Say Hello to the Norinco 213 (9mm)

The Russian Tokarev was a military service pistol produced in Russia, Yugoslavia, Romania, Poland, North Korea, Egypt and China. The Tokarev typically chambers the powerful 7.62x25mm bottleneck cartridge. The Chinese made a unique variant chambered in 9mm—the Norinco 213— for the civilian market. The State Factory 66-manufactured all-steel 213 is nearly identical to the Russian TT-33 Tokarev with one key difference: an additional frame mounted safety. (Given the similarities. some gun guys speculate that the Hungarian Tokagypt 9mm pistol inspired the 213.) The 213 is pleasant to shoot, remarkably accurate and reliable. They are no longer imported into the U.S.; you can find one on the used market for $200-$250. [Click here to read TTAG’s review of the Yugo Tokarev M57 Semi Auto (7.62×25)]

Text and photo courtesy


  1. avatar caffeinated says:

    I’ve got one as well and it is an incredible deal considering it was NIB for $99 back when sportarms was importing them.

    1. avatar mike says:

      i also have a 213 and it is deadly at 50 yds can take your eyeballs out with no problem she is a shooter , read the barrel has a 1000 rnd life too it but i am way past that . she hangs proudly (lol) next to my xdm 5.25 45 ching chou

    2. avatar Curtis porter says:

      I have the pistol I would just like to get a couple more magazines

  2. avatar gej88 says:

    I have a hard enough time trying to find stuff not made in China, why would I want to go out of my way to buy something from them?

    1. avatar caffeinated says:

      Let’s see, the frame and slide are forgings. The barrel is hammer forged and chrome lined. The import mandated safety sucks, but otherwise the 213 shoots decent groups and eats anything from LRN reloads to +P+ Ranger SXT.

      1. avatar Michael says:

        Safety sucks!!! That is an understatement. I bought mine in 1994 and sold it months later. After I found out a friend of mine lost his life to that “safety” system.

        1. avatar J cates says:

          A safety is a mechanical device that can fail, proper handling and the four firearms safety rules would prevent all “accidental” shootings

        2. avatar Blackie says:

          Easy to say, any news urls, etc…..

        3. avatar Joe says:

          Hard to lose your life to a safety system unless somebody is either “Horsing around” or
          just careless with firearms.

    2. avatar Mike says:

      Because you can use it against them.

  3. avatar MotoJB says:

    I’ve got one…given to me by a buddy long ago. It’s a POC IMO. 😉 I was lucky to find a couple spare mags for it and now I don’t know why I bought them. I never shoot it! Cetainly never would have spent money on one.

    1. avatar Curtis porter says:

      I’ll buy the magazines from you

    2. avatar Dick Stainkamp says:

      Do you still have the 9mm Tokarev for sale?
      Price & condition?
      Any extras?


      1. avatar alexander says:

        Ha ha – a standard complaint from a person who either doesn’t know what he’s doing or just wants to complain. Let’s see him sell that 213 for the $100 or less that he paid for it (or got it for free)! (hint – don’t hold your breath). The Tokarev/213/213A is one of the most reliable and accurate pistols of its time. Like anything else, it has drawbacks, but so does a Ferrari.

  4. avatar Tim Harmsen says:

    I agree about the prices. I could kick myself for passing up surplus firearms back in the 1990’s. I assumed that many of them would be available and cheap forever, and of course I was wrong. I have fun finding the occasional gem for a good price while surfing the used gun section of my local gun shop, that’s how I came across the Norinco 213 featured in this article.

    1. avatar caffeinated says:

      I really wish I had purchased a whole crate of Finnish Mosins for $39 each.

  5. avatar ST says:

    Just when you thought Glock made the ugliest handgun, in comes the Chinese to surprise us all.

    1. avatar sdog says:

      @ ST

      And not a hi point (carbine or handgun) to compliment this chicom shite pictured above?

    2. avatar caffeinated says:

      You can blame the Russians for this one.

    3. avatar Ron Martin says:

      Nothing is as ugly as a Glock!

  6. avatar "Dr."Dave says:


  7. avatar Twinkie says:

    I think it looks like any other 1911.

  8. avatar Philthegardener says:

    Another classic by JMB.

  9. avatar Luc says:

    A couple years ago I could get one of those shipped for $100. They’re a little more these days, not sure if anyone is still importing them in Canada.

  10. avatar Wes S. says:

    Bought one of those (Norinco 213 9mm) for my dad back in the mid-nineties, when we were browsing the tables at a gun show. Think I paid around $100 for it. It’s been utterly reliable. Ate anything Dad and I fed it. Really likes the inexpensive Sellier and Bellot ball ammo. Not a bad investment for the money, even if it is a piece of Chinese crap.

