Romanian Tokarev or CZ52??


November 4, 2008, 08:10 PM
My local dealer has a nice Romanian Tokarev in the case she is selling for a customer. I can probably snag it for about 325 but if I do, something has to go. The only think I can stomach parting with is my CZ52. Which one would you guys choose and why?

BTW, if it was chinese or russian we wouldn't be having this conversation. I would have just whipped out the credit card and let the wife be mad. I already did that a few weeks ago with a Norinco 1911 so "GET BOTH" really isn't an option right now. She has been VERY generous this year and in fairness I have to choose one or the other.

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November 4, 2008, 09:00 PM
Jon, not to derail your plans, but I figured I'd run this by you as it could save you a pretty penny.

SOG is currently offering the Romanian Tokarev for $219.95 with 2 magazine and holster (item #SHG-RTOK). It's also C&R eligible.

SOG International 1-800-944-4867
Catolog #211

November 4, 2008, 09:45 PM
Get the Tokarev.

November 4, 2008, 09:52 PM
Holy crap. I will definitely have to check that out.

And I haven't made plans yet. Good advice isn't going to hurt me at all. Its just the first time I really handled a Tokarev and honestly I liked it a lot.

November 4, 2008, 09:56 PM
either one is a hand cannon, i love my cz-52

November 4, 2008, 10:01 PM
Romanian toks are nice...but Polish toks are the cream of the crop:) Jon_in_wv I sent you a PM about a source for them!

I have a polish tok and its like shooting a laser out to 40 yards!

November 5, 2008, 04:47 AM
TTs are way better than CZ52s in my experience. The quoted price is way too high. Polish TTs are the best as was said.

Carl N. Brown
November 5, 2008, 08:36 AM
I passed on a Tokarev back in the 1970s (guy had a VietNam war
bringback) not that I didn't want it but that I had one wife and two kids
to take care of first. I now have a CZ52. To the question Tokarev
or CZ52, my answer is both.

November 5, 2008, 10:29 PM
I have both. I couldn't think of parting with either. I like my Romanian TOK, however, I have had more than my share of problems with the *%#^& safety on the TOK. Just a word of concern.

November 5, 2008, 11:09 PM
Remove the safety; it's easy. That safety was put there as an afterthought, to satisfy some regulation for import. My Norincos (54-1 & 213) are minus the safety and they're problem free. The pistol was designed with a very safe and very stout half cock so one can keep one in the chamber w/o accidental discharges.

November 6, 2008, 06:28 AM
Get the Tok. I paid $150 for mine four years ago. It had never been fired.

I remember just two years ago you could get a nice CZ52 for under $100.

Why the big price increase on these guns the last 2-3 years? Is it availability or the idea that the 7.62x25 can penetrate light body armor?

Anyway the Tok is an all around superior firearm. The CZ52 is a good firearm but bigger, uglier and more things can go wrong with them. They have a more complicated action with roller bearings, many of the safety/decock levers are dysfunctional and the firing pins break.

I love my Polish Tok.

November 6, 2008, 07:35 AM
I would say availability. I don't think anyone is out there paying more for "armor penetrating" guns.

November 6, 2008, 07:49 AM
I've seen some of the chinese Toks advertised very cheaply. What is the story with them? Can the 9mms be converted to 7.62? Why are they cheaper than the Polish and Romanians?

November 6, 2008, 08:48 AM
I have Norinco Toks, a 7.62 Model 54-1 and a 9MM Model 213. The 54-1 was unused, in the box with papers and cost me $233 on Gunbroker. The other, a 9MM 213, cost me $200, I think. It wasn't unused but it was barely used.

The reason that they're cheap is that they were made for commercial sale in the U.S. about 15 or so years ago when there was very little of the ammo available. Then, Norinco was banned from selling here because their company officers were trying to sell weapons under the table, military rocket kind of stuff, I believe, to some of our enemies while they were here in the U.S. They got caught.

Anyway, these Norinco pistols have just sat around, virtually unused, popping up for sale every now & then. The steel Norinco used is actually harder and better than that used in the other Toks; it's a better gun. Also, used Com Bloc pistols, no matter how well they are re-arsenaled, could have decades of use or neglect under their belt. The Norinco 54-1 & 213 pistols will usually be in much better shape with very little miles on them.

