North Korean Type 70 Pistol at RIA

The “Hermit Kingdom” of North Korea has a number of somewhat unusual military firearms that are not quite direct copies of anything else, but we very rarely get to see example of them up close. Well, here is an excellent exception: RIA is selling a North Korean Type 70 pistol at the upcoming Premiere auction. The Type 70 was intended for high-ranking officers, replacing the Type 64 (which was a copy of the Browning 1900). The Type 70 shows features from the PPK and Makarov, as well as other elements not taken directly from existing designs. The hammer is an exposed single-action type, and the muzzle profile is very reminiscent of the Makarov. The action is simple blowback (in .32 ACP, despite the 7.62mm marking on the slide), but the barrel is set in the side and easily removed, instead of being fixed to the frame as is typical of blowback pistols. The safety is a cross-bolt button which doubles as the block holding the barrel in place. The Type 70 is quite comfortable in the hand, and probably nice to shoot given its .32ACP chambering.


  1. To me it kind of resembles a Cz52 externally, crossed with a Makarov. The barrel would move rearwards slightly upon firing also presumably, as it does for dissembly. 7.62 markings, the Cz52 was 7.62x25mm hmmm that wee recoil buffer thing… Hail the dear leader! “Thought I better get that in, incase Pyongyang is reading” Tap, tap, tappity tap, interesting piece.

  2. The barrel has its own return spring. İt may have delaying grooves inside the chamber and explains why not constructed in temponary fixed manner. This pistol should be a friction delay blowback handgun. At instant of firing, the case side walls set in the groves cut
    in the chamber and barrel and slide travel rearward until the highest pressure drops. If so, the grooves take place in middle section of chamber in annular or longitidunal form and do not extend forward into the rifling zone if cut in latter configuration.

    • Do you mean the wee “recoil buffer” pushes the barrel back to it’s original position- Because it has moved back upon firing Strongarm? While the slide continues rearward. I can see that… Just wondering why it moves back at all “apart from for disassembly, which might be the reason” possibly some sort of delaying feature, perhaps as you allude to.

      • I mean it’s not a bad idea, as a dissembly method given it doubles as a safety… Perhaps it’s just that.

        • The weak .32″ACP needs no delaying action but Korean 7.62mm may be hotter. In this form
          pistol resembles to HK4 that some barrels of which having this kind of delaying grooves but no rearward motion. However, ill fated old Kimball had a similar construction and new Kell-Tec PMR-30, also but without inside grooves. Confusing in short.

    • Although the spring compresses against the barrel, so the barrel would stay back while the spring was compressed I think. Then when the slide is forward, the barrel catches up via it’s return spring maybe. The magazine looks a bit long for .32acp unless it’s just me, hmmm… Ah, maybe thats to do with the barrel being further back as above at the time of a new round being chambered.

      If a 7.62x25mm case wasn’t bottle necked, would it be .32 cal internal diameter- No?

        • Ta. “That’s a colloquial term for cheers used within certain English – U.K English speaking areas of differing dielects”

          • I thought pretty much all of the American/ English .32 pistol rounds (.32 ACP, .32 S&W Long/ H&R Mag, .32-20, .32 Rimfire) were actually .30 caliber/ 7.62/ 7.65 just as the “.38” family (Special/ Super/ S&W/ 1870s pocket-pistol rimfire) are actually .36/ 9mm except for the .38-40 which is a 10mm or .40 and should have been called the .40-40. Not that firearms manufacturers are ever prone to exaggeration or hyperbole or just doing stuff that is baffling and confusing.

  3. “The safety is a cross-bolt button which doubles as the block holding the barrel in place.”
    Cross-bolt safety is interesting feature in automatic pistol; that type of safety is more common to rifles. Have currently used rifles of North Korean Army that type of safety? If yes then I suspect that this feature to make training easier.

    “in .32 ACP, despite the 7.62mm marking on the slide”
    So how are North Korean rifles firing 7.62×54 or 7.62×39 marked?

