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Done. Go see pretty pictures! :)

I bought the 2015 English language book Zbrojovka Brno - From Firearms to Tractors but was disappointed. It says very little about rifles.

The best English general reference is Mauser Military Rifles of the World, Fifth Edition, expecially John Wall's charts therein.
Thanks Bill, I have Balls book, fifth edition, and a few articles that I have gleaned from the internet, but am always suspicious of those.
Are the 1937, 38,39 dated rifles all "stock" inventory for misc export orders. I know that many of the 1937 dated rifles went to China, and some to Japan. I "think" I have a dated receiver rifle
that has a Romanian prefix, but I may be "misremembering" as Hillary said.
 

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Discussion Starter · #62 · (Edited)
The Romanians got some dated receiver rifles, I think I remember 1937, 1938, 1939, and 1940. Just whatever 'trash' that was left over. Speed was the name of the game for the second Romanian contract. All of the dated receiver rifles were intended for export - to countries that did not want to pay extra for a crest.

The dated receiver rifles I have that I can think of are 1937 VZ24 China, 1937 VZ24 Japan, and 1937 VZ12/16 El Salvador.

Updated 10/7/20: I have since learned that the year crests for Romania were not "left over" and thrown in the Romanian contract to use them up, but were used at the beginning of the contract before there was a Romanian crest available, then used later between the King Carol and King Michael crests, and after the last King Carol crests. The King crests were first Carol, then Michael, then Carol again.

Bill
 

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I haven't seen one posted in this thread, so here's my Czech Vz98, S/N 8550 made in 1923. The eagle on the bolt knob appears to be Polish?

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Agree, very nice find! Don't see too much written about these early Vz 98's, but from what I've read they are reportedly made from many leftover, or salvaged German Gew 98 components. I presume the receivers were new made by the Czechoslovakians and not scrubbed and remarked Gew 98 parts?
 

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Discussion Starter · #67 ·
The story I heard is that they bought a bunch of parts and tooling from Mauser. At first they assembled parts (VZ98), then later made their own parts to assemble. I don't know for sure about receivers.
 

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Hi, all... I am a California transplant (Indiana) and was lucky enough to purchase a Czeck VZ24. I'd liketo hone in on the history of it. The serial # is 9508 G4, both on the receiver and the stock. The bolt has a number of P R 22858. Thanks for any help you can provide.
 

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Discussion Starter · #69 · (Edited)
Welcome to Gunboards!

S/N 9508 G4 indicates a 1937 production rifle made for the Czechoslovak Army but sold unissued to Romania in the first contract. The PR 22858 bolt is from the Romanian second contract. Probably the majority of VZ24 rifles now available in the US came from Romania. Your receiver ring should have a Czech lion crest but some were scrubbed by Romania after WWII. Almost all of the later Romanian crests were scrubbed as the new communist government was not in favor of royal Romanian crests.

Your VZ24 is the same as those used by the Czechoslovak Army and taken from them by the German Army. Many of those taken received minor modifications in the hands of the Germans. Yours is as it was originally made.

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Welcome to Gunboards!

S/N 9508 G4 indicates a 1937 production rifle made for the Czechoslovak Army but sold unissued to Romania in the first contract. The PR 22858 bolt is from the Romanian second contract. Probably the majority of VZ24 rifles now available in the US came from Romania. Your receiver ring should have a Czech lion crest but some were scrubbed by Romania after WWII. Almost all of the later Romanian crests were scrubbed as the new communist government was not in favor of royal Romanian crests.

Your VZ24 is the same as those used by the Czechoslovak Army and taken from them by the German Army. Many of those taken received minor modifications in the hands of the Germans. Yours is as it was originally made.

View attachment 3768058
Thanks so much for such great info! Mine has only small remnants of the original crest. Most of it has been removed, but the parts of the lions tail and feet are slightly visible. One more question, what size round does it fire???
 

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Thanks so much for such great info! Mine has only small remnants of the original crest. Most of it has been removed, but the parts of the lions tail and feet are slightly visible. One more question, what size round does it fire???
Provided that it hasn't been sporterized or otherwise modified from it's original chambering, the standard Czech/Romanian/German used Vz-24's all fire 8mm Mauser, also referred to as 8x57mm.

There were several export contracts from Czechosolvakia to Central and South American countries that requested rifles in 7mm (7x57mm) Mauser, but none of them have the Rampant Lion crest. Guatemalan Vz-24's are an example of a Vz-24 chambered in 7mm, but they have a unique Guatemalan crest.

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Once again, thanks so very much. It seems to be in great shape. What would you estimate its worth?
Difficult to say without photos, but lion-crested examples are in high demand from what I've seen locally and online - partially scrubbed might be in the $350-$400 range if in otherwise good condition. Prices are all subjective, it's worth what someone is willing to pay for it. Gunbroker and other auction sites can give you a reasonable estimate of the "going rate" for a particular firearm. Bear in mind however, there are instances where a $500 rifle sells for $1500 or more, simply because 2 people got into a "bidding war" over it. Last year I saw a Sauer 38H pistol sell for $2500 - it had been reblued and was listed as such by the seller. In my opinion it was a $500 pistol at best. Others on this thread may give you different values, the numbers I've given are estimates based on what I'm seeing.

If you're able to post photos, please start a new thread on it so as not to "hijack" this one. If you need assistance, ask. :giggle:
 

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Speaking of serial numbers, is there documented range for the Guatemalan rifles? IIRC the contract was small with few remaining examples. They range from beaters like mine, to unissued factory new. I had one of the latter years ago, should have kept it. It was S/N 0068.
 

