VZ2008 Vs. 700 Rounds

1

In America the AR15 is king. Damn near every shooter has one nowadays and every gun store seems to have a whole wall of them for sale at any given time. Across the Atlantic however in the Czech Republic, a nation with anomalous gun laws (relative to the restrictions of many other European countries) and a strong shooting community you will find that the people are as familiar with the VZ58 rifle as American shooters are with their AR15s. The VZ58 has always intrigued me as the Czechs managed to avoid some form of an AK variant as a service rifle during their time as a Soviet satellite state, perhaps due to their strong arms making tradition dating back hundreds of years. Nearly every Czech firearm I have ever handled has been fantastic, both hand and long guns and I have embraced all firearm “Czechnology” (horrible pun) since I have yet to get a lemon. When our editor Phil said I could review the VZ2008 from CAI I was thrilled, and I knew my curiosity would finally be settled and I eagerly awaited getting the gun so I could beat it up. I knew exactly what I was going to put this gun through too; 700 rounds, five mags at a time, and no cleaning. While the AK is famed for its reliability, I was curious to see if the Czech design was as good.

The VZ2008 is an American made copy of the VZ58 in order to get around import laws and 922r. The receiver is American, and the barrel is American, but other than that I am not sure what parts come from where. I do know that this gun is unlike any gun I have ever played with before. I assumed it would be a bit AK like with very loose tolerances, sloppy shooting and handling characteristics, etc. but boy was I wrong. In contrast to the AK, the VZ58 is better in the following ways according to Czechpoint:

  • All vz. 58 rifles possess a milled receiver; the vast majority of AK-47s are 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 can be reloaded with stripper clips while the magazine is inserted in the rifle.
  • 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.
  • The vz. 58 is striker fired unlike the hammer fired AK-47. This reduces the number of parts and possible points of failure.

To me those are all desirable features and I can confirm them all. While it looks like an AK at a quick glance, so much so that in the film Lord of War they used 3,000 real VZ58s in a scene because it was cheaper than renting 3,000 prop guns, it shares nothing in common aside from the caliber.

LOWSAVz58-1

Anyways lets get to it. My favorite feature is perhaps the fact that the gun can be loaded with SKS stripper clips. I wish the ammo I used came on strippers so I wouldn’t have destroyed my thumbs loading mags!

2

This photo shows the striker in the cocked position:

3

And the fired position:

4

The gun is also easy to disassemble and breaks down very easily. There are two pins that are captive (like an AR15) that you remove to take off the gas tube, piston, and bolt/carrier group.

5

As you can see above, the gun appears to be some sort of AK/SKS/Walther P38/FAL hybrid. It uses a short stroke piston, SKS style carrier, AK cartridge, and to explain the P38 bit you need to see the locking piece close up:

6

The small bit lowers into two grooves machined into the receiver to lock the bolt like a giant P38 or Beretta M9 (hard to explain but if you have seen an M9 barrel you can kind of visualize how it works).

Anyways enough technical details. It was time to open the spam can and get to work. I dug out a can of “Mil Spec” ammo from Russia for this that was just Brown Bear packaged so you have to use can opener to get to it.

7

8

So I opened all the packages and went to the range with a total of 700 rounds. First I wanted to get the accuracy test out of the way so I set up some targets at 100 yards to see how she would do.

9

10

11

I shot a total of five 5 shot groups at the far paper targets in the photos above and the results were decent. The sights were way, way off (it was hitting several feet high) and I did not have a proper sight tool, so I had to use some Kentucky windage, aiming at a set point low on each target to get on paper. Regardless I thought it did okay for an amalgamation of surplus Cold War parts and US made components. It is definitely minute of man but I would like to get the sights dialed in and try again.

Best:

12

Worst:

13

So at least the rifle was consistent with an average of 3.720 inches. Again though, I expect I could do better if it was less windy, the sights were dialed in, and I really, really went out with the intention of testing for accuracy rather than reliability. However, when it comes to service rifles I generally place more emphasis on the reliability section of the reviews and test accordingly.

The accuracy test took 25 rounds, so I had 675 more to go and blew through the first set of mags with no problems at all, getting more and more familiar with the recoil impulse and handling characteristics. I also had no cameraman, so all the action shots in this article were taken by setting my camera’s timer to 10 seconds and just hoping for the best:

14

Notice I started wearing gloves because the grips got very hot very fast and the bakelite or whatever the furniture is made of seems to be a damn good conductor of heat. I had a great bit of fun nailing bowling pins, steel gongs, self healing targets, and rapid firing into paper silhouettes. Anyways I made it through 350ish rounds and thought I would tear her down to see what the buildup looked like on the internals and the piston. I was surprised at how clean the gun was:

16

17

Anyways I let everything cool down and got back to it. Man were my thumbs sore as I had to load 23 mags up as I depleted them, but the shooting more than made up for the inconvenience!

