Read Matt Brooks review of the Gletcher tt33 pistol
• 4.5mm Steel BB
• Non Blowback
• Full Metal Construction
• Drop out stick magazine with 18 round capacity
• Replica of the Soviet Tokarev TT-33 pistol used in World War 2
For a full metal pistol, the Gletcher TT NBB is very well priced, coming in at around £100 dependent on retailer and its blowback equivalent being priced at a reasonable £110. One thing you have to consider when choosing between the two is shot count. Do you want the realistic feel of a blowback pistol and sacrifice shot count? Or are you one who likes to conserve as much CO2 as possible? Either way, both are very competitively priced for what they have to offer.
The first thing to take note of here is this is an exact replica of the infamous Soviet World War 2 gun, the Tokarev TT-33 used by the Soviet Union. I have compared imagery of a genuine Tokarev TT-33 and the Gletcher version and apart from the Gletcher writing on the airgun everything is where it should be, even the safety has been replicated like the real steel counterpart.
So let’s take a walk around. Firstly, the TT comes in a nice and compact box, marked clearly on the front with the Gletcher logo and the respective model ID of the air pistol the box contains. There is also a bold image of said air pistol along with some key points like what calibre it is, that it’s of full metal construction and its Co2 powered. Opening the box you are greeted with the air pistol itself, an instruction manual, speed loader and a nice little Gletcher pin badge. One thing to note here that I find very very good is the exploded diagram of the TT with all its parts on the inside of the lid. I can imagine this would come in handy should you need to strip the pistol down for any reason; this is the same for any Gletcher product irrespective of model. The instruction manual contains the usual blurp of what to and not to do, how to load the magazine and how to load CO2. There’s not much more of any significance so let’s move onto the pistol itself.
Being of a full metal construction the pistol has a good weight to it, weighing in at 1.37lb’s or 621g. This is a little short of the real steel version, so although it does look almost identical it lacks a little weight. The real steel version comes in at 1.88lb’s or 854g so over 200g heavier, but this could be down to different internals that make the real steel version function. You could easily forgive the Gletcher TT for its lack of weight because of how accurate it is to the real thing in terms of looks, which most people, myself included look for when investing in replica air guns, however if they nailed the weight as well as the looks I would’ve been seriously impressed!
The TT uses a stick magazine format, very much similar, if not the same to the Walther PPS and other similar airguns. I can’t say these are exactly the same and thus interchangeable, but they certainly look very very similar in size and format. The magazine itself houses 18 BB’s and can be loaded via the hole in the tip of the magazine. What I will say here is that there’s a hole on the reverse also and if you don’t cover this with a finger you can easily put a BB all the way through instead of in and down the magazine. To help make loading easier the magazine spring can be pulled down and the little tab pulled to the side to lock it down and prevent it springing back up during loading.
The grips are the only plastic external part of this pistol. They do feel slightly cheap but they work well at what they do. They have vertical raised plastic lines to aid grip, just like the real steel version does and have a star embossed in the centre, again just like the real steel version. The left hand grip is removable to allow for inserting the CO2, this can be done by the little finger groove on the butt of the pistol which aids in levering the grip off. It’s a simple lug affair and pops off with minimal force, but not too little that it can fall off with a small accidental knock. Once off the CO2 cavity is revealed. It’s a simple case of dropping a CO2 in and tightening the allen bolt from the butt of the pistol using the small allen key provided. At the point of piercing the CO2 capsule, the seal does its job and leaves minimal CO2 loss, tighten a little more and this leaves the pistol charged and ready to shoot.
Moving to the trigger, I find it quite a big trigger in terms of length and the pull can be pretty long, but I believe this is down to the fact it needs to pull a BB out of the magazine before firing, just like the Walther PPS does using the similar mag type. There’s almost a first stage clunk that can be felt as the BB is taken from the magazine into the barrel, the second half of the pull then releases the hammer and fires the BB. The trigger works in both single and double action and when used in single action reduces this travel even more which helps with shooting it, that said, who actually wants to shoot 18 BB’s off one by one?! We want to pull the trigger as fast as we can!
