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.30 carbine vs. 7.62 Tokarev

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by M249MachineGun, Apr 29, 2006.

  1. M249MachineGun

    M249MachineGun Well-Known Member

    This is probably an easy one, but I couldn't figure it out.

    Which of these are the superior cartridge? Which would be superior in a PDW or handgun platform?

    I know that the tokarev is regarded as a decently powerful handgun round, and there are handguns chambered for the .357 magnum-like .30 carbine.

    I'm guessing that the 7.62 tokarev feeds slightly more reliably due to the bottleneck shape.
  2. Ohen Cepel

    Ohen Cepel Well-Known Member

    The 7.62 should feed much better and has the advantage that it fits into a pistol (if that's a concern). Also, not sure here, but I think the 7.62 would penetrate better.

    I'm a big fan of the 7.62. I have a carbine and it's a great little rifle. However, I'm not real fond of the round myself.
  3. M2 Carbine

    M2 Carbine Well-Known Member

    The 7.62 Tokarev is about a 80 grain bullet doing about 1500fps.

    The 30 cal Carbine is about a 110gr bullet doing about 2000fps from a rifle and probably a couple hundred fps less in a pistol.

    So the Carbine has it in power.
  4. Steve C

    Steve C Well-Known Member

    The 7.62 Tokerov is a high pressure Soviet rendition of the .30 Mauser which was designed as a handgun cartridge. The .30 carbine was designed as a ...well,,,carbine cartridge, and its case is quite a bit longer than the .30 Tokerov as well as operating at a slightly higher pressure. The few handguns designed for the .38 carbine have been large pistols like the Ruger Black Hawk or the AMT Automag III. The 7.62 Tok is more "pistol" size and you can find Soviet and Polish surplus military service handguns chambered for it.

    I've had a chance to shoot a Chinese 7.62 Tokerov that a friend of mine owns and it has quite a bit of pop to it. Quite similar to shooting a .357 mag with light bullet. He says its a very reliable gun that's never jammed on him and he can get about any gun to jam including my Beretta 92 that been 100% reliable for me becaue he has a tendency to limp wrist when shooting. He took the Tokerov to shoot some steel target one time and the range monitor told him he'd have to quite using it because it was damaging the targets.

    I've never had a chance to shoot a .30 carbine pistol but have been at the range next to a guy shooting one. The muzzle blast from the .30 carbine is as bad as a .50 S&W.
  5. R127

    R127 Well-Known Member

    7.62x25 Tokarev is my favorite pistol caliber, but one in need of a good modern platform. It's got many things going for it, such as high energy, flat trajectory, high capacity, light weight and outstanding penetration. All of these attributes make it excellent caliber for an urban environment where the ability to engage multiple enemies through light cover such as car bodies is important. A properly designed jhp could make the most of its energy and avoid overpenetration. It could be teamed up with a carbine in the same caliber and be a handy medium game round for the survivalist. Lots of potential.

    For a PDW I'd opt for the Tok only because it is slightly smaller and less powerful and therefore can be put in a smaller gun. .30 carbine is also a great round, but it competes more directly with the 5.56 which is the better round to go with out of the two if you're talking about a military already equipped with a 5.56 rifle.

    A Ruger Blackhawk in .30carbine teamed up with an M1 carbine would be an excellent pistol/rifle combo for a minimalist survivalist, especially if he were a handloader and could create low powered loads for bunnies.
  6. Roadkill

    Roadkill Well-Known Member

    I shoot them both, have a 1964 Chinese Tokarev complements of Cambodia in 1970 and a 1951 Russian Tokarev complements of local pawn shop. The pistols are not expensive but not cheap by any means. Steel frames, well made, flawless in function, flat and very easy to carry. Only problem I have is with the safety. The round is hot and flat shooting. The guns are accurate. My M1 carbine is a 1944 Inland, is also completely reliable and accurate for me up to 250 yds. Can't do that with a pistol. Plus the 15/30 round magazines for the M1 carbine are much preferred over the eight round magazine for the pistol.

  7. erh

    erh Well-Known Member

    No real comparison - One is vastly superior in both bullet weight, velocity & Foot Pounds of Energy @ the receiving end. That is not to say that either one is "Better" than the other. Look back over the coarse of several decades of history; both rounds have done their jobs as intended; MANY times over...

