Yugoslav M57: Tito’s Tokarev

Yugoslavia purchased both 1895 Nagant revolvers and TT33 Tokarev from the Soviet Union after World War Two, but this was only a holdover until domestic pistol production could begin. While Yugoslavia was formally communist, Tito was not a puppet of Moscow, and Yugoslavia did their own development to reverse-engineer the Tokarev pistol. In the process, they made a number of improvements to the design, resulting in the M57. Serial production began in 1963 and lasted until 1982, with about 270,000 made in total. It was the standard sidearms for the Yugoslav People’s Army and Yugoslav police forces until 1988.

The changes made from the standard Soviet pattern Tokarev include:
– Longer grip and 9-round magazine capacity
– Captive recoil spring
– Improved front sight
– Stronger firing pin with improved retention system
– Magazine disconnect safety


  1. There were two competitors for pistol
    – P-38 copy in 7.62×25, proposed by Military-Technical Institute
    – what became M57 by Zastava
    – independent project by Faculty of Mechanical Engineering in Belgrade, modified Tokarev with HP style locking. This one did not finish development at time.
    In the end Zastava’s proposal was more rational for production and more reliable, so it was chosen.
    Interestingly, 3rd proposal would became origin of the North Korean Type 68 pistol.

  2. Zastava USA will sell you an M57 with a manual safety (M57A) today. Just visit your local gun stores.

  3. The magazine safety is a major downer in my experience using the M57. It’s a simple effort to replace the trigger with a Romanian or other typical trigger, and remove the spring steel trigger bar grabber-thing.

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