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  1. #1
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    Default Romanian Tokarev problem

    I purchased a Romanian Tok recently at a gunshow. Its the first Tok Ive ever owned. Im having a problem with it that Ive never had with another handgun, in fact Ive never even heard of this.

    The pistol would misfire, just about every other round. I checked the primers of the fired and unfired cases and saw that some of the fired ones had neat little holes in the primers, they were fully pierced. Some of the unfired cases had little to no firing pin mark.

    I removed the firing pin and cleaned out the firing pin channel and sure enough there was a piece of a primer, a disc the size of the firing pin hole, loose in the channel.

    So then I tried it again. Same results. Then, wierdest of all, I noticed that some fired cases appeared to have no firing pin mark. But looking more closely, I could see that the primers had been pierced again and another disc of cut primer inserted into the hole.

    I didnt notice anything odd about the end of the firing pin when I had it out. This was Winchester ammo, the only thing I no to do at this point is try different ammo- which i have ordered. I guess what concerns me most is the primers being pierced, and of course that I would like the gun to function properly. Has anyone heard of this sort of thing before?

  2. #2
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    Sounds like a firing pin issue. I'd compare your firing pin to another Tok. From your description, the firing pin is either too long, or the firing pin tip is not the correct shape.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Franz 1796 View Post
    Sounds like a firing pin issue. I'd compare your firing pin to another Tok. From your description, the firing pin is either too long, or the firing pin tip is not the correct shape.
    In addition to Franz. Another possibility is that firing pin channel in the slide is not made correctly and firing pin goes forward too far. An extension to this possibility is that both, firing pin and the channel are out of spec.

    Like Franz said, check the pin. Take some length measurements and tell us so that we can compare to the pins that work right.

    If the pin is right, then it is probably the channel where the pin moves that is the problem.

  4. #4
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    Okay, using my cheapie FA dial caliper, I get about 2.063" for the legth of the pin. The end of the pin is not deformed in any way, just a blunt tip. I tried dropping it down the channel without the spring, just to see how far it would protrude from the boltface. It didnt really appear to me that it stuck out further than it should, but thats just my unqualified observation.

  5. #5
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    Hi, I'm no gunsmith but I would get some different ammo and try the easy stuff first. Regards, UM

  6. #6
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    Thats what Im gonna do. Ive got some of the Polish stuff ordered, should be here soon. I guess if that fails I will try a new firing pin, if I can find one.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by teakster View Post
    Thats what Im gonna do. Ive got some of the Polish stuff ordered, should be here soon. I guess if that fails I will try a new firing pin, if I can find one.
    Hi, I've been using PriviPartizan with good luck.I got mine from Wideners for $16 a box. I am hoping that Surplus Yugo will come back. Regards, UM

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    Well, I tried the polish ammo and the results are exactly the same. The first round fires (every time) then the next round misfires. I then thumb cock and usually after one or two attempts the misfired round will fire. Same as with the Win. ammo. I checked a fired case and it looked just like some of the fired cases from the Win.ammo. There is a circular impression that looks as if a disc has been stamped out of the primer and a new disc inserted. I checked this with a sharp pin and I no longer think that is the case. There is a definate circular ring mark, you can trace it with a pin, but I couldnt pry up any "disc" out of it. I dont really understand how the round fired, as the disc area is still flush with the rest of the primer. Like I said before the firing pin is blunt, not squared off or sharp. I have to admit Im stumped. I guess I will try a new firing pin, but at this point Im not sure thats going to help.

  9. #9
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    One other thing I never mentioned. The firing pin retainer pin in this pistol is a roll pin. I can take it out with a regular punch fairly easily. Seems like some of the discussion I see about these guns are referencing another type pin possibly (?) Also, the grooved area on the slide where the retaining pin is located has been disfigured by hammer marks, as if someone wasnt particularly careful about marring the surface when hammering the pin back in/out. I wrote this off as typical military wear and tear, I bought the gun from a dealer and it appeared "new" from the importer (Century). Dont know if any of this might matter or not.

