Gletcher Mosin-Nagant Model 1944 Part 3

Gletcher Mosin-Nagant Model 1944 Part 3 Part 2 Part 1

The Russian sharpshooter is back

By Dennis Adler

The Mosin-Nagant was the most abundant of all Russian rifles spanning more than half a century of production beginning in 1891. The Model 1944 alone exceeded 4 million and found its way into the hands of the resistance during WWII. Here the Gletcher Mosin-Nagant is paired with two other Gletcher Russian Legends models, the Nagant pellet pistol (holstered) and the TT-33 blowback action semi-auto.

The Mosin-Nagant is among a handful of legendary rifles like the Henry and Winchester lever action models, the M1 Garand, 1903 Springfield, .303 Lee-Enfield, and Mauser 98, that proved their mettle on the fields of battle and became iconic symbols, not only of nations, but of ideals. The Mosin-Nagant was a design that rose above the very history of the nation in which it was created, and played no small role in making that history. As a CO2 model it carries a remarkable heritage that spans from the era of the Czars, to the Russian Revolution, the rise of Communism, through two world wars, and into the present day, where many surviving examples of early to mid 20th century Mosin-Nagant rifles and carbines, and Mosin-Nagant design models (produced by armsmakers in other countries) are still being used. The Mosin-Nagant has had an almost unprecedented 127 years of service since 1891. So, there is a lot to be said about the Gletcher Mosin-Nagant CO2 model, most importantly that it is a worthy representative of its namesake, not perfect, but for an air rifle, quite remarkable. read more


Winning the Cold War

Winning the Cold War

The battle between CO2 and the thermometer Part 2 Part 1

By Dennis Adler

If you find yourself on a winter day with a need to shoot a CO2 powered air pistol in 28 degrees, it will work for a short time. How short? Depends upon the air pistol, its internal design, and how soon the CO2 loses PSI and velocity drops to the point where the pistol won’t function. With the Gletcher Tokarev TT-33 it turned out to be 90 shots with the first four of five 18-round magazines maintaining at least 346 fps velocity and 1.25 inch accuracy at 21 feet. This is what you would definitely call a best case scenario.

Over the years I have had varying results with CO2 in cold weather, particularly with blowback action pistols, but also with single and double action revolvers. My most disappointing test was two winters ago with a Peacemaker that got about two reloads from a CO2 cylinder before the BBs (this was before the pellet models were introduced) almost rolled out of the barrel. With a couple of semi-autos I managed two magazines before the CO2 failed to power the slide. The temperatures were almost always in the 30s. For this most recent test it was 28 degrees with a light wind and the test gun was a Gletcher Tokarev TT-33 blowback action [1], which completely surprised me by performing exceptionally well in below freezing temperatures. With the ProChrono chronograph using infrared screens plugged into an outside power source, I was able to clock velocity for each magazine I shot. After only a few minutes exposure to the outside weather, having come from a 70 degree room where the CO2 had been loaded into the pistol grip, the first 9 shots fired clocked from 355 fps to 327 fps with an average velocity of 346 fps. I went through five 18-round stick magazines before the gun clocked a low of 276 fps and then was unable to continue firing. That’s a total of 90 shots over a period of 15 minutes outdoors in 28 degree weather. This is the best result I have ever had with a CO2 pistol in below freezing temperatures. The Gletcher Tokarev TT-33 has been an exceptional gun since it was introduced, but I would have to say it is an all around performer despite having a stick magazine and separate CO2 channel in the grip frame. The blowback action is snappy, even at 28 degrees. The bottom line here is that I picked a gun that happens to perform well in cold weather. read more


Winning the Cold War

Winning the Cold War

The battle between CO2 and the thermometer Part 1 Part 2

By Dennis Adler

The airgun that came out in the cold; I used my custom weathered finish Gletcher Tokarev TT-33 for this test of CO2 vs. Nitrogen in below freezing temperatures. (The Russian semi-auto model seemed an appropriate choice for the artic chill). The shot count is 18 rounds for the Tokarev CO2 model’s stick magazine, so we’ll see how many times I can shoot and reload with CO2 before the outside temperature brings things to a halt.

I have two things in common with CO2; I don’t function well in cold weather or extreme heat. CO2 likes to be at an optimum temperature range of no less than 60 degrees and no greater than 90 degrees. That’s actually the extreme ends, between 70 and 80 degrees is really where CO2 functions best. When the temperature gets above 80 degrees, pressure (PSI) increases with CO2; the upshot is you also get slightly elevated velocities and at around 90 degrees you begin to see vaporization of the CO2 leaving the barrel (very cold air meeting very hot air). This looks like a trail of gun smoke, some people call it wisps. An airgun based on a centerfire or rimfire pistol or rifle is even more realistic looking with a smoking barrel, but high temperature is not conducive to proper functioning, especially with blowback action models. The higher PSI can be hard on the action and seals. At the other extreme, temperatures from 50 degrees to just above freezing, the CO2 is chilled, and already being cold to begin with, the PSI is lowered and performance drops rapidly along with velocity. In a very short time of exposure to freezing temperatures CO2 powered blowback action pistols stop working. Revolvers don’t fair much better after a few minutes. Whenever I have had to shoot tests outdoors in winter I keep the gun in a warm coat pocket between shooting sessions, or even pull the car nearby and keep the gun in the heated vehicle so the CO2 is at 70 degrees before taking it out to shoot. This extends my shooting time but the end result is still the same after a few minutes. read more


