Aircraft / Aviation Vehicles & Artillery Small Arms Warships & Submarines Military Ranks Military Pay Chart (2024) Special Forces
Infantry Small Arms / The Warfighter

Ceska Zbrojovka vz. 38

Semi-Automatic Pistol [ 1939 ]

Entering production in 1939, the CZ vz. 38 semi-automatic pistol served the Czech Army very little - its supply taken over the invading Germans.

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 09/27/2016 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.

Many Czech-originated weapons of World War 2 (1939-1945) went on to see wide scale use by parties other than the host country. Such was the case with the CZ vz. 38 series semi-automatic pistol. Lauded for its rugged design and ease of maintenance, the weapon proved difficult to shoot single-handedly owing to the considerable trigger pull required. A special tilting feature (a hinge at the muzzle end) allowed for relatively easy cleaning of the gun (or disassembly altogether) as the barrel and slide could be raised for access and removal. Design of the pistol was attributed to Frantisek Myska and entered serial production in 1939 though only limited numbers were available by the time of the German invasion (1939).

As a semi-automatic handgun, the v. 38 relied on a Double-Action Only (DAO) trigger system. It was chambered for .380 ACP (9x17mm Browning Short) which gave it good man-stopping capabilities and fed from a 9-round detachable box magazine inserted into the base of the grip. Many facets of the design were highly conventional including fixed sights over the slide, a ribbed section at the action end of the slide and a slight overhand of the slide structure over the shooter's hand web. The trigger loop was given a rather oblong shape which provided easy access to the trigger assembly. The cartridge ejection port was set at the middle of the slide.

Production of the gun spanned into 1945 but the stock quickly fell to the conquering Germans once the dust had settled. Some were then shipped to German ally Bulgaria with modified manual safeties. For the Germans, the pistols were generally used by local police and security elements and not the frontline army force - with many critiques of the overall feel and action being laid upon the weapon.©MilitaryFactory.com
Note: The above text is EXCLUSIVE to the site www.MilitaryFactory.com. It is the product of many hours of research and work made possible with the help of contributors, veterans, insiders, and topic specialists. If you happen upon this text anywhere else on the internet or in print, please let us know at MilitaryFactory AT gmail DOT com so that we may take appropriate action against the offender / offending site and continue to protect this original work.


Basics [+]
Ceska Zbrojovka Strakonice - Czechoslovakia
Bulgaria; Czechoslovakia; Nazi Germany (captured) National flag of Bulgaria National flag of Czechia National flag of modern Germany National flag of Nazi Germany
Service Year
National Origin

Compact design for close-quarters work or general self-defense.

Overall Length
206 mm / 8.11 in
Barrel Length
117 mm / 4.61 in
Weight (Empty)
2.01 lb / 0.91 kg
Semi-Automatic; Double-Action Only (DOA)
One shot per trigger pull; self-loading or auto-loading action aided by internal mechanism; trigger management (and initial cocking) typically required by the operator; subsequent shots are aided by the unlocked / moving bolt.
.380 ACP (9x19mm Browning Short)
*May not represent an exhuastive list; Calibers may be model-specific dependent; Always consult official manufacturer sources.
9-Round Detachable Box Magazine
Iron Front and Rear (Fixed)

Material presented above is for historical and entertainment value and should not be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation - always consult official manufacturer sources for such information.

Max.Effective Range
80 ft / 24.4 m | 26.7 yds
Muzzle Velocity
830 ft/sec / 253 m/sec

CZ vz. 38 - Base Series Designation

Military lapel ribbon for the American Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for pioneering aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon representing modern aircraft
Military lapel ribbon representing special forces
Military lapel ribbon for the Ukranian-Russian War
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2


1 / 1
Image of the Ceska Zbrojovka vz. 38

Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Cookies

2024 Military Pay Chart Military Ranks DoD Dictionary Conversion Calculators Military Alphabet Code Military Map Symbols

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. No A.I. was used in the generation of this content; site is 100% curated by humans.

Part of a network of sites that includes GlobalFirepower, a data-driven property used in ranking the top military powers of the world, WDMMA.org (World Directory of Modern Military Aircraft), WDMMW.org (World Directory of Modern Military Warships), SR71blackbird.org, detailing the history of the world's most iconic spyplane, and MilitaryRibbons.info, cataloguing military medals and ribbons. Special Interest: RailRoad Junction, the locomotive encyclopedia.

©2023 www.MilitaryFactory.com • All Rights Reserved • Content ©2003-2023 (20yrs)