Although the version I have is a non-blowback version the slide still moves and locks back, with the slide release catch locking it in place firmly. Obviously this won’t lock after the final BB has been fired like the blowback version would, however it’s a nice novelty to have and still adds to the realism this pistol provides. The slide spring is unfortunately very weak so when the slide catch is released it doesn’t snap forward with force like some other blowback pistols I’ve had the opportunity to play with. I haven’t personally had a chance to use the blowback version so I can’t say for sure if it is the same on this, however I can imagine if it is, the blowback may be weak, as most blowback pistols I’ve used tend to have quite a strong slide spring. The slide can be racked on the first BB of the magazine to chamber the BB which does give the slide a slight bit of functionality if nothing else.
Moving to the sights there’s not really much to say other than they are fixed both front and rear and have no extra markings to help aid in target acquisition. One good thing is they do align pretty much on target and the pistol does shoot where aimed.
The safety is on the right hand side of the pistol, however this is what would be the take down release on the real steel, it does a good job of replicating the design very well as it is very distinctive feature. At first I was slightly confused on how to operate the safety as it looks to be a simple slide forward and backward design, however a little pressure is required to depress the safety into the frame first before moving backwards or forwards. It does lock in very well and feels very positive when engaging or disengaging. Once the safety is on it locks the trigger up and prevents it from being pulled and as already stated feels very solid and positive.
The pistol contains no trademarks of the real steel version and instead utilises the Gletcher logo and calibre information on one side and a simple “TT” on the other.
Now to the important part, how does this pistol shoot? Well considerably well actually. Don’t get me wrong it’s never going to be any target shooting but for a pistol that uses a round and unstable projectile it’s not too bad on the accuracy front. At 6 yards groupings can be within a 2 inch radius if you really try hard and use a rest. Doesn’t sound great but compare it to other BB shooters and it’s not bad at all. One thing to bare in mind is the previously mentioned trigger. Be careful not to half pull the trigger as this will load a BB into the barrel, if you then release the trigger and start the pull again it will scoop a second BB into the barrel, potentially causing a jam. I did put this to the test and although I never managed to cause a jam, I did end up shooting 2 BB’s out of the barrel in one shot. Sounds fun but I wouldn’t recommend it!
In terms of noise factor this air pistol does make a pretty loud pop when fired. If you have sensitive neighbours who aren’t into your shooting habits or find airguns antisocial I wouldn’t recommend one of these. Although not the loudest airgun I’ve shot (a CP88 comes to mind here!) it could well land you with an ASBO if you annoy the wrong people! However if your neighbours or land owner has no qualms with your shooting habits you’re good to go.
CO2 consumption is very low, as this is a non-blow back version it doesn’t need to use CO2 to work the slide. This means more mags per CO2 cartridge, great for you guys who like to shoot on a budget and conserve CO2 as much as possible. I didn’t count, as I was having way too much fun shooting this pistol but I believe I got a good 8-10 18 round magazines to one CO2 cartridge. That means in the right temperatures you’re looking at 140-180 shots per CO2.
To sum up the shooting experience I must say it’s pretty fun, and you definitely want to be using it in double action, pulling the trigger as fast as you can. You may pepper the target and look like you’ve used a shotgun but these pistols, like most replicas, are all about the fun factor. These will never be a serious shooting so enjoy them for what they are and blast some paper and tinnys!
If you’re into replica pistols, especially WW2 era Soviet pistols then you definitely need one of these in your collection. The Tokarev is an iconic pistol from WW2 and its great Gletcher have gone to huge lengths to replicate it in air pistol format in such perfect detail. Don’t be put off by the Gletcher name, they may not be as popular as other big players in the game but they really have done a good job with this TT. This is a fun and easy pistol to use and will give you hours of fun just blasting away at paper and cans. At £100 new you really can’t go wrong!