Russian Tokarev 7,62

The story tells that these cartridges were left by the retreating German Army, Flanders, september 1944. I think it concerns Russian Tokarev 7,62. It seems obvious the Germans used this kind of ammunition as they used the Mauser.30 in considerable quantities for the C96, still in use. But if so, it seems even so a long way from the vast plaines of Russia to Flanders Fields. And can someone tell something about the cartridge without headstamp?



These cartridges should not have been used in any C-96 which was not so wide spread. If I remember correctly the C-96 was not diely used and if only by troops away from the frontline and the somewhat irregular equipped SS.
Plenty of Russian artillery pieces were used in installations along the channel (Normandy). Maybe some captured SMGs were issued to these troops too.

The round without hs was made by factory #38 Tula Cartridge Works before 1941.

To what I see the more interesting one is the “541 42” as it is a copper clad steel case. These are hard to find in good condition.

While I do not have anything to answer your query with, please remember this: firing 7,62x25mm Tokarev in a C96 may incur LARGE damage both to the gun and the shooter. Don’t do it. Ever.

The Tokarev loads of the ammo of that time (and our time, too) was much hotter than that of the 7,63x25mm Mauser, and as such a Mauser may or may not handle shooting 7,62x25mm Tok, especially not over prolonged time. While it is true that a Tokarev round will load and chamber perfectly fine in most C96 guns, the pressure ratings of the cartridges differ severely and I hope that anyone who tries doing firing such a combination have a brilliant life insurance. You do NOT want a C96 bolt implanted into your face.

I would believe that the Germans were more than clever enough to realise this themselves at the time, and avoided it. :-)

It is much more likely that any German troops using the ammunition would be firing it out of a captured Sovjet TT33, PPsh-41, PPS-43, or, unlikely, Finnish Kp.44.
Firing 7,63x25mm Mauser out of a Tokarev-chambered firearm is on the other hand generally accepted as being safe and it is not unheard of that German troops would feed captured SMGs and handguns with their own ammunition.

Thank you, Eod. I’ve two of these 541-42.

First, if Alex does not need that CWS 541 42, I could use it. I have that round with a brass case, but not steel.

Second, I believe it is more likely that the Germans discovered that Soviet 7.62 Tokarev ammo performed very closely to German, Czech, and Austrian 7.63 Mauser ammo, and that they used captured stocks in any weapons chambered for either 7.62 Tokarev or 7.63 Mauser.

Why should they do that?

There were 1.5 Million rounds on stock and they produced the Mauser round during the war in small quantities.


I don’t know of any German/Austrian production of 7.63 Mauser ammo after 1941, at least none labeled or headstamped as such. Significant numbers of Mauser pistols, not to mention issued and captured 7.63 and 7.62 chambered SMGs, were carried by German troops and their allies, and they needed ammo from somewhere. Captured stocks of Soviet 7.62 Tokarev ammo were the perfectly logical source of supply.

SMGs in 7.63 ?

Without looking, I can think of at least some Bergmann and Sig models, as well as some full-auto Mausers and Astras.

And they were in German service? Can’t have been many I guess.

I agree with jonnyc that the Soviet 7.62 mm pistol cartridge was not any hotter than the 7.63 Mauser. Bolotin rates it at 2100 bar while German catalogues of the time for 7.63 Mauser mention maximum pressure 2450.
Nominal muzzle velocity from TT was 420 m/s versus 437 m/s from Mauser C96 (longer barrel).

Czech military loads are a very different matter. (561 m/s from vz 52 measured by Ulm proof house).

Not so strange that these were found in Flanders fields. In my area (Province of Zeeland in the Netherlands) these are found on several locations. Also 7,62x54R has been found. I know of 3 TT-33 pistols that were left here after the war and of 2 locations where DP-28 drums were found on former battle fields. Not so strange if you consider that there were Armanians stationed here in the area in 1944.

Could you please clarify what exactly “Armanians” are?
Also, any chance you can find any 541 42 Tokarevs with steel cases?

EOD - I can’t speak for what Americans call “submachine guns” in 7.63 mm being used much in the German forces. I am sure there were probably some. However, The full-auto version of the Mauser Pistol, the so-called “Schnellfeuer Mauser Pistole” was used quite a bit by the Waffen SS. I have seen several pictures of them in use on the Russian front, especially.

I agree with Jon and Peelen that the idea that the 7.62 Tokarev as loaded in most countries (we exclude Czechoslovakia, noted for its “hot” load in this caliber) will blow to pieces a Mauser pistol is a myth.

Jon - I think the word we are looking for is “Armenians,” as spelled in this country. I am no expert on the German use of foreign troops, but I believe there were Armenian units, anti-soviet even though Armenia was part of the USSR, within the German military establishment during the war, primarily, I think, in the Waffen SS, as I believe at least early on, membership in the Wermacht (Heer, Luftwaffe & Kriegsmarine) was limited to native-born Germans. I believe that is what Erik Windisch once told me. Anyone who believes I am wrong is free to correct me, as again, I admit to being somewhat ignorant about this subject.

In line with what was said by Jon, Jochem and John, this is the ballistic performance of the 7.63 mm Mauser published by DWM in the 1930’s:

1930: bullet 5,5 g, load 0,53 g, muzzle velocity 420 m/s, barrel lenght 14 cm.
1934: bullet 5,5 g, load 0,52 g, muzzle velocity 443 m/s, barrel lenght 14 cm, pressure 2500 kg/cm2.
1937: same as above.

And this is the ballistic performance of the 7.62 mm pistol cartridge published by the Soviet Union in 1940:

Bullet 5,52 g, load 0,5 g, muzzle velocity 420 m/s, barrel lenght 11,6 cm

John, I agree on “Armenians”, but I did not want to presume. And what you were told about various foreigners in German service, especially in the Waffen-SS and various militias, is true.


The cartridge is described in Kennblätter Fremden Geräts as 7,62 mm Pistolen-Patronen 2601 ® .
But, captured ammo was always checked in a Heeres Munitionsanstallt, labelled and sends to units who needed this ammo.
Unfortunately I have never seen any German label of this Russian cartridge.

Of course, I also have pictures were German solders carrying a Russian MP. Think these pictures were made in Russia.
Can also show you pictures were German solders carrying a .50 Browning or a Thomson MP.
It is not unusual when they took what was there. Carrying it true Europe ( ammo) is a different story.