Back in the 1980s and 90s, you could get a great deal on a 9mm Tokarev copy, if you didn’t mind the wonky lettering on the slide.
In 1951, as part of a short-lived period of Revolutionary Co-Prosperity with Moscow, Mao’s China and Stalin’s Soviet Union shared the technology package to build the TT-33 Tokarev pistol design in the land of The Red Dragon. In short order, an estimated 250,000 Tokarev clones, made with a mixture of donated Soviet and new-made Chinese parts, came off the lines as the new Type 51 pistol. A few years later, the design was gently modified into the all-Chinese Type 54, a pistol that remained in Chinese front-line service well into the 1990s and still exists in second-line armories.
Fast forward through Nixon’s rapprochement with Communist China and the normalization of trade between the two Pacific giants, and in 1980, the China North Industries Corporation, better known as Norinco, was formed. Within a few years, tons of new-made Norinco firearms, including SKS and AK pattern rifles, were being shipped to the U.S. for sporting purposes.
This brings us to the Norinco TU90 and 213.
With a 4.5-inch barrel and 31-ounce weight, the Norinco 213 is an 8+1 9mm that is roughly the same size as an M1911 Government Issue and is based on the Chinese Type 54…which is based on the Soviet TT-33 Tokarev…which is based on the…
More in my column at Guns.com.
ARES has an interesting piece up about the cottage industry suppressed weapons appearing in the Donbass in use by Russian separatists which is odd because Uncle Putin hasn’t had a problem supplying these proxy little green men with all of their needs up to and including advanced missile systems.
Still, curious hoglegs:
One of the weapons, dubbed ‘Deaf-mute Aunt Tanya from Donbas’, appears to be a modified Russian TT-33 type self-loading pistol which has been converted to chamber the 9 x 18 Makarov cartridge with the addition of a newly-manufactured barrel. This barrel is threaded to accept a suppressor.
Then there is a subgun series that ARES says:
This particular weapon appears to be a derivative of a submachine gun produced in the early 1990s at the Zavod Arsenal plant in Kiev, and is possibly a continuation of this production by separatist forces. The weapon can be seen fielded by a separatist fighter with the suppressor and wire stock removed. A smaller submachine gun which is also shown appears to incorporate an integrally-suppressed barrel unit. Such a configuration reduces overall length whilst still incorporating a suppressor of a useful and effective size.