  10. #10
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    They usually have a "split" pin retaining pin like this

    http://www.buymilsurp.com/firing-pin...ol-p-5709.html
    Laugh hard and often.

    Gary

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    Yeah, the pin thats in it is just a standard roll pin. Dunno ifthats contributing to the problem or not.

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    The first thing to check that you haven't mentioned is the diameter of the firing pin hole in the face of the slide, and that the entended portion of the firing pin is a reasonably snug fit in the hole. It sounds like an unsupported part of the primer is being sheared by firing pressure and driven back into the hole. Primers are not intended or designed to withstand firing pressure, they must be supported over their entire surface. It's like an inner tube in a tire, make a hole in the tire and the tube blows out through it.

    I doubt that the roll pin was original parts, sounds to me like bubba worked on this unsuccessfully, drove in a roll pin, and sold the problem.

    If an oversize firing pin hole is the problem, a clever machinist or gunsmith can machine a step and insert a bushing in the hole, S/B about an hours work, you don't have to scrap the gun.

  13. #13
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    Alternatively, you could have a pin machined with a larger-diameter tip end. The downside there is that you'd need to do it all over again if you broke a pin. In addition to checking firing pin hole diameter (which you should be able to estimate by seeing what drill bit shank is the closest fit), you should inspect the breech face for pitting that may make something of a depression surrounding the firing pin hole. That compounds the problem a bit. I note you describe the f/p tip as "blunt". Blunt is better than sharp, but too blunt a shape may make a cookie cutter out of the pin by putting undue stress on the edges of the depression the pin strikes in the primer cup. As the other guys say -- photos would help.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old Steve View Post
    The first thing to check that you haven't mentioned is the diameter of the firing pin hole in the face of the slide, and that the entended portion of the firing pin is a reasonably snug fit in the hole. It sounds like an unsupported part of the primer is being sheared by firing pressure and driven back into the hole. Primers are not intended or designed to withstand firing pressure, they must be supported over their entire surface. It's like an inner tube in a tire, make a hole in the tire and the tube blows out through it.

    I doubt that the roll pin was original parts, sounds to me like bubba worked on this unsuccessfully, drove in a roll pin, and sold the problem.

    If an oversize firing pin hole is the problem, a clever machinist or gunsmith can machine a step and insert a bushing in the hole, S/B about an hours work, you don't have to scrap the gun.
    First off, thanks to both of you for the replies. I shot the gun again today with slightly better results. I actually managed to fire four rounds without a misfire.
    The only difference (other than I had cleaned it again prior) was that I was using different magazines. There WAS some shaved/bits of brass colored metal on the boltface afterwards. So, what your saying makes sense. To me thefiring pin seems to fit the hole in the boltface snugly though. Obviously, it must protrude too far to some extent to cause the primer punctures Ive been having. But its also not protruding far enough or is being blocked to some degree to account for the misfires. In examining the firing pin, there is some wear evident where the firing pin retainer pin fits across it when assembled. I dont know if this affects anything or not, or if the firing pin spring is weak? I know that photos would help, but I have a hard time getting my camera to take close up pics of anything. The firing pin IS blunt, meaning dome-shaped on the end rather than pointed or broken. If anyone "bubba'ed" the gun it would have had to be the importer. I bought the gun from a dealer who got it straight from Century.

    This is all really dissappointing. I never expected to even own one of these and only bought it on a bit of a whim. But unexpectedly, I really like it and will probably use the heck out of it as a "bump around the property" piece. If i can get it running reliably. Right now all I know to do is try a new firing pin and spring.

  15. #15
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    Teakster, Pull the cheap POS safety that the importer added for importation. Try firing A mag full without the safety in place. I'm guessing it'll go bang everytime.

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    The retaining pin should not be rubbing on the firing pin in the notch of the firing pin. The retaining pin is not supported over most of its length, and expands toward its original size. The ahort answer is that a rollpin will not work in that application.

