The 7.62×25mm Tokarev cartridge is a Russian rimless bottlenecked pistol cartridge widely used in former Soviet satellite states, China and Pakistan among other countries. Although most firearms chambered in this caliber were declared obsolete and removed from military inventories, some police and special forces units in Russia, Pakistan and (mainly) in China may still use it because of the large quantity of stored ammunition available.
The cartridge is in principle an enhanced Russian version of the 7.63×25mm Mauser. Prior to the First World War, the 7.63×25mm Mauser C96 pistol gained in popularity worldwide, and in 1908, the Tsarist army placed the C96 on a list of approved sidearms that officers could purchase at their own expense in lieu of carrying the Nagant M1895 revolver. Between 1914 and 1917, more Mauser pistols and ammunition were obtained as captured arms from German and Turkish forces. The Mauser and its cartridge were used on all fronts of the Russian Civil War, and the Russians produced a wide array of loadings for this cartridge for use in submachine guns. In 1929, the Soviet Artillery Committee made a proposal to develop a domestic pistol chambered for the Mauser cartridge. After considerable research and development, it was decided that the "Model 1930 7.62 mm pistol cartridge," essentially the Mauser round with minor modifications, was to become the standard caliber for Soviet pistols and submachine guns.
Although dimensionally similar to the Mauser cartridge, so much so that both cartridges will chamber, load and fire in any of these weapons, the Soviets increased the power of the Tokarev cartridge powder charge significantly. As such, while the lower-power Mauser rounds can be safely used in any of these weapons, the Tokarev cartridge is not safely used in weapons which were not designed for the added pressure. 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 CZ vz. 52, which was the standard Czech service pistol from 1952 until 1982.
The pistol-fired bullet has various muzzle velocities around the range of 1,300 to 1,800 feet-per-second. A common velocity is around 1,450 fps, with about 401 foot-pounds of energy. Given the wide disparity in ammunition manufactured in many different nations, ammunition is encountered that yields higher and lower velocities. Some newly manufactured ammunition intended for commercial use has a velocity of approximately 1,560 fps; Wolf Gold FMJ tops out at 1,720 fps with 570 foot-pounds force, as does PPU ammunition. Some of this ammunition, such as the Wolf Gold and Sellier & Bellot, use boxer primed brass cases that are reloadable.
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