Released in 1930, it was Russia's replacement for their ageing 1985 revolvers it became the standard military sidearm up until 1951 when it was phased out in favour of the Makarov.
The design was based on Brownings FN Model 1903, which it closely resembles, and also his M1911.
In the second World War the German forces captured many TT-33s and reissued them to their own forces because of their ruggedness, reliability and also because they would take the standard 7.63x25mm Mauser rounds.
They are still in use today in nearly 50 countries including North Korea, China (as Type 51 and Type 54) and Pakistan. Many of the modern variants are in 9mm.
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