Tokarev, Fedor Vasilevich

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Tokarev, Fedor Vasil’evich


Born June 2 (14), 1871, in the stanitsa (large cossack village) of Egorlykskaia, in what is now Rostov Oblast; died June 7, 1968, in Moscow. Buried in Tula. Soviet small arms designer. Hero of Socialist Labor (1940). Doctor of Technical Sciences (1940). Member of the CPSU from 1940.

After graduation from the Cossack Cadet School in 1900, Tokarev served in a cossack regiment. In 1907, while attending courses at the Officers’ Infantry School in Oranienbaum, he remodeled S. I. Mosin’s 1891 rifle, converting it to a semiautomatic rifle; from 1908 to 1914 he made further improvements in the rifle at the Sestroretsk Arms Factory. In the early part of World War I Tokarev served in the field army; in 1916 he returned to the Sestroretsk Arms Factory.

After the October Revolution of 1917, Tokarev took a position at the Tula Arms Factory. In 1925 the Red Army adopted as ordnance Tokarev’s model MT light machine gun, a modified version of the Maxim heavy machine gun. In 1927, Tokarev developed the first Russian submachine gun, which used revolver cartridges. In 1930 Tokarev’s model TT semiautomatic pistol and in 1938 his model SVT semiautomatic rifle were adopted as ordnance.

Tokarev received the State Prize of the USSR in 1940. He served as a deputy to the first and second convocations of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. Tokarev was awarded four Orders of Lenin, five other orders, and various medals.


Bolotin, D. “Vydaiushchiisia sovetskii oruzheinik.” Voennyi vestnik, 1971, no. 6.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.