15

I have not had this much fun with a semi-auto rifle in a while and putting all 700 through the VZ2008 was incredibly fun. I was sad when I got to this point:

18

But happy that it made it through all 700 rounds, in quick succession with no cleaning or oiling of any kind. Here are some photos of the guts after the test was complete:

19

24

20

21

22

23

For 700 rounds, that is not much buildup at all and I was impressed to say the least.

Now for the bullet points:

The Good:

  • 700 rounds, no cleaning, no problems at all
  • Battle rifle accuracy that I am sure I could improve
  • At $699.00 this rifle is an absolute steal
  • Came with a bayonet, scabbard, sling, five mags, and a cleaning kit
  • Minimal buildup after shooting
  • Easy to take down
  • Surplus parts available for low prices
  • Ejects to 1:00 consistently, away from other shooters

The Bad:

  • Not nearly the aftermarket of the AK platform (the dominant 7.62×39 platform)
  • Not super friendly for left handed people (the mag release only has a provision to be accessed on one side)
  • The furniture gets very hot very fast

The Ugly:

  • Not enough people know about these!

So that’s that. In my opinion at $699.00 the VZ2008 is one of the best deals on the market today if you are in the market for a semi-automatic 7.62×39 rifle, and I know that I will be buying one to add to my collection.


Alex C.

Alex is a Senior Writer for The Firearm Blog who was born and raised in Texas with years of experience in hunting, shooting competitions, and general collecting. A degree in History from Baylor University has contributed to his love of both early and modern firearms technology, but Alex is most fond of machine guns and other NFA toys. Alex also owns a firearm manufacturing business licensed to produce title I and II weapons.
You can reach Alex at [email protected].


Advertisement

  • jeff

    Regret not buying a Czechpoint Vz58 a few years back when it was offered to me for 500 – thats with original Cz receiver and chromed barrel. Oops.

    • Jack Flag

      That’s another reason (though it is overplayed) is that even though the CSA/Czechpoint rifles use original (albeit excellent condition) barrels. They are chrome lined. The Century ones are not.

      That and the Century guns have the safety lever going in the wrong direction.

      • DiverEngrSL17K

        Good point about the safety lever, Jack — i had forgotten to mention that in my previous posts. Thanks!

  • Jack Flag

    Just an FYI. The furniture is wood impregnated plastic. Commonly referred to as “beaver barf”. And yes even with gloves the front handguard gets very hot, very fast. I don’t own one of these Century builds. But I do own a couple of the guns sold/imported by Czechpoint and made by Czech Small Arms in the Czech Republic. Parts are a little more original on these. But the general consensus is that Century did a this gun right (surprisingly).

    The Czechs had a habit of being forced to adopt Soviet calibers. But then also being able to give the Soviets a middle finger by developing their own weapons. Whether it was the vz. 52 over the SKS. Or the vz. 58 over the AK47 (etc). Or the vz. 52 (pistol) over the Tokarev. Or the vz. 82 over the Makarov. They loved to make their own stuff. And I’m very glad the did.

    Aftermarket support is there. From a number of small companies, companies in Canada (very popular there because any AK is outlawed) and from companies like FAB Defense and the Mako Group. But yes. It’s not nearly as big as the AK market and AR market.

    I absolutely love mine and I rave about them all the time.

    Glad you enjoyed your time with one. And whether you pick up a Century or a Czechpoint. I know you won’t regret it.

    • mikee

      I “handled” one some years ago. My opinion – the best of the best for a dedicated 7.62 x 39mm platform. The Czechs have a history of making excellent small arms.

    • Alex C.

      Excellent write up, and lol @ beaver barf!

      • Jack Flag

        :)

    • Michael B

      The only difference between the two is that CzechPoint uses the original chrome lined barrel. CAI uses an American made barrel. The Czechpoint build does not allow for the use of the bayonet because the OEM barrel is too short for 922 compliance, thus the welded extension. The American made barrel utilizes all the front end components, allowing for a change of muzzle break, etc., and the OEM bayonet. Other than that, all the other parts are the same. This rifle, discontinued in 1984, still serves today in many Israeli and Czech units. They are coveted wherever they are fondled.