Tokarev TT-33, Makarov PM1951 and Grach MR-443

Tokarev TT-33, Makarov PM1951, and Grach MR-443

“The Gun That Came in From the Cold” Makarov’s PM 1951 Part 2, Part 1

By Dennis Adler

As I said in Tuesday’s article, I went a little over the top on antiquing the TT-33 so I pulled it back by redoing the finish to a standard condition of 30% as shown in the Blue Book of Gun Values Photo Percentage Grading Scale. It looks like a well used, finish worn WWII pistol. It is matched with an equally antiqued TT-33 holster from World War Supply. The Tokarev was used by Russian soldiers, police and the KGB for almost two decades giving way to the Makarov PM 1951, which wasn’t really that much of a step forward, as it was just a new gun.

Before I get into today’s review of the Makarov PM1951, I want to go over the Tokarev TT-33 one last time. After Tuesday’s article I went back and refinished the antiquing a second time on the Gletcher TT-33, this time with a specific goal in mind, something a little less beaten and more just field worn, so I eliminated the stains (re-polished the frame) and reblued and rubbed the finish out to what the Blue Book of Gun Values considers a 40% condition factor on the Photo Percentage Grading Scale (PPGS). It would actually be closer to 30% were it not for the good condition of the grips and lack of pitting in the finish. This is a nice look for a WWII-era service pistol. So this first photo is the final effort to achieve that look. Again, 0000 steel wool to polish out the factory finish, down to the alloy in most areas, and then coats of Birchwood Casey Perma Blue applied liberally with cotton patches, rubbed dark, then lightly brushed again with the steel wool, more bluing, polishing and then gun oil to stop the action and preserve the final look. It is a basic formula that anyone can adapt and alter to their personal preferences. This time I was going for a finish similar to the photo in the Blue Book PPGS. The Gletcher now has official prop gun status! read more


Tokarev TT-33, Makarov PM1951 and Grach MR-443

Tokarev TT-33, Makarov PM1951, and Grach MR-443

A three quarter century revolution in Russian Small Arms Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4

By Dennis Adler

The gun at left is an actual TT-33, my aged Gletcher at right. There are some minor visual differences between the TT-33 and Gletcher TT, most notably the use of Colt-style rear slide serrations rather than the more distinctive elongated vertical serrations used on the Tokarev, and a slightly different look to the trigger, although accurate in size.

Arms designs were global with differing technologies but many similar ideas; one cannot look at a Colt Model 1911 without seeing similarities to countless other European arms of the period. The same can be said for Walther or Browning designs; the confluence of ideas, though perhaps packaged differently, were much the same, and with few exceptions, most were variations of John M. Browning designs created at the end of the 19th and into the early 20th century. The Russians were more often borrowers or outright purchasers of foreign arms in the mid to late 19th century when the Czars were impressed by American guns like Colt and Smith & Wesson. Even with large orders for S&W Americans modified to the needs of the Russian military, leading to S&W producing the First, Second and Third Model Russian variations, the Russian military also sought out sources of arms closer to home, in Belgium, where brothers Leon and Emile Nagant and Fabrique d’Armes et Leon Nagant in Liege developed the 7.62mm, 7-shot gas-seal Nagant revolver. The double action/single action revolver was adopted in 1895 as the standard issue handgun for the Russian Army, and was so well regarded by the military that the Russia government purchased the patent rights and began manufacturing Nagant revolvers in the arsenals at Tula, Sestroryetsk and Izhevsk. Production continued throughout the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917 and abdication of the Czarist government, through two world wars, and right up until 1945! And even after WWII, the 7-shot Negant revolvers were still carried by Soviet police and the infamous KGB. read more


Gletcher Russian Legends Tokarev TT

The Gletcher Russian Legends Tokarev TT, PM 1951 and APS

Blowback action reproductions of the Soviet Union’s most famous pistols

Part 1 The Tokarev TT

By Dennis Adler

The Gletcher TT has authentic lines with few exceptions, like the slide serrations which are copied from a Colt rather than the TT-33. The slide and magazine release are very accurate, as are the hard rubber grips and lanyard loop at the bottom of the frame.

The Gletcher TT has authentic lines with few exceptions. The vertical slide serrations are copied from the post WWII version of the TT-33 rather than the original design which had evenly spaced elliptical and vertical serrations. The slide and magazine release are very accurate, as are the hard rubber grips and lanyard loop at the bottom of the frame.

The Soviet Union’s 7.62mm Tokarev TT-30 and TT-33 semiautomatic pistols, which had been adopted by the Red Army in 1934, quickly earned the trust of Russian soldiers during WWII, and continued to grow in popularity because of their power and reliability. In the 1930s the Tokarev was considered a significant step up from the old 19th century Nagant Model 1895 revolvers that had been in use for more than 40 years, and still remained in use even into WWII. The wheels of change had, however, been set into motion after the First World War when the Russian military recognized that their sturdy but antiquated,7-shot Nagant revolvers had to be replaced by a modern military handgun, and by modern, that meant a semiautomatic pistol. read more