Vz 61 Rimfire .22 Variant Arrives in Canada

Vz61_22_SBR

A particularly unusual variant of the Vz61 Machine pistol has arrived in the Great White North. A newly manufactured (no milsurp parts) short barreled rifle from Czech Small Arms (CSA) chambered in the universally popular .22 rimfire has seen a limited release across the country.

The .22 variant uses proprietary polymer magazines done in 10 & 20 round versions by CSA using the same material as their .223 Vz58 magazines. Interestingly these rimfire magazines still include a last round bolt-hold-open device so that the manual of arms between a traditional 32ACP model and the new .22 will remain the same. The .22 model also features an adjustable front sight that allows zeroing for both windage and elevation, and the rear flip peep sight just like the military version.

CSA_Vz61_22_SBR_suit

MSRP is set at $760CAD ($570 USD) but it seems the initial run was limited, and this first batch is on the verge of selling out. CSA also makes a .380 auto version of the Vz61 using a straight wall polymer mag that’s been available in Canada for a few years now. But part of the reason this .22 version is so popular is the magazine capacity advantage…

IW4Z65R

CAUTION: Canadian Legal Silliness Ahead

The fact that these firearms are available in Canada is something of a miracle considering the intricacy of our gun laws. Bear with me for a minute here.

In Canada, semi-auto handguns are limited to 10 rounds. Semi-auto rifles are limited to 5 rounds. But rimfire rifles have no limit on their capacity.

Additionally, an Order in Council from 1998 prohibited the “Skorpion Auto Pistol” meaning that existing owners had to surrender their guns, and no new registration certificates would be issued.

CSA_Vz61_22_SBR

But because all the CSA guns are newly manufactured and include a stock, they fall into the restricted rifle category instead of the prohibited pistol category. This isn’t great, they still have to be registered with the government, and have to be shot an approved range rather than the back country. But this new rifle manages to be an exceptionally small package without any effective magazine capacity. Considering in the mid-2000s most Canadians thought they’d never get access to the Vz61 platform again, it’s plenty exciting to see them coming back.

End of Legal Silliness

The finish on these .22s might benefit from a quick application of cerakote though, as owners have reported wear around the “charging tabs” (charging nubs?) after only a very limited cycling of the action. You can see some of that metal showing in the photo below:

Bfiles_Vz61_finish

I’ve noticed similar wear on all the variants of Skorpion I’ve ever seen, like the Zastava M84s etc. But its a little disappointing that an owner can get that kind of wear before even pulling the trigger. I may have to pick one up to see for myself. Stay tuned…

Update: This photo is from ~600 rounds fired and you can see a much more pronounced finish wear. I’d definitely be cerakoting these little guns in the interest of long term preservation. Take a look:

We’ve also seen teasing from CSA and their Canadian importer North Sylva of a modernized lower reciever with an extended segment of picatinny rail built into the frame. Considering this is still a largely cold-war concept firearm in all it’s accoutrements, a little bit of picatinny goes a long way for anyone who wants to add a light/laser or just hold the gun somewhere other than the magazine.

pic_rail_vz61

One final tangent while I’ve got the Skorpion bouncing around my head. Recently on a trip to Costa Rica I stumbled upon a gun-shop and their Vz61 on the shelf. Costa Rica has literally no hunting and very few firing ranges, but firearms can be bought for self defense. As a result the Vz61 was the only “rifle” in the shop. It was a converted automatic, with the 3-position safety intact. The auto sear had been snipped, and everything about it was very milsurp from what I could see. The price was $700 USD, which was not as astronomical as I might have expected for a country with 100% taxation on firearms…



Edward O

Edward is a Canadian gun owner and target shooter with a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism. Crawling over mountains with tactical gear is his idea of fun. He blogs at TV-Presspass and tweets @TV_PressPass.


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  • Will Smith

    Canada needs to start sharing.

    • BearSlayer338

      They can keep their silly .22 version of the gun,I much prefer having the pistol version in .32 acp,I also like my guns in the calibers they were designed to shoot,not to mention the lack of penetration compared to other rounds and the 20 round capacity of the .32 acp version make it a great apartment(paper thin walls type) defense weapon. That and I can empty the gun as fast as possible and still hit exactly where I wanted.