    Might have to find one of the 7.62X25 versions, or a CZ-52, to go along with it…

    1. avatar caffeinated says:

      If you get a 7.62 version, get the Yugo. It’s the only one with an import safety that works (ala 1911) and has design improvements such as a captive recoil spring assembly. The only downside is that they use a longer than normal magazine.

    2. avatar Alexander says:

      Any particular reason for calling it “a piece of Chinese crap”? It functions flawlessly, very accurate, is not picky as to the type of ammo, comfortable to hold, quick on target with very controlled recoil and very quick follow up shots. Did I miss anything? It is large, but it was never designed for CC. So, I ask again, any reason for calling it “crap”?

      1. avatar Cheshire Cat says:

        Usually people that dont know a lot about firearms say some pretty lame stuff …You know armchair quarterback stuff…. The tokarev design has its origins with the red army with the tt-33 in 7.62×25 it filtered into most all the communist nations military’s armories it had a reputation of dependability like our 1911……
        it only made since to make a 9 mm version… Oh their version never had a safety !!! training in leaving the chamber empty until needed and keeping your finger off the trigger… people rely too much on a mechanical safety … keep your digits out of the trigger guard until your ready to shoot … don’t chamber a round until your going to use it.of course the imported guns have an add on safety … but they are good values chinese ,russian or whoever the maker…. they were all made in government arsenals

        1. avatar Rand Eller says:

          Gotta agree with Alexander and Cheshire Cat – I bought one as a “fixer upper” project gun. Only paid about $120 for it (mid-2018). Found it to be both reliable and accurate. Only issues I have are the safety (awkward placement) and the oversize grips which are too large for my normal size hand. Other than those two small issues, I think I got a great bargain for the money.

    3. avatar Blackie says:

      How could it be a piece of crap if it shoots so good?

  11. avatar Gabba says:

    what’s the point of a tokarev in 9×19?

    1. avatar Blackie says:

      Ask the Chinese!

  12. avatar Tim Harmsen says:

    Gabba, I enjoy the 213 because it uses a commonly available cartridge that I already keep on hand. I don’t have to purchase 7.62×25 on the net when I get the urge to shoot a Tokarev. Not many dealers around here stock 7.62×25 ammo.

    1. avatar Blackie says:

      What he said!

  13. avatar IdahoPete says:

    Interesting. Looks a bit like the FN-Browning Model of 1922 in .380.

    1. avatar caffeinated says:

      It has a locking breach ala Browning tilt. It takes the Browning design and simplifies the manufacturing process.

  14. avatar Chris Dumm says:

    I sometimes kick myself for not grabbing one of these for $150 back in 1995. Even if it is extremely aesthetically challenged. My Norinco 1911 is monotonously reliable, even though the trigger sucks.

    1. avatar caffeinated says:

      One step further would be the Norinco and Polytech M14s. I had a friend in college with one and that thing shot every bit as well as the Springfield except it used to cost right under $300. The only difference was that the Norinco used a forging instead of a casting for its receiver. I still kick myself for not buying it off of him for $450.

  15. avatar David W says:

    If I want an awesome dinosaur like the TT-33, then I want it in its original configuration. That means no safety and in 7.62×25 (a.ka. able to penetrate soft body armor). They can be had at J&G sales for under $200, but they come with an after market safety >frown.

    I heard Norinco makes a TT-33 in 7.62. I would like to get my hands on one of those. However, if I am going into 9mm land I can think of man many other guns I would go w/ instead of this hybrid, dino clone.

    This guy probably has the best TT-33 going:

  16. avatar David W says:

    J&G sales has them in 7.62×25. They under $200 before shipping. If I were to get a Tok, I would want one in 7.62 and no safety. If it came w/ an after market pc-safety I would seriously look at getting it removed.

  17. avatar ifitfliesitdies says:

    Bought one about 20 years ago when Sportsman Arms were importing them… It’s been in the closet ever since. Pulled it out a couple of weeks ago when I took my CWP Class. Worked like a champ. 50/50 on my shooting and it was smooth. Looking forward to shooting it more often. Great gun for the money.

