Author Topic: Chinese M54 Tokarev  (Read 322 times)

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Offline Ret-Sarge

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Chinese M54 Tokarev
« on: June 09, 2024, 01:40:11 PM »
Picked this up yesterday morning at a gunshow, about 2 hours away, that my son-in-law and I decided to go to at the last minute.

Little confused on it though as I can't quite figure out the year manufactured. There is no arsenal marking or date markings on it.

No frame installed (Hammer) safety on it, plus the trigger doesn't have the Glock style trigger safety (Been swapped for a standard trigger). So it's in an original military configuration and is stamped M54 on the top of the slide in Chinese.

The frame and slide SN match, haven't disassembled it yet to checked for other SN'ed parts. Came with the typical blue corduroy lined holster.

This is a RGuns import and some sites believe these may have been imported from Albania, while some say they didn't

Different sites have different ways to date these, hence my confusion on its date of birth.

Several sites says take 53 and add the first 2 digits of the SN 32 and you get 85 for the year made. Did they make military ones in 86, as far as I can tell no they didn't. Then found they were doing this with 30 Million SN guns mine is a 3 Million SN gun.

Found on another site a SN list and one close to mine (3 Million SN range) that is actually dated has a 1956 date.

Then a third site, where they used a different (Weird) formula, made me see cross-eyed.

Anyways here's the preliminary photos of it.












Mike
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Online Phosphorus32

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Re: Chinese M54 Tokarev
« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2024, 11:13:37 AM »
I think you have a 1956 that went through a later heavy refurbishment in China before export to wherever. It’s in the right serial number range for a 1956 (Ref.: Cameron White “The Complete Book of Tokarev Pistols”, p. 110). The original frame marking would have been 3295848 66 1956, but the Chinese apparently scrubbed and restamped just the SN during refurbishment.

Maybe Albania took care of their pistols much better than their rifles, which would be reasonable since they were likely issued only to officers. Being smaller and less numerous than the carbines (Type 53 Mosin and Type 56 SKS), and thus easier to store securely, the pistols may not have found their way into the hands of Albanian citizens during the descent into anarchy following the busted Ponzi schemes in 1997, and thus avoided the abuse and poor storage that the carbines encountered. That’s a lot of conjecture. It seems odd to me that the Chinese would have given the Albanians small arms with original markings in the 1960s but scrubbed the arsenal and year from the pistols. I’d lean toward importation from some other country that was supplied these refurbished pistols much later, but that is also conjecture.

The previous owner likely installed a normal Tokarev trigger in place of the goofy US “safety” trigger. Those surplus original manufacture triggers (mostly Yugoslavian) used to be plentiful at all of the normal parts retailers before the imports of the Tokarevs with the safety trigger installed, then the originals dried up nearly overnight.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2024, 11:20:14 AM by Phosphorus32 »

Offline running-man

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Re: Chinese M54 Tokarev
« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2024, 12:56:34 PM »
I agree with P32.  A year 3 pistol would be 1956 (1953+3) .

Look at this:



Most definitely a scrubbed and restamped pistol.  The arsenal and year stamp would be under the current S/N stamping and probably not visible.  The original S/N, on the other hand, in the right light and at the right angle you might get more than the two digits I see.

With the Rguns import stamp, I'd lean towards an Albanian gun.  It certainly falls within the possibilities of known transfers of weapons from China to Albania.  It may have been a very well worn example the Chinese decided was at the end of its life and would be more valuable to refurbish and send as aid rather than to keep for internal use. 
      

Offline Ret-Sarge

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Re: Chinese M54 Tokarev
« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2024, 02:45:08 PM »
I agree with P32.  A year 3 pistol would be 1956 (1953+3) .

Look at this:



Most definitely a scrubbed and restamped pistol.  The arsenal and year stamp would be under the current S/N stamping and probably not visible.  The original S/N, on the other hand, in the right light and at the right angle you might get more than the two digits I see.

With the Rguns import stamp, I'd lean towards an Albanian gun.  It certainly falls within the possibilities of known transfers of weapons from China to Albania.  It may have been a very well worn example the Chinese decided was at the end of its life and would be more valuable to refurbish and send as aid rather than to keep for internal use.

Wow good eyes runnin-man, after about 200 attempts of holding a flash light and the cell phone (Camera) I was able to get some, marginally decent pictures of the ghosting.

I swear on the forth picture it looks like the ghosting of 53 after the serial number. I need to find a way to get better lighting and pictures of the ghosting.











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Re: Chinese M54 Tokarev
« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2024, 05:01:36 PM »
Wow good eyes runnin-man, after about 200 attempts of holding a flash light and the cell phone (Camera) I was able to get some, marginally decent pictures of the ghosting.

I swear on the forth picture it looks like the ghosting of 53 after the serial number. I need to find a way to get better lighting and pictures of the ghosting.

