The Czechoslovakian Vzor 1952 rifle, or Vz. 52, is a magazine fed, clip-loaded, semiautomatic, gas-operated, forward-tilting bolt, infantry rifle which entered Czech military service in 1952. It fires the Czech 7.62x45mm cartridge. It was replaced with the Vz.52/57 rifle chambered in the 7.62x39mm Russian Cartridge for uniformity within the Warsaw Pact. Having a relatively short service life, the Vz 52 and 52/57 were replaced starting in 1959 with the shorter, lighter, and higher-capacity Vzor 1958, or Vz. 58, it is nonetheless an interesting rifle for collectors. Unfortunately, due to the use of corrosive-primed ammunition and difficulty in field cleaning, as well as some design weaknesses described below, it is unusual to find pristine examples on the United States collector’s market. Two arsenals produced the rifle, first Povalske Strojarne Povalska Bystrica, and then Ceska Zbrojovka Uhersky Brod. The Arsenal markings are AYM and SHE.I acquired seven rifles that were in rather poor cosmetic condition. They were packed with grease and dirt and had the stocks spray-painted black. I decided to refinish them, but my references didn’t include an exploded view. Even Numrich Gun Parts Corp only showed major components. Hopefully these notes will assist anyone else doing a complete A&D for cleaning, repair or refinishing.
Gas System Components. The gas system is both interesting and problematic. It is interesting because it keeps the recoil energy close to the barrel, as compared to a piston above the barrel such as on the AK-47. The higher the impact of a piston, the more muzzle rise on recoil. It is problematic because it requires a 22mm and a 23mm wrench for disassembly, which makes field cleaning difficult. Combined with the corrosive primers found on the Czech 7.62×45 ammunition, specimens today often have corrosion on the outside of the barrel under the actuator.The gas system consists of the actuator (gas-capture cup), actuator lock nut, gas cylinder, driving spring, driving spring plunger, and connector. The system may be disassembled for cleaning, but may not be removed from the barrel without removing the front sight assembly.