  • Frosty_The_White_Man

    Before the cuomo-ban a few local shops had these in “sporter” configuration. IIRC they weren’t CAI, maybe CZ? I truly regret being broke whenever they popped up!

  • sianmink

    The show Strike Back (bbc/showtime) uses these extensively. I think modified AK railed fore-ends might fit on these.

    • DiverEngrSL17K

      Please see my post about available after-market accessories for the vz.58. There are several different drop-in quad rail and railed handguard options designed specifically for this rifle by different manufacturers that you can get into.

      • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

        100% correct in your evaluation of aftermarket parts. It doesn’t take that much time to find just about any accessory you could ever want.

        • Julio

          I posted a comment about after-market parts shortly after this item went up yesterday but it has disappeared – did someone not approve? It linked to some Vz58 sources in the UK.by the way.

          • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

            No and I take care of that. If there’s a question on content Diquis marks it and I approve it or get rid of it. If you are able to post it again I’ll make sure it goes up

          • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

            I checked and found nothing on your post?

        • DiverEngrSL17K

          Thank you, Phil! I remember spending days poring over all the options and their specifications when I was customizing my first vz.58. Definitely time-consuming, but well worth the effort.

          • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

            That it is sir. It;s hard to choose which options you want not a lack of them

  • dp

    Alright folks, let me tell you something on subject.

    During my compulsory service in that country’s military I was trained as armourer. I was routinely present at range practice with units; there was not one single failure (incl. ammo) I would recall. Now consider this: how many shots you make in actual combat, if you have that luck, to make your furniture hot?

    Next item: accuracy. This is not a sniper, neither DMR but with some practice you can do those 3″ at 100yrd, no sweat. And yes, standard mil-spec barrel in hard chromed. However, the gun used in this test is with folding stock (which was my issues too). This was a special units weapon, such as paratroopers and land engineers. Not very good for cheek weld. Most were made with solid wooden, later same impregnated wood design. Those were most likely more accurate.

    Last item: this is age of consumerism, baring nothing including military rifles. That creates lots of business opportunities for specialized firms. Here is one of them which operates out of CR http://www.gunexpert.cz/en/
    Not a perfect rifle, but a pretty good one. I am glad American shooters have chance to appreciate it and see that AK-AR combo is not whole world.

    • Alex C.

      Thank you for the info, I always enjoy hearing from people with real world experience with the rifle in question. And you are right, 700 rounds is more than any infantry rifle would normally see in combat, but I wanted to really show that this gun was capable of handling it. The Czechs really got this right.

      • dp

        Yeah, thanks for evaluation, although bit ‘quick & dirty’ and that’s fine. I am not in mind frame to praise something which happen to be originated in same place I come from. My own gripe with this thing was that it was way to light which demonstrated itself during firing. But, on the other hand, it was easy to carry. We had it all the time during our training slung over the back. After a while you don’t even notice.

        • Alex C.

          Is the rifle difficult to control on fully automatic? I imagine the light weight would make it harder than other 7.62×39 rifles.

          • dp

            Yes it is. The standard procedure when engaging targets at 200m was to use 3-5 rds burst. In most of times, two-three would hit target elsewhere, rest was out.
            This is treated with degree of success by muzzle attachment; on web is plenty of videos demonstrating them. Then is gets lot more steady and workable. To be civilian owned that would be first thing I would add to it. Then maybe I’d think to add a rail of sort above the piston to attach some optical sight. And finally, to top it up – get some better stock.

          • DiverEngrSL17K

            Yes, the original-pattern Czech muzzle brake is very effective. Czechpoint-USA actually sells these on their web site., as does zahal.org.

  • Mike T

    Where are you seeing these rifles advertised for $599?

    • Alex C.

      When I wrote the article I saw then on Center Fire Systems at that price point.

  • noob

    Oh, Canada!

  • BOB

    I had one of these I bought for under $400, including shipping and transfer fee, from jgsales back in late 2010. It was a good gun, reliable, compact, light, but i really disliked the awkwardness involved in mounting optics, I also was not a fan of the fact that my supply of spare parts, mags and most accessories as well as the cheap steel ammo, is beholden to the benevolence of our Federal government and what they deem is acceptable for import. This April I traded it for an AR-15 set up for accuracy shooting (I’ve gotten sub-moa from it) straight across. I feel very little regret.

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

      JG gets there’s from Century

      • BOB

        buddy, all VZ2008’s, with the slant break, as pictured, are from century, and its one of their better guns as long as it has the tabbed bolt carrier.