      • iksnilol

        Ummm… Last time I shot a .32 it went through the paper we shot it at.

        I do like me some trey deuce tho.

  • PK

    These are being brought into the USA by Czechpoint, hopefully by the end of the year, as conversion kits/uppers for existing pistols. Great company to deal with!

    • PersonCommenting

      So they will be impossible to find.

      • PK

        All you ever have to do is order from them… I’ve not had any issues purchasing anything from them over the years. Stock may run out at times, but they replenish often.

        • PersonCommenting

          Everything online is out of stock. If you mean I have to call them up then fine but their website should say that because otherwise you just look at their guns and they always have the out of stock label on each sku.

  • Harry’s Holsters

    I’m glad you’re getting these and while I kinda wish they were coming to the US I don’t think they’d sell well here. People are to enthralled with cheap rimfires and with 22 ammo no longer $25 for 500 rounds it makes more since just to get a centerfire gun.

    • amie704

      Ha ha, .22 ammo! I gave up searching for it.

      • iksnilol

        Everytime i see comments like that I am tempted to take a pic of myself with the 20-30k round stash of my shooting club. and post it here to annoy you guys.

        • Tassiebush

          Haha totally the same here but with personal stash. Not as large as your clubs but plenty of bricks.

          • iksnilol

            We dealin’ bricks in kilos, esse 😉

        • Ben

          For some reason the shortage doesnt exist everywhere in the country. In the Atlanta area of georgia i can walk into any major sporting goods store and buy more 22 ammo than i could ever shoot. At good prices too. At great outdoors i couldnt turn a corner without tripping over a whole pallet of 22lr. Other states…not so much.

  • Sixshot6

    We’ve had these as a rifle with a 16 inch barrel in the uk for a while. Also hi Edward, you’re the politest man in the gun reviewing game so I thought fair to return the favor.

    • Jako

      Well, he is Canadian. The politeness is a given. :b

      Joking aside, Edward is great guy, and I enjoy reading his reviews and articles.

    • Mike

      I heard there is a .22 version of the SA80 around. Any info about it?

      • Sixshot6

        I did hear of that. Besides the army cadet rifles with conversion kits a company was supposed to be doing something but it seemed to die off after a while. Also the railed vz61 is a uk version as the barrel is longer and fluted. Sorry I couldn’t help you out more.

  • PersonCommenting

    Dang, I have always wanted one of these but Czech point is always sold out! Id like a 380 because that is a more common round but I hate the stick mag, I prefer the banana shape 32 better. All that being said a 22 would be stinking sweet.

  • Hoplopfheil

    Dammit, Canada. Stop hoarding all the good stuff.

  • 3of11

    So let me get this straight: without a stock these are illegal in Canada, but here the only legal way to get them in the US is without a stock! btw, do the .380 versions of these in Canada have to be limited to 5 rounds? if so, ouch and another reason for the 22lr

    • PersonCommenting

      Is it not restricted? Then again canada has exceptions for 22s

    • Wetcoaster

      They would be legal, but they would be pistols (still restricted), and more importantly, the magazines would be subject to the 10 round limit

      • AHill

        This is wrong, see below. The pistol is prohibited by OIC, the rifle is okay.

    • AHill

      Yes a vz 61 PISTOL would be a prohibited weapon as the gov made an Order In Council (essentially the safety minister saying THIS gun is now illegal) prohibiting the “Skorpion Auto PISTOL” now this is contentious because the OIC is unclear, the RCMP assumes it means the Vz61 pistol AND a little known piece of crap made in the the US called the “Skorpion Scarab auto pistol” (see forgottenweapons). The saving grace was that like other fiat prohibited guns they didn’t add “… and variants” to the end. Thus Vz61 RIFLES are not dangerous baby killers and a oh kay for us peasants.

      • Wetcoaster

        Interesting. Even after nearly a decade, I’m still learning things about those damned OICs. I coulda sworn “… and variants” had been boiler plate in the parent wording itself and it was curious interpretation that let the vz.61s through without the Skorpion branding the same way the Sterling Police Carbines were exempted

  • Edeco

    Dear Canada; please change your 4″ handgun barrel rule to require 7″ barrels so manufacturers produce more 7″+ handguns. I will then forgive you for standing up to us in the War of 1812.

