7.62×25mm Tokarev is a Soviet Russian bottlenecked pistol cartridge widely used in former Soviet and Soviet satellite states, China and Pakistan among other countries. The cartridge has since been replaced in Russian service by the 9×18mm Makarov, but it is still produced widely today and is used often by shooting enthusiasts for its low recoil, high-velocity and cheap cost. There is so much surplus ammunition on the market that there is actually not enough weapons for it. Since it has become popular with target shooters, hollow-points have also been produced for self-defense.
Description[edit | edit source]
7.62x25mm Tokarev is a very fast, hot cartridge that relies heavily on velocity rather than extensive ballistics, similar to a .357 SIG. Surplus 7.62×25mm Tokarev ammo from China, Russia, Austria, Bulgaria, and the Czech Republic as well as current commercial ammo produced by Sellier & Bellot all measured 42,000 c.u.p. at the lab at Accurate Arms in 2000 by ballistician Ted Curtis. He measured the surplus Soviet ammunition averaging 31,000 c.u.p. The Czech ammunition was manufactured for use in the CZ52s, while the other countries were manufacturing ammunition used in Tokarevs. Accurate Arms then sold load data in 2000 listing 42,000 c.u.p. loads for CZ52s. By 2004 Johan Loubser Ballistic Lab manager at Accurate Powders reduced the loads to less than 2400 bar or 34,809 psi, and those reduced loads were made complementary from AA on their web site. While the 86 gr AA#9 load is said by AA to be reduced from 41,300 c.u.p. to 33,851 psi, Quickload software calculates that AA's loads went from 57,158 psi down to 28,551 psi. Loads by Sierra at 90 gr AA#7 specifically for the CZ52 remain at 22,385 psi as calculated by Quickload.
Performance[edit | edit source]
The pistol-fired bullet has various muzzle velocities around the range of 1300 to 1800 fps. A common velocity would be around 442 metres per second (1,450 ft/s) with about 544 joules (401 ft·lbf) of energy. Given the wide disparity in ammunition manufactured in many different nations, ammunition will be encountered that yields higher and lower velocity. Some newly manufactured ammunition intended for commercial use has a velocity of approximately 1,560 feet per second (480 m/s). Wolf Gold FMJ tops out at 1,720 feet per second (520 m/s) with 570 foot-pounds force (770 J) as does PPU ammunition. Some of this ammunition, such as the Wolf Gold and Sellier & Bellot, uses boxer primed, brass cases that are reloadable.
Weapons Used In[edit | edit source]
The most notable use of this cartridge was in the Tokarev TT-33 pistol, which was the Soviet Union's standard service pistol from the early 1930s until the mid-1960s. It was also used in the Czech ČZ vz. 52, which was the standard Czech service pistol from 1952 until 1982. The cartridge was also used in several submachine guns, including the Soviet PPD-40, PPSh-41, and PPS-43, the Russian PP-19 Bizon, the East German WG66, the Czech Sa 24 and Sa 26.