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Old July 24, 2013, 06:53 AM   #1
BoogieMan
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VZ-52

I noticed one of these 4S on a website at $495. Pictures look good.
What is the history of the weapon? To my untrained eye it looks a lot like a SKS variant. Also how obtainable is 7.62 x 45?
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Old July 24, 2013, 07:22 AM   #2
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I cant talk too much about the VZ-52, but I have the successor (VZ-58) and is a VERY well made rifle...
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Old July 25, 2013, 12:56 PM   #3
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While the Vz. 52 is a semi-automatic tilting-block rifle, most similarity to the SKS ends there. Unlike most other tilting-blocks, the Vz. 52's bolt tilts down and forward to lock rather than down and backward. Also, unlike the SKS, it has detatchable magazines though it can also be loaded through the top of the action with stripper clips.

The story behind it is that the Czechs have always had a tendency to "go their own way" when it came to firearms and preferred indigenous designs to imported ones. As such, while most other Warsaw Pact nations were using their own variations of Mosin-Nagant and/or SKS, the Czechs came up with the Vz. 52. Unfortunately, the Soviets weren't too wild about it because it used non-standard 7.62x45 ammo rather than the 7.62x39 M43 cartridge. The rifle remained in production for only a few years before the Czechs gave in to Soviet pressure and standardized on 7.62x39. Some Vz. 52's were converted to the Soviet cartridge and re-designated Vz. 52/57, but most were phased out upon the adoption of the Vz. 58 Assault rifle.

While generally considered to be fine rifles, ammo has always been a problem as no majaor manufacturer that I'm aware of produces 7.62x45 ammo. That leaves someone wanting to shoot an unmodified Vz. 52 with only a few options: try to scrounge up some surplus ammo (there never has seemed to be very much), have a custom ammo company make it for you (likely very expensive), or re-form and trim a different caliber cases to handload it yourself (doable but likely a lot of time and effort). There were some chamber adapters made at one time to allow 7.62x39 ammo to be shot, but I've never heard or read particularly good things about them (there has never seemed to be a really good way to affix them inside the chamber).
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Old July 27, 2013, 08:28 AM   #4
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Could any owners chime in with a description of the trigger pull quality? The trigger group seems similar to a Garand, but I'm curious how well they were executed in the VZ52.

BTW, Numrich sells the conversion sleeve that allows them to shoot 7.62x39. If you have a gunsmith do a quality job brazing, welding, or soldering that thing in place, you shouldn't have to worry about it coming out again (like the glued-in 30-06 to 308 adapters in some rifles )

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Old July 27, 2013, 02:47 PM   #5
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I don't know of any members here that dote on their VZ52s so there might not be any but if anyone here has one, it would be MJ1

I wonder if the x45 is the same case as 5.56x45. if that is all it is perhaps a modified 300 BLK setup might work to make your own brass.
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Old July 27, 2013, 08:25 PM   #6
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No, the 7.62x45 is basically a lengthened 7.62x39 case. The base is considerably larger than the 5.56x45.

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Old July 27, 2013, 11:36 PM   #7
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of course they have to make things difficult....

it's bad enough trying to track down goofy shell holders my my priming tool without having to get custom dies made and having to find the already hard to find 6.5 carcano brass to have to resize.
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Old July 28, 2013, 12:22 PM   #8
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You might try making both out of .220 Swift brass, though it would probably need neck reaming and turning down the rim.

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Old July 28, 2013, 01:07 PM   #9
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I think a better starting point would be 6.5x54 Mannlicher-Schoenauer brass. There is an article somewhere online that explains it.

Here it is: http://www.mauser98.com/brass.html
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Old July 28, 2013, 01:43 PM   #10
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I just spent a few short minutes on wiki(I know, super reliable) looking for a similarly sized case base. (info being about 12 hours old in my brain some data my be corrupted)according to wiki 6.5 MS has a 11.60 base while carcano has 11.40 and 7.62x45 has a 11.20 base so the carcano might be a better base. looking now though 220 swift has a 11.3 base so it would be a better fit.
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Old July 28, 2013, 03:39 PM   #11
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FWIW, Buffalo Arms says they have the brass and loaded ammo. If they do, the problem seems to be resolved.

Jim
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Old July 30, 2013, 07:02 AM   #12
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I have a pretty nice VZ-52, & when it was my FIL's, he had a couple 100 cases made up from 220 Swift cases... trigger pull is pretty good for an old milsurp rifle, but IMO, not as smooth as my Garand...

I honestly don't shoot it much, as a couple 100 cases aren't much for me, for use in a semi auto rifle... magazines can be hard to get, but I have 3-4... again, not enough for a real afternoon of old gun shooting... I think I have some stripper clips, but it's been a while since I've had them out... odd rim size, would make them caliber specific as well...

will have to check out the on line source for ammo...

BTW... both items at Buffalo Arms are out of stock ( of course ) but are back orderable though... thanks for the info, I book marked both items, & will keep an eye on them...
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Old July 30, 2013, 11:12 PM   #13
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Cool, glad to hear the trigger is passable. Ammo's not an issue since it won't be firing 7.62x45. And it won't be sitting in a VZ52, either

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Old July 31, 2013, 07:32 PM   #14
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I bought one recently very cheap, the guy advertised it as the original Czech caliber 7.62x45, and he said he never shot it. So I bought a hundred rounds of the Czech surplus ammo for $65 dollars to try her out but when I brought it home and tried to chamber a round it would not fit, come to find out it shoots 7.62x39 Russian, I was happy and mad at the same time, mad because I bought ammo I can not even use, but happy it fires the cheap Russian round The guy probably would have sold it for more if he knew it shot 7.62x39, I think it has one of those barrel inserts so you can shoot the Russian round because nowhere on the rifle does it say it was converted, it has the original Czech caliber on the barrel
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Old July 31, 2013, 09:06 PM   #15
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I doubt it has any chamber insert.

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Old August 1, 2013, 09:55 AM   #16
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Apparently most of the rifles ended up being sent to Cuba after Castro took over.
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Old October 5, 2014, 04:39 PM   #17
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Custom Full-length Die Set for 7.62x45 mm Czech vz-52

There are now a few reloading die sets that I see on gunbroker.com from a custom build run at Lee Precision. Much easier to go this route with brass from StarLine, than to try to rebarrel!!!
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Old October 5, 2014, 09:02 PM   #18
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The LGS had/has a crate of 7.62x45mm shells on the floor somewhere, going for $$$ if I remember right. Neat guns but the lack of ammo pushes me towards an SKS for that style rifle.
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Old October 6, 2014, 08:17 PM   #19
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I think most of the owners of those rifles bought them as collectibles, not for shooting, but it is nice to know that ammo is available, if scarce.

Jim
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Old October 29, 2014, 02:30 PM   #20
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I still think that 7.62x45 would be the world's best brush gun hunting cartridge.
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Old October 29, 2014, 02:55 PM   #21
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Mine was very accurate, but also very heavy. Nevertheless I liked it a lot. I sold it when my ammo supply dried up.
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Old October 30, 2014, 05:14 PM   #22
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Ammo

I think you can make ammo from the 6.5 Carcano and 6.5 MS.
New brass is available for these and the 7.35 Carcano and that can be used.
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Old October 30, 2014, 07:45 PM   #23
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Looks like an M1 Carbine and an SKS had a baby.

I've done some research on these guns. Very neat.
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