Military and Police Surplus and Military Style Handguns

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Reloading Handgun

Colt 45 1911A1

1911 A1
Action Type Recoil operated Semiauto
Weight unloaded (lbs) 2.4
Barrel Length 5.0
Cartridge 45 ACP
Cartridge Capacity 7 rounds + 1

Even a hundred years after its introduction, the John Browning designed pistol still has a strong following. No other pistol design can claim to have a wider selection of aftermarket parts and accessories. The 45 ACP cartridge works well with a variety of cast lead bullets.

Seldom does one come across a surplus military 1911 at a decent price but good copies are still made.

Field Stripping the 1911 Pistol

Walter P-38 Pistol

This is the first general issue double action pistol used by any military force in the world. It was the standard military sidearm of the German army during World War II although supply shortages meant that many other pistol types remained in use by the German Military throughout the war. It's main benefit from a military standpoint was that it was safer to carry around cocked and locked than most single action pistols of the day.

Nazi era P38 pistols will typically be stamped with a letter code to identify the manufacturer. Walther is ac, Mauser is byf and Spreewerke is cyq.

P38
Action Type Recoil operated Semiauto
Weight unloaded (lbs) 2.10
Barrel Length (inches) 4.8
Cartridge 9 mm Luger
Cartridge Capacity 8 rounds + 1

Walther P-1

This double action pistol was first manufactured in 1957. It is a post World War II copy of the Walther P38 which uses an aluminum alloy frame but otherwise, all parts including the magazine are interchangable with the P38. It was issued to police and Military in West Germany and now has become a relatively common item on the surplus market. Of course they are nowhere near as valuable to collectors as the Steel Frame P38. An interesting thing to note is that the Walther P1/P38 ejects fired cartridge cases to the left and forward instead of to the right as is the case with most military pistols.

P-1
Action Type Recoil operated Semiauto
Weight unloaded (lbs) 1.75
Barrel Length (inches) 4.8
Cartridge 9 mm Luger
Cartridge Capacity 8 rounds + 1

After the fall of the Berlin Wall and the breakup of the Soviet Union, numerous handguns coming from stockpiles of former Warsaw Pact Nations came on the market.

Warsaw Pact Blow Back Pistols

The following pistols were derived from the Walther PP and PPK and are field stripped and cleaned in the same manner.

Field Striping Walther PP Clones

Pointing the muzzle of the pistol in a safe direction.

  1. Remove the magazine by pushing the magazine release button and withdrawing the magazine.
  2. Pull back the slide to look in the chamber to verify that the gun is unloaded and allow it to go forward again.
  3. Pull the front of the trigger guard down out of the recess and move it to the left so that it is resting on the frame.
  4. Pull the slide all the way back and lift the back of the slide off of the frame. Ease it forward off of the barrel.
  5. The recoil spring may be removed by pulling it off in the direction of the muzzle of the barrel.

To reassemble

  1. Slide the recoil spring on to the barrel small end first.
  2. Pull the front of the trigger guard down out of the recess and move it to the left so that it is resting on the frame.
  3. Take the slide and slip the muzzle of the barrel through the hole below the front sight.
  4. Pull the slide back to and down to the rearmost position.
  5. Allow the slide to go forward and move the trigger guard back into the recess in the frame.

Makarov

Double action, semiauto pistol derived from the Walther PP Pistol. Manufactured in Russia and a number of former Warsaw Pact Nations such as Bulgaria and East Germany. Magazine Catch is at the bottom rear of the grip. Fairly small and reliable pistol. Spare Parts and magazines are inexpensive

Makarov
Action Type Blow back Semiauto
Weight unloaded (lbs) 1.6
Barrel Length (inches) 3.8
Cartridge 9 x 18 mm Makarov
Cartridge Capacity 8 rounds + 1

FEG PA-63

Double action semi auto pistol made in Hungary. The action is similar in operation to the Makarov and the Walther PP pistols. Lightweight, and easy to operate, the PA-63 is not a bad carry gun although "Gun Tests" did not rate it very highly. One of its better features is that the magazine catch is on the left side of the pistol behind the trigger rather than at the base of the grip as it the case with the Makarov.

The frame is made of an aluminum alloy which is not considered to be as durable at the Makarov's steel frame. The use of ammmunition loaded with bullets weighing more than a hundred grains should be avoided in order to maximize the life of these handguns. Replacing the factory recoil spring with a 13 or 15 pound rated extra strength spring will also help to minimize wear and make the gun more comfortable to shoot.

PA-63
Action Type Blow back Semiauto
Weight unloaded (lbs) 1.4
Barrel Length (inches) 3.8
Cartridge 9 x 18 mm Makarov
Cartridge Capacity 7 rounds + 1

Polish Model 64 Pistol

Made in Poland, it is somewhat more compact than the Makarov. Recoil with standard ammunition is significant. The magazine catch is at the bottom rear of the grip.