I think that they're still cheaper nowadays because they were never a military pistol and maybe because there seems to be a persistent misconception floating around that says that the Chinese make cheap-o weapons, quality-wise. As much as I dislike China's horrible government, I have to admit that my 54-1 and Norinco SKS are really great weapons and well worth the money. Once I tried a Norinco SKS, I sold my Yugo and never looked back.

Anyway, I'll take a mint 54-1 over a used service-issue European Tok anyday. I would like to have a Russian one w/o the added safety and import marks but I haven't the money for it.

A note about CZ 52s: I have two of them, one chromed and one standard. As issued, yes they do have some definite quirks. But, with the Harrington trigger and hammer kits, they become a whole 'nother ballgame. Also, the magazines may need a bit of tweaking, especially a good pinch on the floorplate to keep it from migrating off of the magazine while firing. I view the CZ 52 as similar to a 350 CID Chevy engine. OK to begin with but what a platform for a build! I have $275 or so (total) into the pistol below. It's like a little rifle, ballistically, and with the Wolf hollowpoints, it really tears a major hole. I'd rather have a CZ 52 in good order than a 1911 45ACP. I know, everyone start yelling at me for blaspheming so flagrantly....

November 6, 2008, 12:06 PM
:) That WAS bad, yurt.

While I would never trade any eastern block pistol for a 1911 I do like them for recreational shooting.

I have one CZ 52 left now and it's got the aftermarket Harrison (?) firing pin AND rollers in it to keep it honest. The thing is a blast, literally, to shoot.

I also have a 9mm Norinco 213 and three mags that is so reliable that I carry it sometimes. It's as skinny as a Colt 1903 and I tore it down to hone every working surface and make the trigger good enough for a match pistol. That one is a real sleeper because it's somewhat funny looking with it's slick hard plastic grips but it shoots as well as most any auto pistol I have. I bought the Norinco for $200. at a show, and have never paid more than $120. for a CZ52.

November 6, 2008, 03:09 PM
I find that the CZ52s work really well for scrap metal. I haven't found another productive use for the springs or the plastic grips, though.


November 6, 2008, 08:19 PM
Jon_in_wv my polish tok converts easily between 7.62 to 9mm. I picked up a 9mm norinco barrel w/ link and 9mm bushing plus 2 9mm norinco type 54 mags for less than $50. Now all I do is switch out the barrel/bushing and load 9mm into the mags and then enjoy:)

November 6, 2008, 10:52 PM
I converted my Tokarev to 9mm myself,didn't even bother to block the magwell,and use 9mm mags,it still uses the original 7.62 mags,and it runs flawlessly with any 9mm ammo,even mixed milsurp,and is as accurate as my favorite Browning High Power.

November 6, 2008, 11:01 PM
I also put Tokagypt grips on mine,with a houge hand-all for texture,and it points as naturally as a 1911.

November 6, 2008, 11:13 PM
The czs are a lo better than people give them credit for.
They are not "overly complicated" and "prone to failure"

hell, you have one. don't sell it, but find somewhere else to get a tok. they are cheaper elsewhere.

November 7, 2008, 10:47 AM
FWIW I would probably trade my cz52 for a nice Tok, although I'm more likely to end up owning both. There is not much pride of ownership with the cz52 but times will have to get really hard before it's worth selling. These are too low dollar to agonize over.

November 7, 2008, 12:08 PM
I agree. I think I'll be shopping for a good deal on a Tok and I'll keep my CZ. Heck, my CZ is superbly accurate. Its not the most reliable as the safety seems a little loose and it occasionally takes two whacks at the primer to get it to fire. That being said its not a carry piece so I can live with that.

November 7, 2008, 02:46 PM
Stick a tiny washer or two on top of the hammer spring and the hardest primers will never need a second hit.

November 7, 2008, 03:30 PM
you might need to lube the firing pin and or make sure the pin is not chipped. mine does that on occasion, but only because the pin was hanging up a bit.

November 7, 2008, 08:58 PM
I have both and like both a lot...... but I find I'm more accurate with the Tokarev....

November 7, 2008, 09:22 PM
Yep, I also shimmed my mainspring by adding 2 small hex nuts to the hammer strut and my misfires disappeared. I've only used Romanian surplus and S&B in my gun and both work perfectly. It's worth mentioning that my pistol shoots very low with 7.62x25 but is extremely accurate with a 9mm barrel installed.