  17. #17
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    Hiermossy-I sort of wondered about that myself, how is the best way to do this? NEVER MIND, found out how to do it-see below.
    Last edited by teakster; 05-22-2011 at 02:58 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Old Steve View Post
    The retaining pin should not be rubbing on the firing pin in the notch of the firing pin. The retaining pin is not supported over most of its length, and expands toward its original size. The ahort answer is that a rollpin will not work in that application.
    I dont know if the wear came from normal cycling or from when the pin is inserted/removed. I will try and order a new FP retaining pin as well, when I order a new firing pin and spring.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heirmossy View Post
    Teakster, Pull the cheap POS safety that the importer added for importation. Try firing A mag full without the safety in place. I'm guessing it'll go bang everytime.
    I found instructions online and removed the safety. It did not fix the problem. I checked the first round that misfired, it had only a very light firing pin mark. So the failures to fire would seem to be from the pin not traveling far enough. The condition of the primers in the fired cases, with a flat surface and what appears to be a punctured primer with a filled in hole, I dont know what to make of. Not all of the fired cases are that way, some have open holes/punctured primer and a few just look like normal, fired shells. It seems like the firing pin isnt ravelling the same distance from shot to shot, whether this is due to the condition of the firing pin, the roll pin retaining pin or maybe even the firing pin spring (which looks "weaker" or less substantial to me than pics I have seen of firng pin springs for sale) I just dont know.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old Steve View Post
    The retaining pin should not be rubbing on the firing pin in the notch of the firing pin. The retaining pin is not supported over most of its length, and expands toward its original size. The ahort answer is that a rollpin will not work in that application.
    Not fully following you, what do you mean "expands toward its original size"? Like my reply to the other fellow, I dont know what to blame. the firing pin, retainer pin or even the firing pin spring at this point. I guess I will try and replace them all.

  21. #21
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    A rollpin is a piece of spring steel wrapped into an almost circle, so that when pressed into a hole of the specified diameter it is sprung into a tighter circle and is very tight against the hole. In a Tok, the cross pin is not in a tight hole, it is only held at the ends, so the part in its middle springs back toward its original diameter, therefore it is larger than the intended pin and drags on the firing pin. It is the wrong pin for the job, and according to your story it will bind the firing pin and restrict its operation, you said it is wearing the firing pin in the notch, I just tried to explain why, but it must not be wearing the firing pin, the gun wont work properly if it does. Don't be the kind of mechanic that just keeps replacing parts till you find something you think works, or if that is the way you prefer to do things, find some hobby activity besided gunsmithing.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old Steve View Post
    A rollpin is a piece of spring steel wrapped into an almost circle, so that when pressed into a hole of the specified diameter it is sprung into a tighter circle and is very tight against the hole. In a Tok, the cross pin is not in a tight hole, it is only held at the ends, so the part in its middle springs back toward its original diameter, therefore it is larger than the intended pin and drags on the firing pin. It is the wrong pin for the job, and according to your story it will bind the firing pin and restrict its operation, you said it is wearing the firing pin in the notch, I just tried to explain why, but it must not be wearing the firing pin, the gun wont work properly if it does. Don't be the kind of mechanic that just keeps replacing parts till you find something you think works, or if that is the way you prefer to do things, find some hobby activity besided gunsmithing.
    Well, not really sure what brought on that last sentence.

    I simply asked what you meant by the earlier statement, as it didnt make any sense the way it was worded. Now I understand.

    Im not trying to just keep replacing parts until I find what works, but in the absence of any clear, understandable direction...replacement of the parts I mentioned simply seemed the best route to take.

