Norinco 213 (9x19)


June 6, 2011, 11:59 PM
I picked one up, because I saw it, it was relatively cheap and because I liked the look of it.

Now, I am examining it even closer and this is what I'm seeing.

The trigger is very crisp and light. There's nothing more to it.
The sights, while small, are no smaller than the average unmodified mil-spec 1911.
The safety lever while odd engages very positively and after a few practice "draws" from the low ready can be adjusted to.
The magazines cycle a round by hand with no problems, but I haven't shot it yet.
While there is wear on the rails and where the metal rubs it seems neither damaging nor intrusive.
The finish is used, but clean and undamaged.

Am I missing something? I went online and ... lo and behold! The reviews are devastating. I even read one where some guy claims the manual (which I can't seem to find, even online) states it is only good up to 2000 rounds.
Maybe I'm just really lucky, but when I bought my Helwan as well, I heard nothing but bad things about a gun that ended up working quite nicely.

I *know* the internet is full of bad reviews, but please, educate me on these things. How are you supposed to carry one? Cocked and locked? Are they drop safe? why the hate? Bad steel, how much does it matter? Edumacate me please?

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June 7, 2011, 12:29 AM
I have had a couple. They are not bad pistols. Note that there are two types of magazines, a long one that is the same as the standard width Tokarev with a spacer inside the magazine to move the 9mm rounds forward and a short magazine where the spacer is in the magazine well of the pistol. If you have one with the short magazines you can remove the spacer and use the longer 9mm mags. I have found that in the past the longer mags were easier to obtain, but I don't think that is the case these days.


June 7, 2011, 03:21 AM
I've got a couple that I bought when one of our gun stores bought out a huge amount of the last of them. They were selling them off for a whole $99 each. I got two to play around with developing my gunsmithing skills. Turns out that they are a very nice gun and have a design that is brilliant in it's simplicity. What other gun besides the Tokarev and its clones can have the whole action simply lifted out for cleaning once the slide is field stripped away?

The safety, on the other hand, was a horribly done after thought. If I hold the guns with the now standard two hand hold where the gun sits deep in my grip the slide is riding right on the inside of my right hand thumb. A few shots and the recoil has pushed it against my thumb enough to switch it to "safe" and stop it shooting. As a result I removed them since mine were only intended for range duty. But since I can't shoot them with the safeties in place and they are single action I can't use them in my competitions. So I'll be selling them very soon to make room for other toys.

June 8, 2011, 12:09 AM
So ... did some research here.

I read somewhere on the interwebs, holder of all that is true and untrue, that there is a bunch of ways to actually carry one of these.

One is to have no round in the chamber, with the hammer down.
Another is with a round in the chamber, hammer cocked and the safety engaged.

This is both pretty standard, but there's supposedly another way, which involves a round in the chamber with the hammer at half cock? Is that drop safe?

Talk to me, folks! I am dire need of some edumacation before I go shooting tomorrow.

June 8, 2011, 02:54 AM
I had a Norinco 213 that suffered from a poorly heat-treated frame and slide that wore out in well less than a thousand rounds. Thinking back on it now, I am inclined to believe that it was not even heat-treated at all given the way it chewed its self apart. A little peening of the steel here and there seems to be normal for the Tokarev design, but not severe deformation of slide and frame contact points! :eek:

I don't believe my case was an isolated one either, as I have read and heard similar stories... so where there's smoke there's at least something smouldering somewhere. However, I have never personally seen another one as bad as mine was, and a good friend also has a 213 of the same vintage that is still trucking along.

So yes, there are some spectacularly bad examples of this pistol out there, but I doubt it is as bad as handful internet posters would try to make you think. If it shoots good, carry on. :cool:

As to carrying one of these guns, and I'm speaking to T-33 style pistols in general, I wouldn't. Why I wouldn't is a personal thing, but if I were to I've always viewed the half-cock as being these guns "safe" ignoring whatever hodge-podge safety was added on later. In half cock, the slide is locked, trigger is locked, and if you ever take one apart the half-cock notch is huge. As to being "drop safe" ... I doubt it, anything can happen and it has no active firing pin block. Ugly as it is, I'm not about to drop my Romanian Tok out the window to test it either. :p

June 8, 2011, 01:32 PM
Norinco = Communist China

'nuf said:fire:

June 8, 2011, 01:49 PM
Amin ... Is now a good time to tell you that I'm an import to the US, myself?

June 8, 2011, 01:57 PM
Norinco = Communist China

'nuf said

China is communist in name only these days. For the most part they're capitalist these days. They're a capitalist fascist state rather than a capitalist democracy, but nonetheless - "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need." ain't what they're practicing. Cuba and North Korea are the only countries really left these days still trying to actually be communist (mostly because, as you might figure, on large scales communism simply doesn't work).

Anyways - that aside, I have a buddy at work that has one of these that he enjoys. He got it for $50 a few years back because some widow (who had apparently begrudgingly put-up with her late husband's firearms hobby) had it and "just wanted that gun out of the house".

From speaking with him though his doesn't like to feed hollowpoints IIRC.

June 8, 2011, 01:59 PM
Talk about lucky ...

June 8, 2011, 05:02 PM
If your pistol ever DOES wear out, you can take the barrel, bushing, and spaced magazines and put them in a Romanian Tokarev and it will work perfectly. I have the 9mm parts for my Tokarev, though I prefer to shoot it in its original 7.62x25 caliber.