  18. avatar Don says:

    Does anyone know how to find A Chinese/ English owners manual for A 213 A

    1. avatar JonSEAZ says:

      Don, I have an original operation manual in English. It has no Chinese text, however. The manual is very rudimentary and poorly written and printed. The Woods Semiautomatic book is far superior when it comes to pulling the gun apart. Although the pistol actually is rather simple to tear down, there are a couple of tricky moves needed, especially when reassembling it. One thing to know is the the main pins are split pins and they require a special tool to remove them without damage. Each pin of a different diameter requires its own tool of the same diameter. You can make the tools by V-notching the end of the correct diameter pin punch. All the V does is fit over the head of the split pin and compresses it as the punch pushes against the pin. I believe this can be found on the internet, and the Woods book (at least my older one) shows a picture of such a tool being used.

      1. avatar Mandii says:

        Could you also email me the manual

    2. avatar bill stuparits says:

      I have 1 of these guns in the Box still what do manual if you want I can make a copy of it and send it to you it’s only 4 pages long and yes it is a very cheap copy

      1. avatar Codie Chelfe says:

        I just picked up a 213 9mm for really really really cheap. great condition…. I would love to get my hands on the book that came with it… If anyone would like to help me out by scanning it. I would def. post it up online after for people to find in the future. [email protected] Thanks in advance

      2. avatar tim rosenbalm says:

        If you could email me a copy of the manual thay would be awesome and greatly appreciated. [email protected]

  19. avatar Ronald Tate says:

    Have a collection of several variations of Tokarev TT33 pistols & clones. Most are well made and quite depndable. except for some early Chinese and Pakistani pistols. Carried a Russian TT33 in VN for an extended time early in the conflict – fired captured AP & Incendiary AP ammo through a barrel with a hard chrome insert liner. Seeing the devastating wounds sustained by enemy combatants shot with this ammo made a believer out of me. Maybe that’s why TT33 Pistols abound in the Middle East, including Pakistan, Afghanistan & Iraq.

  20. avatar Chris Stewart says:

    I have a nasty hangnail once.from the bolt.of my.M&P…… I guess that was kinda evil

  21. avatar David Lay says:

    I found a guy who has a bag full of original 213a mags I just got a few and they are the real mags. I bought them so I could save my matching serial number mag for the collectability of a matching numbers gun. 3 digit serial number gun.

    1. avatar Alexander says:

      I’ve been looking for 213A mags (at least the reasonably priced variety). Would you share the source?

      1. avatar Grendelizer says:

        Alexander, shoot me a pm on facebook if possible. I will be glad to share the source I have for the 213a mags.

        1. avatar alexander says:

          Don’t know how to find you on FB. My email is [email protected] Thanks.

    2. avatar cody says:

      ill buy them…the 213 mags

  22. Would the magazine from a213 fit the t-54 9- mm

    1. avatar David Lay says:

      A 213 mag might interchange if you have one of the toks that had the 9 mm conversion. But a 213a mbps mag Wil not. The 213a is the high capacity version in 9 mm. 14+1 capacity double stack mags.

  23. Waiting for a yes or no on the magazine from a213& a t-54 interchangeable

  24. Still waiting for answer or a dealer intx

  25. avatar Glenn perry says:

    Just got L213 for a trade got to 2 magazines, all I need is owners manual anyone have a copy of original they could send me on email. Thank you

    1. avatar Grendelizer says:

      I have the big brother of your 213. Its a 213a, high capacity version. 15+1. They are honestly very nice pistols. Mine is the softest shooting 9 I have shot. And very accurate to boot.

  26. avatar Glenn Perry says:

    Have not got to shoot it yet, girl friend in hospital so I am with her, trying to find book tho. [email protected]

  27. avatar Larry says:

    I have an M57, an M88a and the 213…all are a pleasure to shoot. Could care less what they look like…all I know is that when I squeeze the trigger it goes bang…every time. And the 9’s will eat anything.

  28. avatar Bill Lacey says:

    I have a 213 in 9mm Parabellum, And I have several hundred 9 mm Makarov.
    Can they be shot safely ?

    1. avatar Alexander says:

      If you look at the specifications for the two cartridges, you’ll see that they are significantly different. Although a Tokarev is a very forgiving gun, is it worth the test?

    2. avatar Grendelizer says:

      The 213 was designed as a 9mm. Unlike its twin the tokarev which requires a spacer and other parts to fire 9 and 7.62.

      1. avatar Alexander says:

        I am using “Tokarev” generically, as the 213 is a based on the Tokarev (which is based on the Browning). Regarding the question specifically, not only is the Makarov casing shorter, which can lead to blow by and the cartridge itself being much shorter (about 15%), which can lead to FTF, the Makarov bullet is actually of a larger diameter. Given a smaller powder charge, possible blow by and the wider bullet, it can get stuck in the barrel with the gases blowing into the face of the shooter through the gap. Maybe an interesting pyrotechnic display to watch from a distance, but I wouldn’t do it!

