Friday, December 12, 2008

Thin is IN! - Tokarev Grips Update

This is an update to this previous post.

In the world of concealed carry handguns, thin is most definitely in! Anyone will tell you that it's much easier to conceal a thinner gun than a f--, um thickness challenged one (those Glocks might be listening). Whether it be in your pocket or IWB tucked, a flatter pistol carries better. It's one (of the many) reasons why the 1911 platform is still so popular with the CCW crowd. I just peeked at BOB O's pocket pistol pdf on to check out what rates as thin these days. My PM9 shows that it's 1.10" in width overall and measured at the slide it's about .90", pretty thin for a 9mm don't you think? Well, according to my eyeballing with the tape measure my Chinese Tokarev clone measures at a measley 13/16" or under .82" at the slide. Lately, I've been considering carrying the Tok, partly to give it some exercise and partly because I love it's ultra simple design. It's pretty close to a 1911 design that was stripped of everything that it didn't need in order to shoot (though it does sport an external extractor). There's no beaver-tail, no grip safety, no firing pin safety, really no safety to speak of if you don't count half cock. Most 1911 folks scoff at the thought of such a thing, but in a way I find it refreshingly simple. In original form it's not exactly a thing of beauty with it's awkward grip angle and dull finish. Those clones from the Chinese like mine sport so many tooling marks it looks as if all the parts were cut & milled just enough to fit together and that's it. I like it though. It's like that 5 lb hammer you use to bang stakes in the ground. It's scarred up, dirty, maybe a little rusty, but it does exactly what you need it to do and when you swing it just right and hit that stake square all it takes is one whack.

A while back I fabricated some ultra thin grips for the Tok to maximize it's flatness. They worked, but made it look a bit like a Radom and made the grip stick out a bit. So after seeing a bunch of bobbed 1911's I thought I could easily do something similar to my Tok. So a couple of minutes cutting, molding & sanding and here you go. You'll notice that since the last effort I've gotten an untrimmed Hogue slip on grip to hold it all together and give a nonslip surface to hold on to. I'm really digging the profile now. Isn't Kydex great?

Check out how thin those grips are! Notice that I took a little bit of metal off the backside of the hammer to keep hammer bite at bay. I'll see if any more needs to be removed after my next range session. One of these days I my try my hand at refinishing to give some more corrosion resistance than the original faded blue gives it.

Pondering the differences between my Tok vs. my EDC Sig P239 I'm struck by many of the similarities. Yes, the Sig is DA/SA with a decocker and sports a short 3.6" barrel, it looks squat & chubby in comparison to the Tok's long & lean 4.5" barrel. In the end, though they both contain an equal amount of firepower, 8+1 in 9mm, with no added on safety levers/switches/buttons. Granted if used for CCW I would never carry the Tok cocked with one in the chamber so it will have to be cocked on the draw.

Guess it'll need a holster so that I can practice with that...hmm another project.

1 comment:

mikelohre said...

this is great. i have the same pistol in 7.62 x 25 and it's cheap as dirt to shoot and does the job. where did you get those grips, or did you write that you just made them? really nice job.