Tokarev Loads


May 10, 2012, 02:13 AM
I am interested in doing some reloads for a friend's TT-33. Common off-the-shelf ammo with 85 grain fmj bullets (Sellier and Bellot, Prvi) run between 1500 and 1700 fps. I want to replicate this.

However, my Lyman 49th edition manual lumps the tokarev round and the mauser 7.63 round into the same page. BLASPHEMY!!! Thus, to be safe for people who are considering them to be the same (which is only sort of true), the good folks at Lyman give maximum loads that go about 1300-1400 fps.

Does anyone have reliable data for an 85 grain bullet out of a Tokarev at 1500-1700 fps? I prefer to use Unique or 231 if possible.

Also, any info on 55 grain .224 sabot loads might be interesting as well, just for giggles.


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May 11, 2012, 04:38 AM
I don't have any personal experience with the TT33, but I've been reloading for my CZ52s for almost 15 years. Due to the possible differences in strength between these pistol models, I hesitate to share my personal load data. I can tell you that the load data insert that came with my Lee dies shows a starting load of 11.8 grains of Accurate #9 (no velocity given) and a maximum load of 13.1 grains of the same powder for 1927 fps with an 85 grain jacketed bullet. They DO NOT specify a pistol type, barrel length, case or primer.
I'll also add that this data seems a little "warm" for my tastes, before using it, you should check current data sources and verify that it is still a recommended load, and if it is, work up to maximum carefully.
Regarding sabot loads, I'm not sure of the rate of twist of the Tokarev, but I was unable to get satisfactory accuracy even with flat base Hornady 52 grain bullets in my CZ52s. I had better luck, accuracy wise, with .224 Sierra, 40 grain "Hornet" bullets over Alliant Power Pistol powder. However, unless you are very experienced in loading for sabots in general AND in reading pressure signs, I don't recommend that you attempt this project since pressures can get very high, very quickly, with very little warning.
I strongly recommend the use of Starline cases for reloading the 7.62x25 cartridge, while the cases are of lighter construction than S&B, they will last much longer and give better accuracy.
Do not use converted .223 cases, they are too small in diameter and are likely to rupture just above the case head.
Unless you are very familiar with mil surp firearms in general and Colt/Browning pistols in particular, you should consider having a good Gunsmith go over your friends TT33 before you begin to load for it.
Remember, DO NOT trust internet load data, verify from at least two other independent data sources.
Have fun and stay safe,

May 11, 2012, 11:26 AM
swampman is right i have a yugo m57 which is one of the strongest toks out. keep the stuff in the mid 1300s to low 1400 fps with 85gr bullets. stay away from the 95gr or heavier stuff that was made for rifles. these guns are no hot rods just service pistols.

May 11, 2012, 12:00 PM
Just curious why you want to load it that hot. I load for a C96 Mauser, CZ52 and Type 54. The Lyman data will cycle the action on all three so I saw no reason to load any hotter. If your friend has an original Russian TT-33 I sure wouldn't want to risk damaging it.

Anyway, if you do go for it I would suggest using a slow powder like Unique and work up slowly it will be more forgiving than 231. This site lists some data:

May 11, 2012, 04:42 PM
From what I've read, it's the CZ-52 you sometimes have to worry about strength-wise, due to a lack of support underneath the barrel. My friend's TT33 is a Romanian, bought for $179. No rare prize, but she wants to shoot something other than factory ammo, but without sacrificing the "bang" factor. We will reload Prvi Partisan brass. Prvi factory ammo is advertised as being about 1700 fps with an 85 grain bullet, but we don't have a chronograph to check it.

I would imagine that most loads in the 1500-1600 range would be safe, and I can't imagine that Tokarev sabots would be much harder to do safely than sabots in .30-06, which I have done before.

May 11, 2012, 08:15 PM
I've worked up two loads that comes very close to low end military ammo, its not the so called machinegun speed but somehting that shoots well in a CZ-52 ad should do as well in your Tokarev. The first will use the Sierra Sport 85 Grain Roundnose bullet over 7.5 grains of Accurate Arms #7 Powder, the second uses the Hornady 90 grain XTP/HP bullet over 9.8 grains of Accurate Arms #9 powder. I have been making my own brass out of NATO 5.56 brass cut and ran thru a set of lee dies. So far they have not been any problems, they feed clean and eject almost as far as the bullet does.