Great photos!  Maybe if you had a way to (more) easily hold the light source static while manipulating/operating the camera you'd do better, but honestly those photos are great.  What I had thought was a 2 as the second numeral appears to be a 0.  I see 3010922 which doesn't match the newly stamped after-scrub number at all.  I wonder if the slide is the original part with that number and the rest was force matched? 

I agree with you that there is definitely a 3 at the end where the date would be.  I can't quite make out the 5, but it would not surprise me in the least knowing what we do about year 3 T54s in general.

If you had access to a machine shop with magnetic particle testing equipment, you would very likely be able to read that old S/N, possibly the factory if it wasn't too obscured with the new S/N stamp (honestly, it's gotta be 66), and the year (again, in all likelihood 1959) as clear as day since the scrubbing did not remove the bottom of the indentations made by the original stamps.  Indentations like that leave a very pronounced pertubation in the grain flow of the metal and mag particle testing is perfect for picking that up.
      

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Re: Chinese M54 Tokarev
« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2024, 06:01:36 PM »
Test. Everytime I try to respond with a quote it doesn't post my post. Okay it's a picture thing that is not allowing the responses to post. Okay got it working, resized the picture and all is good again.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2024, 06:28:11 PM by Ret-Sarge »
Mike
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Re: Chinese M54 Tokarev
« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2024, 06:05:34 PM »
Wow good eyes runnin-man, after about 200 attempts of holding a flash light and the cell phone (Camera) I was able to get some, marginally decent pictures of the ghosting.

I swear on the forth picture it looks like the ghosting of 53 after the serial number. I need to find a way to get better lighting and pictures of the ghosting.

Great photos!  Maybe if you had a way to (more) easily hold the light source static while manipulating/operating the camera you'd do better, but honestly those photos are great.  What I had thought was a 2 as the second numeral appears to be a 0.  I see 3010922 which doesn't match the newly stamped after-scrub number at all.  I wonder if the slide is the original part with that number and the rest was force matched? 

I agree with you that there is definitely a 3 at the end where the date would be.  I can't quite make out the 5, but it would not surprise me in the least knowing what we do about year 3 T54s in general.

If you had access to a machine shop with magnetic particle testing equipment, you would very likely be able to read that old S/N, possibly the factory if it wasn't too obscured with the new S/N stamp (honestly, it's gotta be 66), and the year (again, in all likelihood 1959) as clear as day since the scrubbing did not remove the bottom of the indentations made by the original stamps.  Indentations like that leave a very pronounced pertubation in the grain flow of the metal and mag particle testing is perfect for picking that up.

Did the fonts used, differ from arsenal to arsenal or was it a time period thing? Reason being what we see as a 9 in the SN ghosting is different than the 9 in visible SN, it seems to look more like the 9 in this SN.








« Last Edit: June 10, 2024, 08:08:41 PM by Ret-Sarge »
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Offline running-man

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Re: Chinese M54 Tokarev
« Reply #7 on: June 11, 2024, 12:00:20 PM »
Sorry Sarge, there is a known bug in the boards where anytime the image link to http: "imgbb . com" is made, it crashes the post and doesn't allow it to go through.  Correct links with ibb.co work fine though.  I've looked and looked and cannot track down exactly what's wrong.  Thankfully imgbb. com links are not often generated by the non-user imgbb upload button we have here or from people who have imgbb accounts.

I would say yes, the original font is different from the refurb.  I don't have too many photos of early sub year 8 T54s to compare, but here's what I do have (a few 9's in there):






      

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Re: Chinese M54 Tokarev
« Reply #8 on: June 11, 2024, 10:35:47 PM »
Sorry Sarge, there is a known bug in the boards where anytime the image link to http: "imgbb . com" is made, it crashes the post and doesn't allow it to go through.  Correct links with ibb.co work fine though.  I've looked and looked and cannot track down exactly what's wrong.  Thankfully imgbb. com links are not often generated by the non-user imgbb upload button we have here or from people who have imgbb accounts.

I would say yes, the original font is different from the refurb.  I don't have too many photos of early sub year 8 T54s to compare, but here's what I do have (a few 9's in there):








The picture issue, I take the blame for that, I saved a picture from the internet and obviously it wasn't a supported format. No biggie, once I screen shot the picture, it changed the format and all was as it should be.

Definitely looks like the 9s and 6s in the first few examples you show.

I've tried looking at the right side of the receiver to see if there was signs of there being any ghosting there. Man that side was scrubbed harder than left side.

You can see grooves, and dotted lines in the finish/metal from the scrubbing. I swear i see a 5 and something else in another area. Then again I've been staring at this thing so much over the last few days, I think I found Elvis and the Area 51 Alien stamps also....LOL! I'm losing my mind.

Pictures 1 and 2 showing some type of artifacts in the finish.

Pictures 3 and 4 showing the grooves and dotted lines from the scrubbing.









« Last Edit: June 11, 2024, 10:41:34 PM by Ret-Sarge »
Mike
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