        ETA 3rd pic down, receiver shot, clearly reads Vz2008 Century Arms Georgia, VT

  • Mouldy Squid

    I’ve been shooting 3 gun with my CZ858 (Vz58) here in Canada for a little over a year now. When I do my part, I am just as good as anyone wielding an AR variant. I found that once I adjusted the front sight a little, my groups at 100 meters were under 7 cm, which is just fine for the kind of shooting I am doing.

    This is a fantastic rifle. A couple of the spring matches still had snow on the ground and the air temp hovering around 3C. More than half of my squad’s AR were having problems, FTE, FTF, light hammer strikes etc. My CZ laughed at the cold and wet and fired just fine the whole day. Turned out that the lube the AR guys were using was the culprit: it was gelling and gumming up the works. Still, I was using the same stuff and had no problems at all.

    I haven’t had a single malfunction after at least 1000 rounds. And while there might not be a lot of aftermarket parts in the US, Canadian firearms companies and Israel’s Zahal.com have a wide array of parts, add ons, and tools. You can, for example, get a bolt with a left hand charging handle, ambidextrous mag release levers, bolt release levers, rails, iron sights. There is a wealth of stuff for this platform. Don’t let a lack of immediately available parts stop you from getting one of the best small arms on the market.

    • DiverEngrSL17K

      Exactly, and well said.

    • fanboy762

      It’s not dot COM. It’s Zahal.org

  • DiverEngrSL17K

    Just so there is no confusion, the quotation from Czechpoint-USA refers specifically in their on-line brochure to the Czech Small Arms / D-Technik version of the vz.58, although the same general comments can also be applied to other versions of the vz.58, eg., this CAI vz.2008.

    Among vz.58 afficionadoes, it is generally acknowledged that the best versions are the CSA / D-Technik rifles imported solely by Czechpoint-USA. They are built from unissued or unused / barely used surplus Czech military vz.58 kits with enough U.S.-made components to meet 922r compliance requirements. I own two of these CSA / D-Technik guns, and they are absolutely superb weapons by any standard.

    While it is true that the vz.58 does not have as broad a range of accessories and after-market parts available to it compared to the AR and AK platforms, there is certainly no lack of them either. You can look up web sites such as http://www.fab-defense.com, http://www.zahal.org, http://www.the makogroup.com, http://www.northeasternarms.com, http://www.neitdesigns.com, and http://www.marstar.ca in addition to http://www.czechpoint-usa.com. Among all these vendors, as well as many accessories already developed for the AR and AK which are adaptable to the vz.58, there should be more than enough to satisfy even the most discerning enthusiast. Trust me, you will spend hours or days browsing through what is available while trying to decide what sort of configuration you would like to build.

    Insofar as mounting of optics is concerned, it isn’t awkward or difficult. There are various combinations of drop-in quad rails, lock-down quick-release side mounts and flat-top lock-down upper receiver covers that provide full stability and zero retention for optics. The Israeli zahal.org web site is especially good for these options.

    The CSA / D-Technik guns, as expected, are much more expensive ( about 75%-80% more ) than the CAI renditions. In return for that higher price, you will be getting a top-of-the-line rifle with excellent, fit, finish, workmanship and function, plus a great warranty.

    If you are on a tighter budget but really want a vz.58, the CAI vz.2008 is a very good choice. It is still a well-made, durable, reliable and accurate rifle, and terrific value for money. The vz.2008 also addresses the QA / QC problems that some early Century-built vz.58’s had.

    • dp

      Congratulations!
      ….your gun cash well spent. You really cannot get much more versatile and practical gun than that, part of calibre of course.

      • DiverEngrSL17K

        I definitely agree — thanks!

  • 306_AD

    Troy used to make a sweet battle rail for it. No longer available.

    • DiverEngrSL17K

      Yes, the Troy aluminum hand guard was a really well-made and highly-ergonomic item. It also followed the slim tapered contours of the original polymer hand guard found on later-model vz.58’s, and felt just right in terms of balance and handling. There might still be a few surplus ones available somewhere.

      • 306_AD

        Unfortunately, my taste does not match my bank account.

        • DiverEngrSL17K

          That probably applies to most of us. Have to save those dollars and pennies to get what we want!

          • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

            It applies to me!

    • Canadian Gunslinger

      Troy just rebranded and marketed the NEA VZ58 rail for the US market. You can still buy the NEA rail from Canada, it is literally the exact same thing. http://www.theammosource.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=14_288_290&products_id=941

      • DiverEngrSL17K

        Thanks for the great link! Good to know that the Troy Battle Rail is still available, regardless of branding.