  4. The barrel having to move back a bit would add to the resistance given by the mass of the slide also I assume. Nice gun, I’d buy it one day you could dress as James Bond with a Ppk the next as a Bond baddie with a DPRK hours of fun.

    • [img][/img]

      7.62×17 Type 64 (top)
      .32 АСР (bottom)

      • 7.62x17mm

        Interesting, I think there was one of those Norinco pistols on this site with the trigger guard cocker thing… Isn’t the barrel diameter 7.65mm though, hence why it is deemed .32acp cal… Same length case, maybe it’s a misnomer 7.62 i.e. It’s actually 7.65, but it means those cases 12L14 mentioned.

  5. The H&K HK4 has no chamber grooves. I had a kit with all four barrels 9mmK, 32ACP, 25 ACP, 22 LR.
    No grooves whatsoever. It was the HK G3 rifles that had grooved chambers and HK MP5 SMG’s if I remember correctly.

    • Inıtıal production pistols had delay grooves within the chamber, but they might be deleted afterwards since adding cost of manufacture. G3 inside grooves extend forward into the rifling to take gas pressure inside. HK4 grooves not.

        • HK4 and G3, or MP5, or P7 have all longitidunal grooves. But their functions are opposite. HK4 chamber has them at the middle section of chamber with no tips opening to both ends. but G3/MP5/P7 have forwarding extentions opening to into the rifled sections. When firing, case mouth of HK4 expands and prevents the gas escape rearwards and case body sligthly swells into the very swallow grooves creating a postponing effect for backwardly expelling cartridge case. In G3/MP5/P7, high pressure gas entering into the grooves with absence of no sealing at forwarding tips, pushes the case body to the counter direcion of expanding as making it floated into the chamber as easening the extraction.

          • Sort of chamber ring delay, actually I have heard about the Pmr30 and read something about loads of wee holes in the chamber or a chamber which the case expanded into something like that- I get the principle’ish.

          • PMR30 has not any groove. It has only a backward moving barrel. When .22″LR fires, its case slips backward into the chamber and when .22″WMR fires, its case sticks inside the chamber by cause of higher pressure and carries the movable barrel rearward as fully supported within the time when highest pressure presents.

          • The Kimball automatic pistol from the 1950s had a similar setup. Other than the radial friction-delay grooves in the chamber, it was a straight blowback;


            Since it was chambered for the .30 U.S. Carbine round, it not only didn’t work very well, it was literally unsafe to shoot. There were two small stops forged into the frame that were the only thing preventing its .22 rimfire-looking slide from coming off the back of the frame into the shooter’s face. They tended to shear off in the first 100 rounds.

            Less than 250 Kimballs were ever made, and other than .30 USC there were at least a couple in .357 Magnum and one in .221 Remington. If the pistol had actually been safe to fire, that latter version would have been the most interesting, as the .221 was of course designed for a handgun to begin with (the Remington XP-100 single-shot).

            In any form, the Kimball is an interesting collector’s oddity. Just not one that’s safe to shoot, rather like a Canadian Ross rifle.



          • Bit of a powerful round, wonder why they picked that… Surface area- More room, for that principle to take place in theory “multiple” etc. Surplus .30 cal ammo readily available, or something.

          • Kimball’s pistol, US2846926 patent Nr. İs very similar to this handgun. It has chamber grooves and a movable barrel. The cylindrical section under the barrel carries its own return spring. Barrel movement is considerably long, but it seems not effective on actual firing.

          • Patent text of Kimball does not contain chamber grooves. This means, added afterwards as seeing the ineffective work of rearward recoiling barrel. In fact, all barrels, at instant of firing, from initial blast of powder charge to bullet leaving therefrom can be accepted as a tube closed at the front with minus factor of escaping gas to forward. This
            means, Newton’s action/reaction work at both sides, as pushing the breechbolt rearward and pushing the barrel forward. This also explains how “Blow Forward” action works. If
            the back side of barrel is not locked, the supposed floating backward thing can not work and, even if the backside of barrel is locked, the recoiling begins nearly after the bullet leaving therefrom. Long story short; Delay purposed unlocked barrel recoiling approach is useless. Does not work. But chamber grooves or flutes work.