    Eric Howland
  8. Dave Markowitz

    Dave Markowitz Well-Known Member

    It's really an apples/oranges comparison. The 7.62x25 was developed as a pistol round and later used in SMGs. The .30 Carbine was developed as a rifle round and later used in pistols.

    For use in handguns the 7.62 has the edge if you're not a handloader. Factory .30 Carbine ammunition is loaded with an 18" barrel in mind. Shooting it in a typical handgun length barrel gets you very severe muzzle blast and flash. AAMOF, during WW2 the Army tested an N-Frame S&W revolver chambered for .30 Carbine. The muzzle blast was so loud it was considered unsuitable for issue.

    7.62x25 handguns have impressive muzzle blast but nowhere as bad as those in .30 Carbine.

    Also, the 7.62x25's shorter length (.30 Carbine is 7.62x33 in metric) allows you to have a smaller grip on an autoloader.

    The M-1 Carbine is the original "PDW." It was conceived as a weapon to issue to non-infantrymen so that they'd have something more effective than a pistol. Most other armies during that time who wanted a PDW issued SMGs but for some reason we were different. The M-1 Carbine is a more powerful weapon than any pistol caliber SMG, and for that reason I'd take one over any SMG ever issued if I needed a gun for defense.
  9. Gas Operated

    Gas Operated Well-Known Member

    The 7.62x25 needs both a good modern platform, and some good modern bullets. It should be easy to get reliable hollowpoint expansion at this round's velocities.
  10. ARTiger

    ARTiger Well-Known Member

    I shot a couple of clips of 30 carbine through an AutoMag once. Kinda like a 22 mag on steroids. Very loud sharp crack and unpleasant jabbing recoil. My buddy with the AutoMag said it did 1800 fps with a 110 grain bullet.

    Haven't shot a Tokarev, but wouldn't want to shoot the 30 carbine much out of a pistol, that's for sure.
  11. EddieCoyle

    EddieCoyle Well-Known Member

    The .30 Carbine clearly has the edge ballistically speaking but from a practical standpoint, it's a lousy handgun cartridge.

    I own a Blackhawk in .30 Carbine and have fired an AutoMag III (it feels like you're holding a 2 x 4). Both of these guns - especially the Blackhawk - are loud flamethrowers, making quick and accurate follow-up shots next to impossible.

    Given the choice between the two, you're better off with the Tokarev. However, there are many cartridges that are way better for a PDW (and cheaper to shoot) than both of these.
  12. Winter Borne

    Winter Borne Well-Known Member

    I'm in the process of building an AR upper in 7.62 tok. I'm converting a lower to accept the PPSH 36 round mags. I'll post pictures when I'm done, then follow up with a range report.

  13. BHP FAN

    BHP FAN Well-Known Member

    ''I'm in the process of building an AR upper in 7.62 tok. I'm converting a lower to accept the PPSH 36 round mags. I'll post pictures when I'm done, then follow up with a range report...''

    That is the coolest project I've heard of, yet!
  14. batjka

    batjka Well-Known Member

    "The 7.62 Tokarev is about a 80 grain bullet doing about 1500fps.
    The 30 cal Carbine is about a 110gr bullet doing about 2000fps".

    Tokarev cartridge does 1500 fps from a pistol barrel. 30 Carbine does 2000 fps out of a rifle barrel.

    What you should be comparing is rifle barrel to rifle barrel. I can't find any published data on what a Tokarev round can do out of a 18" barrel. Hopefully someone somewhere tried that and recorded the velocities. THEN, we can compare it to the M1 Carbine data.
  15. Shear_stress

    Shear_stress Well-Known Member

    The figures I've seen bandied around the internet, for whatever they're worth, don't grant the 7.62x25 much of an increase in velocity out of a rifle length barrel--from ~1400 fps in a pistol to about ~1600 fps out of a PPsh-41.

    Could be that, as far as current surplus or factory loads, the old Toke is generally hotter out of a pistol and the .30 Carbine out of a rifle. Doesn't mean someone couldn't come along and develop a raging Toke carbine or .30 Carbine pistol round, though.
  16. -v-

    -v- Well-Known Member

    From most tests I've seen, 7.62x25 does closer to 1500 out of a 4.5" of a CZ52 or TT33.

    As for ammo selection, yes the 7.62x25 is a crazy penetrator, with some estimates pegging it at being able to do 32" of gel versus 29" of a 9mm ball. However, the one thing to note about 7.62x25 is it acts like a rifle round and begins to tumble once it hits, thus it produces wounds that are far in excess of its actual diameter, with the largest cavity forming at about 8" penetration.