  • Lance

    Forget the gun im jealous you can find that much rifle ammo. Darn I know hey are coming back but its expensive and still a bit hard to fin. I do like Brown Bear over wolf. its closest to Soviet spec you can get for Russian steel case ammo. Looks fun.

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

      We each have our sources:-)

    • DiverEngrSL17K

      Hi, lance :

      If you’re still looking for Brown Bear 7.62mm x 39 ammunition at a reasonable price ( taking into account the existing situation ), try http://www.aimsurplus.com. They are currently advertising Brown Bear for $124.95 per 500 rounds, and it is in stock at the time of writing, which is more than I can say for other sources I frequently use. Hope this helps a bit.

  • Weirdcloud

    I got rid of my Saiga after shooting the vz2008. Yes its century but its a wonderful build. As accurate as my SKS at past 75 yards. I love this rifle. You can get accessories for it on e-bay or amazon. I got a new grip as the standard one is to small. I also got a muzzle break from CNC warrior at a good price. You will not be disappointed.

  • DiverEngrSL17K

    Oh, before I forget, extended ambidextrous magazine catches, bolt release catches and safety lever kits are also available for left-handed and ambidextrous users. Some of the vendors I had mentioned in my previous post carry these parts, as do others that can easily be found using a Google or similar search.

  • Eric Gutzat

    I am a 9 year +

    • DiverEngrSL17K

      I’m in general agreement with you, except that I’ve had generally good experiences with zahal.org., and that the FAB Defense polymer quad rail ( distributed here in the U.S. by the Mako Group ) and other polymer accessories by the same manufacturer have always been tight-fitting ( with no slackening of tolerances over time with constant hard field usage ), properly-aligned and of top mil-spec quality. I have the polymer FAB quad rail on one of my vz.58’s and a Czech-made milled aluminum quad rail on the other, and both enable optics such as red dot reflex / holographic sights to maintain proper and constant zero.

      One thing about zahal.org’s prices : You have to shop them individually vis-a-vis the competition, and vice-versa. Pricing on some components is better, while the cost of others can be higher.

      • Jerry D

        Check out https://www.zfi-inc.com/en/ I bought all of my vz.58 FAB accessories the prices are the lowest and with 10% discount coupon they offer it is outrageous i got all the products with no problem
        just had to recommend after the good experience

        • DiverEngrSL17K

          Good call, Jerry, that’s one reasonably-priced supplier I forgot to mention. I’ve bought some FAB parts from them before, too, and they don’t take any longer to ship the items from Israel than zahal.org does.

  • Icer

    I’ve been planning on picking one of these up to supplement my AR and my SKS. They’re just way awesome.

  • Esh325

    I own a VZ 58 and it’s always intrigued me. Having a machined steel receiver and yet being very light weight is a sign of good engineering. I always thought it was interesting that they used a striker instead of a hammer. The theory I’ve heard is that the reason they used a striker instead of a hammer was that the striker didn’t produce disruptive vibrations in the receiver like a hammer did that would increase shot dispersion in fully automatic. I think probably the reason why they didn’t use an AKM or AK-74 was probably because of national pride rather than an AK not meeting their standards. What’s interesting is that the Czechs were very,very, close to replacing the VZ 58 with the CZ 2000 which was very similar to the AK design. I think I would still take the AK though. The AK is always being
    upgraded where the VZ 58 is on its way out. I wonder what motivated the
    Czechs to replace the VZ 58 with the CZ 805 Bren?

    • Blake

      I’d guess ammo & mag compatibility with NATO…

      • Jack Flag

        That and just plain and simple modernization as well. The Czechs haven’t made a vz. 58 for military use since 1984. Nearly 30 years. At some point militaries want to “upgrade” and modernize. If they can afford it. The Czechs can. In the last few years the majority of their small arms have begun to be replaced. The 58 for the Bren. Their older vz. 61 and MP5 subguns for their new Scorpions. And the vz. 82 pistol for the newer 75 Phantom. Of course these older weapons are replacing European and Soviet calibers for NATO compatible ones. NATO countries don’t run around with 9×18, 7.65 mm (.32 ACP) or 7.62×39 weapons usually these days.

        The 58 will live on for years to come. (And certainly it’s still a viable weapon platform). The Slovaks still have it as their standard service rifle. (Even if they wanted to upgrade. They apparently don’t have the funds and the Czechs took most/all of the firearm manufacturing capability/industry with them when Czechoslovakia dissolved). And the Czechs donated/sold a large stockpile to forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.

