Finnish Brutality 2-Gun Practice: M39 Mosin & TT33 (Again!)

I’m getting in some more practice for Finnish Brutality this week, once again running a match with the M39 Mosin and TT33 Tokarev that I am planning to take with me to Finland. This time, the match only has 18 shooters, so the match director decided to combine stages together to create two long stages (240 second par times) in place of 4 shorter ones. This was pretty awful, which means it was excellent practice for Finnish Brutality!


  1. There are airgun versions of both these guns That would allow Ian to practice in his kitchen although he would have to leave his fridge door open to imitate finish winter weather lol

  2. OK, the weight simulates what….an ammo can….a load of grenades…a load of molotov cocktails…a load of Finnish C-rations…

    • Probably an anti-tank mine. The standard anti-tank tactic for the Finns in the Winter, Continuation and Lappland wars was to run up to the tank and throw the mine in front of the treads so the tank would run over it. This calls for significant testicular function. A variation in this match would have been to simulate that with the weight.

      • Great video.
        An excellent visual demonstration why “Mosin’s rifle and Tokarev’s pistol are by no means the best devices in their class”.

      • The choice of TT33 for this match is not incorrect, since large amounts were used by frontline Finnish troops who captured them. They were, however, not officially part of the Finnish Army inventory and no ammunition supply in 7.62x25mm was ever arranged. Browning 1903 would also be correct, although the numbers in Finnish use was rather small (less than 1000 pistols). Also, the momentum of 9mm Browning Long is not higher than 7.62x25mm, because the bullet mass is only 110 grains and it’s subsonic (about 320 m/s or 1050 fps).

        The best choices apart from the Lahti L-35 pistol would be Browning High Power (in 9x19mm) or the Luger either in 7.65x21mm (.30 Luger) or 9x19mm. The latter was much less common, but of course used ammunition that is much cheaper and easier to find today. I don’t know if Ian owns a Luger, but if my memory serves he does have a High Power (probably post-war production, but still close enough).

  3. Let’s see, you’re practicing in sunny, dry Arizona when the air’s not even cold enough to see your breath, in preparation for a match in Finland later this month. You really ought to run that course in parka, snow trousers, and Finnish ski boots. And winter goggles, just in case the sun shines on all that Finnish snow.

    Also, while I’m handing out free advice: you might try feeding those #%*+@! stripper clips with your left hand, perhaps turning the rifle 90 degrees to the left. Nothing will ever make them easy, of course, but you’re accepting more handicap than you need to.

  4. Is there any reason why the TT33 was chosen over, say, a Lahti L-35 or Husqvarna M40 (which I would think to be a more reliable pistol)?

    Thanks — love these Challenge Event videos! Randy

    • Ian said that in the earlier video that he doesn’t own a Lahti pistol (and presumably does not have access to one, either). Although, like I wrote in my earlier post, a Browning High Power would also be a valid choice. With 2,400 examples it was actually the second most common pistol chambered for 9mm Parabellum in Finnish use (after the Lahti of course), and the large magazine and heavier bullet would make it better than the TT33 for the 2-gun match even excluding reliability issues.

  5. The impulse of the bullet of the military cartridge 9×20 after the muzzle is about 2,4.
    7,62×25 about 2,3. If it were TT cartridges. With 7,63 cartridges, the impulse is less.
    And taking into account the decrease in speed at a distance, even less. In addition, slower bullets give better momentum due to less deformation.

    Swedish steel has one unpleasant property, it ages over time. Therefore, shooting from the original L35, even with soft cartridges, is fraught with the destruction of the bolt.
    Not the best choice.

    Luger looks good enough.
    There were about 10K of them in Finland. And a significant part of them are for the 9×19 cartridge.

    • I suppose you used 340 m/s for the 9mm Browning Long, which is the highest muzzle velocity I could find for it. Many sources give only 320 m/s. Latter one might be commercial load and former the Swedish military load. I wonder what muzzle velocity you used for 7.63x25mm. 440 m/s is commonly quoted (5″ barrel) and would give a momentum of about 2.4 kgm/s with a 5.5 gram bullet. Modern Prvi Partizan has a V0 of 460 m/s and high chance is that Ian is actually using that. It gives a momentum of approximately 2.5 kgm/s.

      The actual lesson here is that the momentums at muzzle for 9mm Browning Long and 7.63x25mm bullets are practically the same. The latter probably loses a little more velocity with increased range as you said, but at typical pistol firing ranges even that advantage for the 9mm Browning Long is going to be quite small. 9mm might give slightly better momentum transfer, I agree, but still the difference is likely to be minimal. One would have to go to 9x19mm with 125 grain (8 gram) bullets for significantly higher momentum.

    • 415 m/s is a quite low muzzle velocity for modern 7.63x25mm loads, which is what Ian is using, not no longer available historical military loads. The source you give has a table of modern commercial loadings at the end under “Availability”, which I have reformatted for better readability in this medium:

      Manufacturer Type Bullet weight Velocity Barrel
      S&B 7.62×25 85 grain 1,647 ft/sec 4.7 inch
      Fiocchi 7.63×25 88 grain 1,425 ft/sec —
      Prvi Partizan 7.63×25 85 grain 1,509 ft/sec 5.9 inch
      ” 7.62×25 85 grain FMJ 1,722 ft/sec 9.8 inch
      ” 7.62×25 85 grain JHP 1,673 ft/sec 9.8 inch

      It has been a long time since any other manufacturer has made 7.63 Mauser ammunition, so we can be almost sure Ian is using either Fiocchi or Prvi Partizan.

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