  6. Gentlemen, I’d rather think it is chambered in Chinese Type 64 cartridge, which is 7,62 x 17 – not 7,65, not semi-rim, but otherwise identical to the .32 ACP. This 1900-patterned predecessor was chambered in that, and so were a line of Chinese pistols, Type 64 (surprise, surprise), and Type 77 (not B, which is a 9 mm pistol).
    On the other hand, Daweo, all these caliber names are purely nominal: just remember that 7,65 Borchadt, 7,63 Mauser and 7,62 Tokarev were in fact identical in dimensions.

  7. On the wee “recoil buffer” thinghi ma jig… It has a notch, why has it a notch? A catch, like it’s trying to grab something.

    • That hold open mechanism is pointless, If it releases the slide when you remove the mag… Maybe the trigger, sear etc, engages the wee notch on the underside of the “recoil buffer” and holds the barrel back which makes the hold open thing work properly.

      • The pistol has no manual safety, so it would probably be carried with an empty chamber under normal peacetime conditions. The hold open function is for inspecting the chamber after training, not for speeding up reloading.

        • What was I thinking? It does have a manual safety but I somehow forgot that. I must be getting old. In any case, the it does not change the fact that the hold-open feature is for post-training inspection.

          • I can see what your saying Euroweasel but removing the magazine is part of unloading usually, besides it isn’t supposed to be a pistol for general issue.

    • It can’t hook over the mag well part of the frame “said hook thing, on the thinghi” because how would the slide, slide off.

  8. Posted this over at Full30, (All credit of this knowledge I have goes to some awesome History Professors I had)

    he marking on the slide is 조선, means Joseon( a Korean kingdom that proceeded the Korean Empire). As for the two men you mentioned, the Korean Nationalists name was An Jung-geun (안중근), he assassinated the Japanese Resident General of Korea Ito Hirobumi(伊藤 博文). Ito Hirobumi was instrumental in the Meiji restoration and post restoration modernizing of Japan. He traveled the the world studying governments and currency systems. He asserted that Japan couldn’t be a democracy but would rather have to be a quasi monarchy in order to excel the nations of the world, he set up Japan’s taxing system, and was the key architect of the Meiji Constitution and so on. Fast forwarding to Japan’s annexation of Korea along with the Sino-Japanese War(the first one) Japan wanted to start Empire building (Japan has a long history of trying to invade Korea) They assassinated some of the key figures in the Korean government, fueling the flames for anti-japanese sentiment amongst the Koreans, Japan annexes Korea. An Jung-geun is part of the resistance army and assassinates Ito Hirobumi, and then is ulitamately hung for it. To this day An Jung-geun remains a national hero in both South and North Korea.

    • That’s very helpful, being able to read their funny picture writing “All hail the leader who is most dear, sigh…”

      • actually Korean writing (Hangul) is comprised of an alphabet much like english,but before hangul was invented, the Koreans used Chinese Characters for writing.

  9. Did someone defect with this gun? And how many man hours did it take to make the darn locking block? I frankly think that the DPRK should stop hard-lining on “communist” propaganda and start observing the world as it is. In all fairness, the pistol has a very simple but somehow intelligent set-up that “can’t be copied in America” since supposedly we’re a bunch of “stupid imperialist dummies.” I wouldn’t copy or steal this pistol for all the rice on the Korean Peninsula, but I would wonder if it would sell on a bigger market had it not been for the Kim dynasty and the personality cult in place.

    Given a choice of weapon, which would you take into an “abandoned” office building full of bad guys torturing one of your friends?

