Chapter Czechoslovakia

(Ceskoslovenska Republika)

GOVERNMENT PLANTS: Ceska Zbrojovka (Brno) now under State control. This is one of the largest rifle plants in the world. Manufacture before 1939 was largely military Mausers for export. Currently some sporting Mausers are being manufactured, as well as some conventional .22 bolt actions. Considerable devel-ment work has been done on gas-operated military semi- and full automatic rifles.

PRINCIPAL MILITARY RIFLES: The 7.62mm Model 58 Assault Rifle is now the principal military rifle. Quantities of the 7.62mm M52/57 and M52 rifle may also be on hand.

EARLIER MILITARY RIFLES: Short Rifles VZ-24, VZ-33 and Mauser system rifles in 7.9mm caliber, all of which are mechanically practically identical with the Kar. 98 k. (German). Manufacture was started in 1924. Receiver commonly thinner than the German.

Shorter and somewhat modified versions were introduced as the VZ 12/33 an<^ 16/33, though mechanically there were no changes.

When the Germans took over Czechoslovakia they kept the arms factories going. They renamed the Czcch arms Gew. 24 (t) and Gew. 33 (t) and instituted minor changes in slings and furniture to compare more closely to the German ideas of external design.

A modification of the VZ 16/33 was a^so issue(i as the Gew, 33-40 which has a 19.29 inch barrel. The overall length is 39.1". The bore diameter is .312". The groove diameter .323". The twist is right at a rate of 9.45". This design was used by the Germans for mountain, truck and similar service where a short weapon was desirable. Some were made with iron plates on the left side of the stock just ahead of the butt plate so that the weapon might be used as an aid in climbing steep hills.

Another form sometimes listed as the Gewehr 33-40 was provided with a folding butt hinged on the right and held in position by a catch on the right of the receiver. This design permitted the arm to be carricd by paratroops.

The Gewehr 33-40 was extensively manufactured at Waffenwerke Brunn, A. G. (ZB) at Brno.

7.62mm M58 Assault Rifle

This weapon is chambered for the Soviet 7.62mm Model 43 "intermediate" sized cartridge. The weapon outwardly resembles the Soviet AK Assault Rifle, but is much lighter than the Soviet weapon. It is likely that this selective-fire rifle will in time replace the Model 52/57 rifle and the conventional submachine guns. The Model 58 comes in fixed wooden stock and folding metal stock versions.

Czechoslovak ian VZ (Model) 1924, Caliber 7.9mm. This rifle was manufactured extensively for the Germans during World War II and may be encountered with various styles of stocks and slings, and with various markings.

Czechoslovak Rifles

Postwar 7.92mm Czech Mauser. Note enlarged, stamped trigger guard and stamped upper band. The hole in the butt plate is for dismounting the firing pin.

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