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Czech Items

 

This Vz.82 was manufactured by Ceska Zbrojovka in 1988 according to the date stamp on the right side of the frame. The Vz.82 is a self-loading, semi-automatic pistol that operates using the blowback design. It has been chambered for the 9 x 18mm Makarov cartridge. The pistol has been designed to operate as either a double or single action firearm that utilizes an external hammer. The steel frame has a black painted finish. The High definition three dot sight system includes a square blade front sight that is dovetailed and pinned onto the slide and a square notch rear sight that is drift adjustable for windage only. This pistol is fed by a staggered column 12 round detachable box magazine. The pistol utilizes a ambidextrous push button magazine release that is located at the bottom rear corner of the trigger guard. An empty magazine will easily eject from the pistol under its own weight. The pistol also features an ambidextrous thumb safety located above each grip and at the rear of the frame. The pistol has a 3.8 inch barrel with polygonal rifling and a chrome plated bore. This sidearm has an overall length of 6.8 inches and an unloaded weight of 23 ounces. This weapon does employ a slide hold open mechanism to inform the operator that the last round has been fired. The black checkered grip panels are made from plastic.

Is it called a Vz.82 or a Cz.82? While there are some exceptions to this rule, normally only weapons adopted by the Czech Republic military will have "vz." in the name. This sidearm has been called the CZ-82 in some circles instead of Vz.82 due to that name being adopted erroneously by most U.S. firearms collectors and distributors. Another factor possibly contributing to this is the civilian version of this pistol which is called the CZ-83 that is available in three different calibers. The letters "CZ" is an abbreviation of "Ceska Zbrojovka" meaning Czech Armory, while "vz" is an abbreviation of "vzor" meaning model.  

The Vz.82 was developed to replace the Vz.52 due to pressure from the USSR in the early 1980's. The goal of the Russian's was to get Czechoslovakia to replace the older 7.62 x 25mm ammunition that was used with the Vz.52 pistol with that of the Soviet 9 x 18mm Makarov ammunition. Czechoslovakia decided not to adopt the Soviet Makarov PM(Pistolet Makarova or Pistol of Makarov) that used the 9 x 18mm ammunition, but opted to come up with their own design based on the specifications set forth by the Czech Military. Czechoslovakia took the mandate a step further and in some respects, their pistol design was better then the Makarov. Czechoslovakia also produced their own version of the 9 x 18mm ammunition that they called pistolovy naboj Vz.82 or pistol cartridge Vz.82. Czechoslovakia later put forth the claim that their version of the 9 x 18mm ammunition was 20% more powerful than the standard Soviet 9 x 18mm Makarov round. The Vz.82 pistol was designed by Augustin Necas and Stanislav Strizek. It has been the standard sidearm of the Czech army since 1982, although some sections of their Army and police force have been equipped since 1992 with the 9mm Parabellum Vz-75. Manufacture of the Vz.82 continued until 1992 with approximately 130,000 units being produced. The Czechs soon realized that the Vz.82 pistol design had more to offer then just a military use. The civilian version known as the Cz.83 began manufacture in the early 1980's, but was not imported into the U.S. until 1992. The Cz.83 pistol has with stood the the test of time and is still listed for sale at the CZ-USA website to this very day. 

The first time a new owner of the Vz.82 inspects the bore on their pistol they will be surprised to learn that the grooves and lands are not there. The design of the Vz.82 incorporates a polygonal rifling which almost looks like a smooth bore, but its far from that. Polygonal rifling is a form of rifling where the traditional sharp grooves and lands are replaced by smooth hills and valleys, usually in a hexagon or octagon shape but can be found in other configurations as well. This technique of rifling is not new and has been around since the earliest days of rifled barrels. There is also what is known as female type of polygonal rifling and male type of polygonal rifling. Today, this style of rifling is found mostly on pistols such as those manufactured by Heckler & Koch, Kahr Arms, Glock and Magnum Research, but some high end rifles like the PSG-1 or the FX-05 use polygonal bores as well. A hot topic among firearms enthusiasts besides the "which caliber is better for self defense" is "which rifling is the best". Instead of walking into that hot topic, I will simply state some of the advantages to the polygonal rifling system. This includes less bullet deformation which results in reduced drag which in turn helps to increase range, accuracy, and velocity. Another advantage is increased barrel life and reduced build up of projectile residue within the bore which speeds cleaning.

