Field strip the TT-30 / TT-33 / TTC pistol into its major components for cleaning.

How to Field Strip the TT-30 / TT-33 / TTC Pistol

Tokarev TT Pistols
TT-30 / TT-33 / TTC

Field stripping is the term for disassembling a gun into its major components or assemblies. You don't completely disassemble it, but you break it down enough that you can clean and lubricate it. As the term suggests, this is something you might do in the field while further disassembly requiring special tools would be done back at the armory or shop. Let's see how to field strip the TT-33 and TTC pistols.

7.62 Tokarev 7.62x25mm snap caps
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The TT-30 pistol was designed around 1930 by Fedor Vasilievich Tokarev for the Soviet military.

Officially the TT-30 is the 7,62-мм Самозарядный Пистолет Токрева образца 1930 года, or 7,62-mm Samozaryadnyj Pistolet Tokareva obraztsa 1930 goda, the "7.62 mm Tokarev self-loading pistol model 1930."

The TT-30 was slightly modified, dropping the removable backstrap and changing the full-circumference locking lugs on the barrel and slide. Less significant changes were made to the disconnector, trigger and frame. The redesigned pistol was designated the TT-33, which makes up most of the production of the series.

Romania produced a TT-33 copy which they designated the TTC or Cugir Tokarov. Many TTC pistols have been imported into the U.S., after adding a trigger blocking safety that is as clumsy to use as it looks.

Let's break this Romanian TTC down into its major assemblies.

Wear safety glasses while doing this, as some parts are under strong spring pressure and may release when you aren't expecting it.

Oh, and one more thing, you might want to have some takeout Chinese food or sushi before we start. Anything that comes with wooden chopsticks. You're going to need one in a bit.

Open the holster and remove the pistol.
The pistol is in the holster.

Start, of course, with an empty pistol!

Remove the magazine and set it aside. Then pull the slide back and lock it open with the slide release so you can carefully examine the chamber.

 Make absolutely certain that the weapon is unloaded. 

Verify that the pistol is unloaded.

The added trigger-blocking safety lever is directly below the slide release lever.

Notice the trigger-blocking safety.

The slide release lever is similar to that of the M1911.

Notice the trigger-blocking safety.

The opposite side of the frame has a clip that retains the slide release pin.

Notice the retaining clip.

The lower rear corner of the retaining clip has been ground off to clear the pin of the added safety. We will need to push that back in a bit.

Now let's get to the disassembly!

Notice the retaining clip.

Notice the smooth recessed button below the barrel. This is the recoil spring plug. It seems very similar to that of the M1911 at this stage of the process, but it is significantly harder to manipulate.

Find the recoil spring plug.

This is where you need that chopstick.

Eat some sushi or some Chinese food before starting this project.

Hold the gun in one hand, while pressing the recoil spring plug into the frame using the chopstick held in your other hand.

At the same time, use your third hand to rotate the barrel bushing counter-clockwise. Here we see the bushing just starting to rotate.

Be careful while doing this as the plug is under strong pressure from the recoil spring.

Press the recoil spring plug and start to rotate the barrel bushing.

Those of you with only two hands will eventually figure out some way of doing this.

The bushing will release from the slide when it has rotated about 180°.

Pull the barrel bushing out of the combined slide and frame. You will see that the recoil spring ends in a button, as opposed to the tubular cap of the similar M1911.

This is what made the first stages of disassembly trickier, that button has to be pressed down below the completely surrounding front plate of the barrel bushing.

The bushing on a M1911 just has two "horns" that catch the spring cap around about half of its circumference, making it much easier to manipulate.

Remove the recoil spring and its plug plug.

Use your chopstick to press that retaining clip toward the rear.

Slide the retaining clip back.

Press that retaining clip back until it is fully clear of the slide release pin.

It is sliding under the rim of the far end of the pin of the safety. It is a tight fit, it does not move easily.

Slide the retaining clip back.

Move the slide so its small semi-circular notch is aligned with the end of the end of the slide release lever.

Now you should be able to press the slide release out of the frame to the left, by pressing on the back end of its pin on the right side of the frame.

Align the slide release level with the small indentation on the slide.

Completely remove the slide release lever, then move the slide fully forward and lift it off the frame.

Remove the frame.

Here we are looking down into the stripped frame and slide.

Look down into the stripped frame and slide.

Remove the recoil spring and its guide by pulling it to the rear and out of the slide.

Remove the recoil spring.

Rotate the barrel link forward so the barrel can be slid forward and out of the slide. You will have to lift the barrel slightly so its lugs are disengaged from the slide.

Remove the barrel.

The TT-33 has a modular hammer group that simply lifts out of the frame.

Or, possibly, falls out of the frame during this process, startling you.

Lift the hammer group out of the frame.

The TT-33 frame is largely empty when the modular hammer group has been lifted out.

Examine the stripped frame.

The pistol is now fully field stripped for cleaning.

History of the
TT Pistol
7.62x25mm Tokarev

Field strip the TT-33 / TTC pistol.