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Zastava M88

Semi-Automatic Pistol

Yugoslavia | 1987

"Like other Zastava Arms products, the M88 is a locally-produced copy of a Soviet-era product."

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 08/21/2019 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
The Zastava M88 owes its legacy to the Tokarev semi-automatic pistol series of Soviet Russia debuting in the 1930s. While that series of pistol went on to see extended action, the Soviet sphere of influence throughout the Cold War was readily apparent in places like Yugoslavia. Zastava Arms served as a small arms producer for over 100 years and took to production of the Tokarev as the 7.62mm M57 and, later, as the much improved, redesigned M70 chambered for the handgun-friendly 9x19mm Parabellum cartridge. The 9mm cartridge was a proven man-stopper with smaller weapons and this move also opened the pistol up to interested parties on the export market. The M88 series was, therefore, an evolved version of the M70 and appeared in 1988.

By all accounts, the M88 stays relatively faithful to the Tokarev series with the exception of the 9mm cartridge. The action is semi-automatic with a Browning-type slide running the length of the pistol. The spring-loaded magazine is fed into the bottom of the handgrip and holds eight ready-to-fire cartridges. Sights are found at the rear and at the front of the weapon. The trigger system is solid and ergonomically curved while sitting within a thick trigger guard. The sides of the handgrip are covered in wood furniture while the rear sides of the slide have the widely-accepted vertical lines intended to provide a firm hold when managing the slide. Empty cartridges are ejected through a port atop the slide. The M88 is, therefore, a very conventional semi-automatic pistol design with little flare but a solid design foundation.

The M88 was initially delivered for use to Serbian military, police and security forces though its reach, it seems, was rather limited. It was also offered to the civilian market with unknown success and eventually was distributed within the United States through European American Arms, Incorporated. For the American market, a version chambered to fire the .40 Smith & Wesson cartridge was also made available to discerning shoppers. For the Serbian military, the M88 was ultimately replaced in service by the newer CZ 99 family of semi-automatic pistols. The CZ 99 has seen better success worldwide and is similarly seen in versions chambered for the9mm and .40 S&W cartridges.

The M88 was developed into one other production form designated simply as the M88A. This version differentiated from the original M88 by installation of an external safety mounted to the slide assembly.

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The physical qualities of the Zastava M88. Information presented is strictly for general reference and should not be misconstrued as useful for hardware restoration or operation.
200 mm
7.87 in
O/A Length
116 mm
4.57 in
Barrel Length
1.87 lb
0.85 kg
9x19mm Parabellum; .40 S&W
8-round detachable box magazine
Iron from and rear.
Notable series variants as part of the Zastava M88 Semi-Automatic Pistol family line.
M88 - Base Series Designation
M88A - External safety added to slide assembly
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the Zastava M88. Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national small arms listing.

Contractor(s): Zatava Arms - Yugoslavia / EAAcorp - USA
National flag of Serbia National flag of the United States National flag of Yugoslavia

[ Serbia; United States; Yugoslavia ]
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Image of the Zastava M88
Close-up view of a captured and tagged Zastava M88 semi-automatic pistol

Design Qualities
Some designs are single-minded in their approach while others offer a more versatile solution to requirements.
Some designs stand the test of time while others are doomed to never advance beyond the drawing board; let history be their judge.
Going Further...
The Zastava M88 Semi-Automatic Pistol appears in the following collections:
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