My Yugoslavian (Zastava) M57 Tokarev modifications
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  1. #1
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    Default My Yugoslavian (Zastava) M57 Tokarev modifications

    As many of you all know, I'm rather fascinated with the 7.62X25 cartridge and its potential as a SD round. No one however, seems to make a "modern" pistol in that caliber so I'm relegated to C&R pistols if I want to carry the Tok round. The TT33 I had and posted about I sold and have since purchased a Yugoslavian M57 Tokarev. Zastava Arms out of Serbia still makes the M57 today but no one imports the new ones to my knowledge.

    I've been unwilling to carry the Tokarev for SD purposes until several things are fixed on it:
    1) I've got to have some JHP rounds. 11.85" of ballistic gel penetration after going through a level II Kevlar vest with the FMJ rounds is a tad too much penetration for your average mugger/carjacker.
    2) It only came with one mag and I want at least 2 for carry purposes. No one is selling mags.
    3) The grip panels are way too thick for CC but the only replacement grips are just as thick and cost half of what I paid for the pistol.
    4) Maybe it's just me but this Tokarev, just as my other did, seems to shoot way high; like 6" at 30' high.

    I've fixed several of these problems. As far as the JHP rounds are concerned, Wolf seems to be the only company actually producing JHP rounds in Tok, despite Winchester's and Prvi's websites' claims to the contrary. I've got a couple hundred rounds on backorder, supposedly to arrive in early December.

    As to the extra mags, they occasionally show up on Gunbroker for around what GB mags run for, usually around $75-$85. The Yugo Tok's have a slightly longer grip to accommodate 9 round mags as opposed to the standard 8 round TT30/33 mags. I'd read that you can modify a CZ52 mag to work in an M57 but I couldn't find any CZ52 mags except for Triple-K mags which seem to be universally despised. Then I found another source and bought a new-manufacture CZ52 mag, Teflon coated, shipped for $25. I was able to successfully pull off both the mag-catch mod for the M57 and the make-the-8-round-CZ52-mag-hold-9-rounds mod. My mag-catch is a little sloppy but it works 100% for mag retention and hand-cycle feeding. I'll buy a couple more and mod 'em so I have more mags. I'm going to email the CZ52 magazine manufacturer and suggest they start making M57 mags as no one else does and they will have a captive market with the M57 owners.

    As to the grip panels, I measured the grip width and it was 31mm wide with the stock slick plastic grip panels. That's honkin' wide for a single-stack pistol. The photos below will show the Tokarev-unique rotating locking tabs that hold the original grips on. I don't have the tool resources to easily recreate those and had to come up with another option. I busted out my 0.09" kydex and, over the course of several hours, carefully shaped some custom grip panels. I made some plates to hold the panels in place over the grip cutouts from 0.06" kydex and glued them to the grip panels. That holds them in place, keeping them from sliding, but doesn't keep them from falling off the grip. A Hogue Handall Jr. keeps them from falling off. Not including the Handall Jr., My grip is now just under 23mm wide, almost exactly as wide as my Kel-Tec PF-9. The Handall Jr. fits very snugly and only adds a small amount to the width in a small area.

    I also got rid of several stupid safeties that were added to the pistol that are not part of the original Tokarev design. The magazine safety was added by Zastava as part of their M57 design but I see no reason why I should have to have a mag in the grip to fire so I removed that. The 1911-style thumb safety was added to appease the BATFE and allow for importation. It was not an ambi-safety and as I'm a lefty AND despise pistol safeties, I removed it also. The Tokarev was designed with a half-cock safety that both locks the trigger and the slide. You can do nothing with the gun until the hammer is fully cocked. I will have to cock the hammer as I draw but I have practiced this and I think will be no more difficult to perform under stress than any other safety. I then had two gaping frame holes which is why my kydex grip panels go so high on the back of the frame.

    On to the pics:

    Here it is with no mods other than the added compensator and curved mag baseplate. Yes, those grip panels are as slick as they look.



    Honkin' thick grip panels. Ugh.



    New kydex grip panels next to the underside of one of the original grip panels. Note the funky, not-easily-replicated rotating locking tab on the original.


    Last edited by Narsil; 10-01-2010 at 08:28 PM.
    ‘‘Sure... if you're rounding Pi down to three. Please don't make me add 'rounding Pi down to three' to your list of crimes.’’
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    Living by your spiritual beliefs is easy. Dying by them can be Hell.

    "...If Plan A is to take multiple .338 shots to the back, you really need to come up with a Plan B..."[link]

  2. #2
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    Default Re: My Yugoslavian (Zastava) M57 Tokarev modifications

    Inside of the new grip panels with the plate to hold it in place on the frame.



    Assembled.



    7mm thinner grip now. It's much more "grippy" and more comfortable while still being dramatically thinner.




    ‘‘Sure... if you're rounding Pi down to three. Please don't make me add 'rounding Pi down to three' to your list of crimes.’’
    — Emperor Pius Dei

    Living by your spiritual beliefs is easy. Dying by them can be Hell.

    "...If Plan A is to take multiple .338 shots to the back, you really need to come up with a Plan B..."[link]

  3. #3
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    Default Re: My Yugoslavian (Zastava) M57 Tokarev modifications

    Wow. I think just drawing that pistol, pointing it at someone, and thunb-cocking the hammer like an old six-shooter would seriously get someone's attention.

    Adding just a little contour to the grip with the Handall Jr. looks like an improvement, too. That came out looking pretty good.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: My Yugoslavian (Zastava) M57 Tokarev modifications

    to get the grip a little slimmer you could go the "tactical bike tube" route on the grip panels instead.

    that 7.62x25 rd is pretty bad-ass. a ballistic vest salesman was doing a demo on his products for our swat team. the Tok was the only pistol rd to knock chips out of the ceramic hard plates. ouch!!
    You deserve what you tolerate.

