KolArms adds 9mm to the VZ 58′s Capabilities

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Kaliber magazine’s editor turned TFB onto a new development from Hungary. A small company called KolArms has created a 9mm conversion kit for the Vz. 58 rifle. Mr.Vass (Kaliber’s Chief Editor) breaks the conversion and other developments down:

This a newly-made conversion of the venerable czechslovakian Vz.58 7,62×39 mm assault rifle to 9 mm Luger submachine gun. Both tested guns are prototypes only, made for a law enforcement inquiry. The first one is for the Glock pistol magazines, with a 12/76 shotgun underbarrel “doorbreaching device”, the bolt is two-part in that gun, and that is the reason for the jams. The other is more developed version, for the CZ Skorpion EVO magazines and complete new bolt, that worked perfectly. The recoil is almost nothing, the submachine guns vere easily controllable and fun to shoot…
Both guns are simple blowback, closed bolt full auto guns, but a semiauto pistol-caliber carbine is/will be available.

Footage of the conversion is below:

No news if these will hit production or be exported. Here’s to hoping!

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Nathan S.

TFB’s newest resident Jarhead, Nathan is currently working in the Defense industry in international sales. A consecutive Marine rifle and pistol expert, he enjoys local 3-gun, bull-pups, and high-speed gear. Nathan has traveled to over 30 countries in the last three years working with US DoD & foreign MoDs. You will likely find him either in an international airport or on the local range in NE Indiana.

Nathan can be reached at [email protected]


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  • Esh325

    Why would anybody bother converting an old rifle to 9mm? Why not just get an actual 9mm SMG.

    • dp

      Precisely, and this is my point. It just does not make sense. The motivation is not technical at all, its purely commercial.

    • DiverEngrSL17K

      While I can understand your viewpoint, the vz58 is hardly an “old rifle” by any stretch of the imagination — after all, the AK-47 and its many derivatives are still rightly regarded as thoroughly effective and modern with appropriate secondary upgrades, and the original AK-47 design surfaced 11 years before the baseline vz.58 did. With similar upgrades, the vz58 is the equal of, or actually better than, many so-called ultra-modern, advanced rifles where it matters — in all-around performance on the battlefield. The same applies to the H & K G3, M-14 and FN FAL, plus their derivatives, among others.

      Having said that, I do agree that this conversion, while interesting, might be a solution in search of a requirement. DP is right to suggest that a 7.62mm x 25 Tokarev or .30 carbine conversion would be a far more effective answer that will fulfill a real niche between 9mm PDW’s and SMG’s, on the one hand, and full-caliber carbines and assault rifles on the other. A short-barreled version in the same basic configuration as seen above but chambered in 7.62mm x 25 Tokarev would make for a compact, accurate, reliable and hard-hitting alternative to the H & K MP5 and its more modern variants.

      To their credit, KolArms appears to have incorporated some proven, high-quality components into their prototype — note the Israeli-made FAB Defense UAS-VZP folding stock and AG58 pistol grip, for example.

      • dp

        Hi DiverEng! This idea of reviving both mentioned rounds are with me long time. Both have decent potential while .30 carbine is slightly ahead (the inner capacity is about same = 1ccm). I believe this is left-out field which ought to be filled.
        Some assessments I read about .30 carb were actually in that direction; feel is that potential has not been utilized fully yet. As far as 7.62 Tokarev, it tempts me to think what could be done, if the case is lengthened (2-3mm) and bullet made bit tippier and longer. I think it would be phenomenal anti-personal round to 250m range, sufficient for most requirements yet allowing short and light weapon. Am I reviving 8mm Kurz or what?!
        On base weapon as it is I’d leave the gas system with some minor tune-up. The reason for gas being to control rate of fire and handling. It is possible that such conversion could end up at around 2.5kg empty, 0.2kg down from existing.

        • DiverEngrSL17K

          That is a really interesting and practical idea — thanks for sharing it! I’m guessing the real problem will lie not so much in the engineering modifications but in that age-old bugbear of firearms development and adoption, “market timing”. Here’s hoping that maybe this time around the situation will prove the exception to the rule.

          • dp

            Yeah, somebody would have to take on it. Unfortunately we are talking extending casing, not trimming as is more common. Nearest competitor would be FN’s own 5.7mm ammo, so space is there.
            Having said that, even original Tokarev’s shot performance is impressive.

          • DiverEngrSL17K

            Agreed. The 7.62mm x 25 FMJ Tokarev round has tremendous MV and ME with excellent accuracy and penetration characteristics while still retaining relatively low and manageable recoil. Firing this cartridge from a PPS-43 SMG and Zastava M57 ( Yugoslavian / Serbian version of the TT-33 pistol ) is a revelation in what a really good, high-performance pistol-caliber round should be. The recoil is best described as crisp and snappy ( and therefore easily attenuated ) without the heavy kickback associated with the .357 Magnum and other similar equivalents. And as you have pointed out before, effective range and long-range ballistic performance are outstanding, certainly better than most “modern” pistol-caliber cartridges.

