TT33 Tokarev at the BackUp Gun Match

My holster and mag carrier in this match are made by BattleGnome Solutions in Slovenia, and available worldwide exclusively from the Polenar Tactical web store:

I was talking to the guys who operate BattleGnome at Lynx Brutality this summer, as they also made the holster and mag carriers for the Arex Delta I used at that match. They are really cool, down-to-earth folks and had just finished prototyping a Tokarev holster. There are no modern options for a Tokarev holster, and I told them I would love to have a left-handed one when they were able to do a left-handed mold. Well, they did, and sent me this example. It allows lots of options in how it mounts to your belt, as well as being made for either hand and in several colors. They did a great job, and I’m quite happy to recommend their work to you.

Note: The holster fits TT30 and TT33 Tokarevs in original configuration, or with import safeties added to the trigger or slide. There are a couple import safety designs that put the safety just behind the trigger, and these do not fit properly.

Disclaimer: BGS did not pay for this beyond sending me the sample holster. If I didn’t think it was a good product I simply would not have shown it.

Oh, you want to know more about the Tokarev? I think the pistol is a much better gun than some people might give it credit for. It is slim and light, and this one at least has a quite good trigger. The lack of a safety is a hindrance from a modern carry perspective, but was not really an issue in its military application, where it would have been carrier chamber empty in a flap holster anyway. This example is a really nice 1942 dated Russian one, brought back by a vet.


    • Can you really deal with the blunt force trauma Russian military style of sights? I find them really hard to get a good sight picture. Got any tricks to help with aiming?

  1. Actually, the Tokarev, believe it or not, has a safety – or at least a safety-like feature: there’s a half-cock notch on the hammer, which was deemed safe enough by generations of users to walk about with a chambered round, but of course that is not safe enough for the American users, and that’s why scarce 1930s early TT-30 (not 33s) examples had to be mutilated by drilling a hole to have AK gas tube latch installed to make them quadruple safe.

    • I can pretty much guarantee that exactly no American users of the Tokarev asked for or want the added safety, and we’ve been very comfortable with the half-cock on our SAAs for about 150 years.

    • Also when the TT is in the half cock position it locks the slide along with the trigger. The 1911 A1 type also function in the same manner and when I carried my 1911 I’ve carried it in the half cock position.Most people don’t know the pistol can be carried in this manner and there is little written material on it.

    • The half cock is indeed a safety feature, and when guns were flint lock or percussion lock, it was usually the only type of safety. The problem is that when lowering the hammer from full cock to half cock, there is the chance of the hammer slipping and thus firing the gun. Not a problem so long as the gun is pointed in a safe direction, but not as satisfactory as a proper safety catch.

    • “(…)deemed safe enough by generations of users to walk about with a chambered round(…)”
      That being seed next Soviet automatic pistol namely PM does feature manual safety as Tokarev pistols, despite being relatively simple and powerful, showed significant deficiencies, some of them quite serious, such as the lack of positive safety, so almost immediately after the war the GAU (Glavnoye Artillerijskoe Upravlenie – General Artillery Department of General Staff) issued a new set of requirements for a military and police pistol.

  2. The 7.62×25 Tokarev cartridge does not get the respect in the West that it deserves. This is from lack of exposure in the West. During the heyday of its use, you could not get 7.62.Tokarev ammo or pistols in the West. Hope this changes as both ammo and firearms can now be found in the West.

    I also think that the Tokarev cartridge makes a much better feed for a submachine gun than 9mm or .45 ACP. The ammunition has a higher muzzle velocity thus a flatter trajectory, making for a longer accuracy range and stopping power.

  3. Besides the issue of lack of safety, an issue with the TT pistols was the crude sights. Does anybody know of a source for a more modern style of sight?

    • I don’t know of replacement sights for the TT. Front blade is machined into the slide. You can paint them for better visibility, that’s the best I can advise. A cool feature of the stock rear sight is you can use it to operate the slide, either by catching it on your belt or pressing on the edge of a table or door. For great aftermarket grips there is Marschal Grips (based out of Hungary I think) I have the “melt pattern, and love it, but don’t see it in the current website. They make wood grips from exotic woods for many older European pistols. I have them on a pair of my Maks as well.

        • I would go with an enamel type, Testors model paints come in a huge variety of colors. Nail polish works great too. Clean surface thoroughly with alcohol or other high quality degreaser. Remember it’s paint, it may wear of chip, but you already have a bottle of the stuff you first put on.

  4. I totally agree with Leszek, the half cock notch is perfectly safe. The importation problem is a political one. There are law/rule makers with little to no understanding of firearms requiring some kind of button or switch. Or maybe thes folks real intent is just to make importation more expensive and burdensome. Regardless of motivation, I challenge anyone to get the TT to fire with the hammer in the half cock notch. Even Alec Baldwin can’t make that happen. Cocking the hammer is just as fast as flipping a switch or pushing a button IMHO. That’s how I keep my TT, S&B hollow point up the spout and hammer in the safety notch. I removed that abomination of an importation safety first thing. There’s a hole there but I can get over it.

    • On my Polish TT the added safety fell off while shooting it. The c clip holding the safety backed out and went to the neither regions. Oh well it doesn’t need it anyway.

    • I love how Ian consistently outshoots competitors with the newest, sexiest guns. So tell me again how amazing progress is.

      • Same as Little League or Pop Warner; the best people always rise to the top, but kid coaching and better firearms help the average turn out better, and the mediocre come out average.

  5. Perhaps the concern is that a fumble when placing the hammer in the half cock position could result in an unintended discharge.
    My biggest complaint with the Tokarev is that the web of my thumb gets bitten.

    • This complaint is also common from Browning HI-Power shooters. This should not be surprising as the Soviets shamelessly copied many Browning design features in coming up with the TT.

    • I dunno, a fumble with any firearm may result in an accidental discharge. There’s a huge misnomer going on here, which is quite common with guns. Calling one thing something else, and it sticks. Like calling magazines clips and so forth. The safety detent isn’t half way between full cock and hammer on firing pin. The hammer face is about 3/16″ away from the FP. I’ve pulled the hammer back (after first engaging the safety detent and hearing the distinctive “click”) to various positions up to actually engaging the cocking sear. Upon releasing the hammer always the same result. The hammer stops 3/16″ away from the FP. The difference from the safety detent to the hammer face at full cock is 13/16″. The problem here is people are simply unfamiliar with how the mechanism actually works. It’s not an old colt SA revolver half cock notch. It’s completely different. In order for the weapon to AD you literally have to become Alec Baldwin, fully cock the hammer AND pull the trigger (is that really an AD? Or an SD, Stupid Discharge). As for the hammer bite, wear a shooting glove or sell the pistol, it’s not going to change for you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.