Gun of the Week 24: Father’s Day Present of a Mini- Desert Eagle in .380

Image

Freddys Note:
Every week I try to feature a gun from my gun collection. This week it is a mini-Desert Eagle in .380 from Magnum Research Inc.  I had never even heard of this gun, until I got it as a Father’s Day gift on last Sunday.  Of course, I had heard of it’s big brother, the Dessert Eagle, but not this smaller version.  My 17 year old son thought I would like it (and he was correct) had his mother go to the gun store and buy it, so they could give it to me as a gift (That’s before the recent supreme court ruling, btw).
Magnum Research brought out this gun a year ago for $575 and I guess it did not sell well, because it is no longer listed on their website.  Which immediately makes this gun collectable.

You can see all the previous gun of the week posts here.

Description:
This is a great pocket pistol. It is the same size as my .25 Beretta Bobcat  but packs a bigger punch with the .380 round.  I actually thought this pistol would hurt my hand when I shot it, because of the size, but it was OK.  This is a great pistol to throw into a pocket and head out somewhere without having to put on the concealed holster.

This Micro Eagle is an interesting pistol that does differentiate itself from other .380 Auto sub compact pistols. It features what Magnum Research call “gas assisted blowback” The pistol has a dynamic breech, DAO trigger mechanism, and fixed sight. The pistol does not require any safety lever due do the DAO system. Its frame is made of a high strength aluminum alloy, the barrel and slide of steel. A comfortable and precise fire is secured by the use of a reverse gas withdrawal to slow down the slide (patented).

his Micro Eagle is an interesting pistol that does differentiate itself from other .380 Auto sub compact pistols. It features what Magnum Research call “gas assisted blowback” and what ZVI call “reverse gas withdrawal”. From ZVI:

The pistol has a dynamic breech, DAO trigger mechanism, and fixed sight. The pistol does not require any safety lever due do the DAO system. Its frame is made of a high strength aluminium alloy, the barrel and slide of steel. A comfortable and precise fire is secured by the use of a reverse gas withdrawal to slow down the slide (patented).

– See more at: http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2009/01/08/new-micro-desert-eagle-380-pistol/#sthash.KqEGVuYj.dpuf

Specs:

Caliber: .380 Auto
Length: 4.52″ / 116 mm
Length of the Barrel: 2.22″ / 57 mm
Height: 3.71″ / 95 mm
Width: 0.90″ / 23 mm
Finish: Nickel Teflon
Weight: Empty 14 oz / 400 grams
Magazine Capacity: 6 Rounds
Trigger Mechanism: DAO
Safety: DAO (which I think means none)
Sights: Fixed/Non-Adjustable

– See more at: http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2009/01/08/new-micro-desert-eagle-380-pistol/#sthash.KqEGVuYj.dpuf

Specs:
Caliber: .380 Auto
Length: 4.52″ / 116 mm
Length of the Barrel: 2.22″ / 57 mm
Height: 3.71″ / 95 mm
Width: 0.90″ / 23 mm
Finish: Nickel Teflon
Weight: Empty 14 oz / 400 grams
Magazine Capacity: 6 Rounds
Trigger Mechanism: DAO
Safety: DAO (which I think means none)
Sights: Fixed/Non-Adjustable

Specs:

Caliber: .380 Auto
Length: 4.52″ / 116 mm
Length of the Barrel: 2.22″ / 57 mm
Height: 3.71″ / 95 mm
Width: 0.90″ / 23 mm
Finish: Nickel Teflon
Weight: Empty 14 oz / 400 grams
Magazine Capacity: 6 Rounds
Trigger Mechanism: DAO
Safety: DAO (which I think means none)
Sights: Fixed/Non-Adjustable

– See more at: http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2009/01/08/new-micro-desert-eagle-380-pistol/#sthash.KqEGVuYj.dpuf

his Micro Eagle is an interesting pistol that does differentiate itself from other .380 Auto sub compact pistols. It features what Magnum Research call “gas assisted blowback” and what ZVI call “reverse gas withdrawal”. From ZVI:

The pistol has a dynamic breech, DAO trigger mechanism, and fixed sight. The pistol does not require any safety lever due do the DAO system. Its frame is made of a high strength aluminium alloy, the barrel and slide of steel. A comfortable and precise fire is secured by the use of a reverse gas withdrawal to slow down the slide (patented).

