The VZ 58 & 10 Reasons it’s NOT an AK
The VZ 58 & 10 Reasons it’s NOT an AK
The VZ 58 & 10 Reasons it’s NOT an AK The VZ. 58 (model 58) is a 7.62×39mm rifle designed and manufactured in Czechoslovakia and accepted into service in the late 1950s as the 7,62 mm samopal vzor 58 (“7.62mm submachine gun model 1958”), replacing the vz. 52 self-loading rifle and the 7.62×25mm Tokarev Sa 24 and Sa 26 submachine guns.
Where Can I get one?
Czech Small Arm’s VZ58 in 7.62x39mm is their variant of the iconic VZ58 rifle, originally designed in Czechoslovakia in the late 1950s (hence 58, 1958 being the year it entered service) to serve with local and foreign military forces. Over the years this rifle has been adapted to multiple cartridges and uses, including the entry into the civilian market. Manufactured from new materials these rifles set a standard for quality. Solid lockup, fast cycling, solid iron sights, and superb reliability make this ideal for range or field use.
|Calibre||Barrel Length||Overall Length||Magazine Capacity||Rate of Twist||Weight|
|7.62x39mm||18.6″||36-1/4″||5+1||1 in 7″||7-1/4 lb.|
10 Reasons Why Vz. 58 is NOT an AK
Design Differences of Vz. 58 from AK-47
- Gas System. Despite the fact that both Vz. 58 and AK-47 are gas operated firearms, the Czech rifle utilizes a short stroke gas piston whereas the AK-47 has a long stroke system.
- Lockup. Vz. 58 uses a locking system with a tilting locking block. The lockup of the AK-47mechanism is accomplished by a rotating bolt.
- Hammer. Vz. 58 has a linear hammer whereas the AK-47 has a pivoting hammer. Sometimes Vz. 58 is referred to as striker fired which is not quite correct. Although the linear hammer works similar to a striker, there is a separate firing pin in the bolt which is hit by the linear hammer. The Vz.58’s mainspring that powers the linear hammer, is located below the recoil spring.
- Bolt Stop. Vz. 58 has a bolt stop mechanism. As you know, AKs lack such mechanism at all. With the last round fired, the bolt of the Vz. 58 is locked in its rearmost position. It can be released by either pressing the bolt release button located near the magazine release lever or you can pull the BCG back and release it to make it close the action.
- Magazines and Feeding. Although the Vz. 58 and AK-47 magazines look extremely similar, they are not interchangeable. You can’t even attach Vz. 58 magazines to the AKs and vice versa.
- Safety Selector. AKs have a distinctive large safety selector lever which doubles as a dust cover for the charging handle slot. Vz. 58 has a thumb-style safety selector on the right side of the receiver.
- Stock Attachment. Different AK stocks require differently machined rear portion of the receiver or different rear trunnions in case of the stamped receivers. Vz. 58 has a universal stock mounting platform at the rear of the receiver which allows mounting both folding and fixed stocks via a screw.
- Magazine Release Lever. AK-47 has a centered ambidextrous magazine release lever. Vz. 58 magazine release is moved to the left side to make room for the bolt release button. The trigger guard of Vz. 58 also has a different shape designed to make it easier to reach the magazine release lever.
- Dust Cover. If AK dust cover (top cover) goes all along the receiver and is fixed in place via the rear protrusion of the recoil spring guide, the Vz. 58’s top cover comes half way of the receiver. It is fixed in place via a pin and the rest of the receiver is covered by the bolt carrier itself.
- Ejector. Although both rifles use fixed ejectors, they have different designs. In case of AK, the ejector is the extension of the left BCG guide rail. In the Vz. 58 design the ejector is a separate piece installed in the bottom of the receiver.
- vz. 58 P: Standard fixed stock (casually called “pádlo” (paddle) by Czech soldiers)
- vz. 58 V: Metal folding stock version for vehicle crew and airborne units. (casually called “kosa” (scythe) by Czech soldiers)
- vz. 58 Pi: Has a mounting interface for an infrared night vision NSP-2 sight, fixed stock, cone flash hider and folding bipod.
- Automatická puška (“automatic rifle”) AP-Z 67: Experimental 7.62×51mm NATO caliber version developed in 1966.
- Útočná puška (“assault rifle”) ÚP-Z 70: Experimental 5.56×45mm NATO version developed in 1970.
- Experimentální zbraň (“experimental weapon”) EZ-B: Experimental bullpup prototype developed in 1976.
- Ruční kulomet (“light machine gun”) codename KLEČ (“Mountain Pine”): Experimental variant with a 590 mm barrel (similar to RPK), developed in 1976.
- Lehká odstřelovačská puška (“light sniper rifle”) vz. 58/97: Experimental marksman rifle developed by VTÚVM Slavičín.
- Samopal (“submachine gun”) vz. 58/98 “Bulldog”: 9×19mm Parabellum variant developed by VTÚVM Slavičín.
- CZH 2003 Sport: Semi-automatic only variant for civilian consumption. Available with either a standard (390 mm) or shortened (295 mm) barrel. Limited production was made for the civilian market in Canada with an extended barrel length of (490 mm).
- CZ 858 Tactical: A semi-automatic variant designed for the civilian market in Canada assembled from unused parts from when production of the military versions ended. Available with standard (390 mm) barrel length on the restricted -4V version, or extended (482 mm) barrel length on the -2 version. The barrel is not chrome-lined in the -2 version unlike the military and -4V version. External components have a new varnish coat (identical to the coating used on original military rifles). A “Canadian” model was also being offered based on the -2 version, featuring a real wood stock engraved with a maple leaf.
- FSN Series: Newly manufactured civilian semi-automatic variants. Available in standard (FSN-01, 390 mm), with or without folding stock (FSN-01F and FSN-01W, which has a wooden stock and cheek piece), or shortened (279 mm) barrel lengths (also with folding stock), outer parts are blued. All variants with the exception of the -01W have bakelite stocks.
- CSA vz. 58 Sporter: Available in .222 Remington, .223 Remington (5.56 NATO), or 7.62×39mm, these carbines were newly manufactured by Czech Small Arms, and not Česká zbrojovka. They came in Compact (190mm barrel, folding stock), Carbine (300 or 310mm barrel, folding stock), and Rifle (390 or 410mm barrel, fixed sporter stock) models. In addition there was a “Tactical” model chambered in .223 Remington, featuring a 410mm barrel, railed handguard, and collapsible buttstock. All featured synthetic handguards, although the 7.62×39mm rifle model is available with either a synthetic or phenolic wood handguard.
- Rimfire VZ 58: “Ogar 58” developed and manufactured by Highland Arms in Czech Republic, together with the cal. .22 LR conversion kit “Ogar 22). The conversion kit is intended for all calibers and variants of VZ 58.
- Vz 2008: A variant by Century Arms built using a Czech parts kit with a U.S. made receiver and barrel.
- Rung Paisarn RPS-001: an adaptation of the vz. 58 with components from the M16A2 first manufactured in 1986 by Rung Paisarn Heavy Industries of Thailand.