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.