The 9 x 18mm Makarov cartridge(57-N-181S Soviet designation) was the standard pistol caliber for many eastern European countries and is still in use there today. The actual caliber of the bullet is 9.220mm or .363 inches which is larger then the 9 x 19mm Parabellum which is 9.017mm or 0.355 inches. On average, a 9 x 18mm Makarov round with a 95 grain FMJ(full metal jacket) bullet leaves the muzzle at a velocity of 1050 FPS(feet per second) and produces 230 foot pounds of energy at the muzzle. The 9 x 18mm Makarov round is ballistically inferior to the 9 x 19mm Parabellum cartridge and is much more on par with the .380 ACP(Automatic Colt Pistol) round. The .380 ACP round can propel a bullet with a weight of 95 grains to 980 FPS which produces around 203 foot pounds of energy at the muzzle.

  

The history of Ceska Zbrojovka.

The story of Ceska Zbrojovka of Uhersky Brod dates back to 1936, when based on a political decision by the National Defense Council, it was established as a branch plant of Ceska Zbrojovka located in the town of Strakonice. On January 2, 1937 production of military and civilian arms commenced. The first products were aircraft machine guns, military pistols and smallbore rifles. Then during the Nazi occupation period the plant was forced to produce and repair military arms for the German war machine.

Beginning in 1945 the plant returned to the production of military and civilian arms. In 1950 the Company became a separate state enterprise called "Presne strojirenstvi Uhersky Brod" or The Precision Machine Tooling Company located at Uhersky Brod, and was subsequently reorganized into a number of specialized directorates. In the 1970s and 1980s the Company merged with Agrozet Brno, where it engaged in its traditional production of arms while also taking over the production of parts for tractors and aircraft engines. In the mid 1980's, a restructuring process began, with an emphasis on the production of arms. Then on July 1, 1988 the Company split from Agrozet Brno and became known once again as Česká zbrojovka, s.p.

In 1990 production for the Czechoslovakian armed units ceased and the newly available manufacturing capacity was put to use in manufacturing arms for hunting and sporting purposes, as well as exports for police and military units. In the early 1990's, production of tractor parts was discontinued, and the production of aircraft parts was curtailed, this opened up space for the production of more recreational arms.

On 1 May 1992, the National Property Fund of the Czech Republic established the joint stock company Ceska zbrojovka a.s., Uhersky Brod in accordance with a privatization project. The Company has been granted the requisite authorization by the Office for Civil Aviation to manufacture and repair aircraft engine parts. The Company’s automotive industry manufacturing operation has received certification per CSN EN ISO 16949 standards. Today the company is located in Kansas and can be reached at CZ-USA, P.O. Box 171073, Kansas City, KS 66117-0073.  

The photographs on the left are of the front and back of the Vz.82, while the pictures on the right show the top and bottom of the pistol. The pistol is shown with the magazine installed in each of these photographs.

The pistol arrived from the distributor, Centerfire systems with a holster, two magazines and a cleaning rod that is very similar to the one used for the Vz.52 pistol.

The serial number is stamped on the two main parts of this sidearm. It has been stamped once on the right side of the slide, and one time on the frame in such a way that it would be visible through the ejection port.  

The photograph on the left shows the markings that are found on the right side of this Vz.82 pistol. The number that is seen through the ejection port and on the right side of the slide is the serial number of the pistol. It has only been stamped on the pistol in just these two places. The next marking that we come to has been stamped on the frame and reads as follows, "she 88" and next to this is a set of crossed swords. It is believed that the stamp "she" is a factory code indicating manufacture by the Czech Arms Factory located at Uhersky Brod which is a town in the Zlín region of the Czech Republic. Then right next to this is the number 88 which indicates the year of manufacture for this pistol as being 1988. The pair of crossed swords is a Czech army acceptance proofs. The Czech army has been using a set of crossed Roman swords as its symbol ever since their independence in 1919 from Austria. This crossed Roman swords symbol is still in use today. Located at the end of the serial number as viewed through the ejection port and on the right side of the slide is an encircled capital letter T stamp. It is believed that this is used to signify a Czech arsenal manufacture.

