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Developed in the 1930s, the 7.62x25mm Tokarev cartridge was produced in the Soviet Union. It was widely used in the Soviet Union, Pakistan, and China. In most cases, the ammunition has been replaced in Russian service by the 9x18mm Makarov.

The 7.62x25mm Tokarev is a higher-pressure version of the 7.63mm Mauser, a high-velocity bullet introduced in 1896. The rimless, bottleneck cartridge was originally designed for pistols, but became useful for submachine guns. It was popular with the Tokarev TT-33, used by the Soviet military from its development until the mid-1960s, and submachine guns like the PPSh-41, which is possibly the best-known firearm chambered for this cartridge. It drew the world's attention, including several national militaries and countries of the Warsaw Pact (e.g., France and North Vietnam chambered submachine guns in 7.62x25 Tokarev).

The cartridge mainly uses medium-speed powders and produces a substantial muzzle flash. A typical pistol using a Tokarev round fires 85 grain bullets at approximately 1,400 fps. More modern versions may fire at 1,500 fps.

There are pros and cons to the load. When fired, the bullet widens the channel when it flips, end over end, one time. An upside is that its high penetration is able to pierce car door panels and low-level body armor. The downside is that its high penetration is likely to exit the target while maintaining velocity, thereby causing collateral damage. This is especially dangerous in urban situations.

Popularity

Over the years, the 7.62 Tokarev has been manufactured in many varieties – from lead ball to armor piercing and incendiary – and has seen action on many different missions that needed a small cartridge with excellent penetration. In the United States today, the 7.62x25mm Tokarev is usually found with hollow point or full metal jacket bullets weighing 85 or 90 grains. Muzzle velocity can range between 1,200 feet per second to slightly more than 1,700 feet per second, giving it an excellent reputation for penetration. Some tests have shown FMJ bullets penetrating as much as 17 inches of ballistic gel, while other test results indicate that a 7.62 Tokarev round will penetrate Level II ballistic vests as well as the U.S. PASGT helmet. This may be why some shooters believe the performance of the 7.62x25mm is superior to modern 9mm cartridges.

In the United States, collectors are the biggest consumers of the 7.62x25mm – buying the cartridge to feed their Tokarev TT-33 and Czech CZ vz 52 pistols. The high velocity of the round and muzzle energy between 400 and 570 foot pounds makes it a valid option for personal protection.

History

Beginning in the late 19th century, the 7.63x25mm Mauser C96 pistol was at the height of popularity worldwide. In 1908, the Russian Imperial army listed the C96 as an approved sidearm officers could purchase, instead of carrying the standard issue Nagant M1895 revolver.

Between 1914 and 1917, prior to World War I, Mauser pistols and ammunition were confiscated from German and Turkish forces, with the Mauser being used throughout the Russian Civil War. In the 1920s, when the USSR was cooperating with the Weimar Republic, the Tsarist Army bought batches of the smaller Bolo model as well as its ammunition for use by Russian military officers.

In 1929, the Soviet Artillery Committee proposed development of a domestic pistol to be chambered with the Mauser cartridge. Extensive research and development led to the production of the Model 1930 7.62mm pistol cartridge, which was a slightly modified Mauser round. The ammunition became the standard caliber for the Red Army’s pistols and submachine guns. Early models of the PPD-40 submachine gun, designed by Vasily Degtyaryov in 1934, were earmarked for Mauser cartridges.

The cartridges are dimensionally similar, to the degree that they were interchangeable. Then the Russian government significantly raised the power of the Tokarev cartridge powder charge. While the lower-powered Mauser cartridge can be chambered in any of these weapons, the Tokarev 7.62mm load should only be used in firearms designed for the added pressure.

The Sellier & Bellot 7.62x25mm Tokarev All-Brass Cartridge

Czech company Sellier & Bellot was founded in 1825 by German businessman Louis Sellier. Son of royalists who had escaped France during the French Revolution, Sellier began to manufacture percussion caps in a factory located in Prague, Bohemia. Sellier’s work, sponsored by Francis I, the Emperor of Austria, brought him overnight success. Shortly after founding the company, Sellier was joined by countryman Jean Maria Nicolaus Bellot. By 1830, Sellier and Bellot had gained international notoriety.