    Im not a gunsmith and never pretended to be one. But Ive been shooting and messing around with guns for several decades. Ive just never owned a Tokarev and never had a handgun act exactly like this. While I thank you for your time and response, I have looked back through everything I have said and see no reason for the tone of your last sentence. So, I really do hope your evening gets better.
    Last edited by teakster; 05-22-2011 at 10:26 PM. Reason: spelling

  23. #23
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    Ok guys lets not turn this into a shouting match, Old Steve your comments about finding a new hobby were uncalled for and not the way we treat new members. The OP is simply asking for help, so help if you can but leave out the unwarranted comments or I'll do it for you!
    Appalachain American

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    It aeems the forum thinks I owe him an apology, I'm sorry I created that impression and that he is offended, it wasn't my intention. I suppose I was just reacting to his apparent failing to consider the significance of the wear he described on the notch of the firing pin. Please, Teakster, accept my apology, I should have had more understanding about the understandable confusion that results from purchasing a weapon that is expected to work and finding that it doesn't. If I understand your description of the problem correctly, a new retaining pin will most likely fix the problem.

    The other question is where did that gun get into the marketplace buggered like he described, I failed to note that he did say he got it as a gunshow and assumed it came from a dealer. my error. I think most on this forum share my attitude towards dealers that sell things that are broken. If the previous owner tried to remove the firing pin to clear the channel of cosmoline chances are the retaining pin got lost and he just pushed in a rollpin, then found the gun didn't work and pushed it off on some unsuspecting buyer, there is too much of that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Old Steve View Post
    It aeems the forum thinks I owe him an apology, I'm sorry I created that impression and that he is offended, it wasn't my intention. I suppose I was just reacting to his apparent failing to consider the significance of the wear he described on the notch of the firing pin. Please, Teakster, accept my apology, I should have had more understanding about the understandable confusion that results from purchasing a weapon that is expected to work and finding that it doesn't. If I understand your description of the problem correctly, a new retaining pin will most likely fix the problem.

    The other question is where did that gun get into the marketplace buggered like he described, I failed to note that he did say he got it as a gunshow and assumed it came from a dealer. my error. I think most on this forum share my attitude towards dealers that sell things that are broken. If the previous owner tried to remove the firing pin to clear the channel of cosmoline chances are the retaining pin got lost and he just pushed in a rollpin, then found the gun didn't work and pushed it off on some unsuspecting buyer, there is too much of that.
    Old Steve, Theres alot I could say but because Im a newbie on this board I wont do that, in the spirit of humility and playing the proper new guy role, I say nevermind. Im sure you didnt mean to come across like you did.

    Truth of the matter is, I obviously did consider the wear on the firing pin. Thats why I was considering buying a new one. Being as the roll pin probably wasnt original and might have caused the firing pin wear, I was considering buying a new retaining pin as well. The firing pin spring looked weak or flimsy compared to pictures of others I had seen, so I thought why not replace it as well. Try as I may, I havent been able to figure out how any of this reasoning was opposed in any what to what you had been saying.

    I know the dealer I bought the gun from. He isnt perfect, but he is honest. He wouldnt try to pass off a "used" gun as a "new" one he had just received from Century. If I suspect anyone of substituting parts, it would be Century or some supplier in Romania.

    Ive got a bid in now on a parts package of a new Firing Pin, spring and Retainer Pin. I was also able to locate some discussion about Romanian Toks that seemed to indicate that the misfiring/shaving metal might be due to the firing pin being too short. Just FYI anyone following this, I will post when I get the new parts whether they help or not.
    Last edited by teakster; 05-23-2011 at 07:29 PM. Reason: spelling, length

  26. #26
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    Again, sorry. Humility on your part isn't needed of appropriate. It seemed to me you had failed to consider that wear on the firing pin in that area would have resulted from the retaining pin restricting the motion of the firing pin, possibly causing the very problem you described, just a cranky old guy. As a practical matter a little wear in the notch of the firing pin won't affect its servicability at all, clearly you do need a proper retaining pin, I don't know where they can be bought from.

    If the pistol came from a dealer as a new gun, his supplier owes him an apology and you a new retaining pin and a couple boxes of ammo.

