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Discussion Starter #1
I have heard that Cuba received a number of Czech vz. 52s in the 1960s. I was wondering if Castro's forces ever used them in combat, and if so in what actions, like maybe The bay of Pigs, or Grenada? Also, I have heard that Havana exported a number of them to some of Cuba's allies. If that's the case, who got them? Marxist governments? Guerilla groups? DId anyone here get any Cuban vz. 52s as bringbacks?
 

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Here are 2 Photos of Vz52's being used in Nicaragua....circa 1983

This is the same year I bought my first Vz52.....

My Second Vz52 was purchased from a soldier that "Claimed" it came from Grenada....
it was in fairly rough shape...and I quickly resold it.....
Vz52's were quite rare at that time....and I had no reason not to believe his story....
IIRC there were about 1,100 Vz52 caputered in Grenada by US Forces

Buddy



 

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Discussion Starter #3
Here are 2 Photos of Vz52's being used in Nicaragua....circa 1983

This is the same year I bought my first Vz52.....

My Second Vz52 was purchased from a soldier that "Claimed" it came from Grenada....
it was in fairly rough shape...and I quickly resold it.....
Vz52's were quite rare at that time....and I had no reason not to believe his story....
IIRC there were about 1,100 Vz52 caputered in Grenada by US Forces

Buddy




Thanks. DO you know if the Sandinistas shared any of those Vz52s with any of their friends, like maybe revolutionary groups?
 

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Have a friend of mine who just bought a Grenada bringback in 7.62x39.Have 3 VZ 52's in 7.62x45.1 in original wood and 2 Century black crinkels.Bought a s**t load of ammo years ago.Wish some of the big ammo companys would make a commericial 7.62x45 round.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I recall Littman once stating that Cuba exported many of their Vz52 rifles to Angola, Mozambique, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Peru. Does anyone here know anything about that?
 

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It was rumored that the crappy Vz52s Century was selling awhile ago came from the Middle East. They would have been captured/confiscated from the Palestinians in that case.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Have a friend of mine who just bought a Grenada bringback in 7.62x39.Have 3 VZ 52's in 7.62x45.1 in original wood and 2 Century black crinkels.Bought a s**t load of ammo years ago.Wish some of the big ammo companys would make a commericial 7.62x45 round.
Still, there are no doubt people who still make the 7.62x45mm round. Also, was the Grenada bringback a 52/57 or just a 52 with a inserted chamber?
 

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I have two, one is a G.I. Bring back from Granada in 7.62x45. The other is a Century that was converted with an insert to 7.62x39. The bore was a sewer pipe so I had it re-barreled with a new 7.62x39 barrel about 10 yrs. ago. The gunsmith that did it only charged me $50.00 to do the work, said that was the first one he'd done. The next one would be more expensive as the barrel was a pain to press out.
I've been reloading my own 7.62x45 by using 220 Swift brass. Have to turn down the shoulder & the rim of the brass, trim and expand it to .30 cal. Been using 7.62x39 dies to partially resize the brass then fire form it in the rifle. Loaded about 50 rds. and it shoots pretty good.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I have two, one is a G.I. Bring back from Granada in 7.62x45. The other is a Century that was converted with an insert to 7.62x39. The bore was a sewer pipe so I had it re-barreled with a new 7.62x39 barrel about 10 yrs. ago. The gunsmith that did it only charged me $50.00 to do the work, said that was the first one he'd done. The next one would be more expensive as the barrel was a pain to press out.
I've been reloading my own 7.62x45 by using 220 Swift brass. Have to turn down the shoulder & the rim of the brass, trim and expand it to .30 cal. Been using 7.62x39 dies to partially resize the brass then fire form it in the rifle. Loaded about 50 rds. and it shoots pretty good.
Overall, how good a rifle would you say that the vz. 52 is?
 

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I own and shoot virtually all of the semi-autos from 1938 forward. While it's difficult to compare them side by side as each has its own personality and foibles, I'd say that the VZ52 and the 52/57 are both excellent shooters. They are very accurate to, say, 150 yards and are very pleasent to shoot. They do eject to the left, however, which is something a lot of guys don't know initially. That's a surprise!

The 52/57 makes that 7.62 x 39 round really sing, too. It's a step above the SKS imho, and feels good in your hands and shoulder and the action is very pleasent to handle. It's a sleek looking rifle, too, reminding me of a shark, actually.