May 12, 2012, 02:11 AM
IIRC, when I actually chronographed the Privi Partizan 85 grain FMJ factory load, it put out somewhere in the neighborhood of 1450 fps (claimed muzzle velocity was 1722 fps out of a 9.84!? inch barrel).

The S&B factory load of the same weight was around 1575 fps (claimed muzzle velocity was 1647 fps from a 4.72 inch barrel ). The only really significant difference between the two loads was in how far the brass was thrown and how beat up the cases were. Most of the actual mil surp 7.62x25 ammo (including some 1962 Romanian) that I've run over the screens gives velocities of around 1450 fps as well.

The point of all this, is that these pistols, whether Tok or CZ are OLD. Most of them probably haven't been inspected or serviced by a trained armorer in 40 or more years. To expect these old weapons to safely handle loads well in excess of what their respective militaries asked of them when brand new is, in my opinion, unwise. It's not as if the military men and ballistic experts of the Eastern Bloc didn't know that they could get increased velocity, penetration and killing power by adding more powder to the case, theirs was a deadly serious business. There must have been a reason that everyone pretty much kept their velocity and pressure levels fairly close to 7.63 Mauser specs and it probably wasn't because they planned on using the ammunition in huge numbers of captured Mauser Broomhandles.

You say that you can't imagine why it would be any more difficult to safely load 7.62x25 sabot rounds than doing so in a 30-06, so let's leave imagination out of it and talk facts.

1 - 30-06s are generally fired from rifles with strong, multi lug, rotating bolt or falling block single shot actions. These actions are several times as strong as those on a Tok or a CZ.

2 - The chamber walls on 30-06s are, by and large, much thicker and stronger than those of the aforementioned pistols.

3 - 30-06 brass is thicker and has a much stronger head than Tok brass.

4 - The difference in case capacity is huge. A few tenths of a grain overcharge in a 30-06 case with a 55 grain bullet and 5.7 grain sabot probably wouldn't even be noticed. In the little 7.62x25 case, with a much larger proportion of the internal volume taken up by the sabot and a thinner, weaker case wall, a very small increase in charge weight can run pressures up to dangerous levels with no warning.

Please understand that I didn't spend the time typing this up because I want to spoil your fun. When I saw that you were considering loading 7.62x25 sabot rounds without even having access to a chronograph, I became seriously concerned for your safety. At one time I loaded quite a few of them myself, reaching velocity levels that were quite impressive. I was lucky and still have all of the eyes, fingers and teeth that God gave me, you might not be that lucky.

There are lots of bold handloaders.
There are lots of old handloaders.
There are very few old, bold handloaders (and a darn sight fewer that have all of their original parts intact).
Have fun, but more importantly, Stay Safe,

May 12, 2012, 09:22 PM
Plugged this into Quickload, and even with going right to the pressure max it's going to be hard to get 1500fps with an 85 grain bullet. And if you notice the prediction for Unique is only 0.1 grains above what the Lyman book lists.

Cartridge : 7.62 x 25 Tokarev
Bullet : .308, 85, SRA FMJ RN 8005
Cartridge O.A.L. L6: 1.290 inch or 32.77 mm
Barrel Length : 4.6 inch or 116.8 mm

Predicted Data for Indicated Charges of the Following Powders.

Matching Maximum Pressure: 34800 psi, or 239 MPa

or a maximum loading ratio or filling of 100 %

These calculations refer to your specified settings in QuickLOAD 'Cartridge Dimensions' window.
C A U T I O N : any load listed can result in a powder charge that falls below minimum suggested
loads or exceeds maximum suggested loads as presented in current handloading manuals. Understand
that all of the listed powders can be unsuitable for the given combination of cartridge, bullet
and gun. Actual load order can vary, depending upon lot-to-lot powder and component variations.