  29. avatar Grendelizer says:

    The 213 is unique in that it was a 9mm from the get go. I have a 213a which is even rarer in that not only is it a 9mm it is also a hi cap double stack pistol. A lot of tokarev pistols actually were sold in the states with the capability, and needed parts to fire both. They weren’t the most reliable but would do it. They had 2 barrels in the kit, and either a spacer in the mag or magwell depending on who did the conversion kits.

  30. avatar Emmett Brown says:

    Rear sight adjustable? I have a Norinco 213, bought it for about $150 in the mid-nineties, never put a round through it – until I took it to the range last year. I love the way it felt in my hand and it was fun to shoot, IF you disregard a couple of early FTFs… and, that after two boxes of FMJ 9mm, I was unable make a single hole in the 2’x2′ paper at ten yards, never saw where the rounds went. I can’t be that bad, I was hitting regularly with my wife’s little Rossi .38… So I bought one of those laser-in-a-shell-case deals, to find that it indicated my site picture was about a foot and a half high and that much wide left at about that distance. Sheesh. IF that’s an accurate indicator (opinions, please) I THINK I can file the notch in the rear site to match the elevation (lots of meat there), but does anyone know if I will be able to “drift” the rear sight right to fix this? I don’t want to just beat on the pistol if that sight won’t go anywhere. Thanks so much for any and all input.

    1. avatar alexander says:

      the rear sight is adjustable for windage. put locktite or something similar if it becomes too loose after adjustment.

  31. avatar danny says:

    I have a 213..9×19 easy to handle .best target gun I ever shot.all my friends love this ugly wife calls it a girl gun.she carry’s it her out of a few jams.

  32. avatar Ski says:

    Has anyone had jamming problems? I’ve used 3 different clips and occasionally it’ll jam. I think the springs in all my clips are “compressed. Anyone know where I can buy the springs?

    1. avatar Alexander says:

      You can stretch the spring and often that’s good enough. The Browning Hi-Power uses an almost the same magazine, and they are inexpensive. Use those springs.

      1. avatar Ski says:

        Thanks so much!! I tried stretching a couple springs but it didn’t work. I’ll try the Brownings. 🙂

        1. avatar Alexander says:

          I have a 213A, which uses a double stack magazine, almost identical to the Hi Power (different cutout). Those springs I think are the same. I don’t know if the single stack 213 uses the same spring.

  33. avatar neil berkman says:

    looking to buy spare mags for my norinco 213 tokarev 9mm…

    1. avatar David says:

      Neil, 213 or 213a? There is a gunshow locally this weekend. There is a guy that is usually at them that has odd magazines. I have bought 213a, double stack 9mm mags from him in the past.

  34. avatar Scott Rostad says:

    I’m far from a firearm expert. But, I’ve always gone by the philosophy of “buy what you like, and enjoy what you buy”. Are there better pistols out there? “Better” is a broad term. But no doubt, there are better, much more expensive pieces. Me? I’ve always loved the look of a 1903 Colt or 1903 FN. Could I justify paying big bucks for a Colt or FN just to shoot for the fun of it? Not me. I’m a cheap SOB. But, a Tokarev style pistol fits the bill for me, and looks amazingly similar to a 1903 Colt or FN. Well, to me anyway. I have Norinco 9MM, two Zastava 9MM and a 1953 Romanian 7.62 x 25. I’ve heard the Yugo models are best. But, I do enjoy what I have just the same. So, in the end, to each their own….love ’em or hate em’.

  35. avatar jason says:

    If you have the funds and you are willing to spend it on a gun with a better reputation, good for you. For those of us that want to be able to protect their family but cannot afford to spend $500 or more on a pistol, spare us the insult of how ugly or cheap the guns we buy are. I have a Lorcin .380. Cheap, very! Crappy…not in the slightest, accurate, reliable, and like some else said…I pull the trigger and it goes bang. Why belittle me because while paying my bills, supporting my family so that my wife is able to stay at home and raise our children the way WE want them raised, I am only able to afford a cheap gun. When did it become “you gun was cheaper than my gun so its a less of a gun”.

