north korean adoptions

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The North Korean Type 68 Semi Automatic Pistol,

The standard service pistol of the North Korean Army since the 1960’s, the Type 68 is an interesting copy of the Soviet TT-33 Tokarev. Originally the North Koreans simply imported TT-33 pistols from the Soviet Union, but when the Soviets switched to the Makarov, the North Koreans adopted their own design manufactured by their own state arms factory.  While similar, the Type 68 is not an exact clone of the TT-33.  First and foremost the Type 68 utilizes a ramp based locking system rather than the cam links of a TT-33.  The Type 68 also added a safety in the form of a half cock on the hammer.  Also note that the hammer is exposed and enlarged, unlike the TT-33 which has a small hammer.  Finally the Type 68 had a different magazine, while TT-33 magazines are interchangeable with Type 68 magazines, a Type 68 magazine will not fit in a TT-33.  They were still chambered in 7.62x25mm Tokarev and used an 8 round single stack magazine.

Outside of North Korea Type 68 pistols are quite rare.  Today the North Korean military has adopted some new designs for pilots (mostly copies of modern Czech pistols), high ranking officials, and special forces. However the Type 68 remains the standard service pistol of the North Korean Army, issued to officers and NCO’s.