TFB Round Table: The Retro Speed Demon – 7.62×25 Tokarev


    Welcome back to another edition of the TFB Round Table sponsored by Ammunition To Go! For those who are first joining us, this is a multi-part series where TFB discusses the characteristics of great ammunition for specific applications. This could vary from big game hunting, plinking, precision rifle matches, small game hunting, or even pistol competitions. Chances are there is someone here at TFB who can offer you advice on buying the right round for your task at hand. This week I am back on TFB Round Table to discuss and recommend a cartridge that is not totally obscure and one that is also still available on shelves today. The cartridge in question is that of 7.62×25 Tokarev. Do you have an old Russian or Czech service pistol chambered in this high-velocity cartridge? Are you finding yourself pondering why it was extremely popular in its day? Stay tuned! Let’s dive right into the retro 7.62×25 Tokarev and some ammunition options and information to bring your old gat back to the range!


    At the turn of the twentieth century, one of the most popular cartridges and handgun combination was that of the Mauser C96 and its 7.63x25mm. The 30 Mauser cartridge eventually led to Luger’s adaptation in his new pistol in the form of 30 Luger. A previous Round Table on 30 Luger can be found here. Like most things in this world, the 25mm followed the rule of threes. Enter Russia in World War I and although their standard-issue revolver was the Nagant, most higher-ranking soldiers had the option to purchase from a select list of sidearms. The Mauser C96 was among the most popular for good reason. The autoloading mechanism and higher velocity nature of its cartridge caught the eye of the Russian government and eventually went into development in the 1920s.

    32ACP, 7.62X25 Tokarev, 9MM

    32ACP, 7.62X25 Tokarev, 9mm. Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

    The true birth of 7.62×25 Tokarev begins with the Russian government intending to chamber 30 Mauser in a new service pistol after their experiences with the cartridge on the fronts of World War I and the Russian Civil War in the 1920s. The specifics can be dumbed down by saying they essentially loaded 30 Mauser hotter and fitted with a slightly larger bullet. The dimensional differences are not serious enough for compatibility issues when putting 30 Mauser into a 7.62×25 chamber. 30 Mauser can be put into most 7.62×25 Tokarev firearms but not the other way around due to the hotter nature of their loading. The most notable examples of service weapons made in this speed demon of a cartridge would be the TT-33 and CZ52 Pistols as well as the PPSh-41 to only name a few.  On Ammunition to Go‘s website they give us a little context on the cartridges high-velocity nature:

    7.62 Tokarev ammunition, also known as the 7.62 Tok, or the 7.62 x 25mm is an extremely high velocity Eastern Bloc round. The 7.62 Tokarev cartridge was one of the fastest pistol cartridges produced in its time. The round was used widely in both pistols and sub-machine guns, and favored for its ability to penetrate barriers easier than both the European 9mm and the American 45 ACP.

    The 7.62 Tok round was also capable of penetrating early body armor, up to modern kevlar helmets. The Tok round was passed around freely among Eastern Bloc and communist nations, because of the Soviet Union’s lax lend/lease style programs. This rounds and the weapons that use it can be found in Europe, Eurasia, Asia, the Middle East, and South America. The round made its way to American shores after the Cold War ended.

    7.62x25 Tokarev

    My Personal CZ52

    The CZ52 was introduced in the 1950s when Czechoslovakia needed a new service pistol and was not entirely fond of the TT-33 and only settled on the 7.62×25 cartridge to be interchangeable with the USSR. The 7.62×25 cartridge is a great fit for this gun and makes it quite impressive and enjoyable to shoot at the range.

    CZ52 Roller Blowback System

    CZ52 Roller Locked System

    TFB ROUND TABLE: 7.62×25 Tokarev TODAY

    7.62×25 Tokarev is extremely common in surplus circles today. The ammo tends to be affordable, especially the old military ammo cans and the handguns tend to be relatively inexpensive when compared to the more mainstream surplus wishlists. On Ammunition to Go‘s website they give us a little context on the cartridge in terms of the modern-day:

    7.62×25 Tokarev is still a popular round in the United States due to the cheap surplus ammunition and firearms chambered in the cartridge. The fact that new production replicas of Polish carbines are still chambered in the 7.62 Tok testifies to the fact that the round has staying power. The round is still being used by police forces in China as well as many Middle East countries.

    7.62x25 Tokarev

    7.62×25 Tokarev & American Quarter

    As always, thank you for reading TFB! Be safe out there, have fun while shooting, and we will see you next time for the TFB Round Table brought to you by Ammunition to Go! Also, let us know what you think in the comments below! We always appreciate your feedback.


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    Sellier & Bellot 7.62×25 Tokarev 85 Grain FMJ 50rd×25-tokarev-sellier-bellot-85gr-fmj-ammo

    50rds - 7.62x25 Tokarev Sellier & Bellot 85gr. FMJ Ammo

    This is 7.62×25 Tokarev Sellier & Bellot 85gr. Full Metal Jacket Ammo. This ammo is manufactured in the Czech Republic and is supreme quality ammunition. This ammo is boxer primed, brass cased and non-corrosive. This is new manufactured ammunition. This ammo comes packed in 50rd. boxes.

     Prvi Partizan 7.62×25 Tokarev 85 Grain FMJ 500rd×25-tokarev-prvi-partizan-85gr-fmj-ammo

    500rds - 7.62x25 Tokarev Prvi Partizan 85gr. FMJ Ammo

    This is a great option for the shooter who likes to stock up. You get 500 rounds of 7.62x25mm Tokarev ammunition manufactured in Serbia by Prvi Partizan. One of the premier European ammunition brands, Prvi Partizan combines a rich history with a dedication to research and innovation. The company has been producing ammunition for military applications since 1928. Well-known for superior quality, Prvi Partizan ammunition is an economical option for budget-conscious civilian shooters who are unwilling to compromise on quality.

    Each new production round features a quality boxer primer and is loaded in a non-corrosive, reloadable brass case. Ideal for tactical training, target practice, and casual plinking, this ammunition features range-safe, non-magnetic, copper-jacketed projectiles. The 85 grain full metal jacket (FMJ) design of these bullets provides excellent penetration with almost zero terminal expansion.

    Leaving the muzzle at 1722 feet per second with 560 foot pounds of energy at the muzzle, these rounds are competitive with most American-made brands. This ammunition comes packed in 50-round boxes with 10 boxes per case.


    Writer | TheFirearmBlog
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    Old soul, certified gunsmith, published author, avid firearm history learner, and appreciator of old and unique guns.