– See more at: http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2009/01/08/new-micro-desert-eagle-380-pistol/#sthash.KqEGVuYj.dpuf

his Micro Eagle is an interesting pistol that does differentiate itself from other .380 Auto sub compact pistols. It features what Magnum Research call “gas assisted blowback” and what ZVI call “reverse gas withdrawal”. From ZVI:

The pistol has a dynamic breech, DAO trigger mechanism, and fixed sight. The pistol does not require any safety lever due do the DAO system. Its frame is made of a high strength aluminium alloy, the barrel and slide of steel. A comfortable and precise fire is secured by the use of a reverse gas withdrawal to slow down the slide (patented).

– See more at: http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2009/01/08/new-micro-desert-eagle-380-pistol/#sthash.KqEGVuYj.dpuf

Gun of the Week #23: 1942 Soviet Russian TT-33 Tokerev

side

My 1942 Soviet TT-33

Freddy’s Note: 
I try to feature a gun from my collection every week or so on this website from my collection. Those you that read this site realize I am into Soviet weapons. I collect Tokerevs and Makarovs and AK’s. Two of the holes in my collection have been actual Soviet models of the Tokerev and Makarov. I own many of both models from all the Soviet sister states and also Chinese made models.  But none of the original Soviet Models  They are both rare and both usually over $1000 or more in good condition.  Well I finally found a Soviet Tokerev right in my home state.

I monitor http://www.armslist.com for local sales every now and then. I have got a few good deals over the site. But usually there is overpriced junk.  Well, I could not believe my eyes when I saw an ad for a 1942 Soviet TT-33 Tokerev last Friday night.  I immediately responded and the owner sent me a few pics. I asked some questions and everything seemed right. So I drove 90 miles North West to the middle of freakin’ nowhere and waited for a guy in a supermarket parking lot.

Biggest problem I have had on Armslist is people who don’t respond to emails or don’t show up.  I was happy when the seller showed up a few minutes late.  When you are carrying cash and are meeting a stranger in a parking lot, you  show up prepared.  I had my Beretta 92FS in my waistband and last week’s gun of the week, my 1960 Walther PPK in my pocket.

Luckily I didn’t need them.  Met a great guy named Chris who was into Soviet Weapons as well. He didn’t want to sell, but was having money issues.  He bought this gun from GSP in Florida in 1982.  Upon research, German Sales Promotions (GSP) was selling Soviet Tokerev’s that had been refurbished in Germany and also Walther P1s.  They had sold many of them when the ATF closed them down, because the Tokerevs did not have a safety and did not qualify as “Sporting Weapons” Meaning these guns were not legally imported.  I am told the owner actually went to jail.

Whoops.  Anyway, Chris also had a C&R FFL, so we signed copies of our FFL certificates and I gave him the $650.  What a bargain. I have not seen a Soviet TT-33 in good shape for under $1000 in years.

This particular gun was made in 1942 at the Izhevsk Mechanical Plant (Russian: Ижевский Mеханический Завод, Izhevsky Mekhanchesky Zavod) or IZHMEKH (ИЖМЕХ) was a major firearms manufacturer founded in Izhevsk in 1942 for manufacturing small arms for WWII.

So I got to add it to my wall of Tokerevs.

wall

My Wall of Tokerevs

Upon research, turns out I am not done yet,  there is a gun called a  Tokagypt 58 is a Hungarian-made Egyptian semi-automatic service pistol based on the Soviet Tokarev TT-33. T. So now I need one of these.

You can see all the previous gun of the week posts here.

Soviet junior political officer armed with a Tokarev TT-33 Service Pistol urges Russian troops forward against German positions during World War II. The picture is allegedly of political officer Alexey Gordeevich Yeremenko, who is said to have been killed within minutes of this photograph being taken.

Soviet junior political officer armed with a Tokarev TT-33 Service Pistol urges Russian troops forward against German positions during World War II. The picture is allegedly of political officer Alexey Gordeevich Yeremenko, who is said to have been killed within minutes of this photograph being taken.