Powder type Filling/Loading Ratio Charge Vel. Prop.Burnt P max P muzz B_Time
% Grains fps % psi psi ms
--------------------------------- -------------------------------------------------------
Vihtavuori N105 96.8 8.9 1551 96.7 34800 10703 0.414 !DANGEROUS LOAD-DO NOT USE!
Rottweil P806 93.4 10.8 1550 97.7 34800 11426 0.430 !DANGEROUS LOAD-DO NOT USE!
Norma R123 100.0 11.6 1527 86.8 28686 13173 0.460
Alliant POWER PISTOL 82.7 7.8 1525 93.1 34800 10461 0.414 !DANGEROUS LOAD-DO NOT USE!
ADI AP 90 97.4 7.8 1510 99.6 34800 9332 0.413 !DANGEROUS LOAD-DO NOT USE!
Accurate No.9 90.8 11.0 1498 76.9 34800 10500 0.417 !DANGEROUS LOAD-DO NOT USE!
Somchem S221 72.9 9.0 1496 90.6 34800 10095 0.424 !DANGEROUS LOAD-DO NOT USE!
Lovex D-063 68.5 8.0 1494 92.1 34800 9730 0.413 !DANGEROUS LOAD-DO NOT USE!
Accurate No.7 77.9 9.3 1492 85.3 34800 10060 0.419 !DANGEROUS LOAD-DO NOT USE!
Accurate No.5 66.6 8.0 1491 93.0 34800 9641 0.414 !DANGEROUS LOAD-DO NOT USE!
Ramshot Enforcer 100.0 11.8 1481 72.7 31900 10902 0.433 ! Near Maximum !
Vihtavuori 3N37 77.4 7.2 1468 100.0 34800 8384 0.421 !DANGEROUS LOAD-DO NOT USE!
PB Clermont PCL 504 66.7 7.7 1466 98.6 34800 8722 0.418 !DANGEROUS LOAD-DO NOT USE!
Ramshot True Blue 65.7 7.7 1466 98.6 34800 8722 0.418 !DANGEROUS LOAD-DO NOT USE!
Winchester 540 66.6 7.7 1466 98.6 34800 8710 0.418 !DANGEROUS LOAD-DO NOT USE!
PB Clermont PCL 501 72.5 7.3 1465 99.9 34800 8462 0.421 !DANGEROUS LOAD-DO NOT USE!
Alliant UNIQUE 98.3 6.4 1462 100.0 34800 8186 0.425 !DANGEROUS LOAD-DO NOT USE!
Alliant 2400 100.0 10.8 1459 71.4 31473 10464 0.440 ! Near Maximum !
Winchester WAP 70.6 7.1 1455 100.0 34800 8195 0.418 !DANGEROUS LOAD-DO NOT USE!
Ramshot Silhouette 70.4 7.1 1454 100.0 34800 8155 0.418 !DANGEROUS LOAD-DO NOT USE!
Alliant BULLSEYE 75.1 5.8 1454 100.0 34800 7895 0.416 !DANGEROUS LOAD-DO NOT USE!

Hondo 60
May 12, 2012, 11:36 PM
I'm gonna agree with the others.
Loading it to 1500-1700 fps will make for a short life for the gun.
That just doesn't seem smart to me.

I also have a Yugo M57
My standard load is a Berry's .308 110gr bullet over 8.0 gr of AA5
They run in the 1300 - 1400 fps range.

And as far as using cut down 223 brass, I do it all the time.
It fills the chamber on the first firing & reloads very nicely.
Some of my cut down 223 is on it's 5th reloading.
I haven't had any cases fail.
(I lose them long before they crack, split, or have any other defect)

May 13, 2012, 02:25 AM
Guys, I have no intention of using modified .223 brass. I have better and more proper uses for .223 brass, and proper 7.62x25 brass to use that will undoubtedly work better because it's designed for that gun.

That said, I am only trying to EQUAL military and commercial loads, whatever those be, with published data and velocities. Given that the gun has already seen use with Prvi Partisan, S&B, and spam can surplus ammo, I don't believe that there is a safety risk with reloading to military/commercial bullet weights and velocities. With proper data and measurements, this is not a dangerous undertaking provided that the recipe is held to exactly, and that the recipe comes from a reputable source.

56hawk, I am interested in this "Quickload" thing you mention. What is it, and where can I get it? Seems like it could prove very useful...

May 13, 2012, 02:44 AM
I run 90 gr. XTP's out of my CZ at 1,470 FPS with no problems. 12.0 grs. AA #9; It is published data.

