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7.62x25mm Tokarev vs. Level III kevlar

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7.6225mm Tokarev



The 7.6225mm Tokarev cartridge is a bottle-necked pistol cartridge widely used in former Soviet and Soviet satellite states, China and Pakistan among other countries. The cartridge has since been replaced in Russian service by overpressure versions of the 919mm Parabellum.


The cartridge is in principle an enhanced Soviet version of the 7.6325mm Mauser. The Soviets produced a wide array of loadings for this cartridge for use in submachine guns. These include armor-piercing, tracer, and incendiary rounds. This cartridge has excellent penetration and can easily defeat lighter ballistic vests (class I, IIA and II) as well as some kevlar helmets, such as the American PASGT helmet. Although most firearms chambered in this caliber were declared obsolete and removed from military inventories, some Police and Special Forces units in Russia, Pakistan and (mainly) in China still use it because of the large quantity of stored ammunition still available.

There is a common misconception that 7.62 Tokarev surplus ammunition in the United States uses copper-coated mild steel bullets, and that this increases the chance of dangerous ricochets when fired at hard targets and can damage bullet-traps often used on shooting ranges. While steel-core ammunition in 7.6225 is available internationally, in the United States the importation of 7.6225 cartridges loaded with copper-coated steel bullets is illegal; federal law defines these as armor-piercing pistol ammunition. The so-called steel bullets sold in the United States are generally lead-core bullets with copper-washed steel jackets, and these do not present a significantly greater risk of ricochet than a standard copper-jacketed projectile.

Reloadable cartridge cases can be produced by resizing and trimming 9mm Winchester Magnum brass, or alternately by reforming 5.5645mm NATO. The cartridge case is inserted into the open-topped die, which produces a shoulder in the correct position, and one saws off the portion of the case projecting through the top. Afterward, one uses a the reamer - which fits a tap handle - to ream out the new case neck to an acceptable thickness. This is necessary because a powerful rifle cartridge has just been cut back to where the brass is relatively thick - this must be thinned if excessive chamber pressures are to be avoided in the pistol. Alternately, reloaders in the USA can purchase proper, new cases from Starline Mfg. Use .308" or .309" bullets for reloading for the Tokarev TT-33 and Czech CZ-52. Mauser C-96 and C-30 "Broomhandle" pistols typically have oversized bores, and .311" bullets may be needed to produce acceptable accuracy. Hornady makes an 85-grain .309" "XTP" bullet that functions well in all these pistols. On the Starline website, at the 7.6225mm section, information is given about using ammunition intended for the Mauser pistol in pistols chambered for the Tokarev round.

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