The photograph on the right is a picture of the slide inscription that is found on the left side of the slide. This is a stamp that no collector wants to see on a historic firearm that is in their collection. This is an importers stamp that is now required to be placed on firearms that have entered the U.S. after the late 1980's. On the plus side, every marking on a firearm will help to tell us its history and this importers mark is no different.

With this importers mark, we now know that this Vz.82 pistol came in to the U.S. some time after the late 1980's. This import stamp reads as follows, "CZ M.82 9x18 MM CZECH REP" and then underneath that is "CHERRY'S, GSO. NC". This marking is exactly what the law calls for except it would have been nice if the importer would have hid this stamp under the grips rather then placing it on the left side of the slide. This stamp identifies the importer and where the firearm was manufactured. The top line tells us that the firearm was manufactured by Ceska Zbrojovka and is classified by the importer as their Model 82. It goes on to identify the caliber of the pistol as 9 x 18mm and that the sidearm is from the Czech Republic. The bottom line identifies the importer of the weapon as Cherry's Fine Guns which is located in Greensboro, North Carolina. The importer, Cherry's Fine Guns was founded on June 13, 1929 and is still in business today. They offer collectors a wide variety of firearms from around the world to choose from. 

The import law that is mentioned above can be referenced by viewing the gun control Act of 1968, Public Law 90-618 and under Subpart F-Conduct of Business sub-section 178.92 (a)(1) Firearms.  

The picture on the left is a close up of two etched markings that are found on the top of the barrel. The one on the left appears to be either a U6, U8 or a UB in a circle. After disassembly of the pistol and the removal of the trigger guard for some gunsmithing work on the magazine release mechanism, another similar mark was found that has cleared things up. The mark shown on the left of the barrel is a circle with the number 08 inside of it.  The encircled 08 mark found on the trigger guard has been stamped rather then etched on it. The opposite side of the trigger guard from the 08 mark has been stamped with an encircled TK on top of the number 47. As of now, the meaning of these marks are a mystery and have not yet been positively identified. A guess on my part would be that these marks are some type of arsenal inspections stamps.

The pistol arrived from the distributor, Centerfire systems with two magazines. The magazines are made from steel and have a blued finish. The floor plates are made from stamped sheet metal, while the follower appears to be plastic. Some collectors have reported receiving milled rather then stamped floor plates and magazine bodies without the lower indentation. The magazine shown above has this lower indentation which is to the left of the proof markings. Both of the magazines have been stamped with the Czech army acceptance proof consisting of a pair of crossed swords as seen in the photograph on the right. The proof mark is found on the left side of the magazine near the bottom. Both of the magazines also have a proof mark electro stenciled above the stamped cross swords marking. It is unknown why this additional mark was added.

  

  

How to field strip the pistol.

FIRST MAKE SURE THE PISTOL IS NOT LOADED.

1. Remove the magazine. The pistol can not be disassembled with the magazine in place due to an interlock device in the trigger guard.

2. Pull down on the front of the trigger guard which doubles as a takedown lever. It will lock open.

3. With the trigger guard pulled down, pull back on the slide as if to put the pistol in battery.

4. With the slide at the end of its rearward travel, simply pull up on the rear of the slide and lift it off the frame.

4. Run the slide forward and remove.

Total disassembly time is about 15 seconds.  

Having to removed the magazine first, along with the associated hardware has been patented by Karl Strouhal with the European patent number of BE896073 and a publication date of January 1, 1983.

  

Resource:     

Vz82 instruction manual 

The standard directory of proof marks by Gerhard Wirnsberger              

Official guide to gunmarks by Robert Balderson

Cartridges of the world by Frank C. Barnes

Ceska zbrojovka website located at: http://www.czub.cz/en/Default.aspx

Wikipedia website located at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CZ_82   

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