Romanian Tokarev

Here is a Romanian 7.62x25 from 1980’s. I (out of ignorance) associate Tokarev with Pistolet Pulemet Schpagina. I assumed that PPSch was out of service by 1970’s. Clearly I am wrong. So when did 7.62x25 leave active military service?

Most Tokarev TT pistols and the CZ52 were replaced in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s with 9x18, or later, with 9x19mm pistols. The Chinese and North Koreans hung on the longest with their variants of the TT, and still have some random troops in places like prisons equipped with it today. As far as the 7.62x25 caliber in general, China and North Korea still use it lightly, and Zastava still produces the M57 Tokarev pistol: They also make an advanced version of the M57 called the M57 LUX - I wish I had one of those, but they can’t be imported easily to the USA… Probably 98% of all 7.62x25 production and usage is for civilian use in surplus weapons today.

Romania never went to the 9 x 18 mm in any official way although there was some use of the Makarov Pistol by the Securitate. I suspect they had the TT-33 Tokarev Pistol in use later than many COMBLOC countries did, even though they also issued a 7.65 mm Browning-caliber pistol called the Carpati. I think you can still find plenty of PPSh 41s and all the other versions, earlier and later of the 7.62 x 25 mm submachine guns in use in many former Soviet-dominated countries. None of them are truly obsolete, simply obsolescent. The T-54 Chinese Tokarev will probably still be in issue with Militia in China for years to come, even though officially replaced by 9 mm Para-caliber pistols. The same will be true of the PM (Makarov) 9 x 18 mm pistol in the former Soviet Union countries, including Russia. It could take years to replace them all.

Even though Russia officially adopted the 9 x 18 mm Makarov in 1951 with serial production of the pistol beginning in 1953, my highest date on a Russian military Tokarev cartridge is from 1987, 34 years after the beginning of Makarov production.

These weapons and ammunition changes do not take place over night in huge countries like Russia, China and the like.

I didn’t know Zastava still existed, I thought the factories were completely destroyed by NATO bombing.

The NATO bombing destroyed most of the surface buildings of the Zastava concern, but left untouched the underground factory, where the production was never stopped…!


Russain organs even discussed the readoption of the PPS-43 not long ago and not to forget that the new service pistol “PYa” is chambered in 9x19 and has the option of installing barrels in the calibers 9x19 Mak. and 7.62x25 TT (I know the 7.62 AOL is different - assume they have considered the neccessary allowance).

Great info above. The only addition I can make is that Soviet production went up to 1988, at least.

Phillipe, I never knew there was an underground factory, interesting information.

  • @ sksvlad: The 7.62X25 Tokarev cartridge was introduced in Romania by the Russians after 1945. The 7.62X25 Tokarev rimless round was used in Romania by the Russian made PPSh-41 SMG and the TT-33 pistol (also manufactured in Romania during the 1950s). The PPSh-41 SMG remained in military service long after the Romanian made 9mm Orita M1941 (actually the modified variant of 1948) was declared obsolete in late 1950s. In fact the 7.62mm PPSh-41 SMG was still used by some Romanian troops in early 1980s (some second class troops working like “slaves” in construction or other odd army jobs). The TT-33 pistol was used by the Romanian Army and “Militia” (Police) NCOs and officers until late 1980s when it was replaced by the domestic 7.65mm Carpati pistol which fired the less potent .32 round (7.65X17SR). The “Securitate” bad guys used the 9mm Makarov pistol and other small arms. => NOTE: It is less known that some Czech made 7.62mm CZ 24 and 26 submachine-guns which also fired the 7.62X25 Tokarev round were imported in Romania and were used by some troops of the Romanian Army even during mid-1970s. Most of the Romanian made 7.62X25 Tokarev ammo was manufactured at “Sadu” plant located in Gorj county, having the code “22” on the headstamp. Liviu 10/12/09

Hello there,

Can anybody tell me when Romania started to use code 22?

Thank you,


  • @ mihalytoth: The earliest headstamp date I have in my collection showing the Romanian factory code “22” is from 1952, a headstamp for a 7.62X25 Tokarev cartridge with brass case. Liviu 10/13/09 P.S. The headstamp impressed markings are “22” over “52”.