        • dp

          It is correct to mention defence forces of Slovak republic. They also use vz.58 for their needs although there is talk about replacement. We shall see what that replacement shall be. As a hint may serve the fact that CZUB is building small arms plant on territory of SR.
          Regarding “donating for free”‘
          I would strongly doubt such notion. Most likely anything and everything was sold for cash or as part of trade exchange.

          • Jack Flag

            That’s why I mentioned donated/sold. Because I don’t know which is the case. Arms/equipment have been sold and or given to the countries of Afghanistan and Iraq by many nations over the last decade, plus years.

            I do remember hearing about CZUB was building a plant in Slovkia. It will be interesting to see what comes of it.

    • dp

      About replacement: I do not live there therefore my insight is limited. From what I know, vz.58 is still and remains the standard issue arm (also with troop in Astan). As you correctly mentioned, there was a version of AK called Lada and after that mentioned CZ2000, none of which were implemented.
      In my estimation the reason to develop new rifle were several. For one, they clearly wanted to brake away with anything which looked like AK with closer adherence to western standards (became part of NATO in early 90s). Second reason might have been opportunity, or rather vision they have seen for future with brand new (well not that ‘new’ since there are similarities with G36 and Scar) for their industry.

  • janklow

    yeah, i really need to get one of these in the near future…

  • Neal R

    IMO VZ-58s are without a doubt one the finest rifles ever produced.

    • Jack Flag

      The Czechs are wizards at producing amazing firearms.

      CZ 75 anyone? :)

      • DiverEngrSL17K

        My favorite pistol of all time :)!

        • Jack Flag

          Mine as well. I’ve got 10 or so. I’d have to think about it to remember how many I have. Some bd, some early models, a DAO, Phantoms, etc.

          I love ‘em all.

          :)

          • DiverEngrSL17K

            That’s one heck of a collection — but I don’t blame you in the least bit for this addiction, considering how good CZ pistols are. It’s hard to get enough of them!

  • Cymond

    CZ-USA brought out a sporter-version of the VZ58 for the American market a few years ago. It seemed like the Century Arms version came out shortly after that for a lower cost. The CZ-USA version was discontinued after a while.

    I’d like to get one eventually, so does anyone know about the quality/price comparisons of the CZ-USA version vs the Czechpoint version?

    • Jack Flag

      They’re the exact same gun. Minus the military/selective fire/full auto (whatever you wanna call it) version that CZ built, which they haven’t built since the 80’s. CZ never built a semi auto version for civies. The gun that CZ sold was built by Czech Small Arms and imported by Czechpoint all along. It was simply put into a CZ (USA) marked box.

      So obviously. The quality is the same. Price is too subjective. After the panic, prices went up on all 58 models. Whether Czechpoint or Century. And they haven’t come back down to pre panic levels. They used to sell for around $800/850. They’re around $1150 now.

      Same with the Century guns. They used to be around $400-500. Now they’re $599 and up.

    • DiverEngrSL17K

      Jack Flag’s reply to you is true and correct. One thing I’d like to add is that Czech Small Arms ( CSA ) used to be known as D-Technik, so if you see this name stamped on a vz.58 receiver you can rest assured that it is the same high-end weapon.

      • Jack Flag

        Correct. I forgot to mention that. :)

  • Blake

    Does anyone make a bullpup kit for this thing that’s any good?

    From what I’ve read the sgworks.com kit for the SKS is really quite nice. Makes it easier to reload too.

    I love stripper clips :-)

    Especially when I have ammo to put in them…

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

      Not that I know of—

    • noob

      there’s a few sks kits around.

      http://www.cbrps.com

      maybe centre balanced rifle platforms systems could be interested in developing one?

    • DiverEngrSL17K

      Hi, Blake :

      Intriguing idea, but unfortunately I don’t know of anyone who does. It would have to be a one-off customized chassis if you really wanted one, and the pricing would reflect this. On a positive note, the vz.58 has a very smooth and progressive trigger that breaks cleanly at medium pressure ( about 5 pounds or so ), so as long as you have a well-designed linkage to complement it in your bullpup, you probably won’t have to be too concerned about inadequate trigger feedback.

      Noob’s suggestion concerning CBRPS might be just the ticket. From what I’ve seen, they make outstanding bullpup systems. Hope this helps a bit.