June 8, 2011, 05:56 PM
I put about 800 rounds through one. No abnormal wear was found and reliability plus accuracy was pretty good with FMJs. Hornady 'Critical Defense' loads turned it into single shot pistol (about 3 stoppages per magazine fired). Mine took special short mags which were available from Numrich for about $25 a piece.

June 9, 2011, 09:38 PM
Just got back from a really quick ops check. Really odd results:

First magazine with 8 rounds, all reloads:
trouble chambering the first round, one triple feed, two jams, one of which didn't set off the primer

Second magazine with eight rounds, all reloads:
one jam

Third magazine, with eight rounds, all reloads:
rapid aimed fire, no problems

Fourth magazine with eight rounds, all reloads:
by the time the first piece of brass hit the ground, the seventh was out of the gun, no problems

So, frankly I don't know what to think of it. those last two magazines were amazing! Smooth gun, better shooting than even my 92D, mild recoil, sweet trigger, what's not to like?
Is there really such a thing as "warming up" a pistol after it's been sitting around for too long? Because I think I just saw exactly that. Of course for real results we'll wait how it'll hold up to my full-sake-bottle-of-ammo test.

June 9, 2011, 11:14 PM
Sounds like weak mag springs to me

June 10, 2011, 11:07 PM
The main thing to remember about the Norinco 213 is that the safety is unreliable. The manufacturers may not have admitted it, but I have three 213 mechanisms, all built differently because the gun makers kept trying to find a safety system that would work.

When I carry a 213, the chamber is empty.

June 12, 2011, 02:32 AM
The safety on mine is pretty rock solid ... I've tried getting ti to fail, but haven't found a way, yet.
I'm still really intrigued by the notion of a half cock being a safety mechanism.

June 12, 2011, 03:00 AM
I also have a Norinco 213. It functions perfectly, although the blueing is pretty poor.

CDNN has Norinco factory 213 mags for 19.99 and has a $5.00 flat rate shipping for your whole order.

June 12, 2011, 03:19 AM
Here's my 213

I really like it, the design is very innovative and functional. Mine doesn't jam at all, and is accurate, I have yet to bench it on paper, but I can hit pop cans at 25 yards and better.

I would agree that the steel doesn't seem as hard as good quality 1911, it just doesn't have that nice ring to it when you cycle it. However, I'm guessing it's going to be good for thousands and thousands of rounds. I've got about 500 rounds or so through it, and there is no appreciable wear on any working parts, ie slide, frame rails, recoil lug, bolt face or barrel locking lugs. The original Tokarevs cartridge is pretty intense, generating more than 40,000 PSI, which is more than the 9mm generates. I don't think the 9mm pushes these pistols quite as hard as the cartridge it was originally designed for.

On the downside, I will say that the Chineese 213 isn't made quite as nicely as the european counterparts. I can look down the inside of my barrel, and its kind of wavy down the bore, unlike any of my eastern block made weapons, which are perfectly straight. Anyhoo, strangely, it really doesn't affect the accuracy much if at all. I like just the same. I just made a set of walnut grips for it, and I just love the new look, I played with it around the house for a couple of weeks afterward, and can't wait to take it out shooting.

It's interesting about eastern block weapons (and their clones), they're crude, but IMO, they are probably some of the best designed guns in the world, they're made to work, and made easy to work on. Growing up in the 60's and 70's we always heard how the commies made crap for everything they produced, and they weren't very bright either. We should be more careful not to underestimate our enemies. I wouldn't question this pistol's ability at all as a serious defensive sidearm.

June 12, 2011, 08:53 AM
Norinco = Communist China

'nuf said

Do you also avoid Wal-Mart, China's largest source of income? Wal-Mart sells new Chinese goods, which greatly profits the country from which they come. Buying a used item here that was originally made in China, such as a Norinco 213, does not.


Does yours shoot consistently well with the same two magazines and screw up only with the other two? If so, you most probably have magazine problems. Specifically, just how does jam? For example, does the shell hit the chamber too high? Too low? Do you get light strikes? What?

If you're getting multiple feeds, maybe the mag lips are bent out and up a bit.

I have a 213 and love it. It's the most accurate center-fire semi-auto I have. It shoots like a target gun. I did have to get rid of a small burr on the slide when I got it but it's never faltered since in 5 or so years and thousands of rounds.

I've read how the Russians, when testing the TT33 design, dropped them on the hammer from a third story roof onto concrete, so I'm ok with relying on the half-cock. The safety on mine was a little sloppy so I just removed it. I haven't tried all types of HP ammo with it but it's been flawless with Pow'rBalls.

June 12, 2011, 03:09 PM
new norinco's here in canada are all forged A500 steel... better stuff than 4140.
accuracy is generally the same for mil spec.

also no such thing as MIM parts for the new norinco stuff... their bad rep is out of date... like 80's hyundai VS 2011 hyundai.... huge improvements but still not a lexus

enjoy it "tork's" are fine and fun

June 13, 2011, 09:46 PM
Yup. It was the mag. One mag chugs the rounds out without blinking once and the other tends to jam on about the fourth. Once in a while. Not constantly, but not often enough for me to notice.

So, this being said I am a real fan. This thing is thin, carries eight rounds of 9mm and has a quite nice trigger. Now. Do they come in compact too?
Holster options? Cheap magazines?

June 14, 2011, 07:45 AM
Google "Zastava M88." They're making them with a shorter barrel for commercial sale.

Go here and make sure you click on "English":

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