If you saw our Bargain Hunter piece on the Tokarev, then you’re familiar with the Russian bottle-necked, high-velocity handgun/SMG round that predated the 5.7x28mm cartridge by more than sixty years. The neat thing about 7.62 Tokarev is that they’re still making carbines for it…
There are, of course, surplus carbines and submachine guns aplenty chambered in 7.62 Tokarev, too. You can find, occasionally, Russian PPSh SMGs, which share the same caliber chambering.
PPShs turn up in both semi- as well as fully-automatic versions, and neither is too inexpensive. They were very popular in World War II and the Korean war, and not just with Russia and her allies. Having made well over six million PPSh submachine guns, the Germans captured more than a few, and both reissued them with compatible 7.62 Mauser ammo or re-chambered them in 9mm Parabellum, as necessary.
China manufactured a few million of them, as well, calling them the Type 50. These were less accurate and mechanically simpler, but got the job done; they did, after all, have the same firing rate of about 900 RPM. Some sporterized versions managed their way into the States before the Chinese firearm import ban.
But there’s another option out there for fans of the 7.62×25 Tokarev, and that’s the Sterling.
Yup, that Sterling. As it stands, an American company by the name of Wise Lite Arms still produces the mechanically-simple Sterling submachine gun, albeit in carbine and pistol variants. They also make them in 7.62×25 Tokarev in addition to 9mm, and believe it or not, they’re impressively inexpensive.
You can find these simple, blowback-operated side-loading pistols and carbines for $500 or less, usually $400, in either 7.62 or 9mm, from a handful of vendors as well as online auction houses year-round. Because of their design, they’re remarkably reliable and can be dragged through more than just mud and still work fine.
So like Tokarev pistols, Tokarev carbines don’t have to break the bank, and ballistically, even with ball ammo, they’re damn impressive. Surplus ammo is relatively inexpensive, and will make short work of any target you set out for it.
If you like the cartridge and you like the pistols, well, you should start looking into getting yourself a carbine for the cartridge, too. Because of they’re just kick-ass, that’s why, and we all know it.