History
In 1930, the Revolutionary Military Council approved a resolution to test new small arms to replace its aging Nagant M1895 revolvers.During these tests, on January 7, 1931, the potential of a pistol designed by Fedor Tokarev was noted. A few weeks later, 1,000 TT-30s were ordered for troop trials, and the pistol was adopted for service in the Red Army.

But even as the TT-30 was being put into production, design changes were made to simplify manufacturing. Minor changes to the barrel, disconnector,trigger and frame were implemented, the most notable ones being the omission of the removable backstrap and changes to the full-circumference locking lugs. This redesigned pistol was the TT-33.  Most TT-33s were issued to officers. The TT-33 was widely used by Soviet troops during World War II, but did not completely replace the Nagant.

1024px-TT_1

TT-33

Design
Externally, the TT-33 is very similar to John Browning’s blowback operated FN Model 1903 automatic pistol, and internally it uses Browning’s short recoil dropping-barrel system from the M1911 pistol. In other areas the TT-33 differs more from Browning’s designs — it employs a much simpler hammer/sear assembly than the M1911, with an external hammer. This assembly is removable from the weapon as a modular unit and includes cartridge guides that provide reliable functioning. The Soviet engineers also added several other features such as locking lugs all around the barrel (not just on top), and made several alterations to make the mechanism easier to produce and maintain, notably a captive recoil spring secured to the guide rod which does not depend on the barrel bushing to hold it under tension. Production even machined the magazine feed lips into the receiver to prevent damage and misfeeds when a distorted magazine was loaded into the magazine well.

The TT-33 is chambered for the 7.62×25mm Tokarev cartridge, which was itself based on the similar 7.63×25mm Mauser cartridge used in the Mauser C96 pistol. Able to withstand tremendous abuse, large numbers of the TT-33 were produced during World War II and well into the 1950s.

The TT-33 omitted a safety catch other than the half cock notch which rendered the slide inoperable until the hammer was drawn back to full cock or pulled back to full cock and then lowered manually, which made it unsafe to carry when loaded. It also had a tendency for the magazine catch to accidentally release the magazine while drawing or firing the weapon, if the magazine was damaged in any way.

Usage
Interarms marketed World War II-surplus Russian-made Tokarevs in Europe and the United States as the Phoenix. They had new wooden grips with a phoenix design on them and were overstamped INTERARMS on the barrel. Later gun laws banned their sale due to their lack of a safety.

The TT-33 is still in service in the Bangladeshi and North Korean armed forces today while police in Pakistan still commonly use the TT pistol as a sidearm, though unofficially, as it is being replaced by modern 9 mm Beretta and SIG pistols. The TT-33 pistol is also occasionally supplied to the People’s Armed Police under the name Type 54.

The Tokarev is popular with pistol collectors and shooters in the West because of its ruggedness, reliability and ready availability of cheap ammunition (in the US).

However, some complaints include poor-quality grips (which are often replaced by the wrap-around Tokagypt 58 grips) and a hand grip which extends at a vertical angle awkward for many Western shooters.

Another complaint is the poor placement of the post-production safeties installed to comply with US import regulations; many shooters disassemble the pistols, remove them and restore the Tokarevs to the original configuration.

Nonetheless, the Tokarev, as well as its variants in 9mm, are renowned for its simplicity, power and accuracy.

Gun of the week #21: 1960 Interarms Walther PPK/S (updated with video)

PPK1

New to me, 1960 InterArms Walther PPK

Every week (when I publish)I feature a gun from my collection. This week it is a mint condition InterArms 1960 Walther PPK/S that I bought off a local NH vendor off gunbroker.com. I have been looking for another PPK for a few years.  My first handgun was a newer PPK/s made by S&W in Maine. The gun was one of the one under a recall for a defect.  I never did get it fixed.  The gun did not shoot well and so I traded-in to a local gun store ( I think the gun barrel was out of spec and and slightly warped). I was a big James Bond fan growing up, which is why my first handgun was a PPK. So anyway, I was browsing Gunbroker last week and found one with no bids and 1 day remaining.  The price was $550, for a mint vintage InterArms PPK/s with the original box and paperwork. It was a steal and since it was over 50 years old, I used by C&R for an easy pickup from the local home based FFL dealer.  It shoots well and I now am using this as my summer concealed carry piece.  I carry the Beretta 92 in the months where we wear more clothing in New England. You can see all the previous gun of the week posts here.

papers

Gun came with original box, export paperwork, original factory target , warranty card and manual.