    • Bohem

      It ejects straight up – not the most desirable direction with bullpup.
      You would have to mess up with extractor.

      • Blake

        Interesting observation, but ejection doesn’t seem that different than an SKS… SGworks mentions on their FAQ page that their kit isn’t appropriate for southpaws because of of this, but that they’re working on a shell deflector option.

  • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

    We posted this on Facebook Polenar Tactical VZ58

    • scotchflavoredchewablevicoden

      I’d like to go on record saying that I’m in favor of everything in this picture.

      As you were.

      • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

        Yep!

      • LRB

        There is a Vz58 in the photo? god bless the Czech Republic.

        • Bohem

          She is from Slovenia (no, not Slovakia).

  • scotchflavoredchewablevicoden

    The VZ platform is absolutely superb. I’ve been using them in one form or another now for several years with zero problems. They’re reliable in all conditions, light, user friendly and while they are not “tack drivers”, they are extremely easy to shoot well in real life conditions. If I was called upon to go slay dragons tonight, I wouldn’t feel bad having a VZ-58 in my hands.

    • Jack Flag

      One of my 58s is my go to rifle. I’d fight off the zombie hoards with mine.

  • SD

    I wonder what an actual Czechpoint or D-Technik rifle can do compared to the Century.

    • DiverEngrSL17K

      Everything that the Century can, only more and better. I’m not putting the Century down as it is a good quality, well-made and very functional rifle ; it’s just that the CSA / D-Technik gun is even better-made and of a higher quality, fit and finish, albeit at a price point close to double that of the Century. If you have the budget for a top-shelf vz.58 and want only the best, the CSA / D-Technik rifle would be the first choice ; if not, the Century is fantastic value for money. In practical, everyday field usage, there are probably very few noticeable differences, if at all.

  • Aaron E

    Before this review I had only casually considered an AK-type platform. I have come to really appreciate CZ products having held many and fired a few. Looking closer at the VZ58 or VZ2008 has definitely peeked my interest.

    • Jesse P Weaver

      With you there, never wanted an AK patterned rifle before. Now I have this itch.

      • Jack Flag

        You two wouldn’t be disappointed if you pick one up. The 58 obviously gets compared or called an AK pattern type rifle. Even though they really have very little in common and are completely different systems.

        But since AKs and the 58 are compared together. The 58 really is “like” a refined AK.

        • LRB

          I think people have been turned off to AK pattern rifles because of the lack of quality that has existed in the US up until recently. MAK90’s and WASR10’s have put a bad taste in a lot of shooters mouths. But with the advent of Arsenal, WaffenWerks, Krebs, Snakehound Machine and others there are finally quality AK’s not junk plinkers that really illustrate the benefits of the platform. Pick up a good AK, you will be surprised. You can find Waffen Werks Ak74’s on the web for 699.99 and that is a deal!

          • DiverEngrSL17K

            I can vouch for the Waffen Werks AK-74. I purchased one a while back, and it is simply superb. Tolerances are much tighter than for the typical AK-74, yet not so tight that they compromise the weapon’s legendary reliability under extreme field conditions. A well-balanced and well-made AK-74 that is “just right”, with a very good price point to boot.

            Just so there is no misunderstanding, this post does not constitute an open endorsement of Waffen Werks or their distributors — instead, it is a comment based on personal comparative experience with different versions of the AK-74.

  • Cornelius Carroll

    This rifle has always been on my “to buy” list. I only wish it was chambered in 5.45!

  • brian

    can load from the top? hmm…might be an interesting option for those of us in NY if that mag can be pinned

    • Adam W

      the mags are easily pinned along the rear ridge for the bot hold open. Stupid Canadian 5 round limit.

  • Nicholas Mew

    Eye candy for the masses.

    • Bohem

      That picture needs some explanation:
      Barbora Špotáková is a Czech javelin thrower. She is the current Olympic champion, as well as the world record holder.

  • Bohem

    “Not super friendly for left handed people (the mag release only has a provision to be accessed on one side)”
    Quite the contrary – its pretty frindly for lefties – I use my trigger finger to release mag, and thumb to operate safety.

  • hami

    Does anyone watch Strike Back on Cinemax? Plenty of highly customized Vz58 action this season

  • LRB

    I love the Vz58. While it is not favorite combloc rifle, (WaffenWerks Ak74) its a great rifle and a shame that it does not have the notoriety as the AK in the US.

  • STOVL

    Great article!