    My take on this is as follows: Most of your jucy organs are recessed back in your body. JHPs tend to produce lots of damage up front and then slow down and make a rather unimpressive channel towards the back. The x25 makes a unimpressive wound up front and a very impressive wound towards the back.

    From an anatomy standpoint, that is more desirable since you're more likely to disrupt organs and still have enough energy to do a number on the CNS if you hits the spine.

    The late tumbling of the x25 also may result in some rather large and nasty exit wounds, leading said goblin to bleed out that much quicker, if he's still kicking.

    Overall, I would put x25 FMJ up there with .45 hard-ball as far as efficacy goes.

    7.62x25 TT FMJ gel test

    147gr Golden Saber JHP for comparison.
  17. doubs43

    doubs43 Well-Known Member

    Many years ago I shot a cylinder full of .30 Carbine cartridges through a friend's Ruger Blackhawk. It was as unpleasant a cartridge for a handgun as could be imagined and I vowed to never shoot that cartridge from a revolver again. I've owned an M1 Carbine and qualified Expert with one in Air Force Basic Training before the switch to the M-16 took place. The carbine is a fun gun and quite pleasant to shoot IMO.

    The original 7.63 Mauser cartridge gave approximately 1420 fps from the Broomhandle pistol. The Chinese and Soviets loved the old C-96 and retained the cartridge when the Tokarev pistol was designed. They may - or may not - have stepped up the load somewhat. The Czech Vz-52 (CZ-52) OTOH used a cartridge (M-48 IIRC) that was significantly more powerful than the original Mauser or Soviet/Chinese cartridge. It reportedly develops 1600+ fps from the Czech Vz-52 pistol. In fact, the Czechs have rebuilt their Vz-52 pistols because they shot loose under the pounding of their cartridge. If you own one, you'll likely find that the pins have all been staked during the rebuild.

    Those who own a C-96 would be wise to shoot only commercial 7.63mm cartridges through it or reload with a proper load. Shooting military surplus is risky IMO and shooting the M-48 Czech cartridge will ruin your Broomhandle.

    The .30 US M-1 Carbine was developed as a replacement for the 1911A1 pistol AND the M-1 Garand for junior officers and NCO's in combat units.... Infantry and otherwise. It was intended to give combat leaders a lighter weapon than the Garand and a longer range option than the pistol. Some praised it's virtues and others complained that the cartridge was ineffective. The truth is likely somewhere in between the two extremes.
  18. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member


    I would love to make a PDW with perhaps a 10" barrel using the 7.62x25mm. I think it makes a much more effective PDW round than 5.7mm. (I believe a Bizon-3 7.62 would be more effective than a P-90 at half the cost.)

    As far as rifle-length barrels, the M1 Carbine may have a slight edge.

    Winter, I'd love to see that. When I was attached to the ODA, 7th Group had a PPSH-41 in the arms room. One of the 18Bs said he'd love to take it on missions, but they couldn't get any ammunition...

  19. Dr.Rob

    Dr.Rob Moderator Staff Member

    Hard to compare apples to apples when you can't find a reliable long arm in 7.62TT.

    That Bizon is a seriously interesting arm for a number of reasons. The 66 (I think it's only 42 in 7.62mm) rd helical magazine for one.

    Biggest probnlem with .30 Carbine as a pistol round is the hand guns chambered for it are kind of clunky. Sure it FITS in a super blackhawk but thats not exactly a defensive arm.

    Bottom line then, 7.62 TT is a better pistol round, .30 Carbine is a better carbine round. Neither has a wide variety of bullets or platforms to choose from. I suspect the carbine, as designed has longer reach than what you could 'push' a Tok to do with modern powders.
  20. Jim K

    Jim K Well-Known Member

    The reason that there have been so few handguns for the .30 Carbine is that conventional handguns won't stand up to that round, and the few that will are so big and heavy as to really be in different class from conventional handguns (e.g., the TC Contender). It is a relatively low power rifle cartridge, but it is a rifle cartridge.

    The 7.62x25 is a pistol cartridge, and a good one but, in spite of a lot of myth, its pistol loading is not superior to the standard 9mm Parabellum, and is inferior to the 9mm +P.

    Like some other cartridges, it is loud and has a lot of muzzle blast (created by failure of all the powder to burn in the barrel), and that makes many people think it is superpowerful.


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