Czech Vz-58 vs. AK-47

EDITOR’S NOTE: This post is part of the tour of Europe the Guns For Sale team did earlier this year in conjunction with the IWA 2011 show. More behind-the-scenes footage from the CZ plant is available here: CZ.

The CZ Collection Room is a very cool place, and although there were many interesting and unique firearms in the room, I was drawn to one in the back corner: a Vz-58. Naturally, this example was select fire, and representative of the Vz-58s used by the Czech military, among other organizations. Variants of this rifle are still produced at the CZ factory, which we were able to see – but, unfortunately, not take video of.

I’ve bought both Czech-made Vz-58s and Russian-made AKs, and while I do like the AK, I prefer the Vz. If you’re considering the purchase of an AK, take a second to look at the Vz-58. I’m sure some of my comments in the video might upset the AK faithful, but I hope that most of them have a soft spot in their hearts for the Vz like I do – and I’m an AR-15 guy.

One thing I didn’t mention in the video is that I have found the finish of the Vz-58 to be more rust resistant and durable than even quality, Russian-made AK finishes.

Czech Vz-58

Andrew Tuohy

Andrew Tuohy was a Navy Corpsman with the 5th Marine Regiment. He makes a living by producing written and visual content within the firearm industry, and he also teaches carbine courses. He prefers elegant weapons for a more civilized age, and regularly posts at Vuurwapen Blog.


  • KTBabs

    No comments? Hmph. Well, all I slightly agree and disagree. I think the Czech take on the AK47-AKM platform is revolutionary. My only qualms (and why I stick with the AK) with this rifle is the lack of compatibility with aftermarket parts. The Vz.58 does not function with AK parts, that is my primary concern. As a SHTF rifle, it should be interchangeable with any and all AK parts, from Receiver to Barrel to FCG or Bolt.

    • tektzby

      Czech take first steps from StG-44 Sturmgewehr, not from AK!!

  • Denny

    Just to add something from my point of experience. I served one time in Czechoslovakia’s military as weapons technician. Although I was that time impressed in reading about M16 my ‘daily bread’ were Vz.58 rifle and Vz.59 universal machinegun.

    Shortly about Vz.58 rifle; it was breeze to carry because of its light weight (2.7kg without ammo) especially in folding stock version. At the range it was dead reliable, I had nothing to fix or service when accompanying troops during shoots. However, this is not gun to fire accurately in bursts. It will, after 1-2 shots mostly due to overall geometry, immediatelly climb. So, most practical use is individual subsequent shots. On design side it differs drastically from AK since AK is in fact, by being long stroke operated a ‘pocket MG’. Vz.58 to contrary is short stroke operated due to separate piston, same as FN. Also, the chamber locking is totally different. Besides of ammunition used they are 2 completely independent designs – none is version of the other. Personally, I like the fact that during breech opening with Vz.58 you have clear view of action area and you can readily clear any obstacle (mud, snow or any object) away. You cannot do the same with AK. Other than that they should be judged on their individual merits; I have equal respect for both of them. They are built to do the job efficiently.