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Czech VZ 52 7.62X45 Semiautomatic Rifle


Correct sling, No Import Marks, marked 007 56, she

Overall VG, Bore Good

The vz. 52 rifle (often incorrectly called the "CZ 52") is a gas-operated self-loading rifle developed shortly after the Second World War. Vz. 52 is an abbreviation for vzor 52, meaning "model 52". It fires the unique 7.62x45mm vz. 52 cartridge. It ejects shells upward and to the front, and has an integral blade bayonet which folds to the right side of the stock. It is considered both reliable and accurate, although it is longer and heavier than later assault rifles such as the vz. 58. The first 5000 vz. 52 rifles were made by Povážské strojárně Povážská Bystrica, but due to production difficulties, its manufacture was taken over by Česká Zbrojovka Uherský Brod.

After pressure from the Soviet Union to adopt its 7.62x39mm M43 cartridge, existing Czech rifles were rechambered to the Soviet caliber, and all further production of the rifle was chambered in this caliber and re-designated the vz. 52/57. The vz. 52/57 is identical except for its barrel and its magazines. It is considered less reliable and accurate than the original vz. 52 rifle, on the other hand the vz. 52/57 has chromium-plated bore and chamber. The vz. 52 magazines can be used with the vz. 52/57, but they do not feed reliably.

All of the vz. 52 series were quickly replaced in Czechoslovak service by the Sa vz. 58, but the earlier rifles found their way to Soviet allies during the Cold War, and have seen service in Grenada, Somalia, Cuba and Afghanistan. The Czech Castle guard uses chrome-finished, deactivated vz. 52 rifles with darkened wood stocks as ceremonial weapons.


The 7.62x45mm vz. 52 cartridge is fired by the Czech vz. 52 rifle and vz. 52 light machine gun. The round was later dropped from use when the Czech converted to the standard Warsaw Pact round, the 7.62x39mm (fired by vz. 52/57 rifle and vz. 52/57 light machine gun). Its ballistics and energy are slightly better than that of the SKS and AK's 7.62x39mm M43 cartridge

After World War II, as Czechoslovakia came under Communist rule, their army began work on an "intermediate" rifle cartridge for rifle and machine gun use. The Czech government did not standardize ammunition under the Warsaw Pact until the 1960's, so they were free to develop their own munitions and weapons. The Czech Army had finished out the 1940's with an assortment of German 98K Mausers, Russian Mosin-Nagants, and German G-43 autoloaders. These guns would add their influence to what became the vz-52 rifle. The Czech 7.62x45mm cartridge eventually became the standard rifle cartridge to be used in the new vz-52 rifle and vz-52 machine gun. Contrary to rumor, this cartridge was developed independently of the Soviet M43 7.62x39mm round, although they were both designed to similar criteria. The vz-52 rifle was issued in large numbers through the 1950's, and a design change was implemented in 1957 to accommodate the Soviet M43 7.62x39mm round, at the insistence of the Red Army. These rifles are designated and marked vz-52/57 to differentiate from the older rifles. In 1958, the Czech Army adopted their Kalashnikov-looking vz-58, obsoleting the vz-52. Soon the vz-52 was found in the hands of various Third World countries with Communist affiliations. Most recently, when U.S. forces landed in Grenada, they were rudely introduced to the vz-52 rifle. Lately, they have been seen in service alongside SKS rifles in Palestine. Those that were stored after Communism fell in Eastern Europe are the ones imported to the U.S. by Century International Arms and SAMCO Global Arms.

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This product was added to our catalog on Saturday 05 January, 2008.

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