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VZ.52 and VZ.52/57 semi-automatic rifle (Czechoslovakia)
Caliber: 7.5x45 mm Vz.52 or 7.62x39mm M43 (vz.52/57)
Overall length: 1015 mm
Barrel length: 520 mm
Weight: 4.08 kg empty
Magazine capacity: 10 rounds
The Czechoslovak army recognized the need for intermediate cartridge, and by the 1952 perfected and adopted the 7.5x45mm Vz.52 ammunition and two infantry weapons for it, the Vz.52 semiautomatic carbine and Vz.52 light machine gun. The 7.5x45mm ammunition is slightly more powerful than the Soviet 7.62x39mm ammunition, and has slightly better long-range performance. By the mid-1950s Czechs had the 7.5mm fully automatic rifle in development, but, under the pressure of Warsaw pact standardization, enforced by Soviet Union, Czechoslovak army ended up adopting soviet 7.62x39mm ammunition as a standard in 1957. Consequently, they rebarelled their machine guns and carbines for "new" ammunition, but the modified Vz.52/57 carbines not stayed in service for too long. Since the late 1950s they were gradually replaced in service with 7.62x39mm SA Vz.58 assault rifles. Many of Vz.52 and Vz.52/57 carbines were exported and sold as surplus, and can be encountered in various parts of the world.
Vz.52 is a semi-automatic, gas operated, magazine fed weapon. The short stroke, annular gas piston closely resembles that of Mkb.42(W) German assault rifle. The bolt is locked by tipping its front part with locking lugs down, into the recesses of the receiver. When the last shot is fired and magazine is empty, a bolt stop device is activated to hold the bolt open for faster reloading. The trigger unit very closely resembles that of US M1 Garand rifle, with safety lever located at the front of the trigger guard. Open sights are marked up to 900 meters, in 100 meters increments. The stock is made from wood, with separate top cover above the gas system. Integral blade bayonet is hinged to the stock and folds to the left and back, when not in use. A hollow cavity in the butt, under the buttplate, is used to store cleaning kit. Removable box magazine holds 10 rounds, but also can be reloaded in place from stripper clips.