November 7, 2008, 11:27 PM
Well.... I'm one of those CZ52 owners, and well, they ARE ugly..... but hey, that 30 tok rounds gets attention at the pistol range :evil:

So, now I have to send my C&R to SOG, looks like.... but I gotta ask you boys who have a 9mm switch kit for yours - where do you get the barrel and such? I know Clark, who prowls here often, speaks highly of what hot loads a Tok can take (more than the CZ52) so I'm getting itchy to buy one. It'd be great to have a 9mm barrel so I can have it bored to 9x23..... :D

Could you guys please post where you're getting the Norinco barrel? Thanks...

November 8, 2008, 05:18 AM
I picked mine up from a seller (bigwoodrunner) on gunbroker.

John E.
December 5, 2008, 11:05 PM
I'd also like to get a 9mm conversion kit - looked on Gunbroker, but didn't see anything.

Any other suggestions?

On Edit:

Looks like I found a supplier site:

I've seen references to the barrel swap as being a 'drop in' change - it is really that easy?

December 6, 2008, 06:57 AM has LOTS of tok parts. Also check out and for the parts.

December 6, 2008, 06:16 PM
Get the CZ. I personally like it better than a Tokarev, though a Tok is a beast of a gun.

December 6, 2008, 07:49 PM
I've seen references to the barrel swap as being a 'drop in' change - it is really that easy?

John E. YES it really is that easy:) When you takedown your 7.62 after cleaning drop in the 9mm barrel and bushing! Then load up the 9mm type 54 mags. Just remember that you NEED a link, link pin and bushing...not just the 9mm barrel! These guys seem to have the whole shooting match here

December 14, 2008, 12:27 PM
In my humble opinion, CZ52 has two fatal flaws, one fixable and the other unfixable. When CZ52 started to show up in the early 2000, a lot of my friends purchased them because they were dirt cheap and looked really sturdy. Plus it fills the void for 7.62 x 25 rounds since Tokarev was getting scarce at the time before the Polish/Romanian Toks showed up. Then people started posting that CZ52 firing-pins were extremely fragile and would fracture after 5 -10 dry-firings. That problem was easily solved by replacing the pin with a US made one. Then posts started to show up depicting fractured CZ52 slides, not when firing Czech submachine 7.62 x 25 but when firing US-made 7.62 x 25 designed for handguns. I have examined my friend's CZ52, and despite the over sturdy construction of the slide, the one area where the delayed recoil mechanism is located at is extremely thin. 7.62 x 25 round contains a lot more powder than the 9mm Para, and if you look at the slides on a P38, which is much thicker than that area on CZ52. The Germans later thickened the slides on their P1 due to infrequent P38 slide fractures. In my opinion, the reason that CZ52 firing pins are so fragile is because their carbon content is too high, which makes it very brittle. I was wondering whether the CZ52 slides are made from the same steel as their firing pins, which augmented by the thin area near the delayed blow-back mechanism is causing a lot more slide fractures. Thus I would only shoot 7.62 x 25 in a Tokarev. I may be paranoid but I like to play it safe.

December 14, 2008, 02:05 PM
I'll also confirm that the 9mm swap is just that easy. It is a no brainer. If you can break the gun down for cleaning then swapping barrels is just a matter of pressing out a single pin and reinstalling the barrel bushing and rollers over the new barrel. These are not precision tasks that require special tools. No other changes required. I had to dry fire one or two hundred times to break the firing pin. Makes me wish I'd kept it on hand for emergencies instead of destroying it!

Perhaps the firing pins are simply over hardened? Even with too much carbon in thy alloy it could still be annealed to a lower hardness. It could be worth trying for someone who has too many original firing pins laying around. I'm not a blacksmith but you could try removing the hardness by heating the tip of a firing pin bright red/dull yellow and allowing it to cool as slowly as possible (covering in sand, allowed to cool in a very hot oven, etc.). The original pins are cast, not forged, if I recall. I don't know how this would affect the annealing process but I imagine all steel is cast at some point in it's life on it's way to forging....

March 6, 2009, 09:33 PM
The Tokarev is basically a Browning design. the barrel is mighty strong as is the pistol overall-much stronger than the Czech CZ52 ( the CXzech Army didn't even like it).
Barrel swaps between 7.62x25 and 9mm. Any cartridge with a 9mm diameter can be made to shoot from the Tokarev. Versatile pistols. Did I mention they are strong?:)

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