Hey guys I just picked up a new tool friday so I figured I would share seeing as how there is very little info out there about this gun. I really love my Romanian Tok and I wanted something with a real safety plus something I can find ammo for at the local shops so I bit the bullet. I purchased the gun from classic for $239.99, they shipped it free and my FFL charged me $30 for the transfer.
It is chambered in 9mm para and comes with 2 8 round mags. The frame is identical compared to the regular Tok except for a steel insert in the mag well, so it retains its nice slim profile. The slide and barrel are a bit shorter than the standard Toks making it slightly smaller overall. It fits nicely in the same 1911 holster I modified for its full-size brother. The internals are also identical aside from the guide rod. Instead of pushing it back and swinging the barrel nut off to remove the barrel/recoil spring, the guide rod has a built in pivot so you just turn it up and the rod exits towards the back of the slide, then the nut and barrel can be removed as standard. Other than that and the safety(Ill get into that more), its literally the same exact design as its original counter-part.
I know a few of the classic Toks had a slide-safety on them but Ive never found good info as to how it actually functions. With the safety engaged, the trigger does not engage the hammer and a shroud comes up around the back of the firing pin so even if the hammer would accidentally drop it cannot make contact with the pin. The safety does not lock the slide either so you can clear the chamber with it engaged. I also want to note that when the slide is locked, its LOCKED. Ive read several people complain(and I noticed too on my Romanian) that jarring the gun or putting a magazine in too hard causes the slide-lock to disengage allowing the slide to slam forward unexpectedly, which we know is potentially very dangerous. The groove is cut deep enough on the M88A that itd take a hell of a force to cause this to happen. The firearm also has a trigger lock-out if there is a round chambered but no magazine. This is simply a piece of thin steel that moves out of the way when the magazine is inserted, and its easily removed if that feature annoys you.
As far as fit/finish/function, its what I expected for a $240 gun. Even after I cleaned the hell out of it the trigger and slide felt very gritty, and you can see rough machining on the slide track and where the trigger rides. I did a little light sanding and polishing which definitely made everything smoother, but I do believe that after I put some more rounds through her it will loosen up. I personally like the grips. My hands arent wide per say but I have very long fingers and the thumb pocket is actually quite comfortable. Just practicing a little bit my hand slides into place comfortably when drawing it without having to readjust. It appears to me that any standard Tok grips would fit as well if you dont like the ones supplied.
The trigger is a little heavy(not revolver heavy but heavier than my Romanian but who knows how many rounds have been through that thing) but it breaks predictably and clean with little take-up. Ive put 225 rounds(mixed ball and hollow point ammo) through it and the very first one stove-piped. Aside from that the other 224 fed/ejected without any problem. I was making nice 3" groups at about 10 yards with a few strays going low and left but I definitely think its because I was over-compensating for the recoil. Speaking of recoil, its almost non-existent since the entire firearm is steel (save the grips) making follow up shots a piece of cake. Between my wife and I, Id say the sights are dead on if not very close. With a few leading shots I was hitting pieces of clay pigeon laying on the hillside at 45-50 yards without much hassle.
I dont want to turn this into a ammo-penetration/stopping power/carry/quality debate but with the way the safety functions IN MY PERSONAL OPINION I feel confident leaving this firearm chambered and cocked for home-defense or carrying(aside from the hammer sticking up and getting caught on clothing). One could also leave the hammer down on a chambered round with the safety engaged and aside from a 1 in 1,000,000 catastrophic failure I see no way it could drop fire in this condition.
Overall I am very happy with it so far. Sweet gun for the money and its 100% true to its heritage aside from the caliber. I read on wiki that they produced it in 40 S&W as well but since this gun was almost immediately phased out we never got to see that in the US. Nice little gun in a caliber most of us can find these days without breaking the bank.