Monday, December 11, 2006

Vintage gun pinup No.1


1948-vintage Polish-made Pistolet TT, aka "Tokarev".


Imported by Tennessee Guns in Knoxville, this Tokarev is one of the relative few that bear the "FB Radom" logo rather than the "Circle 11" Warsaw Pact country code for Poland. (Only those made in '48 and '49 had the former.) The Tokarev, designated Wz48 by the Poles, remained the standard Polish military sidearm into the '60s, when it was replaced by the P-64, which was a PPK-esque pistol chambered for the 9mm Makarov cartridge.

Other than the serial number and year of manufacture atop the slide, the small proofs in the triggerguard area, and the serial number on the left rear of the frame, these guns are devoid of markings. They also show a level of fit and finish unusual in a mid-Cold-War Warsaw Pact firearm.




LEFT: Polish Wz48 Tokarev. Photo by Oleg Volk.








As an interesting aside on the perils of believing everything you read, in a sidebar in the second edition of the Standard Catalog of Military Firearms, gunwriter Charlie Cutshaw praises the Polish Tokarev as the most comfortable variant to shoot, stating that the Poles had equipped theirs with thumbrest grips and a manual safety. This is untrue, as the crude manual safety (which only blocks the trigger) and the thumbrest grip were retrofitted by the importer in order to gain enough "points" to be importable under the handgun provisions of the Gun Control Act of 1968; the pistols originally had flat grips and no manual safety. The embarrassing sidebar disappeared in the third edition of the Standard Catalog, but the description still lists the Polish Tok as a "Polish copy with manual safety", and Cutshaw's sidebar is repeated almost verbatim elsewhere on the 'net. Don't believe everything you read.

20 comments:

BobG said...

Looks like a no-frills, no-nonsense type of working pistol. It would seem to also be made to draw smoothly; I notice the pistol seems to be smooth and lacks a lot of corners that could snag. How is the trigger and accuracy on it?

Anonymous said...

I keep coming back here just to look at this.

Guess I should just swipe the photo and head for the bathroom....

Very Nice, would love one.

Conservative Scalawag said...

Nice specime of Russian weapons. Plus I learned something about them. Thanks.

Oleg said...

Tam's Tok in studio. What a beauty!

curious said...

reference site for Mosin nagant shouls include the following:

http://7.62x54r.net/

http://www.russian-mosin-nagant.com/

Anonymous said...

I'm waiting for more!

You write well, even at age 39... ;-D

Anonymous said...

Been trying to bait Xavier about toks, apart from grip angle, they have everything a pistol should and none of what it shouldn't.

Anonymous said...

I bought a ST. Etienne M LE M16 today. Would appreciate information on historical data, use, what is it worth now?

Tennessee Budd said...

Tam, you're my favorite Old Arms guru (not, of course, the same as an old Arms Guru--you're younger than I), and I didn't have another way of putting this question to you, so I did it here:
Could/would you point me toward a source of info on the 7.5mm MAS? A computerless friend just got one (a '39, he says, but I haven't seen it--I understand the contract wasn't accepted, so I dunno), and I want to help him out. Many thanks whether or no. TB

Jonathan said...

great site. Lots of info.

do we have any new posts in the works?

Hunter said...

Tam,
In remote Ketchikan there lies a mil-surp grail, a 1941 Johnson rifle. The owner will entertain any offers over 2999.
Covetousness is a warm, fuzzy feeling.

WW said...

I just wanted to say thanks for dropping by my site and commenting. I'm not really that into guns, but I wanted to say thanks.

Habbs said...

The Polish Tokarev is one of my favorite pisols. From a rested position, I have shot 8 inch groups at 100 yards. A good shot could do much better. I use my Polish for bulls-eye league every summer and never fail to place high.

The Polish Toks seem to be the best of the lot.

Anonymous said...

Interesting stuff. especially since i've handled or owned most evry weapon on this blog(or seen one and thought WTF?)
Am posting to fish for some assistance as a webhead I'm not and couldn't figure out how to send a direct e-mail. I have a beautiful southpaw Sedgley '03 scnabbel foreend etc. It has a Lyman peep made in the fifties when the rifle was made. A besotten bedlamite dropped the rifle and broke the windage adjustment screw. Anyone know any sources for vintage peep sights or parts?

Tam said...

My best suggestion would be to call CCA (where I work) and ask to speak to Joe or Shannon in gunsmithing. Joe is there weekday mornings from 10 'til noon, and Shannon works Tues-Sat, 10AM-6PM.

7.62x54r said...

I really love these improved 1911s myself! ;-)

John of Argghhh! said...

Woot! A Radom-built one! Mine is a Circle 11.

But she's a nice shooter.

John of Argghhh! said...

Snerk - I should read the whole thing before I comment... since I got spanked in the depths.

As I understood it back when I wrote the post - the Poles did it.

Yes, for the importer, to get them into the country, but I was told the Poles did it.

But I see reading it some years later, it looks like I was implying that the it was done as an issue item.

"The Armorer regrets the error."

I'll go relook the post, and if nothing else edit the comment.

Anonymous said...

At least the Polish Toks' stupid import safety is relatively unobstrusive, unlike the oversized atrocity that got stuck on the Romanian ones.

Anonymous said...

The best Tokarev in the market is from Serbia - yugo Tok - M57...

long guide rod, longer grip and more comfortable in the hand, holds 9 rounds