Chinese Tokarev Pistols

Chinese Tokarev Pistols 987 551 Greg Ellifritz

Everything you could possibly want to know about the Tokarev pistol.  I still see these occasionally in third world countries.

Chinese Tokarev Pistols–Military And Commercial Models




The Makarov

The Makarov 1136 1280 Greg Ellifritz

Occasionally, I use this page to spotlight a weapon I see in common use when I travel through foreign countries.  Since most of my readers won’t be carrying a gun in their travels, the best chance of acquiring one in an emergency is by “battlefield pickup.”


You don’t get to pick the guns issued to the cops or soldiers in your host country.  You need to know how to operate all of them.  This article is about the Makarov pistol.


Guns of ISG: The Makarov


I still see Makarovs being carried today in police/military holsters in all the former Soviet republics, China, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Cuba.  They are common guns in that part of the world.  For what it’s worth, .380 acp ammo will usually fire (but may not reliably cycle) in the 9mm Makarov (9x18mm) chamber.


Check out the article and learn how the gun works if you haven’t played with one before.



Learning Chinese

Learning Chinese 1280 720 Greg Ellifritz

Did you know that 1.3 BILLION people speak Chinese?  That’s one in every six people on the planet.  If you are going to learn a foreign language, picking up some Chinese might be a benefit in your future.


If you want to get started, Fluent in 3 Months has an excellent article providing the most commonly used Chinese words.  Check it out below.

121 Core Chinese Words — The Most Commonly Used Words in Mandarin Chinese


Before traveling to another country where I don’t speak the language, I generally download and print out an article like this and treat it as a type of “flashcard” practice session.  While valuable, I think that if you have a little more time, you should invest in a product like the Pimsleur audio language teaching tools.  I think the audio component of language learning is important and I think most people learn better by actually speaking the new language as much as possible.


On my trip to Brazil earlier this month, I got by pretty well in Portuguese and the only training I did was the first 20 lessons of Pimsleur Brazilian Portuguese.  The audio learning methods are especially useful if you can’t read your target language (like Cyrillic or Chinese).



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Learn Some Chinese

Learn Some Chinese 657 664 Greg Ellifritz

I think it’s really important for all travelers to learn at least a few words of the language spoken in their vacation destination countries.  There are lots of good ways to learn.  I prefer using either DuoLingo or The Pimsleur Audio lessons.

You can also learn some words the original way, by simply studying them.


The link below is a great resource for learning some elementary Chinese before your next trip to Asia.


108 Basic Chinese Words: Essential Chinese Vocab for Beginners