CZ USA are now selling the VZ 58. The VZ 58 is chambered in 7.62x39mm and although it looks like the AK-47 the similarities end there. Internally it is completely different.
The Czech SA Vz. 58 service rifle is now available from CZ-USA in 2 semi-automatic only versions, the VZ 58 Tactical Sporter, and the VZ 58 Military Sporter.
The Sa vz. 58 was developed by Ing. Jiri Cermak in 1956 and 1957, adopted by the Czechoslovakian army in 1958. and was produced by Ceska Zbrojovka in Uhersky Brod, Czechoslovakia until 1983. Approximately one million Sa vz. 58 rifles were produced during it’s 20 year production run. As of 2007, it is still the standard issue service rifle in both the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
The new Tactical and Military Sporter models are manufactured by combining original Sa vz. 58 components with a new semi-auto only milled receiver, a new trigger mechanism and new fire control parts.
While the appearance of the VZ 58 looks similar to the AK-47, it was inspired by the German StG 44 and initial development was actually based on the 7.92 x 33. Mechanically, the VZ 58 is completely different from the AK-47, and no parts including magazines are interchangeable.
Differences between the VZ 58 Sporter and the AK-47
* The VZ 58 has a milled receiver, the AK-47 is stamped.
* Even with the milled receiver it is almost one pound lighter than a stamped AK-47.
* The bolt of the VZ 58 stays open after the last round in the magazine has been fired.
* The VZ 58 has a more natural point of aim and is faster handling.
* The safety is more ergonomic making a faster first shot possible with the VZ 58.
* The ejection port is HUGE. There is no chance of an empty case getting stuck in the action of the VZ 58.
* The VZ 58 gas piston can be removed or exchanged without tools.
* The alloy magazine of the VZ 58 is half the weight of the steel AK-47 magazine. (.42 lb. vs. .84 lb.)
* VZ 58 is easier to field strip.
* The VZ 58 is striker fired unlike the hammer fired AK-47. This reduces the number of parts and possible points of failure.