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CZ Vz58 Rifle Family: History and Modernization

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In this video of TFBTV, Edward takes a look at three different variants of the Vz58 platform, the Czech army’s issued rifle. He looks at how the firearm has changed since the original design in the 1950s. He also discusses the aftermarket parts, mounting systems, and specific optics of the Vz58 variations.

The Vz58 is a 7.62×39mm assault rifle designed and manufactured in Czechoslovakia. The rifle was accepted into service in the late 1950s. The development of the weapon started in 1956. The leader of the project was chief engineer Jiří Čermák. From 1958 until 1984, over 920,000 of these firearms were produced and fielded by the armed forces of Czechoslovakia, Cuba and other Asian and African nations.

The Vz58 was produced in three primary variations. The first is the standard Vz58 P (“infantry”) model with a fixed buttstock made of wood impregnated plastic and other synthetic materials. The second is the Vz58 V (“airborne”) model, which features a side-folding metal shoulder stock. The third is the Vz58 Pi (“infantry with infrared sight”) model. This model is similar to the Vz58 P, but it includes a receiver-mounted dovetail bracket used to attach an NSP2 night sight.

The Vz58 is a fire gas-operated weapon that utilizes expanding combustion gases generated in the barrel from the ignited cartridge. The barrel of the Vz58 contains a short-stroke piston. The Vz58 does not have a gas regulator, and the full force of the gas pressure is exerted on the piston head which propels it backwards in a single blow.

The locking system of the Vz58 features a block hinged from the bolt and housed in carrier that contains two locking lugs. These logs descend into and engage locking shoulders in the receiver’s internal guide rails.

The piston of the rifle is driven back only 19 mm (0.7 inches) when a shoulder on the piston rod butts against the seating. There is a light return spring held between the piston shoulder and the seating which returns to the piston to its forward position. The entire piston rod is chromium-plated to prevent fouling.

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