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Discussion Starter · #76 ·
Speaking of serial numbers, is there documented range for the Guatemalan rifles? IIRC the contract was small with few remaining examples. They range from beaters like mine, to unissued factory new. I had one of the latter years ago, should have kept it. It was S/N 0068.
Guatemalan s/n were 1 - 4000.

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By far the best thread of info on VZ-24 rifles I've ever found! I did have one observation/question and wanted to provide some speculation. Feel free to tell me I'm wrong.

The King crests were first Carol, then Michael, then Carol again.
I'm somewhat confused by this. King Carol II was in power at the start of all these contracts for rifles from CZ (1930 to 1940). Contract guns would have been marked "1939" early in the production contract until a Carol crest was ready to be applied... presumably that entire year and into early 1940 after some "1940" crests were used? King Carol would remain in power until September 1940, so presumably King Carol's crest would be used that entire time. I would assume that around around September/October/November a "1940" crest would be used until King Michaels Crest was in production going into 1941? At that point, why would King Carol's crest return to use? Michael remained in "power" until the coup in 1944 where he overthrew Ion Antonescu and King Carol would never return to Romania.

So just to guess a timeline...
  • 1939 - All "1939" crests? AR and BR
  • January 1940 to February 1940(?) - "1940" Crests(?) I've not seen any earlier 1940 crested guns.
  • February? 1940 to September 1940 - King Carol Crests CR through OR blocks? My King Carol Crested rifle is FR, see below.
  • September 1940? to October 1940? - "1940" Crests? OR through RR block observed
  • November 1940? to 1941 & end of contract - King Michel Crests from TR block forward. I have a scrubbed TR 18,000 series gun.
Does any of this sound correct or at least directionally close to the way things played out in these 2nd and 3rd contract runs?
 

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Discussion Starter · #79 ·
By far the best thread of info on VZ-24 rifles I've ever found! I did have one observation/question and wanted to provide some speculation. Feel free to tell me I'm wrong.



I'm somewhat confused by this. King Carol II was in power at the start of all these contracts for rifles from CZ (1930 to 1940). Contract guns would have been marked "1939" early in the production contract until a Carol crest was ready to be applied... presumably that entire year and into early 1940 after some "1940" crests were used? King Carol would remain in power until September 1940, so presumably King Carol's crest would be used that entire time. I would assume that around around September/October/November a "1940" crest would be used until King Michaels Crest was in production going into 1941? At that point, why would King Carol's crest return to use? Michael remained in "power" until the coup in 1944 where he overthrew Ion Antonescu and King Carol would never return to Romania.

So just to guess a timeline...
  • 1939 - All "1939" crests? AR and BR
  • January 1940 to February 1940(?) - "1940" Crests(?) I've not seen any earlier 1940 crested guns.
  • February? 1940 to September 1940 - King Carol Crests CR through OR blocks? My King Carol Crested rifle is FR, see below.
  • September 1940? to October 1940? - "1940" Crests? OR through RR block observed
  • November 1940? to 1941 & end of contract - King Michel Crests from TR block forward. I have a scrubbed TR 18,000 series gun.
Does any of this sound correct or at least directionally close to the way things played out in these 2nd and 3rd contract runs?
I posted the information about the crests going from Carol to Michael back to Carol as an addition to post 62 in this thread. That information came from a Gunboards member who can read the Czech language. The best VZ24 reference books are in Czech. He posted that information in another thread back in October.

I thought it was strange that Carol would come back again after Michael, but European politics can be crazy. Not having the books and not reading Czech, I just accepted the information which he posted on Gunboards. At this point consider that information to be unconfirmed. Related to that, I had thought that the year crest receivers were just thrown into the Romanian production to use them up or to fill a temporary lack of new receivers. The same Czech reading poster (I forgot his username) said that the year crests were intentionally used at the beginning of production and in between the changes between Carol and Michael (maybe because there was some question as to who was actually king?). Hopefully that member will surface again to give a better explanation of what he said that was in the Czech language books.

I have VZ24 rifles with a Carol crest at FR6661 and a Michael crest at TR13263. Perhaps someone would like to start a Romanian VZ24 serial number/crest thread to help determine which crests were used when.
 

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Perhaps someone would like to start a Romanian VZ24 serial number/crest thread to help determine which crests were used when.
EDIT: SEE SURVEY POST: Romanian VZ 24 Crest / Serial Number Survey Thread

This got me thinking. I did a bit of digging today and tried to find some examples of Romanian contract VZ-24 rifles online with photos of the serial number and crest to try and gather a list of variation in production. I'll make a post with more detail to follow up with this, and try to find a few more photos online.

Right now I've laid eyes on rifles with the following trend (I'll edit this post as I learn more):
  • AR2222 through BR6203 are all marked with a "1939" on the receiver
  • CR15844 through GR24464 are marked with a King Carol crest
  • OR 5138 through RR 4724 are all marked with a "1940" on the receiver
  • TR11755 through end of production is (presumably) King Michael
  • The highest serial number I've seen is YR 9191 and it was scrubbed of its crest
If anyone can link to photos of any rifles that further define these ranges, that would be awesome. I'll make a post in due time with a chart containing more info.

I have seen this chart online (https://web.archive.org/web/20111123012720/http://www.rml1708.com/MyCzechWebpage/rumdata.htm), but I'm skeptical of some of the info. I'd like to see actual examples that contradict what I assume should like up with historical context... that being that King Carol ruled until September of 1940 when King Michael took power by default after Ion Antonescue seized control from the Government and remained in "power" as King until a successful coup that he lead in 1944. It should be noted that the Carol remained neutral until late in his tenure as king, siding with the Nazis. Ion Antonescue was a fervent Nazi sympathizer. King Michael would join the side of the Allies in 1944 after his successful coup and would remain in Romania until 1947 after he was ousted by the Communists backed by the Soviet Union.
 
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