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Sa vz.58

Assault rifle

Sa vz.58

Despite similar appearance to the AK-47, the Sa vz.58 assault rifle is a vastly different design

 
 
Country of origin Czechoslovakia
Caliber 7.62 x 39 mm
Weight (empty) 2.91 kg
Length 845 mm
Barrel length 390 mm
Muzzle velocity 705 m/s
Cyclic rate of fire 800 rpm
Practical rate of fire 40 - 100 rpm
Magazine capacity 30 rounds
Sighting range 800 m
Range of effective fire 400 - 500 m

 

   The Samopal vz.58 assault rifle was developed in Czechoslovakia in the late 1950s. Despite close resemblance to the Soviet AK-47, the Sa vz.58 is a vastly different design. Czechoslovakia was unwilling to accept the Soviet weapon designs and went for their own. Development of this assault rifle was completed in 1958 and it entered service with Czechoslovakia in 1959. Production ceased in 1984 and just short of 1 million of there assault rifles were manufactured. This weapon appeared in numerous conflicts worldwide. It is still in service with Czech Republic, Slovakia and a number of export operators worldwide.

   The Sa vz.58 is a gas-operated, selective fire weapon. It is chambered for the Soviet 7.62x39 mm cartridge. It is well balanced and handles much better than the AK-47. Some other shortcomings of the AK-47 were fixed, such as uncomfortable fire mode selector. Also the vz.58 is lighter. Its accuracy is adequate for NATO-size targets out to a few hundred meters. Field stipping of this weapon is extremely easy. However the new design has some problems on its own.

   The trigger mechanism has a lever-type fire mode selector with manual safety, located on the right side of the receiver, just above the pistol grip.

   This automatic weapon is fed from detachable 30 round magazines. Magazines are not interchangeable with those of the AK-47 or its variants. In terms of weapon design Czechoslovakia always used to do things in their own way, different from other Warsaw Pact countries.

   The Sa vz.58 has an open-type adjustable iron sights with a sighting range of 800 meters. However effective range of this weapon is around 400-500 meters.

   This assault rifle was originally produced with a solid wood-impregnated plastic buttstock, pistol grip and handguard (Sa vz.58 P). It was the standard infantry model. There was also a version with a side-folding metal stock. This weapon was designed in that way, that its buttstock could be easily removed and replaced without affecting operation of the weapon. It appeared that this feature was needed, as its wood-impregnated buttstock had a tendency to crack in cold weather and could hardly coupe with abuses that soldiers were throwing at it.

   This weapon is compatible with a knife-bayonet.

   A successor to the vz.58 was proposed the Lada family, which included a standard assault rifle, carbine and light machine gun, chambered for the Soviet 5.45x39 mm ammunition. However it was not adopted to service due to the budget problems. By 2016 the vz.58 was replaced in the Czech Army service with the new CZ S805 assault rifle. The vz.58 might still remain in service with non-frontline units. It is planed that this old assault rifle will be entirely phased-out by 2020. However this weapon still remains in service with its export operators.

 

Variants

 

   Sa vz.58 V assault rifle fitted with a side-folding metal stock. This version was designed for airborne troops and vehicle crews.

   Sa vz.58 Pi fitted with a standard mount for a night vision sight and comes with detachable folding bipod.

 

 
Sa vz.58

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Sa vz.58

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Sa vz.58

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Sa vz.58

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