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just got my first Russian TT-33

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by skipbo32, Dec 10, 2015.

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  1. skipbo32

    skipbo32 Member

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    i just bought this today at my local gun shot. it's a 1940 Tula Tokarev (TT-33). it doesn't have any import mark or import safety switch. i am assuming it is a refurb, as the blueing is excellent. even the barrel is blued......and the blue-job looks "plum" in color. all parts are numbers-matching except the barrel, which is chrome lined. the grips do not appear to be Russian, as they are missing the "star/cccp" logo. i am thinking they are Polish?

    anyway.....i am assuming it is a "bring-back"....or found it's way here through Canada, as it has no import mark.

    i paid $600 for it. not sure what the value is, but i took a gamble.

    now i just need to get some 7.62x25 ammo:)


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  2. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    skipbo32

    Looks to be in great shape, even if it's been refinished. Probably not all that many Russian Tokarevs, especially those made in 1940, survived the war. Nice find; now find some ammo for it and give us a range report when you get chance.
     
  3. skipbo32

    skipbo32 Member

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    here are some updated pics. i put some wood Russian grips on it.

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  4. Tallball

    Tallball Member

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    Awesome!
     
  5. glove

    glove Member

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    Looks good with the wood :)
     
  6. GBExpat

    GBExpat Member

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    That is one clean-looking TT-33, skipbo, nice acquisition!

    Certainly looks better than my '44 & '45 Izhevsks ... probably about the same as my '52.
     
  7. Candyman87

    Candyman87 Member

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    Awesome, I'd love to find one without import marks or that awful safety. I've got my C&R ready to go for it too.
     
  8. giggitygiggity

    giggitygiggity Member

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    How much did that bad boy cost you? It looks to be in excellent condition!
     
  9. skipbo32

    skipbo32 Member

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    cost me $620 out the door. right now i am trying to solve the mystery of the plum blue color.

    here are some pics next to a normal blued gun, to contrast


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  10. Jim K

    Jim K Member.

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    The plum color is a common result of using regular hot salt bluing on some alloys of steel; it can also result from running the bluing tank at at the wrong heat or using the salts too long.

    FWIW, I have never seen a Russian "Toke" that was any color but that thin bluing they all have, so the "plum" isn't original.

    The "no star" grips might be Chinese or repros.

    Jim
     
  11. skipbo32

    skipbo32 Member

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    thanks for the comments Jim. there is some documentation of 1937 and 1938 TT-33s with plum blued slides. it was a mistake in the re-arsenal process. here is the only link i know of, as the topic is as rare as the guns:
    https://www.facebook.com/zenitco/posts/990061877724119

    when you say "original finish"....do you mean the finish it was issued with or just a Russian finish in general. i am trying to lean the terminology. i know Toks that were kept in the arsenal storage would get serviced every ten years or so...even if they were not used. some would get re-blue jobs ect......and i have heard that certain Com Bloc rifles that had plum-blue finishes were considered Post-War finishes. so when you say the finish is not "origninal"....do you mean it was refinished state-side by a civilian gunsmith or it doesn't have the "as issued" finish?

    and the lack of import marks confuses me. does Canada get imports w/o markings? if not....that would lead me to believe that the gun is a "bring back" that got refinished state-side by it's owner. the plum blue, to me, reaks of a Commie finish of some kind....but that doesn't negate the fact that it can't be replicated here in the States.

    the grips in the first pics are Polish, so my thinking is that if someone was trying to "fake" a rare plum Russian finish then why the Polish grips? the barrel is blued with shiny chrome lining and has no serial number which makes me think it's Chinese. i don't believe the Russians ever had chrome TT-33 barrels.

    the gun is an odd bird for sure. i am just trying to figure out the value of it. seems like one of those things where it was either a nice War Trophy that some American civilian ruined with a DIY finish or a rare Russian Excalibur....or somewhere in the middle.
     
  12. PabloJ

    PabloJ member

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    the gun is an odd bird for sure. i am just trying to figure out the value of it. seems like one of those things where it was either a nice War Trophy that some American civilian ruined with a DIY finish or a rare Russian Excalibur....or somewhere in the middle.[/QUOTE]

    $300.
     
  13. skipbo32

    skipbo32 Member

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    ^^^^ you're smokin crack
     
  14. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Member

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    I concur a bubbified Tokarev

    $300 and it may take awhile to find the right Tokarev buff to pay even that.
     
  15. skipbo32

    skipbo32 Member

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    sorry....not trying to toot my own horn here....but a pre War Tula TT-33 with stamps this nice is worth more than $300, regardless of finish. i think you guys have been out of the game for a while. we are not in the 80s anymore. maybe in Canada that's the price......but in the States, a non-import marked matching pre War Russian Tok goes for about double that. i am not an expert and i am not 100% sure what the gun is worth.....but i know what it is not worth.......and it's not worth under $500.
     