No one makes 7.62 x 45 ammo anymore. The last of what was available was imported several years ago and got bought up at about .10 a round while it lasted. Now that it's gone, and no more has been imported or discovered, that caliber is pretty much dead.
A couple of years back, we begged some of the ammo makers to put out 500,000 pieces of brass for this caliber based on a pre-sale deposits from collectors like myself. None of them were interested, however, probably because the numbers were just too low. I'd be willing to pay .35 -.50 a piece for brass, however, and I'd bet that others would too. So, there was money to be made but no one would even give us the time of day.


As the poster above has indicated, you can create more using 220 swift brass but I don't reload so I'm going to rely on my stash I've put up for quite a few years. I do, however, also own some original brass-cased 7.62 x 45 ammo. It's berdan primed but it is brass and would be reloadable. I also have some Buffalo Arms ammo I purchased that is boxer primed and was made from 220 swift cases. IT cost me $1 shot, however, but will ensure that I'll have ammo for my rifle for as long as I own it.

Anyone who collects semi-auto rifles should definately have one of each of these rifles in their collections. Because of the scarcity of ammo, the 52 is really and inexpensive rifle to buy today. The 52/57, however, has really climbed in price over the years as it's much rarer than the 52.

Rome
 

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Discussion Starter #11
No one makes 7.62 x 45 ammo anymore. The last of what was available was imported several years ago and got bought up at about .10 a round while it lasted. Now that it's gone, and no more has been imported or discovered, that caliber is pretty much dead.
A couple of years back, we begged some of the ammo makers to put out 500,000 pieces of brass for this caliber based on a pre-sale deposits from collectors like myself. None of them were interested, however, probably because the numbers were just too low. I'd be willing to pay .35 -.50 a piece for brass, however, and I'd bet that others would too. So, there was money to be made but no one would even give us the time of day.


As the poster above has indicated, you can create more using 220 swift brass but I don't reload so I'm going to rely on my stash I've put up for quite a few years. I do, however, also own some original brass-cased 7.62 x 45 ammo. It's berdan primed but it is brass and would be reloadable. I also have some Buffalo Arms ammo I purchased that is boxer primed and was made from 220 swift cases. IT cost me $1 shot, however, but will ensure that I'll have ammo for my rifle for as long as I own it.

Anyone who collects semi-auto rifles should definately have one of each of these rifles in their collections. Because of the scarcity of ammo, the 52 is really and inexpensive rifle to buy today. The 52/57, however, has really climbed in price over the years as it's much rarer than the 52.

Rome
So I guess people will just have to make their own 7.62 x 45mm. Pity no one will manufacture it. Bummer.
 

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Vz52 in Cuba

This is what I know.
These guns were introduced to the island in early 60s, they fought against insurgents against Castro hidden in the central mountains of the island, after that many of the guns were taken to small towns and schools for training purposes.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
This is what I know.
These guns were introduced to the island in early 60s, they fought against insurgents against Castro hidden in the central mountains of the island, after that many of the guns were taken to small towns and schools for training purposes.
I have heard that quite a few of those weapons were sent by Castro as military aid to some of his friends elsewhere in Latin America. Have you heard anything about that? Also, do any militia still use them?
 

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They are being captured in Iraq as we type. Definitely a second line weapon there.
 

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Reminder about X45 milsurp ammo...

It's some of the most corrosive ammo ever made, and it is one reason why it's so hard to find a VZ-52 with a decent barrel in it.

Flush it out ASAP and well after shooting any of this stuff.

I form my brass out of resized and turned down .35 Remington,

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although I hear that 6.5 Carcano works pretty well too.

I modified / cut down a .303 British sizing die to form brass in, as the steep shoulder angle approaches that of the X45mm pretty well.

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I really like that round, and wish that it had survived the Communist bloc decree to standardize on the X39. It's a little milder than a .308, but decidedly has more zip to it than the SKS.

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The trigger group is a direct knock off of the M-1 Garand, and is a whole lot better than any stock SKS that you are likely to come by.

Since the firing pin has a return spring, they are not so apt to slam fire using reloaded ammo and standard primers as is the SKS.

Like many Czech weapons, they are an innovative design, well made, and a very interesting contraption.
 

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Uncle Jacque, I agree whole-heartedly. I, too, love that 7.62 x 45 round and it certainly does well in the VZ52. All in all it's a really great rifle in either caliber; stout, compact, reliable, actually pretty handsome. When you shoot it long side an SKS, it wins hands down. I especially like to let others shoot the SKS against the VZ52/57. That always makes them a believer!

Rome
 
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