Field Stripping a Zastava M57 Tokarev Pistol

   05.12.20

I’ve been messing around with a Zastava M57 “Tokarev” pistol lately, and it’s been fun. Here’s how to field strip this rugged-and-simple semi-auto handgun for cleaning.

The first thing to do is to unload the pistol by removing the magazine and clearing the chamber. Check the chamber just to be sure, even if you feel certain it’s unloaded. I also like to de-cock the hammer before I proceed.

This clip retains the slide release; move it backwards to release its grip on the slide release. (Photo © Russ Chastain)
This clip retains the slide release; move it backwards to release its grip on the slide release.
(Photo © Russ Chastain)

There’s a flat spring clip on the right side of the pistol; start by sliding it to the rear. Use a non-marring tool such as a wooden object if you can’t get it to move with, say, a thumbnail.

The Century International Arms manual calls this “the fork-like lock.” The round projection that’s been freed is the end of the slide release.

Push the slide release through the frame and pull it all the way out. Shown here partially out. (Photo © Russ Chastain)
Push the slide release through the frame and pull it all the way out. Shown here partially out.
(Photo © Russ Chastain)

Push the right end of the slide release that you just freed, and pull it through and out of the left side of the frame.

Move the slide assembly forward off of the pistol frame. (Photo © Russ Chastain)
Move the slide assembly forward off of the pistol frame.
(Photo © Russ Chastain)

Now you can slide the slide assembly forward off of the frame.

Hammer assembly can be lifted straight out of the frame. (Photo © Russ Chastain)
Hammer assembly can be lifted straight out of the frame.
(Photo © Russ Chastain)

The hammer assembly is really easy to remove for cleaning, so why not do so? In the photo above, the part with the hand-etched number is the hammer assembly housing.

Just grab it and pull it upward out of the frame. (Photo © Russ Chastain)
Just grab it and pull it upward out of the frame.
(Photo © Russ Chastain)

Grasp it and pull upward; it should come right out. The first time I removed this one, there was a little resistance, but not much.

Remove the guide rod & recoil spring next, by compressing the spring slightly and lifting it at the rear. (Photo © Russ Chastain)
Remove the guide rod & recoil spring next, by compressing the spring slightly and lifting it at the rear.
(Photo © Russ Chastain)

The guide rod on this pistol is full-length, but hinged. Take note of how the rear end of the guide rod is situated, because it has a top and a bottom. The curved side goes towards the barrel.

Compress the spring towards the front of the slide and lift the rear end of the guide rod.

Keep the spring under control; allow it to expand and then remove the spring & guide rod towards the rear of the slide. (Photo © Russ Chastain)
Keep the spring under control; allow it to expand and then remove the spring & guide rod towards the rear of the slide.
(Photo © Russ Chastain)

Lift the rear of the guide rod and allow the spring to decompress, then remove it towards the rear of the slide.

Guide rod & spring removed from Zastava M57 pistol. (Photo © Russ Chastain)
Guide rod & spring removed from Zastava M57 pistol.
(Photo © Russ Chastain)

Guide rod & spring stay together as one assembly.

Rotate the barrel bushing 180 degrees and move it forward to remove it from the slide. (Photo © Russ Chastain)
Rotate the barrel bushing 180 degrees and move it forward to remove it from the slide.
(Photo © Russ Chastain)

The barrel pushing on this one is loose and easily turned by hand. Rotate it 180 degrees and remove it by pulling out the front of the slide.

The barrel link needs to be hinged forward against the barrel. (Photo © Russ Chastain)
The barrel link needs to be hinged forward against the barrel.
(Photo © Russ Chastain)

The barrel comes out the front of the slide. Fold the barrel link against the barrel, or it won’t fit through the slide.

Move the barrel forward out of the slide. You may have to wiggle it loose of the cuts in the slide. (Photo © Russ Chastain)
Move the barrel forward out of the slide. You may have to wiggle it loose of the cuts in the slide.
(Photo © Russ Chastain)

Now just move the barrel forward, out of the slide. If it doesn’t want to move at first, move the rear of the barrel away from the slide to release it from the grooves with which it locks.

Fully field-stripped Zastava M57 pistol. (Photo © Russ Chastain)
Fully field-stripped Zastava M57 pistol.
(Photo © Russ Chastain)

And that’s how you disassemble an M57 pistol for cleaning & maintenance.

Assemble it in reverse order, making sure the slide release goes through the barrel link when you slide it through the frame.

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