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Ceska Zbrojovka vz. 52/57

Light Machine Gun (LMG) / Infantry Support Weapon (1952)

Infantry Small Arms / The Warfighter

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The Czech vz. 52/57 might have been a more respectable light machine gun system if not for Soviet involvement.

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 08/07/2017 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.
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).


Service Year

Czechoslovakia national flag graphic


Light Machine Gun (LMG) / Infantry Support Weapon

Ceskoslovenska Zbrojovka - Czechoslovakia
National flag of Czechia National flag of North Korea Czechoslovakia; North Korea
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
Fire Support
Capable of suppressing enemy elements at range through direct or in-direct fire.

Overall Length
1,045 mm
41.14 in
Barrel Length
583 mm
22.95 in
Empty Wgt
17.53 lb
7.95 kg

Iron Front and Rear


Gas-Operated; Select-Fire

Gas-operated system is featured, typically involving a gas cylinder and rear-driven piston directing energy to the bolt component.
(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)


7.6x45mm / 7.62x39mm M43 (model dependent)

Sample Visuals**

Graphical image of a 7.62x39mm rifle cartridge
Rounds / Feed

25-Round Detachable Box OR 50-Round Belt Feed
Cartridge relative size chart
*May not represent an exhuastive list; calibers are model-specific dependent, always consult official manufacturer sources.
**Graphics not to actual size; not all cartridges may be represented visually; graphics intended for general reference only.
Max Eff.Range
2,625 ft
(800 m | 875 yd)
Muzzle Velocity
2,500 ft/sec
(762 m/sec)

vz. 52 - Original model pattern chambered for 7.62x45mm.
vz. 52/57 - Subsequent model rechambered for 7.62x39mm.

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