    1. Walther PPK
    2. Mauser M1934
    3. Beretta M1934
    4. Makarov
    5. Stechkin OTs-38 silent revolver
    6. Hi-standard OSS pistol in .22LR
    7. Webley & Scot automatic in remotely fired “belt pistol” configuration
    8. Welrod pistol
    9. DPRK Type 70
    10. DeLisle carbine
    11. [your choice of weapon, blades included]
    12. Screw subtlety and just start sniping with a PzB-39 or just use the conveniently placed 7.7cm FK 16 and bring down the entire building!

    So do you want to win the game honestly or do you just KILL everyone on the other team?

    You do not have to respond to the questionnaire if you do not wish to do so. Please, try to be as civilized as possible without mentioning “someone with his father’s terrible haircut.”

    • The gun came to America probably from a GI returning from Vietnam with it. North Korea shipped some weapons to North Vietnam as the good communists they were.

    • Bet it has an interesting history, particularly if it was considered a pistol for use by the upper echelons.

      I’d say a type 70, and dress as a North Korean General in order to ball out some orders and then sneak off with your chap while they are searching for an imposter… But upon further reflection “They might well see through this subterfuge, with one not being able to speak the lingo amongst other things”

      Exploding arrow, bow, like Rambos, with which you can also fire chickens at them.

    • Suppressed HK MP-5, preferably a .45, or .45 Whisper, or (in the East) a Russian Vintorez in 9 x 39mm subsonic. All have the main requisites for a hostage rescue n this scenario; near-silence and right-now, put-them-on-the-ground-dead killing power. Especially loaded with expanding bullets.

      If supersonic MV could be accepted, as in an urban area with traffic noise, etc. to cover ballistic signature, I’d load up with MagSafes or Glaser Silvers.

      Ideal situation- HK .45, modified PPSh drum (55-round capacity), three-shot burst. If I’m feeling really nasty, I’ll put a brass catcher on it so there isn’t even the tinkle of ejected cases to alert the ungodly.

      Yes, I am devious. Sneaky is good, but sneakier is better.



      • At least you aren’t the acoustic version of a ninja or something… apart from the weapon, don’t you need low-signature clothes as well? And what if you see a hostage taker just walk by stupidly without noticing you while you’re reloading your customized MP5, stab him in the back?

    • 77mm gun is too small for bringing down anything but wooden buildings. The Germans found out in Stalingrad that a 150mm howitzer was the minimum for any serious demolition work and Soviet experience in Berlin confirmed that. On the other hand, if the building is multistoried and your friend is being held at the upper levels, a few well placed 77mm shots at the lower levels would certainly get the attention of the baddies…

      • Hostage to torturers: “I am not trapped in a facility full of communists. You are all trapped in here with ME!”

        [artillery shells slam into the lower floors of the 20 story office complex, worrying the bad guys since now they are the ones being held hostage at cannon point] Okay, should I have given you guys a bigger gun? How about a French 32 cm railway gun? Is that big enough to trash an office full of North Korean hordes?

          • Okay, Armchair Warlord wins by traditional suppressed PPK, eon wins by custom sub-machinegun (where do you guys get all these wonderful toys?), Pdb shoots the bad guys with chickens [snickers at the thought] after impersonating a general, and you decide to win–BY DEMOLITION!!! [maniacal laughter]

            Unlike airstrikes or helicopter rescues, the baddies can’t fire back at long-range artillery! But is there a plan to get the hostage out while the building is being percussively condemned?

  10. Andy,

    I’d use a PPK.

    But if I was going to war against the North Korean hordes, I had a very serviceable M4 when I was stationed there. 😉

  11. This unknown, hard to reach pistol is a good example of current Asian firearm technology. It is simple, rugged and clever enough features to be demanded from a service handgun. But, if noticed, it has some features that to be sensed as different by western standarts which are known globaly when this pistol was designed, like; High barrel axis, trigger blocking safety and loosable dismount key piece apart from the handgun. Seeming Korean mantality can easily correct these features but if they were made in existing form, their using habits should directed constrctions into this manner.