May 13, 2012, 02:59 AM
56hawk, I am interested in this "Quickload" thing you mention. What is it, and where can I get it? Seems like it could prove very useful...

Quickload is a computer simulation program that predicts pressure and velocity for different loads. It's really helpful when you are loading without published data, or to double check data. It's kind of expensive, so I wouldn't bother unless you are planning on loading oddball calibers. Here is their site:

May 13, 2012, 05:19 AM
IIRC, when I actually chronographed the Privi Partizan 85 grain FMJ factory load, it put out somewhere in the neighborhood of 1450 fps (claimed muzzle velocity was 1722 fps out of a 9.84!? inch barrel).

I believe this may be an editing error from the metric system to SAE. 9.84 CM = 3.876 IN which seems much more reasonable and in line with the known velocities of this cartridge.

Thank you to everyone for providing some great information in this thread! I am looking at reloading for my M57 eventually and this is all very helpful.

Jeff Holt/
May 13, 2012, 06:30 AM
The 1700 fps data may have been developed using a 7.62 X25 Machine pistol with a ~10 inch barrel - something like the Polish 43.

May 13, 2012, 07:00 AM
Did they make an SMG with a 10 inch barrel?

May 13, 2012, 07:31 AM
My Accurate book shows a max load of 13.1 gr. of Accurate #9 with a Sierra 85 grain Round Nose @ 1972 fps pressure of 41,000 cup. They worked up the loads using a 9 inch Douglas test barrel to get pressure reading and once the max load was determined, it was fired from a CZ-52 to get the velocity.

They tested military and commercial ammo from various sources to determine the max pressure of 42,000 CUP.

Other MAX loads for Accurate #9 include:

HDY 86 gr RN + 13.5 gr Acc #9 = 1913 @ 41800 CUP

HDY 93 gr RN + 12.3 gr ACC #9 = 1779 @ 41000 CUP

SPR 100 Plinker + 12.0 gr ACC #9 = 1752 @ 40800 CUP

SPR 110 RN + 11.7 gr ACC #9 = 1688 @ 41800 CUP


With all of the above published in their load book, I tend to believe the velocities are a bit ambitious.

I did not Crono any, but I have fiends that have and said that the actual velocity was less, I don't remember how much.

This little round has no problem going through 3 landscape timbers or clean though trees that my 44 Mag wouldn't dream of going through.

May 14, 2012, 01:36 AM
OK, so at this point it looks like W231 is mostly out. However, I'm really interested to see more loads using Unique. I don't do very much with AA #whatever, and I tend to have a bit of Unique on hand.

Interesting stuff, guys. For those who use data involving Unique, what seems to be the most accurate load? What is the upper end load?

May 14, 2012, 03:12 AM
The actual barrel length used for testing the 7.62x25 is shown on the Prvi website as 250 millimeters, I simply did a rough conversion before posting to save others the trouble of doing it themselves.
As far as a submachine gun with a barrel of that length the PPSH-41 has a barrel length of 269 mm (10.6 in) and the PPS-43 was 243 mm (9.6 in) long. It's possible that they may have used some Serb or Yugo SMG with a barrel of that length to take their velocities, but since they have the ammunition listed under "Sporting Pistols", I think it's more likely that they're playing games just like American ammo makers used to (and to some extent still do).
My favorite example is Remington and the 6.5 mm Magnum. The velocities quoted in their catalogs were taken in 26 inch barrels, while the only rifle they made in that caliber at the time had an 18.5 inch barrel. Once chronographs became more generally available in America, our ammo companies toned down their velocity claims quite a bit. I don't have any figures to back this up, but I'll make a wild guess that there aren't a huge number of chronos in private hands in the Balkens.
Even in America (maybe ESPECIALLY in America), the average person that goes into a gun store to buy a box of ammunition for their latest toy will tend to buy the one that shows the highest velocity printed on the box. I have a friend that owns a gun store, every fall he has to explain to numerous people why they shouldn't use 110 grain varmint bullets in their 30-06 to hunt deer and hogs.

May 14, 2012, 03:23 AM
Looks like I'm wrong again (oh well)! Swampman I think you are right about rifle ammo although I notice that infrequent shooters at the pistol range often ask for the cheapest ammo they can get.

