Introduced in the period following World War 2 (1939-1945), the Czechoslovakian vz. 52 series light machine gun saw use in limited numbers. It was intended as a light support weapon for the Czech Army and thusly chambered for the local Czech 7.62x45mm rimless rifle cartridge which produced the vz. 52 designation. However, Soviet pressure - in an effort to have allied armies utilize a single cartridge for logistical reasons - soon forced a change to the more universal Soviet 7.62x39 M43 rifle cartridge instead - giving rise to the vz. 52/57 designator of 1957. The resulting design proved to be a mixed success - sound Czech engineering forced to use an unwanted foreign cartridge.
Firing from either a 25-round detachable box magazine or a 50-round belt feed, the machine gun maintained many features of the original ZB vz. 30 model of the World War 2 period. A specially-designed trigger allowed the operator to achieve single-shot or full-automatic fire rate based on the pressure placed on it. The weapon weighed 17.5lb and featured a length of 41 inches. A carrying handle set atop the barrel aided in transporting the weapon as well as changing an overheated barrel. Rate-of-fire was up to 1,150 rounds-per-minute based on the gas setting. Range was out to 2,800 meters.
The Vz. 52/57 series was in service from 1962 until 1964 with about 8,000 examples being produced out of the Zbrojovka factory of storied Brno. The Czech Army eventually replaced their vz. 52/57 stocks with the "Universal Machine Gun" Model of 1959 - otherwise known as the "vz. 59". This weapon continues in service today (2016) and saw combat exposure during the Vietnam War (1955-1975).
The "Military Factory" name and MilitaryFactory.com logo are registered ® U.S. trademarks protected by all applicable domestic and international intellectual property laws. All written content, illustrations, and photography are unique to this website (unless where indicated) and not for reuse/reproduction in any form. Material presented throughout this website is for historical and entertainment value only and should not to be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation. We do not sell any of the items showcased on this site. Please direct all other inquiries to militaryfactory AT gmail.com.
Part of a network of sites that includes GlobalFirepower, a data-driven property used in ranking the top military powers of the world and WDMMA.org, the World Directory of Modern Military Aircraft.