. Unfortunately, it made them pretty nigh unshootable for us southpaws. I got out the file and filed off a lot of the thumbrest, but it still wasn't comfy to have under my trigger finger.

They also came with a very well-designed add-on trigger block safety (again, so they could be imported). The Toks, of course, started out life with no safety at all (one doesn't carry these around with a round in the chamber), but the Poles came up with a much nicer system than the one used by the Russians and the Chinese on their USA-export Toks. The Polish safety is a nice piece that sits in front of the left-side grip, and requires the special thumbrest grip to operate (since it relies upon a cut-out in that grip for its required range of motion). Check out the article for photos. Again, though, this safety, as well-designed and unobtrusive as it is, was under my trigger finger.

I took the safety off, and the gun shot better for me without the protruberance under my trigger finger. But there was now a hole all the way through the frame - big lint magnet. So, I went to a machinist friend and had him machine a part that would fit through the frame and occlude the holes, yet would not block the trigger bar extension. This way, I can put the safety back on any time I want to, yet I can shoot the gun in comfort. The machining came to $30, and I cold-blued the part to match the rest of the gun. It looks like it belongs there.

I sent off to Poland for some original grips. $20, postpaid on PayPal from Robert Kruk (, for those who may be interested). He sent me some gorgeous new grips last week. They needed fitting, however, so I got out the Dremel tool and managed to get the left grip panel on. (I then managed to break the right grip panel, which bums me no end, since these original grips have the Radom factory logo on them. Fortunately, the thumb-rest left grip had been replaced, so the pistol now feels proper in my hand.)

This weekend, loaded up with the 1/3 of a case of Romanian 7.62x25 ammo that I bought (split the case with two other friends) last week, I hit the range. Wow, what a nice shooting gun. The '80s Romanian ammo (surplus from AIM) is hotter than S&B commercial (just judging from report and recoil - never have replaced that chrono that got shot in the early '90s ), and was quite accurate and completely reliable. I was interested to see that I actually shot it better offhand than off the bench (1.5" 8-shot groups at 10 yards offhand). The supersonic report of the 7.62x25 (the 88-gr bullets are coming out the front at at least 1400 fps) drew folks over to see what I was shooting, and all who took a few shots with the gun agreed that it was quite pleasant to shoot.

The Toks really are great guns to shoot. The sound is sharp enough to let you know that you've launched something of consequence, the round is reasonably accurate, the bottlenecked round is incredibly reliable (I've never had a jam with this or any other bottlenecked pistol round), and the recoil is so minimal that you'd be happy to shoot the gun all day. One of the better plinking rounds, that's for sure.

Anyway, I'm a happy boy. I've got my Polish Tok (my ".32 Automag" ) in great shape for my use, I've got a fresh batch of ammo that's terrific to shoot: the world is my oyster! I'm sure you feel the same way. :)

March 15, 2005, 09:23 AM
Great gun for a great price! The only Toks I see around here are the Chinese knock-offs and they're going for more then what you paid!

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