|Creation date||December 02, 2013|
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Lately there have been a lot of great leaps forward for East Bloc Airsoft lovers and now we can add an affordable Soviet era GBB Pistol to the list as well! With very little out there to compare it to, the WE TT33 GBB Pistol could well be the best in class for a Soviet era GBB pistol.
In 1930 the Soviet Military sought a replacement for the aging Nagant M1895 revolver and chose Fedor Tokarev’s TT-30 design. Even while the TT-30 was being produced for service trials, amendments were being made to improve the design and make it easier to manufacture which included various changes to the barrel, frame and internal mechanism, as well as the omission of a removable backstrap.
This improved version became the TT-33 and was pressed into service as the side arm of Soviet military officers and was used throughout WW2 and beyond. It saw service through the East Bloc and Soviet allies and just about anywhere a revolution was sparked. The Tokarev TT-33 is essentially the AK47 of pistols.
On first inspection the WE TT33 GBB pistol looks and feels just right. It also looks just right with a glossy finish to it which lends itself to an old model pistol with WW2 heritage.
The pistol has a good weight to it and feels quite solid with little to no play on the parts, something WE is getting very good at with their lasts few releases – it would seem quality is actually getting progressively better.
The slide racks smoothly with a pleasing assortment of clicks & clacks, the hammer play being particularly fun, with a surprisingly crisp trigger pull.
WE’s trademark lack of trademarks doesn’t affect the aesthetics of the TT33 at all, in this case it is somewhat expected. The slide and frame are clean of any markings apart from a very authentic looking serial number and 1941 date stamp. This, for me, is a very nice detail as WE have even made the serial number slightly askew, which just screams realism for a mass produced wartime Soviet pistol – who has time for perfection when there’s a war on comrade?
The grip panels are also adorned with the USSR Emblem and the entire pistol, frame and slide, bares feint machine markings underneath the finish coating. Light scratches in the surface metal as part of the manufacturing process. This just further cements the idea that this mimics a Soviet era WW2 mass produced weapon, where function mattered over form.
Unlike the KWA TT-33, the WE offering does not feature the unique trigger safety, but instead has a discreet tab at the top of the grip on the left side of the pistol which can be depressed to engage safety.
While the overall external finish may not be clean and perfect, that is exactly the point. It shouldn’t be clean and perfect. The “sloppy” way the markings have been stamped into the frame feels perfect and its these kind of imperfections which give it the character it needs!
The WE TT33 GBB Pistol feels much the same to shoot as other new WE pistols, crisp and responsive. The magazine holds 14 rounds and enough gas to propel them, plus a few more extra. The action is smooth and the slide delivers a rather pleasant recoil and surprisingly loud clack with each shot.
The sights are rudimentary and basic, as you would expect from a pistol of the WW2 era, but the WE TT33 is fairly accurate at 10m, making light work of an A4 size target with a fairly tight grouping. Though the hop up unit itself is not adjustable, the pistol could still benefit from aftermarket hop up buckings.
The pistol was chronographed at approximately 20 degree’s Celsius using .20g BB’s. The first shot out the box spiked at 352 FPS and dropped subsequently 344 and 340 FPS thereafter, where it remained with only minor fluctuation in a single magazine.
All in all a fairly solid performing GBB pistol that provides a great shooting experience with adequate accuracy.
The WE TT33 is useful as an addition to many loadouts, most obviously as a WW2 Soviet Red Army NCO’s sidearm, but could also be used as a side arm for a Red Army sniper set up for those of us who fancy ourselves as a Vasili Zytsef.
The TT33 would also be suitable for later period loadouts too, Afghan era Soviet snipers and gunners for example.
The real Tokarev TT-33 however was used extensively by many countries across the former Soviet Union, with copies being reproduced by China and even more extensively proliferated into Africa, the middle East and South and Central America, making the TT-33 a pistol with many possibilities. From WW2 Red Army to modern day bad guy.
While the WE TT33 isn’t quite as detailed as the KWA version, it is however a heck of a lot cheaper, with much the same performance. The only exclusion to that is the test of time, it remains to be seen if the WE TT33 will fall short in the reliability test over time, but even so at an average price of US$95.00 vs the KWA’s US$135.00 (roughly R1450.00 vs R2000.00), the WE is worth a try.
Personally I also think the WE looks a lot nicer than the KWA’s cleaner and more precise finish, the WE’s crude exterior seems purposeful and indeed gives this pistol the character it deserves. While it’s performance may be a bit lacking, it more than makes up for that with charm which it delivers in bucket loads.
WE have successful produce a pistol that the Motherland would be proud of!
This review was originally published at samilsim.com!