Tokarev TT33 FTE after installing new barrel


May 12, 2013, 03:20 PM
I have a Chinese version of the Tokarev TT33, a Type 54 made in 1967. It is a bring back from Vietnam my Dad had. I have shot Winchester, Wolf and S&B ammunition through it flawlessly. Since it was an original barrel, I decided to change to a NOS found online, just to keep wear to a minimum if it matters. The only physical difference was this new one was blued on the outside. I went to the range with Wolf ammunition and had FTE every time. Put the old barrel back in, fired perfect everytime. New barrel back in, FTE. I have now replaced extractor/spring assembly and put a wolf recoil spring in. Still a FTE every time. The brass is fine with no dents in the casing. Someone suggested lightly polishing up the chamber to see if it is just a tight chamber being new and all. I polished it for about 5 minutes with 600 grit and finished with 1000 grit. No change today. Still FTE every time.
Any suggestions?

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May 12, 2013, 03:59 PM
Which caliber is this Tokarev in? Chinese Tokarevs come in both 9mm and 7.62x25. Try working the action quickly by hand to see what happens.

May 12, 2013, 04:09 PM

May 12, 2013, 06:49 PM
Racking the pistol several times works fine. With rounds in the magazine they all eject fine with me sliding it back and forth. Is it possible it is just the ammo? Wolf Ammo good, bad?

May 12, 2013, 10:13 PM
Wolf ammo should be fine. My Romanian Tokarev that I refitted with a brand new Chinese chrome-lined barrel eats it just fine. Eats everything, in fact. It's odd that you're having extraction troubles. The Tokarev design normally can eat anything. Best guess is that you may have a defective barrel with a slightly undersized chamber or an improperly milled extractor cutout. Those are the only two real possibilities.

Maj Dad
May 12, 2013, 10:18 PM
Not to be trite or simplistic, but if it ain't broke... you know. The barrel will last at least as long as the slide and frame, provided you clean it & don't let it rust. I don't know why you went to the trouble to change it, but I seriously doubt it is either necessary or helpful (and sure didn't help reliability!). I'd replace the original barrel & fire at will, then clean it.
George J.

May 12, 2013, 10:24 PM
Maj Dad, a lot of these original barrels are heavily damaged from corrosive ammo, particularly if they saw actual combat.

Jim K
May 12, 2013, 11:49 PM
I feel dumb even asking but the new barrel is 7.62x25 isn't it? What you report is what would happen if the 7.62 ammo were fired out of a 9mm barrel.


May 13, 2013, 01:29 AM
I have seen 9mm ammo shot in a 7.62x25mm barrel.
I have seen 7.62x25mm ammo shot in a 9mm barrel.
Both jam the gun.
The 9mm cores out and leaves the jacket in the chamber... with no increase in pressure!
The 7.62 ammo shoots, but is wimpy and jams.

I have seen pistol barrels that are stretched out up inside and the extractor cannot pull out the formed brass.
I have not seen any chamber so rough that that happens, but it is possible.

I have grown suspicious of any on line description of jamming. Too often failure to eject was really failure to extract, and vice versa.

We need very detailed description of the jam. Not high speed photography, but where the fired and jammed case winds up.

May 13, 2013, 05:27 AM
When I fire it, I have to manually pull the slide back to get the casing out. The slide doesnt move back at all after firing. Thats as detailed as I can get.
No dents or markings on the casing. I also have two different magazines, the original and a new one from Norinco.
Here are some pics, new next to old barrel. ( ( ( (

May 13, 2013, 08:14 AM
If I had to venture a guess, the first place to start would be lock up. From what you describe, to me it seems as though the gun is not unlocking. As such there is some fitting required, the tricky part now is figuring out where.

May 13, 2013, 09:50 AM
While lockup would almost make sense, he has no trouble pulling the slide back. The Tokarev uses a 1911-derived Browning-style action. It's literally just a typical Browning delayed-blowback, so any lockup issues would also manifest when the slide is racked manually. One thing I have noticed about my Tokarev is that the lockup is incredibly smooth. Much smoother than a 1911. Lockup issues with these pistols would be almost unheard of.

Now, with that in mind, I would say check your barrel link. It may be slightly out of spec. You may need to swap the link with the one from your old barrel. If so, you will need a gunsmith to press out the pin. You can substitute a 1911 pin once you get it out.

May 13, 2013, 10:19 AM
Hhmm, the link may be out of spec? The size of the hole? Or where it puts the barrel within the gun? Just curious where it could be wrong.

May 13, 2013, 10:21 AM
The size or positioning of the hole. The links for 9mm and 7.62x25 are different. It's possible you may have a 9mm link. It's also possible it's just defective.

May 13, 2013, 10:22 AM
Thanks. Weird how it could be off enough to do this.

May 13, 2013, 11:14 AM
Here are your pics back, cropped and with gamma correction.

The chamber does not look rough, the part I can see.

The extractor relief cuts are different.

Are you using wimpy ammo?
How far do cases fly from the barrel that works?

May 13, 2013, 11:33 AM
The old, silver looking barrel, would send the cases about 5 feet away from me. I was using Wolf ammunition which is PPV? So the relief is cut wrong? How can you tell

May 13, 2013, 11:59 AM
It may just be distortion in the photo, but it appears that the forward edge of the standing lug is further forward on the dark (new) barrel and that the link pin hole is also closer to that forward edge. Either way, looking and guessing won't get you an answer. Careful measurement of ALL surfaces is required.

4v50 Gary
May 13, 2013, 12:34 PM
Got a micrometer?

Measure the height of the locking lugs and the diameter of the barrels on both guns.

Got a caliper?

Measure the length of the locking lugs and the inside diameter of the chamber. Use the depth portion to see where the rim stops on both barrels. Also, measure the height of the cut for the extractor cut out in the barrel. Measure those links and see if they are the same length. Also measure those pivot pin holes for distance from the end (where it is flat) to center of hole. I'd also like to know the distance of the pivot pin hole to the outside bottom of the barrel. The height of the block too.

Maj Dad
May 13, 2013, 11:30 PM
I fully appreciate the challenge of figuring out why it doesn't work (been there, done that way too often!), but I refer to my original observation of using the original barrel. You will wear it out if you fire thousands of rounds through it without cleaning or maintenance; otherwise, it will shoot till you are tired of it. And, it works.
Maj Dad, a lot of these original barrels are heavily damaged from corrosive ammo, particularly if they saw actual combat.
Judging by the pictures, WW, I'd say that barrel avoided damage. I haven't felt the need to change the barrel on any of my old warhorses, and I have several I shoot frequently. If it's that collectible or a treasured heirloom, I wouldn't shoot it (have a couple of those, too).

Again, just my 2 cents, from an old soldier suffering heavy damage from a lot of corrosive activity running up & down Korean mountains... ;)
George J.

May 14, 2013, 11:50 AM
Since I am not an engineer/gunsmith, a friend at work is going to reverse enginner the good barrel into CAD and compare to new barrel. He is a gun enthusiast, so he knows allot. But if there is any specific measurements, please let me know.

May 14, 2013, 11:55 AM
MAJ Dad, I am with you. The barrel shot around 250000 rnds at West Point over seven years. The Gun people there kept it up. After we left WP, it hadn't been fired since 83. Barrel looks great, and a gunsmith said she was a great gun,and in great shape when I had it checkd out before firing.

May 14, 2013, 04:25 PM
In that case, Steve, put the original barrel back in and don't worry about it. Shoot away. You'll never wear it out as long as you use new commercial ammunition.

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