The CZ-52 really isn’t a forgotten weapons yet, but it is a pretty interesting gun mechanically, and well worth taking a look at. About 200,000 of them were made in Czechoslovakia from 1952 to 1954, and they served as that country’s standard military sidearm for several decades (which the rest of the Warsaw Pact bloc used the TT33 Tokarev pistol). Czechoslovakia has a long and outstanding tradition of arms design and manufacture, and they kept it going through the Cold War, developing and issuing the vz52 and vz58 rifles and the vz59 light machine gun, as well as the 52 pistol.

The CZ-52 looks like a pretty ungainly weapon, but don’t let that prevent you from giving it a chance. The grip angle is not to many peoples’ liking, but I find it to be a pretty comfortable pistol to shoot. The bore axis is relatively high and causes more muzzle jump than one would like, but the wide grip does a good job of distributing recoil energy and preventing shooter fatigue. Its single-action trigger gives a good break, and it is one of few single-action designs to incorporate a decocker as well as a manual safety (a feature I neglected to mention in the video, whoops).

Mechanically, the CZ-52 is a recoil operated, roller locked design. This is the same concept as the MG-42 machine gun, and not the roller-delayed blowback of the HK-91 family of rifles and the HK P9 pistols. It is a reliable, durable, and overall very effective design for a service pistol. You can still find CZ-52 pistols available today in the $250-$275 range, and they are an excellent deal for that price.


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