After World War II, as Czechoslovakia came under Communist rule, their army began work on an "intermediate" rifle cartridge for rifle and machine gun use. The Czech government did not standardize ammunition under the Warsaw Pact until the 1960's, so they were free to develop their own munitions and weapons.

The Czech Army had finished out the 1940's with an assortment of German 98K Mausers, Russian Mosin-Nagants, and German G-43 autoloaders. These guns would add their influence to what became the vz-52 rifle.  

 The vz-52 rifle was issued in large numbers through the 1950's, and a design change was implemented in 1957 to accommodate the Soviet M43 7.62x39mm round, at the insistence of the Red Army. These rifles are designated and marked vz-52/57 to differentiate from the older rifles.

In 1958, the Czech Army adopted their Kalashnikov-looking vz-58, obsoleting the vz-52.

Soon the vz-52 was found in the hands of various Third World countries with Communist affiliations. Most recently, when U.S. forces landed in Grenada, they were rudely introduced to the vz-52 rifle. Lately, they have been seen in service alongside SKS rifles in Palestine. Those that were stored after Communism fell in Eastern Europe are the ones imported to the U.S. by Century International Arms and SAMCO Global Arms.


VZ-52 rifle