“If someone has a gun and is trying to kill you, it would be reasonable to shoot back with your own gun.”
by Dalai Llama


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cz-52s and tt-33s, quick thoughts

If you have hung around firearm-related weblogs or communities very long, you have probably heard of the CZ-52 (more properly known as the Vz.52) and the TT-33 (or just TT, for Tula, Tokarev); both pistols are typically amongst the first firearms purchased by people who get their Curio and Relic license from the BATFE, which is hardly surprising, given their still-inexpensive-but-slowly-rising prices. Both pistols are functionally interchangeable, at least superficially – they carry the same number of the same cartridge, are both short-recoil operated, have locked breeches, are single-action only, and are arguably dangerous to carry with a round in the chamber – but they differ considerably on the specific details: the former is Czechoslovakian, the latter purely Soviet; the former employs a crazy roller-and-cam locking system borrowed from the German MG-42, the latter borrowed the swinging-link system from the venerable 1911; the former wraps its recoil spring around the barrel (which, unfortunately, is no help at all for its bore axis height), the latter employs the more-standard recoil spring guide rod system.

I had the opportunity to shoot both side-by-side this weekend (the CZ was mine, and unfired until I shot it; the TT was a friend’s), and I have to admit, while they are both markedly different, I would not go so far as to say one was better than the other. In fact, if the CZ-52 had a normal, functional magazine release and a decocking lever that was not prone to setting off chambered rounds, it would not be a bad little firearm at all… And if the TT had a safety that could be operated by, well, anyone (yes, I know the safety has to be added for importation purposes, but that does not make it any easier to use), it would be a decent, classic firearm as well.

And I do not think anyone can argue with the efficacy of 7.62x25mm out of a handgun… especially not now that Wolf is producing hollow-point loadings as well.

In fact, now that I just discovered the M57 variant of the TT-33 (one more round in the magazine and a 1911-style manual safety, without a huge increase in price), I may have just found my next C&R purchase… The only hitch on those is that the specific magazines are hard to come by / expensive. In any case, I had harbored masochistic dreams of running IDPA/IPSC with a CZ-52, but after trying to change out magazines in anything approximating a reasonable amount of time, I dare say the TT family would be a better choice…

For what it can do, it is a bit unfortunate the 7.62×25 round has been left by the wayside.

14 comments to cz-52s and tt-33s, quick thoughts

  • KN

    Damn you’re good…how did you know my first purchase with my newly printed C&R was a Tokarev TTC? Best pistol I ever bought for $200. Sadly, the milsurp ammo is drying up and raising the cost more than 9mm rounds.

    I did research the M57 but extra magazine prices are almost double the TTC.

    The 1950’s milsurp 7.62×25 ammo is extremely fast with no drop @ 100 yards. Bulgarian milsurp is decent ammo, while Polish milsurp has issues.

  • @ KN:
    I’m with you. My first two was a Mosin 91/30 (in one sitting), but my 2nd separate purchase was my Vz 52!

    He’s good!

  • Totally off topic, but happy Thanksgiving and thank you for everything you do to support the gun blogging community.

  • Sendarius

    Not to denigrate the 7.62mmx25mm cartridge, but IPSC has a bore diameter minimum of 9mm.

    I am sure that you could find a club that would let you shoot it (club level matches are explicitly allowed by the rules to violate some of the rules – go figure), but technically, you couldn’t shoot it for score.

    From a brief Google-search, IDPA has the same restriction.

  • rickn8or

    As far as Vz-52s are concerned, there are 9mm conversion barrels available. If you get the cam and rollers and assemble it, a caliber change only takes as long as a field strip. Trouble is, they’re hard to find and cost almost as much as a decent Vz-52.

    AIM had Yugo M57’s, 2 mags and holster for a pretty decent price, but they seem to have disappeared into cruffler’s safes. I only managed to snag one and was contemplating another when I discovered this.

    And what Brigid said about Happy Thanksgiving to you and all your readership.

  • Mark@Sea

    Slick that thing up with some nice wood grips and a decent holster! It will go well with the hat.

  • Sorry for leaving a puddle of drool on your blog, but I was just imagining a carbine chambered for this round. This round could make a Hi-Point carbine look sexy…. 😉

  • Mark@Sea

    Dang, Wideners is closed over the weekend. Probably a good thing.

  • Nathan

    It really is a shame that rounds been lost to history. Think of the kind of capacity you could get in a double-stack configuration. And all speedy, low-weight, flat-shooting rounds too. Plus, it’s bottle-necked, so it would inherently feed and extract more reliably than straight-walled rounds. And think of the carbine conversions! Those are rather popular at the moment.

  • @ KN: Call it enlightened intuition” ;).

    If you look around, you can find new-production 7.62×25 for about equivalent to 9mm in prices, but, yeah, it is a shame the milsurp stuff is drying up. At least you will not have to worry about immediately cleaning your gun, though ;).

    @ Weer’d Beard: First four guns were two Mosins (separate transactions) and two unfired CZ-52s. Sometimes projection is right ;).

    @ Brigid: Thanks, and I hope you and Barkley had an outstanding Thanksgiving as well!

    @ Sendarius: This gives me a sad. Of course, if you let 7.62×25 compete, you would almost have to let .32ACP compete, and Lord knows where that would go.

    *shrug* It is not like I would be setting any records with either gun ;). Will just have to check at the clubs to ensure they let people shoot for fun, rather than scores.

    @ rickn8or: AIM still has M57 mags, but no signs of the firearms. And there are 9mm conversion barrels for the TT-33 family as well, but they have the same cost problem.

    @ Mark@Sea: I may have spent my “nice wood grips” money for the time being, but if you are buying… ;).

    Speaking of, have any spare TT mags? 😉

    @ AuricTech: There used to be a new-production Sterling clone that shot 7.62×25, available in both pistol and carbine formats, but it seems to have disappeared. But, yeah, that round in a rifle barrel would be awesome.

    @ Nathan: See, it is things like this that make me wish I knew a bloody thing about firearm production… or knew someone who did :).

  • Mark@Sea

    I think I might have an extra or two floating around here someplace… Will be happy to make you another holster, as long as you don’t want a paddle :). Kidding, but that was a pain to build. Sure seems to be conforming nicely, but how comfortable is it?

  • Actually, this time around I am thinking about a “low-rider” concept, but we can discuss that offline :).

    Honestly, the holster wears just fine – you can take it for a spin next time we are up your way. I do believe you hit on something of a revolutionary idea by sneaking that metal clip into the fold of the leather, and I would happily endorse any attempt you make at making more money off that idea :). And, really, if it can support a brick like a Baby Eagle…

  • One of my “If I had the stuff to try it” projects would be a M1 Carbine in 7.62×25; that’d be interesting.

    I tried loading some Hornady 90-grain HP bullets in this; it penetrated four water jugs completely, found the core in the 5th jug and the jacket in the 4th. I’ve been told the Wolf hollowpoints hold together a bit better; either way, it’d give a goblin a severe case of heartburn.

  • With my new low-ride holster keeping the gun out of the way of the backpack straps, I have to wonder at the efficacy of a 7.62×25 handgun for a hiking firearm. The recoil is manageable, the penetration is basically inarguable, and you can carry as many 7.62 as you can 9mm.

    I do wonder about things like bears… bigger does seem to be better with them.