Norinco 9mm Tokarev: Should I get one?


November 15, 2011, 12:11 AM
Do any of you guys own one of these or have experience with one? I don't know much about Tokarevs, and I've never really looked at them before, but I recently encountered a 9mm Norinco for sale for $170. The price is what caught my attention, as well as the fact that it's a 9mm. So I started wondering about this gun, and a whole host of questions came to mind: Is it a good buy? Is the quality good? Is it reliable? Is it reasonably accurate? Would it be a viable defensive weapon? Would it break on me when I need it most? Is it easy to find parts and mags for? Will it feed hollowpoints? Will it handle higher pressure ammo? Is this a gun that will last for many years with moderate use?

I could probably think of many more questions if I really thought about it. I know that Tokarevs, like most communist-made guns, tend to be a little rough, but I'm more concerned about function and ruggedness than I am about looks. If commie guns like AKs, SKSs, Mosins, etc have a solid reputation for durability and reliability, could I expect the same from a Chinese 9mm Tokarev?

Apparently the steel they're made of is weak, but I don't know if that's true. It seems that Chicom guns generally aren't as high quality as Russian and Eastern European stuff, but still pretty good. This one appears to be in pretty decent shape. So what do you think? Is this a good gun for the money? Suppose it was you and it was your money, what would you do? Buy or save up for something better?

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November 15, 2011, 12:51 AM
I put about 1400 rounds through 213 and have not noticed any excessive wear to metal parts. It was quite accurate and very reliable with fmj ammo. It would not feed most brands of JHP ammo. I would not mind picking up double stack version if the price was right.

November 15, 2011, 12:57 AM
Mine is a Norinco 54 -1 tokarev . Fired around 1300 rds into now and no failures. I had some empty casings stuck in the chamber but its more of oversized case of Romanian surplus. The 9 mm barrel it came with i sold off. I like the 7.62 tokarev cartridge . The gun is not high quality as expected but they are utilitarian in design . In fact , i have the gun as my truck gun loaded with FNM hps. In case it got stolen its not too expensive. And the round is hot loaded which i like for a handgun .

November 15, 2011, 02:03 AM
I've got two of them since they sold off a bunch of them for stupidly cheap up here about two years ago. I don't shoot them much because the laughable safety kept putting itself on due to my two handed grip. So I removed the safety on both of them. But of course this makes the guns inelligable for any sort of competition shooting.

I bought them originally as they were cheap enough that I could use them to put my metal working background to use and learn a little about gunsmithing and doing trigger jobs. I'm happy to report that both guns survived and came out as nicer to shoot guns than they were when new.... :D

In any event if used as a carry piece I would not trust the safety on them because it's too easy to brush it to the "use" position because of its shape. And as I found if you use a high two handed hold it digs into the web of your thumb badly as well as the thumb keeps pushing the safety forward when shooting which puts the gun into safe mode. For me this occured after about 4 to 6 shots. It's purely an afterthought. And a very poor one at that. So you need to carry and use the gun as if it were a regular Tokarev. That is, a single action gun without any sort of safety on it.

So that would mean you'd need to carry it either in Condition 2 or 3. Condition 3 would require you to rack it during presentation like the Isreali draw. Condition 2 would require you to remember to cock the hammer during presentation. And to hope your thumb doesn't slip off before the hammer catches the sear and cause it to fire before you intended.

From a pure performance standpoint the Norinco 213's are rather roughly made. But what they lack in eye candy they make up for by being decently accurate and consistent at producing groups that are at least as good as most of us can hold.

My final thought is that as a cheap range toy it's not a bad gun. But because of the safety issues related to it being a single action gun without any sort of trustworthy safety it's a dead loss as a carry piece.

November 15, 2011, 01:12 PM
MCMX...If you kindly tell me where there selling this abomination i will gladly mean make sure that its taken off the shelf ASAP.:)

November 15, 2011, 02:39 PM
I've had a 54 in nine mm for twenty years. It's the only nine I own. Accurate and never a problem. Fit and finish is similar to the comblock pistols. For 170 get it. As to chinese steel, people were building custom .45's on norinco frames for years.

November 15, 2011, 02:53 PM
Wish I'd never sold the 3 Chinese 7.62 Tokarevs I used to have. They went bang every time, and they were accurate.
LGS commandos always told me they were junk and would wear out in 5,000 rounds.
Mine must have been defective. They lasted over 5,000 rounds of surplus ammo each, and are still going strong with their current owners.

November 15, 2011, 04:28 PM
I love mine. LOVE IT!

It has eaten some pretty shoddy reloads and a bunch of factory ammo with no hickups past the first two mags that seemingly just needed to be used again.

Stylish guns, good price and affordable ammo? What's not to like?

As for the safety issue I gather that the gun is designed with a half cock safety. Meaning you load up a round, set it at half cock and at least on any of the ones I have ever seen, this locks both the slide and the trigger. When drawing, just cock the hammer as you bring it to position 2.

November 15, 2011, 05:11 PM
Back when these guns were imported in large numbers, the American public were so skeptical of commie guns just as they look crude and not aesthetically appealing. They were despised from the very start. So much prejudice and misconceptions of their quality to last that long that , even importers and gun writers warned these guns will only last a certain number of rounds fired. This were all BS talk and rumors spread like wild fire. But once people who owned them started to find out they do last long even beyond thousands of rounds, then opinions changed

Rapid fire on these guns are so cool, and fast !

November 15, 2011, 05:50 PM
This has been argued over and over, but Tokarevs were designed to be safely carried on "half cock," due to the unique design of the hammer and sear.

The half cock notch on a Tokarev hammer is extremely beefy, waaay more so than the usual half cock notch found on other weapons. The sears are not delicate peices of metal, either.

When the hammer is engaged on half cock, it fully locks the action closed so that the only way to activate the pistol is to fully cock the hammer. Furthermore, you can apply as much pressure as you can on the trigger; It will not be enough to break the sear or half cock notch due to their massive construction.

The thumb safeties added to the Norinco pistols were actually copies of the safeties added to the Hungarian made Model 1958 Tokagypt 9mm pistols

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