  16. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Member

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    Any intrinsic collectors value went out the window with the rebluing.

    This gun is now "just a Tokarev" just like you cannot demand an original premium on a mixmaster refinished shooter grade Luger

    The same market forces were in play on this "made in the USSR" Spanish civil war mosin that had been sporterized.

    It would have been worth a chunk unmolested. But I was able to buy it for $200 instead

    HPIM0877.jpg

    Were the gun unmodified your assessment would be spot on. But you simply are not accounting for the refinishings affect on value
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2015
  17. skipbo32

    skipbo32 Member

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    i understand all that. and i understand that the Tok does not have an "as issued" finish. i still disagree with you on your appraisal regardless of the finish. but how can you tell it has a civilian finish as apposed to a Russian factory re-arsenal finish?
     
  18. tark

    tark Member

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    skipbo32, If you're happy with the gun, why would anyone criticize you because they thought you paid too much for it? It's your money! Be happy with it and enjoy it!

    It does appear to have been re-finished, and the reason is obvious; I have never seen a Russian Tok where the metal is as smooth and well polished as yours. Most Russian Toks are as rough as a cob on the outside, with tool and machining marks everywhere. Yours has been polished by someone who knows how to polish. The serrations on the slide are crisp and clean, not washed out by some Bubba with a floppy loose wheel. The ends of the slide are not belled out, same for the front of the frame. The stampings are not washed out from a loose wheel, another sign that someone knew what they were doing.

    And the plum color? Jim K explained that pretty well. Another cause would be this; hardened steel often won't take the blueing well, and turns a plum color. Anyone who has ever tried to blue an M-1 receiver using hot tanks knows this. Another reason is with many cast parts, silicon is added to the metal to make it flow into the mold more freely. 1911 safeties and slide stops are notorious for this. How many 1911s have you seen with purple safetys and slide stops?

    Toks don't have any cast parts that I know of and frames aren't hardened so it was probably a matter of temps and time in the tank that turned it purple.

    Who cares!!!! Purple is beautiful!! If I knew how to blue a gun purple every time I would call it a custom feature and charge extra! Enjoy your gun!
     
  19. maxxhavoc

    maxxhavoc Member

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    It's a beauty, I would love to have one like it. Where did you get the grips?
     
  20. skipbo32

    skipbo32 Member

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    i never said i wasn't happy with it. i am just looking for advise from those that know more about these things than i do. and thank you for your comments. what you said makes sense. the gun is rather glossy compared to my other Toks.

    i don't feel that i paid too much for it. i just had issue with: to say a Pre-War Tula TT-33 with no import marks or import safety, and has crisp stamps and new-like function is "just another Tokarev worth $300 bucks just because the original finish is missing", is misleading. i know it is a re-finish.......my question is: do you think it's a Russian factory arsenal refinish or a civilian refinish done state side. and i don't think some here understand the difference between an "as issued" finish and an original factory refinish. but what you said make sense. i guess the plum finish had me thinking because i know a lot of East Bloc post War finishes are plum blue.....and there have been documented Tokarevs with plum slides.

    oh well....i will leave it at that. thanks to all that commented.


    here are more pics of the finish


    here are some more pics so you can see the finish more:

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    Last edited: Dec 13, 2015
  21. TruthTellers

    TruthTellers member

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    I've always liked the Tokarev, not so much for the gun itself, although they are really solid like most Russian guns are, but because of the 7.62x25 round. I think bottlenecked pistol cartridges are something cool and I wish that companies would work with the old 7.62x25 and make a good hollowpoint loading for it and come up with some new pistols that shoot it.

    I'd love to see the 7.62x25 in an LCP sized gun; I could see a modern load created to make these fly out of a 3" barrel at 1400 fps easy. That''d be a lot more powerful than a .380 and it'll have deeper penetration and similar recoil.
     
  22. GBExpat

    GBExpat Member

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    I own 3 TT33s and 8 7.62x25 Variants. I really like the pistol design and cartridge ... but ... a hot 7.62x25 in an LCP/P3AT-size/weight package? Just the thought of that makes my hand hurt.
     
  23. GAF

    GAF Member

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  24. tark

    tark Member

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    Skipbo32, those are good pics, and that is the most nicely polished and finished Tok I have ever seen. It has been re-finished, but by who..... Every stamping I have ever seen on a Wartime tok, has raised metal around the stamp. This gun has had the slide polished AFTER it was stamped, notice the absence of raised metal around the littering and the date.

    I'm wondering if just, maybe, the Russians did this, as a presentation piece. Perhaps for a general, or a hero. Did the Russians ever do this? Everybody else did! If that is the case, this Tok may be worth much MORE than you paid for it.!

    Time to do a little research.
     
  25. Panzerschwein

    Panzerschwein member

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    The TTs are excellent serviceable fighting 9-shooters.

    I sure wish my Yugo M70A 9mm 10-shooter was a better gun. I sold it off, just didn't work well at all.
     
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