I have a Tokarev with a 22 51 headstamp, but there is some speculation that it is Hungarian, not Romanian.

Liviu & Jonnyc,

Thank you for the information.

I also have these 7,62mm Tokarev cartridges with headstamp 22 52, but these were made in Andezit Works, Jobbagyi, Hungary.

Do you have any information or box labels that show that the 1951-54 “22s” are Hungarian and not Romanian? I have Hungarian boxes that came out of RSA that were reported to have “22” headstamps in them, but I would love to see some confirmation.

One key to sorting out the Hungarian “22” and the Romanian “22” might be to find out when the Romanian factory really started producing. Just a suggestion, if anyone has that information. I don’t know myself. I dohave a Romanian 7.62 x 25 dated from 53 (1953) that is headstamped
22 R P R 53. I have one from the Romanian Arsenal 21 with headstamp 21 RPR 63. This would indicate that probably for the first ten years at least, Romania was using the inititials of the name of their country (People’s Republic of Romania, in English) to avoid confusion with Polish and Hungarian factories using the same factory designators. I would be inclined to believe that early “22” headstamps without the “RPR” are Hungarian, not Romanian. It would be nice to see box labels, though, to prove that. Hungary switched to the 9 x 18 mm cartridge for pistols around 1961 and were making ammunition for them at least as early as 1965, at Arsenal 21, but I don’t know when they actually stopped production of the 7.62 x 25 mm rounds.

Has Straky returned to the Forum yet? If not, maybe someone should ask him back.

Unfortunately I have only the following information: The Hungarian Andezit Works closed in 1954. So the cartridges with code 22 made after 1954 are surely Romanian.

are you sure they closed the whole factory or only the production line of 7,62x25 rounds?

The year 1954 as the closing date for Factory 22 in Hungary, or at lease the cessation of production of the 7.62 x 25 mm Tokarev cartridge, squares with lists of headstamps of that caliber, showin “22 54” as the last headstamp. Hungarian 7.62 x 25 mm rounds from Balcony Müvek, which closed down c.1989, and used the heastamp “21,” are known with dates as high as 1970.

John Moss

  • @ John Moss: The 3-letter headstamp mark “RPR” (Republica Populara Romana - in Romanian language) was used until 1965 (including that year) on most of the Romanian headstamps. Back in Romania (during the military service) I saw Romanian made 7.62X25 Tokarev ammo headstamped “22 52”, “22 53”, “22 55”, “22 56” and later years; I also saw the ammo boxes and their labels, the ammo was Romanian made, not Hungarian. Romanian Army NEVER used ammo manufactured in Hungary. => The State plant “21” was at Cugir in Transylvania and the State plant “22” was the “Sadu” factory from Gorj county. The “Army Pyrotechny” established in 1939 in Gorj county used during the WW2 years the headstamp mark “PA” (making 7.92X57, 13.2X99 and other types of ammo) and later after the end of WW2 it became the State plant “22”. Unfortunately I cannot tell for sure if 1952 is the earliest (or not) year with the Romanian code “22”. After 1945 Romania was under total Soviet control and the Russians did their best to force Romania to adopt the Soviet-type ammo and their weapons and to give up to some models of weapons used before 1945 by the Romanian Army. Liviu 10/14/09

Well, it seems we now really need box labels and in-depth historical information on when and what calibers the Romanian and the Hungarian factorys using number 22 were producing after WWII. We have a credible opinion on Romanian ammunition; anyone from Hungary have any facts, preferably documented with box labels or the like, on the Hungarian production of Tokarev ammunition? They used and made the Tokarev TT-33 Pistol.

Regarding Romania, when did Dugir start producing the 7.62 x 25 and what year did they discontinue production of it at that factory?

It would be nice, thru the good offices of this Forum, to resolve the identification of these Tokarev rounds once and for all. The arsenals 21 and 22 are a special confusion, due to three countries using one or both of them, and it appears from Liviu’s information, inconsistent use of the identifier “RPR” by Romania early on.

Does anyone have any Hungarian 7.62 x 25 mm box label from arsenal 22 in their collection?

John Moss