For Russian footballer, see Maksim Tokarev.

Tokarev and his son posing with their model 1925 machine gun
Type Light machine gun
Place of origin Soviet Union
Service history
Used by Soviet Union
Production history
Designer Fedor Tokarev
Number built 3,500
Weight 12.9 kg (empty)
15.5 kg (with typical ammo load)[1]
Length 1330 mm[1]
Barrel length 650 mm[1]

Cartridge 7.62×54mmR
Caliber 7.62 mm
Action Short recoil, toggle locked
Feed system belt-feed, 100 rounds belt
Sights iron

The Maxim–Tokarev was the first domestic Soviet light machine gun accepted for service. It was based on the Maxim M1910.


During World War I and the Russian Civil War, the Soviet army was equipped with light machine guns of foreign manufacture, mostly with the Lewis gun, the Chauchat and the Hotchkiss M1909. By the 1920s, these guns were showing their age, and owing to the Soviet Union's international diplomatic isolation, neither spare parts nor ammunition could be easily obtained for these guns. Consequently, in 1923 an emergency program was initiated for equipping the Red army with a light machine gun chambered for the domestic 7.62×54mmR. The first design submitted was the Maxim-Kolesnikov, followed soon thereafter by the Maxim–Tokarev. During field tests conducted in early 1925, Tokarev's model proved superior, so it was adopted on May 26.[2]

The Maxim–Tokarev was replaced in Soviet service by the much lighter DP. [3]


A US Army analysis mentions that "Tokarev was doubtless inspired by both the German Parabellum and the British Vickers. The arrangement of the trigger and the shoulder stock resembles very strongly that illustrated in United States Patent No. 942167, which was granted in 1909 to Dawson and Buckham, assignors to Vickers."[4]

The water jacket of the Maxim M1910 was discarded and replaced by a thin perforated steel jacket. The barrel was shortened and lightened from 2.1 kg to 1.7 kg. A mechanism for changing the barrel in field conditions was provided. The spade grips were replaced with a rifle-type stock and the thumb-trigger was replaced by a rifle-type trigger. A folding bipod with tubular legs was attached to the barrel jacket.[1]

The canvas-belt feed system was the same as on Maxim M1910 guns, except the standard belt capacity was reduced to 100 rounds. The 100-round belts were usually carried in separate drum-type containers, inspired from the MG 08/15. The barrel rifling was 4 right-turns in 240 mm.[1]

More than 3,500 Maxim–Tokarev guns were produced by Tula arms factory (TOZ) in 1926-27; 3,550 were later sold to Republican Spain and 1,400 to Republic of China.


See also


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 Семен Федосеев (2009). Пулеметы России. Шквальный огонь. Яуза / Коллекция / ЭКСМО. pp. 380–381. ISBN 978-5-699-31622-9.
  2. Болотин, Давид (1995). История советского стрелкового оружия и патронов (in Russian). Полигон. pp. 166–167. ISBN 5-85503-072-5.
  3. James H. Willbanks (2004). Machine Guns: An Illustrated History of Their Impact. ABC-CLIO. p. 99. ISBN 978-1-85109-480-6.
  4. Chinn, George M. The Machine Gun, Vol II, Part VII. US Department of the Navy, 1952, page 23
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