Question for Tokarev fans/experts?

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scoobysnacker
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Question for Tokarev fans/experts?

Post by scoobysnacker » February 14th, 2015, 4:17 pm

I'm having a jamming problem with one of my Tokarevs. It is a Norinco T-54 that came in the base 9mm setup (the slide is marked 9mm, etc).

I've owned 2 of these for years, both had functioned fine until recently. Now, the older one is a 1 shot pistol; the slide freezes back and will not rebound. It requires a forceful tap (and by that, I mean a FIRM whack on the back of the slide) to go back into battery. I brought it to my local gunsmith when this issue first occurred, and that's exactly what he did, a little scornfully I might add; and then he made a comment about "soft steel" and that I should just sell it. Never really looked it over.

Now, I've since looked both pistols over, and the frame and slides look identical other than one is more blued. Once I've field-stripped and reassembled the pistols, I can hand-cycle them without issue. Neither set of rails look different from the other, I can't see any deformation on slide or frame. So I bought a new Wolff recoil spring, in the hope that might have been an issue. But the older pistol still freezes on live ammo. I have to pay at a range, I don't have the cash to do a thorough trial-and-error.

The frame and slide seem fine, and going to a newer, stiffer recoil spring did not correct the problem. As noted, the gunsmith didn't seem took interested in suggesting anything other than tossing it.

After swapping the recoil spring out, I notice that during reassembly, I have to really fiddle with the barrel/spring assembly to get it "just so", or else I can't rack the slide to insert the slide stop; it will be frozen forward. If/when I get the slide stop pin in (through the barrel linkage, through the frame), the gun will then cycle by hand. Sometimes, if I get everything just-so, the slide can hand-cycle without the slide-stop in place, but any jostling will cause a misalignment, and the slide is frozen forward (until I reinsert the slide-stop through the linkage, then the guns will cycle by hand). I note this on both pistols.

So, this has me wondering- possibly the slide-stop or barrel linkage is the issue? Might either of these become worn to a point where the barrel isn't seating correctly into the slide on forceful recoil (live ammo vs hand-cycle), causing the pistol to freeze in the slide-back position? As I noted, I did replace the old recoil spring, which was noticeably weaker than the new one. Perhaps the weakened spring led to failure of one/both of these parts...

Any suggestions (other than "throw it away")? Can anyone clarify the "soft steel" comment, as I've read that online before, by people disparaging the Norincos, but they don't go into detail; they just sound a lot like my gunsmith: Norinco's are soft steel, and they are junk (I guess because they are Chinese commie bastards and can't make anything good).

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Curly1
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Re: Question for Tokarev fans/experts?

Post by Curly1 » February 14th, 2015, 7:11 pm

How many rounds have you put thru it?

These are known to have a short service life of around 2k rounds for some production runs.
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Gary

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Re: Question for Tokarev fans/experts?

Post by scoobysnacker » February 14th, 2015, 7:32 pm

I've put maybe 500 through it, it was definitely worn in when I got it, though.
Came with 2 9mm barrels (they are identical).

Of the 2 Norincos, this older one had the much slicker action. The new one was had to rack the slide if the hammer hadn't been cocked, the old one was very smooth. Up until the moment of sticking, this one had been functioning fine; then suddenly the slide jammed back. Took to gunsmith, he gave it a whack and it reset.
I took it home, broke it down, cleaned it up thoroughly, ordered a stiff new recoil spring, went to range, one shot and stuck again. This time I whacked it myself.

What is expected to fail at 2000 rds?

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Re: Question for Tokarev fans/experts?

Post by Curly1 » February 15th, 2015, 12:07 am

[quote=What is expected to fail at 2000 rds?[/quote]

Something made in China in the 1950's
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Gary

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Re: Question for Tokarev fans/experts?

Post by scoobysnacker » February 15th, 2015, 3:04 am

Curly1 wrote:
What is expected to fail at 2000 rds?[/quote wrote:
Something made in China in the 1950's
:lol:
Point taken

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Re: Question for Tokarev fans/experts?