In 2009, Sellier & Bellot was purchased by a conglomerate including Brazilian company Companhia Brasileira de Cartuchos S.A. (CBC), also known as Magtech. Another member is the MEN, a German producer of small arms ammunition for law enforcement, military, and commercial markets.

Sellier & Bellot produce a high-quality version of the Russian 7.63x25mm Mauser. The Soviets manufactured a variety of loadings for the cartridge to be used in submachine guns. These include tracer, armor-piercing, incendiary rounds. This bullet has deep penetration that can pierce lighter ballistic vests and select Kevlar helmets, including the American PASGT helmet. Most guns chambered with this load were deemed obsolete and removed from military use, and from most police and special forces units throughout Russia. Due to military surplus, however, the ammunition may still be in use in Pakistan and China.

There is a common misunderstanding that 7.62 Tokarev military surplus ammunition in the United States utilizes copper-coated mild steel, and that there is an increased chance of ricochets when launched at hard targets. Steel-core ammunition is available internationally, however, the importation of 7.62x25 cartridges containing copper-coated steel bullets is illegal in the United States – federal law has determined them to be armor-piercing pistol ammunition. Ammo advertised as steel bullets are typically lead-core bullets encased in copper-washed steel jackets. These do not increase the risk of ricochet over a standard copper-jacketed round.

In 2018, 7.62x25 ammunition was available for import from Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia, Czech Republic, and Russia.

Continue reading 7.62x25mm Tokarev Ammo at Ammo.com.
 

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I have always like the round. Nice round necked down to 25 caliber. I have two Like new Romanian Tokarev's. Many people dont like the looks of the Tok pistols especially the grips. I thought about making me a couple sets of nice wood custom grips. I buy the Romanian 70 round military packs of ammo and also have shot quite a bit of the PPU 50 round box stuff. I actually like the feel of the shooting mine and am fairly accurate. . I still see the the large spam cans of military surplus ammo available. I have quite a bit of ammo stocked for mine already. Also these pistols are very reasonable . I only paid like $200 each for mine and were hand select when I got them.
 

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I love this round, I have a few sealed cases of the stuff and a bunch of loose stuff..it is hot fast loud and accurate! I know it is an obsolete caliber but I 'd like to see some load development for SD...high speed light frangible bullets..I would also like to see a short range varmint rifle built for this along the lines of a 22TCM. This is also a great candidate for wildcatting....a decent shooting 7.62 in a hot pistol chambering could be very interesting...
 

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I wish someone would make a modern double stack mag. pistol chambered for the 7.62 Tok. and a sporting carbine too!:)
Well not that I like it's country of origin but in China they produce a SIG 226 knock off made in that caliber.
So at least we know it can be done.
 

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Well not that I like it's country of origin but in China they produce a SIG 226 knock off made in that caliber.
So at least we know it can be done.
That sounds awesome. I have had my hands on a couple of wartime Viet-made 1911 knockoffs in Tok, and one very weird...conversion?

One of the knockoffs was a cast single shot pistol, the other was a crude, but well-thought out 1911 that used TT-33 mags.

The "conversion" used an actual Colt 1911 frame, but with a stationary barrel welded to the frame, a heavy hand-machined slide, and a thick spring. It was a pure blowback design. The other neat thing about it was that instead of slide serrations, the slide was checkered where those serrations would have been. It didn't have a mag with it, so neither I nor the owner had a clue how that was done, but a mil-spec 1911 mag fit in the mag well and locked in place.
 

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Back in the heyday of cheap imported ammo I'm so surprised that some company like Ruger or EAA didn't come out with a handgun chambered for it.

Also if they'd do it and it could be imported a Polish Radom PPS43 "pistol" set up to be form 1'ed and SBR'ed would be nice.
Iirc some demilled guns were "Centuried" here but I'd like something better designed internally to work with all anmo
 
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