My concern with loading this cartridge is that the loading information may have been developed for the CZ52 as crazyjennyblack mentioned. I suppose I will just have to just download the charge and have NO fun!:cuss:

May 14, 2012, 03:32 AM

May 16, 2012, 11:55 PM
Personally, I have seen conflicting information about the CZ-52 that leads me to question the belief that the CZ-52 is stronger. An individual by the name of Clark Magnuson stated that he has done some testing using CZ-52's, and wrote a note in reply to the article on this page:

Of course, when reading someone else's commentary, you then find conflicting opinions about the merits of the writer. Read and judge for yourself.

May 17, 2012, 04:34 AM
PLEASE! Let's not turn this into a DIXX measuring contest between the CZ and the Tok, they are both OLD pistols, if they were cars, ALL of them would qualify for antique, or at least "classic" car plates.
I haven't spoken out against trying to equal REALISTIC factory velocities, your statement that:

"Common off-the-shelf ammo with 85 grain fmj bullets (Sellier and Bellot, Prvi) run between 1500 and 1700 fps. I want to replicate this."

Shows that you are chasing the "sizzle" of advertising, not fact. Out of all the "factory" loads that I've chronographed (out of real world, pistol length barrels), the modern Sellier and Bellot at 1575 fps are far and away the hottest, this includes three different samples of the "high powered" Czech military ammo from the 50s and 60s.
The reason that current 7.62x25 data is the same as boring old .30 Mauser data is probably because the original military loads were as well. A few years back there was data published, (often with the admonition of "USE IN CZ52s ONLY") but look around at currently published data, better yet, look at chrono data for the original military loads, they will pretty much show about 1450 fps for an 85 to 86 grain bullet. If you'd really like to get top velocities, look around for some hot 1952 or 53 Bulgarian ammo in pink wrappers. Velocities are much higher and you can probably get a really great deal on some!

I admit that powders have come a long way since the 50s, but every year of improvement in powders has meant another year of age added onto the pistols that separate our eyes, faces and other assorted body parts from the tens of thousands of pounds of pressure generated by their cartridges.

I don't own a Tok myself, but if the sight adjustments are anything like those of my CZs, the only way you can adjust elevation is with a file on the front sight. If you increase the velocity significantly, the sights will no longer shoot to point of aim.
What exactly do you intend to accomplish with the couple of hundred additional feet per second that you want? Is there an animal you wish to hunt that can only be killed by a bullet traveling 1700 feet or more per second? Are there paper targets that can't be penetrated by a bullet traveling a pathetic 1450 fps?
The truth is that just about anything that can be accomplished by a firearm is best done by working on increasing your ability to hit a particular point on your target (please don't flame me here, I'm not advocating the use of .22 Shorts on elephants, obviously power has to be matched to the game hunted). In my job I've seen the results of hundreds of shots on deer and hogs, a well placed .45 caliber round ball at 1300 fps has no problem putting venison or pork in the freezer, a .338 Magnum in the guts produces only carrion.

I'm just suggesting that you load the weapon to the velocities that it was designed for, the same velocity that the sights are regulated for AND the same velocity that will keep you and the people around you on the range safe.

I'll ask you again, what will 1700 fps do that 1450 fps won't?

May 17, 2012, 08:58 AM
Swampman -

If you wish, modify the velocity statement to "1400-1600 fps" if it is indeed more accurate. I should probably buy a chronograph and get some real-world velocity data, especially on the Prvi ammo because that seems to be lacking. Swampman, have you chrono'd the Prvi Partisan 85 grain ammo? If so, I am truly interested in the velocity you found.

A good round 1500 fps is a nice velocity to shoot for, since that is a proven S&B velocity. Also, S&B has already been shot out of this Tokarev.

What will 1500-1600 fps do that 1300 won't? Give us the satisfaction of equaling commercial loads on the market. The whole point of this is "just because we can, and it's already been done" Have you noticed that some publishers reduce loads by 10% and publish it as "new" data? :barf: Just look for all the threads on THR about "wasn't .357 loaded hotter years ago?"

Anyway, this thread isn't about doing anything radical or new. In fact, if anything it's about getting back to older less-lawyered data. Thank you, to those who have provided this information in this thread.

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