Post by scoobysnacker » May 15th, 2015, 12:58 am

Update- so I FINALLY had time to go shooting some again (been busy with family concerns).
I was able to determine the problem with the Tokarev; the crappy safety was the culprit. The tiny screws had somehow sheared and I guess there had been some steel "grit" binding up the slide; I say steel, but those damn screws felt almost like a zinc alloy. Totally junk. I removed the safety altogether, cleaned and lubed it up well, and nervously tested it out with a couple magazines of PPU. All good. Now, I just have to figure out a way to plug the holes, maybe I'll spring for a set of Marschal's (he makes some that cover those).

I'm happy with that, since I like this gun. When it isn't on the fritz, it's accurate as heck. Maybe it's because the Tokarev is very similar to a 1911, but I find both my Toks to be very straight shooters

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Re: Question for Tokarev fans/experts?

Post by Curly1 » May 15th, 2015, 9:45 am

Good news yea I have read where the ATF required Bubba safeties cause all kinda problems.
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Re: Question for Tokarev fans/experts?

Post by scoobysnacker » May 22nd, 2015, 11:42 am

Yeah, now the fun part will be covering those holes in the frame :( .
There are grips from both Marshals and grips4u that would do it (I particularly like the ones from Grips4u), but either set would cost basically what I had paid for the gun.
An ideal solution would be to find some cheaper ones, either from Thailand or a resin-based set, but I haven't found any yet. I might try my hand at making some myself with a couple pieces of hardwood.

For now, it's fine as-is. It's not used other than at the range, and I'll just keep it clean.

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Re: Question for Tokarev fans/experts?

Post by scoobysnacker » May 23rd, 2015, 1:40 am

ok, interesting idea on the grip issue. Curious as to whether it would work.
When I bought this pistol back in around 05, it came with some homemade thin grips that actually do cover the safety holes, tossed into the shipping box (I was able to find them). Apparently that safety had been removed, and then put back on when the gun was sold. The grips are a semi-translucent green plastic, and I think there is some old brown paint on them (pretty ugly). Actually quite thin and comfortable. Inserted into the back of the grips is a machined piece of metal (looks like it was once part of a metal yardstick, you can still see the numbers). It fits great, but there is no hole for the escutcheon/hardware; I'm guessing it was kept in place by a hogue handall. The flat metal piece is also completely flat, so even if there was a hole, the hardware wouldn't be at the right level to hold things firmly.

Here's my thought- I've read online that people have made things from JB Weld. You take play doh, use it to make a mold (in this case the grips- simply press them into the playdoh), and then mix the JB Weld and dump it into your mold. Let it set, you have... whatever your mold is.

http://www.instructables.com/id/JB-Weld-Casting/

Seems like there is a decent bit of info on that site on stuff to make molds etc (since you're basically just copying the shape of something else). Maybe clay instead of playdough, for example.

Should be possible to recreate a 2-sided mold, with clay, press the grip into it, maybe line the boundary with cellophane or wax paper, then press more clay on top. lift the wax paper and top half carefully, and invert- and then remove the grip.
Then- taking an original surplus grip, carefully press in the back side (to get the correct profile for where the hardware will fit and move inside the frame). Heck, if you're feeling bold, also carefully press the outside part into the other mold, so you get the CCCP Star on the visible part.
Let that clay set up and harden some, then reset them (maybe with some wax paper or something), with a small channel for pouring or injecting.
Pour or inject in, then after it sets, drill out the hole for the hardware, trim the excess, and you now have epoxy resin grips.

Question is, would JB Weld be the appropriate material to make a grip from?

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Re: Question for Tokarev fans/experts?

Post by MJ1 » May 5th, 2016, 11:48 pm

I apologize for disagreeing with some of this post. Factory 26/Norinco has never made an arm with a 2M life cycle. The pistol is made from forgings and the barrel from a forged blank that was button rifled. The 26/Norinco 1911 pistols of the same vintage as the 213 was one of the sought after base guns in the 1980's and early 1990's for these reasons. I had several 26/Norinco rifles in the mid 1960's and while they seemed crude and had rough tool marks in the non-critical areas they seldom failed. I can even say almost never failed even after severe damage. I can not speak tot he bits used to deface a an otherwise war proven pistol with a mandated after thought safety lever. I would have to see documentation supporting a 2K life span. Thank you for listening to an old soldiers opinion.

Respectfully
..MJ..

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