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.