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  5. #5
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    Default Re: My Yugoslavian (Zastava) M57 Tokarev modifications

    Seems like a lot of work to step 50 years into the past. As a range blaster, I like it. For a carry gun, I think you're creating a lot more problems than you are solving - either out of a sense of nostalgia or just for the sake of being different.

    Looks like it would be a proverbial blast for slaying paper zombies.
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  6. #6
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    Default Re: My Yugoslavian (Zastava) M57 Tokarev modifications

    The 1911's going on 100 years old and keep in mind the Tok's just a Russian 1911. That means the it's far more reliable (simpler, less parts) than the original and that's saying something. Lol...seriously, I just bad want a 7.62X25 carry. I'll probably still carry the PF-9 90% of the time. I did hate that grip and you'd be amazed at how comfortable a grip the kydex makes. It was a half-attempt and I thought I would end up making wooden panels afterward but I like the feel of the kydex so much I'm keeping it.

    I shot a half-dozen mags through it on Saturday and the double-modded CZ-52 mag worked flawlessly. Not a single misfeed or failure of any kind. I'll definitely be picking up a few more of those mags.

    You CZ52 guys should check them out. I was really impressed by the quality.
    ‘‘Sure... if you're rounding Pi down to three. Please don't make me add 'rounding Pi down to three' to your list of crimes.’’
    — Emperor Pius Dei

    Living by your spiritual beliefs is easy. Dying by them can be Hell.

    "...If Plan A is to take multiple .338 shots to the back, you really need to come up with a Plan B..."[link]

  7. #7
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    Default Re: My Yugoslavian (Zastava) M57 Tokarev modifications

    What is it I recall about these things being unsafe for carry, because some safety can fail and they fire? Is that only when carrying C&Led with the bullshit ATF-required safety switch that was never part of the original design?
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  8. #8
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    Default Re: My Yugoslavian (Zastava) M57 Tokarev modifications

    I'm not sure. I hadn't heard about that but I sure as stink would not trust those aftermarket safeties! The Yugo safety is the best I've seen on the Toks by far but it is still just a trigger block as best as I can tell. The one on my Polish TT33 was a joke. There was a nubbin welded on the back of the trigger and a transverse rod that was partially milled away on one side. When the safety was "on" the rod was rotated such that the welded nubbin bumped into the unmilled side of the rod when the trigger was pulled. When you flicked the safety off, the rod rotated so that the nubbin slid through the milled portion of the rod. It was one seriously asstarded excuse for a safety. If you carried a TT33 locked and cocked (fully), the only thing preventing a ND is a welded nubbin and a half-assed rod attached to a spring-loaded detent lever.

    The Yugo M57 aftermarket safety almost looks like it was designed that way but Zastava clearly doesn't make it with that safety. The photo below is from their website.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    I trust the half-cock safety, at least the one on mine. I have held a Tok in a LGS that the half-cock didn't work as it should (I could force the slide back and thus fully cock the hammer) but the gun was pretty ragged out. With the hammer half-cocked on mine, I put my full strength into trying to overcome both the slide lock, the trigger lock, as well as forcing the hammer back down. I am not strong enough to do it on mine but am unwilling to try anything more forceful like banging it around. As long as the hammer is in the half-cock position, you can't do anything with the gun other than club someone with it or drop the mag; you can't even disassemble the gun. You have to fully cock the hammer to do anything useful.

    The half-cock seems very secure to me. I wish we lived closer; I think you would be impressed by the quality if you could hold it and shoot it. It makes quite the boom and fireball. You don't feel it so much shooting but standing next to it is a bit startling the first time. Shooting SMG rounds from a pistol is fun!
    ‘‘Sure... if you're rounding Pi down to three. Please don't make me add 'rounding Pi down to three' to your list of crimes.’’
    — Emperor Pius Dei

    Living by your spiritual beliefs is easy. Dying by them can be Hell.

    "...If Plan A is to take multiple .338 shots to the back, you really need to come up with a Plan B..."[link]

  9. #9
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    Default Re: My Yugoslavian (Zastava) M57 Tokarev modifications

    Russians were notorious for their crappy workmanship on most things, from what I have heard. I also hear that when it comes to "Com-bloc" weapons, Yugos take the cake; my evidence to support this comes in the form of my AK (Yugoslavian M70B1)- no mag rattle, shoots well (i've put two rounds in the exact same spot), solid construction– my only gripe it the mags it came with don't hold the bolt open. I personally don't think your trust is misplaced =] Also, for your shooting high problem, you could say that it shoots a rifle round that has been chopped down to fit an SMG and a Pistol (rifle rounds tend to have a initial climbing period before flattening out and then dropping out of flight completely, as I am sure you know already) this may also account for it's superior penetration– I read somewhere that while AP rounds can be made at a factory an AP round can be made by shooting a pistol round through a rifle barrel; perhaps this works with shooting a rifle round through a pistol barrel?

    You can also find M57 mags here: http://www.ccsportingarms.com/catego...?categoryId=14
    (they're made in the states!)

  10. #10
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    Default Re: My Yugoslavian (Zastava) M57 Tokarev modifications

    You rock, Specter! Thanks for that link; I believe they are the first US manufacturers for those mags. I'll have to grab a couple of those. I love my B2; that folding stock rocks but isn't the most comfortable cheek weld I've experienced.

    ‘‘Sure... if you're rounding Pi down to three. Please don't make me add 'rounding Pi down to three' to your list of crimes.’’
    — Emperor Pius Dei

    Living by your spiritual beliefs is easy. Dying by them can be Hell.

    "...If Plan A is to take multiple .338 shots to the back, you really need to come up with a Plan B..."[link]

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