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Overview of Soviet Military Handguns: Nagant, Tokarev, Makarov

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Today we are looking at an overview of Soviet military service sidearms. This begins with the Model 1895 Nagant revolver, inherited from the Czarist Russian Army. The Nagant was adopted as the standard Red Army handgun, specifically in double action. Soviet refitting led to single-action Nagant revolvers being extremely rare today. In the late 1920s, a development program for a new semiautomatic pistol was run, which resulted in adoption of the TT30 Tokarev. Refinement of the Tokarev led to the TT33, adopted in 1933 and entering significant production in late 1935.

The Tokarev was considered a flawed pistol, and a new program in the late 1930s looked to replace it. A new design was chosen, but the German invasion in 1941 ended that project, and the Tokarev and Nagant would serve together through the end of World War Two. In the aftermath of the war, the Soviet Union adopted a wholly new suite of small arms. The new pistol was to be something lighter and handier, and with better safety features than the Tokarev. The PM Makarov was adopted to this end, and entered production in the early 1950s. It was used through the collapse of the Soviet Union, with a PMM (modernized) version unveiled in 1990, with a larger magazine. Eventually, the Russian Federation adopted the MP-443 Grach in 2003, a locker-breech 9x19mm pistol to replace the Makarovs.

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