  • Tim U

    If I didn’t already have my AK pattern rifle, this would be my 7.62×39 choice. Comes with “enough” magazines (especially because they can be re-loaded with SKS clips), slightly better ergos than an AK, and honestly, if I want an optics-rifle I am going to get an AR anyway so big deal on the lack of accessories.

    • DiverEngrSL17K

      Hi, Tim :

      Please see the various previous posts about the availability of after-market accessories for the vz.58 / vz.2008, including optics-ready options. Take your time and shop around — I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

  • sumguy

    I’ve read that these can’t handle firing most military surplus ammo, that it causes their recoil springs to break, and that it can only safely handle lower powered 7.62×39 ammo. It can for a awhile, and then it’ll break. I don’t know if it’s true, I didn’t test it myself.

    • DiverEngrSL17K

      Not true at all, at least for CSA / D-Technik vz.58 guns. I doubt if you’ll come across any problems with the CAI vz.2008 version either. The only issues I know of were with early CAI vz.58’s and vz.858’s, and these were parts fitment / compatibility problems rather than durability.

  • wusten

    so when is the next review

  • ron berry

    I am very interested in these where are they available for $599. feel free to call me 503 739 3378 I would like to ask a few more questions.

  • RemoteViewer

    Was the barrel hard chrome-lined?

    Stuff some aluminum foil under the barrel in the hand gaurd and you will avoid the forearm heating up.

  • w

    Aim Surplus has these for 499 with 5 mags and other accesories. About the best deal I’ve seen.

  • bill

    Oh no, Not another rifle I need…I should wait til my m77 yugo & 308 vepr are delivered first…but this does sound like a good deer drive gun. My current one is a m70 ab2 underfolder, it is extremely accurate out to 300yds. However, the u/f ,though compact, is the slowest to deploy between folders(I own right, left & u/f). My favorite is the right side folding tantal, very quick, solid, & light. This rifle sounds like a comparable in principle 7.62 version of my tantal. We can’t use 5.45 around here for white tail, but 125 gr sp silverbear does the trick.

    My interest in this one beyond the stock is it’s weight, my yugo is built like a tank, with an rpk receiver. Everyone loves shooting it and can’t believe it’s accuracy(200yd soda cans from a knee are easy), but it’s weight can become noticeable after a full day of driving thick swamp & brush.
    This model never tripped my trigger before(odd mag & ugly lines…looks good on the brunette though) but I may file for adoption of one, hey my vault is multicultural household after all…

  • Rick787

    just find one in 422.00 $$$ a@ firearmsforsale thanks for the info guys i cant go wrong with this one….

  • elrian

    As I own 3 vz58s (and they are damn cheap around here with approx. $200, I live in Slovakia and army is selling surplus rifles for $15 a piece to license holders) Ive decided to perform a torture test on one of them. Ive put some 5k round of corrosive ammo through it in about 2 years. No cleaning, only lube into barrel, gas block and reciever after each shooting session. Stored in mild temperatures and humidity around 40-60%. Result: No rust at all, stainless piston showed corrosion on its face, but only on surface with no effect on cycling.
    My SBR version with a barrel almost 4″ shorter (front sight mount sits right in front of gas block), FAB Defences UAS-VZ folder and WARCOMP58 compensator fits comfortably into my 3 day BoB.

  • Moonrunner

    By the way, I know there’s an Israeli company Zahal that sells lots of accessories for the VZ platform. Popular in Canada. I am not associated with them and the only thing I ever bought was a sling for my T97 rifle (real steel version is legal in Canada), but they have a good reputation on our side of the border. I’m currently playing with an AR but might eventually pick up a VZ, once the legal situation on our side of the border gets sorted out. Great rifles, super reliable, cheap to feed, as long as your range allows steel core ammo.

  • benny

    they can be had for 500 dollars now.

  • loadsy

    i have one issue with mine in 7.62×39… almost every empty shell casing is not ejecting clear of the action and getting caught… help?

  • Solomon

    Pretty rude to call it “AK FAL SKS P38 hybrid” rather than acknowledge it as its own design, which I think it is. Yes, all modern guns take from previous designs(there’s good ideas everywhere), but other guns like AR-15s or AKs don’t get to be called “M1 Garand/Remington Model 8/SKS hybrid”(to say AK, for example).

    Just a thought, I do understand that maybe the author was just trying to elaborate on the vastly unique design aspects to it, and relate to the reader some guns that share traits, to get them to understand.

  • Ricotta

    I know this article is old, but the mag is even easier to remove for lefties than it is for righties. Just press the lever with your trigger finger without even removing your hand from the grip.