    If the Rumanian pistol is like the Russian, the only effect of the firing pin being too short would be that it wouldn't protrude from the slide far enough, and according to your information it does, that is when the hammer is resting solidly on it. I kind of like the "change one thing at a time" school of trouble analysis.

  27. #27
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    Okay, looks like I have it fixed. In checking out various sites while researching this matter, I came across enough mention of this problem to figure its at least somewhat common to Romanian Toks.

    I purchased a new firing pin and firing pin spring online. First thing I noticed when it arrived today was that the newer firing pin was noticably longer. Back at the first of this thread someone asked me what length the original pin was, so I posted the measured length, but there was no further comment along those lines. The second difference was that the slot for the firing pin retainer pin was noticably shorter than the slot on the original pin. I suppose this would make sense if the shorter pin was expected to travel farther with each hammer strike. I also bought a new retaining pin along with the firing pin and spring.

    I installed the new firing pin, retaining pin and spring. Now, so far anyways, the pistol functions perfectly. I can only guess that the shorter pin, though it could be made to protrude far enough while examining the pistol, wasnt reliably being driven far enough by the hammer for firing.

    I read something on some site that I cant seem to find again now, about some Chinese firing pins being made a bit shorter for some reason- seems like they didnt function well at all. But they came from the factory that way. I dont remember what the motivation for doing this was, but maybe the Romanians were trying the same thing? I really dont think the pistol has been "bubba'ed" as it came straight from a dealer, though why the roll pin and hammer marks to the slide I cant begin to guess.

    The light primer strikes I figure go back to the firing pin. Just based on some of what I read, the primer punctures may be more related to the ammo than the pistol. I dunno. But it goes bang now when its supposed to.

    Im happy I got it working. As an added bonus, it shoots to point of aim. I also picked up a Yugo last week. Quality of workmanship on the Yugo seems slightly better, but the Romy seems more accurate and has a better trigger- so far anyways.
    Last edited by teakster; 06-08-2011 at 12:37 PM. Reason: spelling

  28. #28
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    Out of curiosity, did you measure the length of your new firing pin? If so, how does the measurement compare with your old FP?
    Apes will not kill apes!

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    No, I didnt do that. The original one was something like 2.063 using an inexpensive dial caliper. Holding the two up together, the new pin was obviously longer, probably by a couple of millimeters +/-. Next time I have it out I will measure it.
    Last edited by teakster; 06-08-2011 at 03:11 PM.

  30. #30

    Red face

    If you could supply the information as to were you got those parts as im having the same problems . Also how easy was it to fix it yourself? Thanks for your time.

  31. #31
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    Romanhastati, no one answered your question yet, so maybe I can offer an answer, though many here know more about this stuff than I.

    I've found Tokarev replacement parts on Gunbroker.com. They might be a little more expensive than from parts suppliers, but the parts suppliers don't have many Tokarev parts these days, especially the firing pin retaining pin. There may be a reason for this.

    I have seven Tokarevs, Romanian and Polish, from four different dealers, and only one came with an intact firing pin retaining pin, because I asked for it that way. All my others use a piece of pin stock with the ends mushroomed by hammering, which is obviously a stop-gap repair. I replaced two of them with old Russian pins I found on Gunbroker, and two others with roll pins because roll pins are cheap and easily removed for cleaning.

    The original pin is flared at both ends, and split at one end so it can expand and grip a shoulder in the hole. It looks fragile, and that's why I think they're often missing on the Tokarevs we buy. The European Tokarevs are military surplus, they're all more than 50 years old, and all that I've seen are in rough condition, so we might have to fool with them a little. But they're cheap, and shooting stuff is fun.

    The second answer is, "easy". You punch out the old pin, clean everything up, and tap in the new pin while you hold the firing pin in the right position. I did it by clamping the slide sideways in a padded vise, pressing the firing pin in with a piece of wood flush with the back of the slide, and tapping in the retaining pin. You check that the firing pin is rotated to the right position by looking through the hole the retaining pin goes into.

    Wishing you luck.

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