Zastava M88A

Discussion in 'General Firearms Discussion' started by mr_flintstone, Sep 8, 2015.

  1. mr_flintstone

    mr_flintstone Supporting Member

    I looked at these guns a while back and thought they were pretty cool looking; almost like a Colt 1903 or 1908 with a hammer. I even talked to a couple people here about them. I considered the CZ 999 which is kind of a Sig clone, but I keep coming back to the M88A; and for $200 the price is right.

    I was just wondering how reliable they are? I know they have a heavy trigger, but that doesn't bother me. Has anyone had any bad experiences with this model?
  2. undeRGRound

    undeRGRound ROLL wif Da MOLE! Supporting Member

    Dammit, Fred! No PIX???


    There :D

  3. lklawson

    lklawson Staff Member

    They're based on the Tokarev which most believe to be based on the Colt pocket hammerless. So, yeah, your right about ylthe family resemblance.

    Peace favor your sword (mobile)
  4. Bull

    Bull Just a Man Supporting Member

    I'm taking it then, that they're pretty reliable also.....
  5. missiledefender

    missiledefender Supporting Member

    I've had nothing but good experiences with Serbian Toks (really, any Tok, I dig em). Theyre inexpensive and serve well. Most of the triggers seemed pretty decent. If you want it smoother, a Dremel Tool and polishing compound does the trick. If you loose it or if it gets snagged, youre not out too much.
  6. HiPointArmorer

    HiPointArmorer Member

    Anything made by Zastava is built to survive nuclear holocaust. It's eastern block remember. Eastern block cold war period, are known for their reliability.
  7. Kiln

    Kiln Member

    Not too many companies left producing all steel guns, even fewer that are using traditional bluing as a finish. Basically there are only a handful of guns left of their type being built on the planet, especially in the sub $300 range.
  8. i just got one of these a few weeks ago, I've only had a chance to put a couple hundred rounds through it so far, but it has ran flawless. I would note though that it aimed low out of the box, you may end up wanting to file the front sight down a tad. if you're thinking about one..... grab it, you won't regret it.
  9. lklawson

    lklawson Staff Member

    Tokarevs in general are pretty reliable. The design hasn't changed much in half a century. The Toks imported with the add-in "safety" to make points were so-so from what I've read. Most people just removed the safety and lamented the hole in the frame. Those originally chambered in 7.62x25 and subsequently rebarreled in 9mm seem to be hit-n-miss.

    These particular Tok variants (new Zastava M series guns) seem to be decent for the most part. However, the M88A, in particular, has gotten mixed reviews. MOST of the reviews seem to be very favorable. However, there are reports of intermittent feed issues, less than stellar triggers, and, especially, problems with the sights (falling off, shooting way low, etc.). Reports regarding the quality of the fit and finish also vary greatly. Few of them report that the fit and finish are of the highest quality but there are a few which describe fit and finish as poor-to-barely-acceptable. Most reports hover somewhere in the middle of "acceptably decent" with occasional reports of visible machine marks and blotchiness to the bluing.

    Issues with the sights themselves aside, most report that the M88A is accurate (repeatable point of impact) and pleasant shooting. If it's not having feed issues which need a trip home and if you've got the sights sorted out to your liking, it should be a nice little shooter.

    Several people report buying one as a budget CC handgun; it has a narrow profile, not too tall, and the exact same weight as an aluminum framed 1911 Commander model. Others report buying it as a Glove Box Gun that they won't be too upset if something happens to it. Some others report buying a few as range loaners and/or for teaching new shooters because of it's low cost to purchase and feed, generally reliable operation, and all-steel mild recoil.

    If I hadn't already decided to save my pennies for a reloading setup and the Remington R51 (when re-released), I'd probably buy 2. :)

    Peace favor your sword,
  10. lklawson

    lklawson Staff Member

    Maybe it's sighted in to the "Military Center Hold" or "Combat Sight Picture?"

    This accurately reflects the advice that an Instructor related to me concerning my Remington 1911R1 which shoots similarly low.

    Peace favor your sword,
  11. mr_flintstone

    mr_flintstone Supporting Member

    I was going to order one of these online, but I think I'll call Buds to see if I can look at one in the store this weekend before I purchase it. I love the idea of the gun, but I want to check the fit and finish first. I've heard others as well as the ones here who said that some of them are rough around the edges.
  12. mr_flintstone

    mr_flintstone Supporting Member


    I was in Lexington Saturday, and I went by Buds retail store. I found the M88A on the shelf and asked one of the workers to show it to me. I looked it over and it was really nice. Everything was clean and tight, so I told him I'd take it. He said that was their display model, and he'd get me a new one in the box from the back. When he brought it out, I looked at it and it looked good except for the packing grease (or what I thought was grease). It was really late when I got home last night, so I left everything in the bag until this morning.

    This morning when I opened the box back up, I noticed that everything seemed stiff and sticky, and upon closer inspection, I noticed that the pistol was packed in - you guessed it - that sticky stuff that the Serbs are famous for... Cosmoline. It was everywhere. No wonder you get these horror stories about the M88A not cycling ammo and having feed/ejection issues.

    So, I disassembled it completely to clean it. This was amazingly easy except for the grips. I had to Google how to get them off. Once everything was out, I soaked it in mineral spirits and used a paint brush to remove the dried yellow stuff. Once clean, I oiled everything with the only oil I had on hand... good old 3-in-1 oil, and reassembled it.

    I loaded up the magazine with a variety of ammo. 2 WWB fmj flat point, 2 Federal Premium jhp, 2 Tulammo steel case, and 2 Rem. UMC fmj. I shot at a paper plate with a circle drawn in the middle. 8 flawless feeds and the pattern was about 2-in at 15 ft. It shot a little low, but I can adjust for that later.

    Overall, I'm really impressed with my little $200 surplus pistol. I'll know more about it the more I shoot it, but for now I'm really happy.

    And, especially for undeRGRound, here are some pics.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Sep 13, 2015
  13. histed

    histed Supporting Member

    So, Fred, I ASSume that's the inside of the grip in the third pic? What is up with that? Never saw anything like it before. Oh, BTW, NICE SCORE.
  14. mr_flintstone

    mr_flintstone Supporting Member

    Yeah, each grip panel has a locking mechanism that holds it on. No screws. The one in the picture can be unlocked from the bottom of the handle with a flat screwdriver. The other one has to be unlocked once the first grip is removed with a pair of flat tip pliers. I used vice grips.
  15. Kiln

    Kiln Member

    Yeah I have always been impressed with the simplicity of the design. At the time, the fire control group pulling right out made it one of the easier guns to clean.

    I also think the self contained grips are neat.
  16. travis9mm

    travis9mm Member


    1000 rounds or so through mine. Not a single problem. Hits everything you fire at. And eats everything you put in it. Brass, aluminum, and steel. LOVE this gun. $325 out the door at my LGS.
  17. fordfarmboy

    fordfarmboy Member

    I have a m70a just like it but full size and i love it was $195 at buds . Have shot about 500 rounds out of it .Its all good here . Learn the workings of the gun then look up some modes to do and it will get better the more you shot it. And O! it loves lead bullets. Cheap gun cheap bullets what more can you ask for.