» Not an AK fan.

By on February 8, 2016

Hi guys,

It’s been awhile and I’m way over due to pissing some folks off, so let me get to it.

I am NOT an AK-47 fan.

There, I said it out loud, in print and on the web. Quote me if you like.

If you are an AK fan, then good on you. Personally I think they are junk guns, designed and made by the lowest common denominator, for the lowest common denominator, IE people with little to no training and requiring only basic maintenance, if that.

Folks will say, “Oh, you just don’t know how to run one.”

Wrong. I can run one as well as I can run an M4, which is pretty good. I have actually assembled both platforms from bending my own receivers to completion.

Both are technically simple designs, but the AK in particular requires much more labor intensive tooling to assemble while at the same time having sloppy tolerances. These tolerances allow it to function in various conditions, but affect other things like accuracy.

I am all about getting to know the weapon you are using. It’s paramount. Does that mean someone cannot make an AK do what they want? Not at all. Like anything else, you just have to shoot the shit out of it and get to KNOW the weapon.

But given the choice, I’d much rather have a choice of almost anything else.

At this point in my life and career, I have two preferences: the AR-15/M4 platform and the Vz/Cz-58 platform.

Since most of us know the AR/M4 platform, I’m going to focus on the Vz-58.

For a more in depth look at the history of the Vz-58, here is a link to Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vz._58

vz58v

Many people who’ve watched the great cable show Strike Back, might recognize this rifle, as the heroes Stonebridge and Scott used this weapon quite a bit throughout the life of the show.

strike-back-13

Externally it resembles the AK quite a bit, as you can see from the pic above, however that is as far as it goes. Internally and proportionally it is a completely different rifle.

The Vz’s are milled receiver weapons: all of them, no sheet metal here. They are also striker fired weapons as opposed to the AK’s hammer fired. The magazines, while also externally appearing to be AK mags are NOT interchangeable. They have a ridge running up the left side rear of the body that part of the follower runs thru. This part engages a mechanism in the receiver that hold the bolt open on the last round. The AK’s do not have this feature and cannot be retrofitted to do so .

At the same time the ejection “port” is basically the whole top half of the forward receiver. Very hard to get a jam there, as well as making it that much easier to clear one, if and when it does happen.

IMGA0025

Oddly enough, as the rifle has a forged receiver, it is around a pound lighter that a standard folding stock, sheet metal receiver AK. A plus in my book as well.

Both AK and Vz are 7.62x39mm guns standard. Both can also be had in 5.56x45mm. The Vz has an adapter available to allow it to use standard NATO M-16 magazines. Another plus if that’s the caliber you want.

Due to the fact that rifle has a forged receiver, the whole thing is much stiffer and therefore has less barrel “whip”, making it more accurate than a standard AK. This makes it easy to hit 6 inch steel plates at 50 and 100 meters with open iron sights. I know, I’ve done it.

I prefer the 7.62×39 gun as that is what it was designed to shoot and it give me an alternative to the 5.56 round. If I can’t find one caliber, I can usually find the other. I have plenty of other 5.56 guns.

Swapping out a side folding stock for a fixed stock is easy, the whole thing is only held in place by ONE very large flat head screw. Can’t do that to an AK without changing out the whole trunnion, which usually involves a complete disassemble of the lower receiver, drilling and a 20 ton press.

There are a probably not as many accessories for the Vz as there are for the AK, but there are still quite a few out there. I’m a minimalist, I don’t like hanging a whole lot of crap off my rifle. The idea is to keep it light weight, you do have to carry the thing after all, so all I need is a sling, a red dot and a light (in that order too). A flash hider is another thing I like as well.

So if you are looking for an alternative to the AK, give the Vz-58 a try. Everyone who’s shot mine, wants one.

Here’s a pic of mine. Standard issue sling, MAKO/FAB lower fore end and pistol grip, a PKM style flash hider and an NEA aluminum upper rail that allows me to co-witness the Primary Arms red dot with the iron sights. Not in this pic is Streamlight on the bottom rail.

VO Vz

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