  36. avatar larry says:

    i cant put a shell in chamber until i cock the hammer back

  37. avatar Ron Martin says:

    I know this is an old thread but I can’t allow rude and dumb comments to go by without a comment of my own! I have a Norinco 213. It works flawlessly. It shoots anything I feed it. It is easy to clean, especially with the trigger assembly lifting out so easily. It is accurate, heavy enough not to kick really hard and it points naturally. All of the negative comments I have read are most likely from someone who has never owned or shot one! It has never failed to go bang when I have pulled the trigger! It looks a whole lot like a Colt 1905. I think it looks good. It is certainly a lot better looking than all of the plastic Glocks and Glock look a likes currently being offered! It is true that the safety is suspect. However you should never carry a pistol cocked and chambered as far as I am concerned. Maybe a few of the new pistols around today would be OK to do that with but I will never carry a pistol like that regardless of who made it and what features it has! Common sense will tell anyone that! To end this comment I would like to ask all of you who made negative comments about this old firearm to consider making comments that are constructive criticism about anything without the juvenile language and attitude!

  38. avatar Robert says:

    i have a 213 left to me by my father when he passed last year get old thread but would like some info on breaking down and cleaning maybe mags
    [email protected]

  39. avatar Pat says:

    I have a Norinco 213 can’t say anything bad about it. Would like to know what the safety is that everybody talks about

  40. avatar Blackie says:

    I just bought a M213, and it was advertised as a parts gun. Lo and behold, when I received it,
    it had a brand new barrel in it. I took it out to the range, and it shot great guns! (pun intended)!
    Now, I just need to find some more magazines. This will be a great range gun. It hits what it
    aims at.

  41. avatar William E. Spencer Sr. TMC (ss) USN Ret. says:

    As a retired Navy Submariner and Weaponeer I have a small collection of Tokarevs (multiple countries of origin), and Norincos in both 7.62 and 9mm. Velocity on the 7.62 is comparable to a .357 and 9mm speaks for it self. Knock on plastic grip I’ve never experienced a mis-fire or FTF and I’ve thrown some cheap ammo and OLD 7.62 surplus at them. As for carry they are thinner than a 1911 and they are comfortable to shoot and seem to come back on target much quicker than .45 rounds in a heavier weapon. I started just collecting Vietnam Era weapons and discovered these little “jewels”. Finish isn’t always perfect and rough machining can be found “under the hood” but even the “Chicom” weapons are dependable and well made.

  42. avatar KV says:

    I have both, 213 and 213a.. Both fire true and never miss. Prefer the 213 for fit and weight. Don’t care for the little ring on side of grip. Protrudes out further than the side covers and causes a sore spot when carried inside the waistband.

  43. avatar craig says:

    I have a very early 213 in original box no importer or even Norinco name on gun . These were imported at the beginning of Norinco 1980 and its very accurate and a great shooter wish I had more of them Only came with one original clip Would love a tokerav round gun as well. Browning styled and reliability.They are going up as no longer imported .I reccomend as a bu for a good shooter

  44. avatar Paul Pierce says:

    A friend brought one to the range. Except for the sights, I liked it.

  45. avatar Emily B. says:

    Hello everyone. I found this thread in search of reviews regarding the Norinco 213 pistol. For anyone interested in purchasing a Norinco Interstate Arms 9mm Pistol model 213, there is one available at a local auction near me. They will ship firearms but no ammo. Here’s a brief description and the link to the auction.

    An extensive selection of sportsman and military related firearms are up for auction. Additionally, we have hundreds of boxes containing thousands of rounds of ammunition.

    Military collectors will be grateful for the wide selection of British Lee Enfield rifles. (Our client bought the entire collection from an East Texas museum.) There are Russian, Czech and Italian pistols as well. Plus an extensive selection of WWII flare guns.

    There are 1911’s and black powder pistols and many 19th Century replicas…and a few originals. Many pistols in presentation cases with extra accessories.

    The ammunition spans the gamut in caliber–mostly .22 to .45. There is ammo box after ammo box filled with military ammuntion. A lot of it in mags with vintage cloth bandoliers. And a good portion in strip clips or in continuous feed belts.

    Enough to keep the everyday shooter happy as well. Plenty of .223, 9mm, .38 and .45’s with shotgun shells found by the box full.

    There are dozens of boxes of vintage ammuntion. Here’s your chance to get some hard to find makes and calibers to add to your collection–or start one.

    That’s just a brief overview of this wonderful collection.

    Have at it! Good Luck & Happy Bidding!!


    I’m also providing a link to the Norinco’s sale page.

  46. avatar Sidney Bernstein says:

    The owner’s manual says it has a 2000 rd service life? I have at least 5,000 through mine and it’s still in nice condition, no signs of wear or breakage? still using original recoil spring.

  47. avatar Duane c Duncan says:

    I just found one for sale no markings only serial numbers and 9×19 on slide. Early import, what do you guys think.

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