            Personally, I like the Sellier & Belliott and PPU ammunition in this caliber the best, followed closely by Winchester. Definitely a semi-forgotten and under-rated cartridge if ever there was one.

          • Blake

            Love this thread. 7.62×25 Tokarev is the poor-man’s .357 Sig :-). Perfect for pistol-caliber carbines & SMGs. Too bad it’s not so cheap anymore…

          • DiverEngrSL17K

            Hi, Blake :

            Yes, you’re absolutely right about the cost. On the other hand, pricing of 7.62mm Tokarev ammunition seems to be driven more by demand ( or lack thereof ) relative to the limited usage it sees nowadays. If it became a more widely-accepted cartridge, more manufacturers would feel inclined to jump on the bandwagon and the price would go down while availability would go up. Also, it seems that this round has only been mass-produced in standard form in one configuration — 85-grain FMJ — harking back to its Soviet military roots. It has a lot of untapped potential for further development in a lot of different configurations ( HP, V-Max, SP, steel-core penetrator, etc. ), bullet weights and powder loads. The possibilities could open up a whole new genre if acted upon in a timely fashion.

          • Blake

            Interesting idea… I imagine they’re the same diameter as other 7.62mm combloc bullets so any of these would probably work pretty well (some folks at Reloader’s Nest have already tried them).

          • DiverEngrSL17K

            Thanks for the link, Blake — much appreciated. Mil-spec steel cored ( not steel-jacketed ), incendiary and sub-sonic bullets have been developed over the years for military use, mainly in the Soviet Union and China ( and not available here in the U.S.), and Hornady makes the XTP bullet that can be matched to the Tokarev cartridge. In spite of this, though, the range of bullet types and loads is still relatively limited, so there is still plenty of room for further development.

  • dp

    For some reason, they have functional issues with it (it’s “prototypus”, as they say). On commercial level I understand why they do it, however on technical side less.
    What can be done with this (base design) to much greater benefit would be conversion to either .30 US Carbine or 7.62×25 Tokarev. In that case it would really shine since both rounds have sufficient reach out to 200m in combination with very mild recoil. Missed chance, but it can be corrected.

    • Michael

      7.62×25, Fantastic round, We need small carbine and a modern Hi cap pistol

  • TV-PressPass

    As a Vz58 owner in both 7.62 and .223: this tickles my fanacy!

    • FourString

      fanacy = fanatic fantasy? xD

      • TV-PressPass

        Canadian Spelling = Gobbldigook? Whoops!

  • Lance

    Agree with other why ruin a good rifle just get a MP-5 or Bison SMG.

    • Kovacs Jeno

      The surplus vz.58s are plentiful in .Cz and .sk, and converted to semiauto sold for 200-250 euros, so it is a very inexpensive base for tuning, conversions etc.

      • dp

        That is very cheap and likely creates feel of envy in mind of American shooters. While in EU they buy them ‘direct’, over here are various importers who rip off their share.

  • dp

    If you want to see how other people fuss with Vz.58, take a peek here:
    http://50ae.net/vz58-2/

    • DiverEngrSL17K

      That’s a really nice vz58 project. I always did like Michael Killeibrew’s firearms builds and articles. Thanks for sharing!

  • BOB

    I see no real purpose for a 9mm rifle that weighs as much as a true rifle/carbine yet fires a far weaker round. That said, I am experiencing the strangest stirrings in my nether regions when I look at that conversion.

  • Kovacs Jeno

    The KolArms is actually located in Slovakia, where the video was made. The designers and the company owner are Hungarians.

  • patrickiv

    That reversible charging handle is too cool. I’m still not a fan of mounting optics to dust covers though.

  • Noir

    9mm vz.58 is allready sold at civil market: http://sa-vz-58.webnode.sk/products/produkt-1/
    And to those who dont understand point of such conversion: In CZ/SK there are lots of shooting ranges that do not allow you to shoot rilfes. Yet shooters want something SMG-like for fun. USmade 9mm carabines are bigger than vz.58 rifle, CZ Scorpion EVO is not cheap, MP5 cost arm and leg and semiauto turned UZIs, PPShs, SA.26 are useless. There is wast offer of vz.58 accesories so vz.58 in 9mm Luger that costs 2/3 of Scorpion is perfect option.

    • DiverEngrSL17K

      Thanks for the information, Noir — it has certainly helped to clear the air on the whys and wherefores! :)

  • Anon. E Maus

    Oh that is SO cool!
    Someone should tell them that they can be imported to the US as pistols if they remove the stock and underbarrel shotgun, that way, they can still use Glock magazines and the short barrel, the ready supply of Glock magazines already in the US would be a fantastic incentive for people to purchase it, they’re common and reliable, so nobody would have to purchase a whole new set of unusual magazines.

    They can also make a provision for mounting an AR-15 style buffer-tube on the stock trunnion, so that people can put SIG Armbraces on them, that way making carbines that aren’t legally SBR’s.