The most historical weapon-production centers of Russia were Kaschira, Tula and Ustyuschna. But except Tula their production for military purposes was too low and neither continous production took part nor big factories grew up. Governmental or semi-governmental manufakturies rose rather late. Up to the 19th century ancient craftsmen-workshops and homework-structures existed side to side with bigger weapon-factories.
The "Imperatorkij Tulskij Oruzejnyj Zavod" " (Royal Weapon Factory in Tula) was founded already in 1595 by Czar Boris Godunow. But only since 1705 under the reign of Czar Peter 1st it became of continous importance, and in 1712 they got strong watermills as a base for mass production. Craftsmanship however still dominated until quite some time of the 19th century and was replaced much later by governmental and private factories.
Main production were all kinds of muzzle-loader rifles and pistols for the rapidly growing Russian army. Besides that edged weapons and military equipment were produced too.
During the 1890ties they got new machines for the production of the new army breech-loading-rifle of Mosin. Under the guidance of Sergej lwanowitsch Mosin in 1892 production of this Russian repeating rifle was started, and already one year later the company was able to make 250.000 to 270.000 rifles a year. As an average 8000 to 9000 workers were busy at that time. Besides army-rifles and the revolver of Nagant the factory produced swords, daggers and sabres as well as hunting guns an ammunition.
Many things changed after the revolution in 1917. The company was taken over by the government and was renamed to "Perwyje Tulskije Orushejnyje Sawody RSFSR" (First Tula Weaponfactory of the Russian-Sowjetic Confederated Sozialistic Republic), later to "Perwyje Orushejnyje Sawody SSSR v Tule" (First Weaponfactory of the USSR in Tula). Up to that time weapons had been imported from western countries and only reproduced in smaller amounts by the factory Tula following the given patterns. But now any effort was done to develop own constructions and designs in order to get rid of the dependence on foreign countries. And, as just at that time the revolver was loosing importance and the selfloading pistols dominated the market, they started with the development of automatic pistols.
After the first pistol designed by Korovin several test-patterns by other designers followed, and finally in 1929 the worldwide known pistol TT30 of Tokarev had a real great success. In 1931 the mass production of this pistol started, where but still Nagant revolvers were produced.
During World War II the factory was switched over to war-production and delivered a main part of the equipment of the red army.
After the war the production continued under governmental guidance with new constructions frequently added to the program. Even if other great weapon making centers like Ishewsk or Sestrojesk grew up in the meantime, the "Tulskij Oruzheinij Zavod" (Tula Weapon Factory) kept it's importance for the Russian weapon industry up to today.