It was used by Burt Gummer.
The Type 54 is the improved version of the Type 51 (Chinese copy of the TT-33) produced after the Korean War. The Type 51 was first adopted in 1951 and produced in Shenyang's Factory 66 using both Russian and Chinese-made parts. In 1954, after approximately 250,000 pistols were manufactured, the designation was changed to Type 54 and the pistol used exclusively indigenous components. This type of pistol is commonly available in 7.62x25mm caliber, although some variants have been made in 9x19mm Parabellum.
Though the QSZ-92 (Type 92) has supplemented the Type 54 in the Army, the weapon is still in service in some of the Chinese armed forces (such as the People's Armed Police and some People's Liberation Army troops) today.
The Vietnamese used the Type 54 during the Vietnam War, with the designation súng ngắn K-54 (a Vietnamese translation from the Chinese 54式手枪 (type 54 hand gun), with K for Kiểu being type). Type 54 pistols were smuggled into Japan in a significant quantity, often for use by the Yakuza.
Norinco, the People's Liberation Army's state weapons manufacturer in China, still manufactures a commercial variant of the Tokarev pistol chambered in the more common 9x19mm Parabellum round, known as the Tokarev Model 213, as well as in the original 7.62x25mm caliber. It features a safety catch, which was absent on Soviet-produced TT-33 handguns. Furthermore, the Model 213 features the thin slide grip grooves, as opposed to the original Russian wide-types. The 9 mm model is featured with a magazine well block mounted in the rear of the magazine well to accept 9 mm type magazines without frame modification.
The Norinco model in current production is not available for sale in the United States due to import prohibitions on Chinese firearms, although older handguns of the Model 213 type imported in the 1980s and 1990s are common.
The M20 was a version of the Type 54 made without factory markings to conceal the weapon's origins. Many of these were provided to Vietnamese forces during the Vietnam War.
The TU-90 (also known as the NP-10 or Model 213-B) is an improved Model 213 similar to the Hungarian-designed, Egyptian-built Tokagypt of the 1960s. Construction is primarily of forged and machined steel, with a matte blued finish. The grips are of wrap-around rubber ribbed on the side.
Newer variants like the WQ213B54 and NT04, with a double stacked magazine, have been developed.
Type 54 pistols are also known colloquially as "Black Star" pistols (Traditional Chinese:黑星手槍, Simplified Chinese: 黑星手枪).