I am in the market for a rifle and have narrowed it down to a few different ones. Either a VEPR or Arsenal.
However, I am intrigued by the VZ-58 from Czechpoint. How does it compare to the AK-47? Would either be better suited for a first time rifle owner? Aside from being unique, does the VZ-58 offer any benefits over a high end AK?
The main difference I can see is that the bolt holds open when the mag is empty. Price wise they are essentially the same as either the VEPR's or Arsenals.
Primarily use will be range fun.
Thanks for the help.
I'm an AK convert, but would much rather have a VZ58.
However they use specific mags and that makes it nearly impossible for me because of state restrictions.
In a free state I'd pick the VZ58 then get an AK later.
The VZ58 has some benefits:
- Lighter than even a stamped AKM despite the VZ having a milled receiver
- Magazines are aluminum and therefore also lighter. Supposedly AK mags can be modified to work but I don't know much about it
- Marginally more accurate due to the short stroke gas system and striker design
When buying a VZ58 there are some issues with reliability if the bolt carrier is not properly modified for semi-auto operation - I'm not an expert on the rifle so I can't advise you on this, other than to make you aware of it.
Here is a post on the forum detailing the issue: VZ58 tabbed carrier
I love AK's and they are all over the place.
I do own several AK's and I also own a VZ58.
The VZ58 is by far the superior weapon. There is a reason why the Czechs used it while everyone else used AK's, it's just that good.
The designs have nothing in common other than caliber.
You can easily google the differences.
On a subjective end user level...
The dramatic difference in weight is very noticeable.
It swings, stops swinging, and balances better.
It is more accurate.
It looks and feels higher quality.
It strips easier I think.
It runs cleaner.
The ergos are WAY better.
Last shot hold open, manual hold open.
Can top off with stripper clips (actually works).
All of that being true, if I had to pick just one, I would go with the AK. Why? In a word, magazines. That's really it right there.
You could get a VZ58 in 5.56 that uses AR mags.
However, while the VZ58 in 7.62x39 is much lighter than other 7.62x39 comparable rifles, I doubt that would be true of the 5.56.
Just based on the platforms alone, I say the VZ is better, being lighter, more compact, less recoil, more accurate.
That's based on my VZ-2008 vs a WASR & a Draco pistol.
AKs rule the roost on accessories & surplus mags. Want a drum? Buy an AK. Want over a dozen different options for grips, handguards/rails & stocks? AK.
The tabbed carrier thing is only for the Century built VZ-2008s, which were built from surplus kits & green mountain barrels by Century.
There's an intermittent trigger reset issue when the VZs were converted from FA to single shot. The genuine VZ-58s imported over here got a tabbed carrier as a fix, Century copied that for a while and got sued. So they modified the trigger so the tab wasn't needed. But some still occasionally wouldn't reset, which was the 'gremlin' you read about. Mine never did this but I had mine tabbed anyways for $60 by a great guy named Forced March, he's in the CZ forum.
Surplus VZ mags are still under $20 and available, and Fab Defense is making new polymer mags. No one has a 20 round mag at all and ban states have to make due with cut down 10 rounders that occasionally pop up on ebay. If your state has a problem with hi cap mags I'd pass on a VZ.
New VZ-58s aren't cheap, the only 'entry level' is the VZ-2008s that were selling new for $400 a few years ago that are now fetching $600-$700. Or about what an entry level AK fetches. But AK prices have bounced a lot over the past year, and will probably drop.
The only mods I've made to my VZ is a cone type flash hider, a heat shield in the hand guard, a rubber boot for the folding stock, tabbing the carrier & mounting a short pic rail on top of the beaver barf hand guards for a red dot. So less than $200 in mods, and IMHO that's all it needs (well, maybe a Ronin grip). I spent close to that adding a folding CNC/Bonesteel stock on my WASR and that's just the start of the money I've put in that.
Short answer, get both.