Tokarev TT preview lead
The Tokarev TT Empire | Preview

The Tokarev TT Empire | Preview

The 7.62x25mm Tokarev TT pistol inspired variants throughout Eastern Europe during the Soviet era and are still made today!

Fedor Tokarev’s TT design was the focus of an article by Maxim Popenker for the 2015 issue of MILITARY SURPLUS. Aside from examining the original 7.62x25mm design, Popenker looked at the TT’s influence during the Soviet era and the variants produced by Hungary, Romania and Poland.

“The Tokarev TT was designed in 1930 and then modified in 1933, and it was manufactured in the USSR until the early 1950s. As a testament to the design’s longevity, it is still made in countries like China and Serbia (formerly Yugoslavia). When it was first introduced, the TT was a rather modern pistol, simple to make and use, and with good accuracy and reliability. On the other hand, its 7.62mm jacketed bullet lacked the stopping power of larger rounds,” said Popenker.

In describing the TT’s overall design, Popenker noted a significant flaw in the pistol. “The lack of any manual safety (except for a hammer’s half-cock notch) was the major flaw of the design. This was inspired by Cavalry Marshal Kliment Voroshilov, who once failed to switch off the safety on his Browning M1903 during a cavalry charge that took place during the Russian Civil War of 1918-22,” said Popenker. “With this fearful experience in mind, he told the designers to drop any manual safeties, and, not surprisingly, they complied with the ‘words of wisdom’ from the leader of the Red Army.”

Popenker also illustrated the numerous designs inspired by the TT pistol in his article. “After the end of World War II, several Eastern European countries fell under the influence of the Soviet Union, and their newly established socialist governments aligned their armaments with that of the victorious Soviet Army. These countries initially included Hungary, Romania and Poland,” said Popenker. “Each country possessed notable small arms production capabilities and, starting
in 1946-1948, all began to manufacture TT pistols according to specifications and documentation supplied from the USSR.”

To read the full article, check out the 2015 issue of MILITARY SURPLUSavailable on Sept. 9, 2014. To subscribe, go to

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  • GenJim

    PS I’d recommend the newly manufactured Serbian Zastava M57 tokarev pistol.Modern safety features,all parts new,not surplus.Around 220-250 dollars.

  • GenJim

    I wouldn’t put down the “stopping power” of the 7.62X25 round.30 caliber bullets are used on bear,elk,moose and these animals seem to die from little 30 cal bullets.The tok actually has an advantage over the common handgun rounds like 9×19,38 special,357 mag,40,10mm,45acp etc.That is penetration of body armor.A soft ballistic vest of almost all levels will stop those calibers.Only the highest levels of soft body armor will stop the 7.62X25 Tok.A 45 cal that doesn’t penetrate has less stopping power than a 30 cal that does.A Glock in 7.62X25 would be a great combat handgun.The new 22TCM,5.7X28,224 Boz,9X25 Dillon are all threats to armor with FMJ bullets.

  • Michael

    Want a modern high capacity pistol in 7.62×25

  • Jim Phipps

    We ran into these some in Vietnam. They were popular to take home and reliable. Beyond that the Tokarev TT pistol doesn’t have a lot to recommend it for most people.