PRC Tokarev Tracer


I received this pic from a gentleman in the PRC. As a Tokarev collector it is very exciting for me. Has anyone actually seen an example of this round? … /prc10.jpg


No, interesting. Makes sense to exist.
Have seen so far ony the Chinese 9mm Makarov tracer. (Russian as well)


I have never heard of a PRC Makarov tracer! Green tip? I do have a PRC Tokarev tracer with a light purple tip, confirmed by pulling and sectioning.


hs was “71 89”, green tip


EOD - the Chinese round you saw, 71 89 with a green tip, was not an original Chinese Tracer. It is not a fake, either. These were ball rounds converted to tracers by C&T Cartridge Co in Tucson, Arizona, for commercial purposes. “71 89” is the exact headstamp used. The rounds are roughly contemporary to the date on the headstamp - early 1990s I would say. Unfortunately, I did not record in my records the date I acquired the ones I had. I bought some there myself. On this batch, he exactly duplicated the COMBLOC green lacquer that is used on Russian tracers of various calibers. He also loaded some on B-WESt- headstamped Russian ammo made by the Tula Cartridge Works, but on that lot, which still show the original red case-mouth seal and primer seal, he used a rather unattractive flat green paint for the tip color. Unfortunately, while I had both in my collection, I had to give them up along with all my other tracer, incendiary, etc. cartridges to comply with changes in California law. I still have catalogued record of all of those types that I had, however, so at least I was able to preserve the information. I also have the little 5-round packaging for the C&T Makarov tracers, although it is the one for the converted Russian cartridges. I have never seen or heard of an “original” Chinese Makarov tracer either, which is not to say, of course, that it doesn’t exist!

The true Russian Makarov tracer does not have a green tip, of course, but rather simply a green mouth seal to identify it. I have never seen a live one, but some display dummies from military trade shows such as USATORY in Europe have been seen on the collector market. As far as I know, they are completely inert, including the trace compound. They may even be ball bullets, since they were made up just for displays and also for cartridge boards (Woodin lab has a board with one of these tracers on it).


John, thanks for this essential information. Do you have an image of these converted ones?

The Russian tracer I have is drilled and has an intact primer and came from the Russian MIA (CWS, hs: 188 95). Think this one is genuine since I would heve been told if not so.


EOD -I am sure your Russian dummy tracer is absolutely legitimate. I have two minor variations of factory dummy, differing only in the location of the hole in the case with one being just above the extractor groove and the other being about halfway up the case, and both from the same factory as yours, but with the headstamp - 188 97.

Both of mine have the snapped primer with green PA and green CMS They also have three very, very light stab-type bullet crimps about 3m/m below the case mouth - so light that I wonder if they really are performing the desired function.

They came directly to me from a friend who got them at one of the European military shows, along with some other interesting dummies, like dummy proof 9mm Makarov, and dummy Makarovs with a painted black, magnetic bullet of odd ogive.

I have no image of the C&T Tracers. I had to give up over 2000 cartridges from my collection when I got rid of all the California-banned rounds, and had no possible way to record them other than the entry already in my own collection catalog, which is not photographic. The Chine one though looks just like a ball round but with the bright, metallic green tip - about the same color and tone that is on the DDR practice tracer 7.62 x 39 rounds. The other one looks, in profile, like any other Russian ball round with red mouth seal. It has a green tip. I don’t remember it well enough to accurately describe the color tone, but it was not “metallic” - it was quite dull. I want to say that it was almost an olive green, but that might not be accurate. It has been a long time since I had it.


John, my Russian one has no bullet crimp (after you wrote it I checked for it to see if I missed something). Beside that and the year it is identical to yours.
The stab crimps I have seen on other 9mm Makarovs from the 90’s already but on the latest I have there are none anymore (2004).


Sorry, I have only a few 7,62 rounds.
One of them have a green tip. No head stamp.



Thanks, Dutch.
That one is Russian. The color tip is very good.


[quote=“Dutch”]Sorry, I have only a few 7,62 rounds.
One of them have a green tip. No head stamp.



This is (should be) the tracer model of 1943, actually by this time the Russians were using headstamps on their 7.62x25 rounds (since 1941).
I wonder if somebody “pimped” a ball cartridge. Any other thoughts on this?


I have legitimate Soviet blank, tracer, and API in cases with and without headstamp. It is very possible that production lines for special loads got whatever cases were surplus at the time they needed them. Once headstamping became the norm, in 1942, all those unheadstamped cases were surplus.