Polish Model 64
Action Type Blow back Semiauto
Weight unloaded (lbs) 1.5
Barrel Length (inches) 3.3
Cartridge 9 x 18 mm Makarov
Cartridge Capacity 6 rounds + 1

Czech CZ82

Czech CZ 82
Action Type Double Action Blow back Semiauto
Weight unloaded (lbs) 1.8
Barrel Length (inches) 3.8
Cartridge 9 x 18 mm Makarov
Cartridge Capacity 12 rounds + 1

Painted finish often chipped. Double stack magazine gives it a somewhat more bulky profile than other Warsaw Pact blowback pistols with single stack magazines. Unique polygonal rifled barrel.

Tokarev 1933

Single action semiautomatic pistol originally made by the Soviet Union. It is a recoil operated pistol derived from the Browning designed Colt 1911 but with several changes done to reduce manufacturing costs and simplify repair in the field. Disassembly is similar to the 1911. Functional but a rather awkward pistol to shoot. No safety only a half cock notch on the sear.

Some copies made by China are so roughly made that they will have very visible tool marks. When new, it is sometimes necessary to smooth the bearing surfaces with abrasive stone before they will function reliably.

Tokarev 33
Action Type Single action Recoil Operated Semiauto
Weight unloaded (lbs) 1.9
Barrel Length (inches) 4.6
Cartridge 7.62 x 25 mm Tokarev
Cartridge Capacity 8 rounds + 1

Norinco Model 213

Chinese copy of the Tokarev pistol made for the American Market chambered in 9 x 19mm Nato. These pistols have a rudimentary safety on the left side in front of the hammer.

Norinco Model 213
Action Type Single Action Recoil Operated Semiauto
Weight unloaded (lbs) 1.9
Barrel Length (inches) 4.6
Cartridge 9 x 19mm NATO
Cartridge Capacity 8 rounds + 1

Tokarev Field Stripping

  1. Press the magazine release on the left side of the pistol and remove the magazine.
  2. With finger off of the trigger, point the pistol in a safe direction and pull the slide back to verify that the pistol is unloaded.
  3. Press the recoil spring plug in. Holding the recoil plug in, turn the barrel bushing to the right until the bushing starts to come out. Be careful to prevent the bushing springing out.
  4. Pull the slide back until the slide stop is under the disassembly notch. On the right hand side of the pistol a portion of the slide stop will protude from the pistol. Push it in and withdraw the slide stop from the left.
  5. Push the slide forward off of the receiver.
  6. Remove the recoil spring from the slide by pulling it back.
  7. Remove the barrel by pushing it forward from the slide

Czech CZ 52

The CZ 52 uses a locking mechanism similar to that found on German MG42 Belt fed machine gun. Two rollers on the barrel assembly of the pistol are pressed into recesses in the slide when the action is closed. This rather unique recoil operated pistol was designed to operate at somewhat higher pressures than most military handguns. While the 7.62 x 25 Tokarev is a fairly stout cartridge firing a 85 grain fmj bullet with a muzzle velocity of about 1450 feet per second, Czech M48 Tokarev ammunition is reported to generate a muzzle velocities in excess of 1600 feet per second. As is the case with many older European pistols the magazine release is on the base of the grip behind the magazine floor plate.

Czech CZ 52
Action Type Single Action Recoil Operated Semiauto
Weight unloaded (lbs) 2.3
Barrel Length (inches) 4.7
Cartridge 7.62 x 25mm Tokarev
Cartridge Capacity 8 rounds + 1

Notes on shooting the CZ 52

Do not dry fire these pistols, CZ52's have a reputation of having brittle firing pins.

The standard recoil spring strength for this pistol is 14.5 pounds. I found that by replacing the recoil spring with a 18.5 pound extra strength spring, the gun became a lot more comfortable to shoot with military surplus ammunition and it still will function with my lower power cast bullet loads. It does require a little more effort to pull the slide back though. The cost for the spring from Wolff gunsprings is about 8 dollars plus shipping. Replacement barrels are also available to convert these pistols to fire 9 mm Luger, no other modification is needed. Note that you may have to buy another pair of rollers if you are looking to swap barrels.

British Efield No. 2 Mark 1* Double Action Revolver

This break open revolver was once a common item on the surplus market in the early 1990's. It has a bobbed hammer and is chambered in 38 Smith & Wesson not 38 Smith & Wesson Special.

British Enfield No. 2 MarK 1*
Action Type Double Action only Revolver
Weight unloaded (lbs) 1.7
Barrel Length (inches) 5.0
Overall Length (inches) 9.5
Cartridge .380 inch or 38 S&W
Cartridge Capacity 6 rounds

Military load was a 178 grain Cupro nickel full metal jacket bullet with a muzzle velocity of about 600 feet per second. The cartridge is also known in Britain as the 38 Webley & Scott Special

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