Video of my shooting it at the range
This is the first time I shot this gun. This video was of the 3rd and 4th magazines I shot in the gun.

The PP and PPK
Walther introduced the PPK in 929 and the PPK was introduced in 1931; both were popular with European police and civilians, for being reliable and concealable. During World War II they were issued to the German military and police, the Schutzstaffel, the Luftwaffe, and Nazi Party officials; Adolf Hitler shot and killed himself with his PPK (a 7.65mm/.32 ACP) in the Führerbunker in Berlin. Moreover, the Walther PPK (also a 7.65mm/.32 ACP) pistol is famous as fictional secret agent James Bond’s signature gun in many of the films and novels: Ian Fleming’s choice of the Walther PPK directly influenced its popularity and its notoriety.

The current James Bond holding a PPK

The current James Bond holding a PPK

History
The most common variant is the Walther PPK, the Polizeipistole Kriminalmodell (Police Pistol Detective Model), indicating it was more concealable than the original PP and hence better suited to plainclothes or undercover work. Kriminal refers to the police detective (criminal) division.Sometimes, the name Polizeipistole Kurz (Short Police Pistol) is used; however, the accuracy of that interpretation is unclear. The PPK is a smaller version of the PP (Polizeipistole) with a shorter grip and barrel and reduced magazine capacity. The PP and the PPK were among the world’s first successful double action semi-automatic pistols that were widely copied, but still made by Walther. The design inspired other pistols, among them the Soviet Makarov, the Hungarian FEG PA-63, the Argentinian Bersa Thunder 380, the Swiss SIG P230, the German Mauser HSc, the Spanish Astra Constable, the American Jennings J-22 and Iver Johnson TP-22, and the Czech CZ50.

Post War
Walther’s original factory was located in Zella-Mehlis in the state (Land) of Thuringia. As that part of Germany was occupied by the Soviet Union following World War II, Walther was forced to flee to West Germany, where they established a new factory in Ulm. However, for several years following the war, the Allied powers forbade any manufacture of weapons in Germany. As a result, in 1952, Walther licensed production of the PP series pistols to a French company, Manufacture de Machines du Haut-Rhin, also known as Manurhin. The French company continued to manufacture the PP series until 1986. In fact, all postwar European-made PP series pistols manufactured until 1986 were manufactured by Manurhin, even though the pistol slide may bear the markings of the Walther factory in Ulm, since German law lets manufacturers use the final assembly point as the place of origin.

US Manufacture
Ranger Manufacturing of Gadsden, Alabama was licensed to manufacture the PPK and PPK/S; this version was distributed by Interarms . This license was eventually canceled. Starting in 2002,Smith & Wesson (S&W) began manufacturing the PPK and PPK/S under license. In February 2009, S&W issued a recall for PPKs it manufactured for a defect in the hammer block safety.

Walther has indicated that, with the exception of the PP and the new PPK/E model, S&W is the current sole source for new PPK-type pistols.

1972_Walther_PP

Difference between PP and PPK
The PPK/S was developed following the enactment of the Gun Control Act of 1968 (GCA68) in the United States, the pistol’s largest market (Hogg 1945:164). One of the provisions of GCA68 banned the importation of pistols and revolvers not meeting certain requirements of length, weight, and other “sporting” features into the United States.

The PPK failed the “Import Points” test of the GCA68 by a single point. Walther addressed this situation by combining the PP’s frame with the PPK’s barrel and slide to create a pistol that weighed slightly more than the PPK. The additional ounce or two of weight of the PPK/S compared to the PPK was sufficient to provide the extra needed import points.

Because United States law allowed domestic production (as opposed to importation) of the PPK, manufacture began under license in the U.S. The version currently manufactured by Smith & Wesson has been modified by incorporating a longer grip tang (S&W calls it “extended beaver tail”),[8] better protecting the shooter from slide bite, i.e., the rearward-traveling slide’s pinching the web between the index finger and thumb of the firing hand, which could be a problem with the original design for people with larger hands or an improper grip, especially when using “hotter” cartridge loads.