  • Anonymoose

    Needs moar 9×19 and 9×18.

    • Twilight sparkle

      I think you mean 32 acp :p

      • Anonymoose

        Pretty sure that’s illegal in Canadia.

        • iksnilol

          Yup, .32’s are a favorite of assassins (due to being a precision weapon worthy of a professional)… so they banned the trey deuce (so I stopped wearing a bubblegoose)

          • Anonymoose

            I saw a guy load up .308 V-Max bullets (150gr?) in .32 cases, but it could only be used in a single-shot or a tip-up barrel design like the Beretta Tomcat.

        • AHill

          32 caliber is only illegal in a pistol. No problem in a rifle (same goes for 25 cal). I personally went with the 380 Vz 61 because the ammo is FAR easier to find up here. And if it has to be a semi might as well have SOME kick, if I could get an auto version then the 32 would be an atttactive option!

          • Twilight sparkle

            Does Canada prohibit ex post facto laws? And if so does that allow you to grandfather in firearms that are now illegal but weren’t at one time?

          • AHill

            The only way to legally have a “prohibited” firearm as an individual is to have owned one when they were prohibited and registered it. You can then own any firearm in that class of prohibited firearms but they can only be shot at a range and you must have an authorization to transport it to a range… which they haven’t issued any in at least a decade I think. Also you must have at least 1 prohibited registered to you or you lose that prohibited classification forever. Forget to renew your licence? Bye bye prohibited class.

            Oh and the only prohibiteds you can hand down to your immediate family are prohibited handguns. The others upon your death must either be sold to a business with a prohibited license, deactivated or turned into the police for destruction.

          • Anonymoose

            That makes sense, but most Scorpion clones are pistols. If .25 and .32 were illegal calibers all-around, you couldn’t have 8mm Mausers or .25-06s. I’d rather have a Vz.68 (9×19) or Vz.82 (9×18), just for more power and ammo availability.

  • Well that just looks fun as heck.

    …Which means it’s automatically illegal, of course. -_-;

  • iksnilol

    Looking at the .22 version makes me consider that one would make a good hunting carbine. I mean, here in Norway you’d need the .32 (because .22 is illegal for anything larger than rabbit, as well as rabbit). I mean, thin, light wirestock, put a slim legal length integrally suppressed barrel on it. Would make a good rabbit gun for us that like to be polite

    EDIT: gonna photoshop what I am thinking about, later.

    • Tassiebush

      How does that silly restriction work again? Was it about lead?

      • iksnilol

        Nah, was about stopping power or such.

        You can use .22 lr on rabbit size game but not rabbits. So basically only birds and such.

        Due to that, I’ve had a hankering for a semi auto PCC. Maybe a break action .32 revolver with shrouded cylinder wouldn’t count as a semi auto while being able to be suppressed and offer follow up shots (after being rifle-ized ofcourse).

        • Bill

          What? You can’t shoot a rabbit sized rabbit? I could see if it was a Texas sized jackrabbit, but what about a dwarf rabbit? Is there a standardized rabbit gauge, like we have for fish length?

          How about guinea pigs?

          This is sort of rabbit-racist, or specieist.

          • iksnilol

            You got that perfectly correct.

            And we should invent a rabbit gauge. But the silly thing is no matter the rabbit size .22 is verboten against it.

  • AHill

    Also for anyone interested in Soviet Canuckistan news: the B&T APC223 is approved for sale as a non-restricted/restricted according to barrel length! Hell yes!

  • maodeedee

    I’d like to see these become available in the US. Of course they couldn’t have the cool folding stock but it would still be a fun toy even without that.

    One thing I’m sure of: Gun laws never make any sense no matter what country you’re in. In the US, you can’t have this gun with a folding stock, and in Canada you can’t have it without one.

  • Craig Z Slasher

    we gettem in 380 and 32 acp as well the good thing about the 22 is the mag capacity since its a rimfire the other cals we can only have 1o rounders