Century International Arms VZ2008 carbine is a US-legal variant of the Czech VZ 58 rifle
The Czechoslovakian design, dubbed the Vz.58 and adopted by that nation’s military in 1958, easily fulfilled the role of a true assault rifle, offering select-fire capability in a compact yet manageable package. However, it differed drastically from the Soviet AK in its design, its manufactured and—much to the dismay of Moscow—initially even it’s chambering.
In fact, the Vz. 58 as it was first developed was actually chambered for the German 7.92x33mm chambering of the StG44. However, after some decidedly intense pressure from the Soviet Union, the assault rifle was redesigned to chamber the standardized Soviet 7.62x39mm cartridge.
Operationally, the Vz. 58 is vey similar to a Kalashnikov, a quality no doubt appreciated by decision makers in Moscow who were likely agitated by the independent streak of the Czechoslovakian armsmakers.
As with the AK, simplicity is the key with the Vz. 58. To load the rifle, one rocks in the magazine from front rear until it engages the paddle-style magazine catch located at the rear of the magazine well. Once this is done, the user charges the action by retracting the reciprocating charging handle on the bolt carrier and releasing it to strip a round off the magazine.
The safety of the Vz. 58 deserves mention. As compared to the large and arguably clunky dustcover safety of the AK, the Vz. 58 sports a rotating lever thumb safety above the pistol grip. Other areas of note include the fact that the rifle features a last shot hold-open device actuated by an empty magazine. And the magazine itself is unique, being made from aluminum rather than steel (as with AK magazines).
Sights of the Vz. 58 would be familiar to anyone acquainted with a Kalashnikov, being made up of a sliding tangent rear assembly forward of the receiver. The front sight is a sturdy winged post assembly. Unlike latter day AKM-style Kalashnikov variants, the Vz. 58 has no means for conveniently attaching an optic.
The Vz. 58 was produced in two primary variants: a fixed stock standard model and a compact variant sporting a steel side-folding stock. The stock set material of the Vz. 58 is a unique wood-impregnated plastic material that was likely quite advanced in its day.
The Czech-inspired VZ2008 offers an extremely appealing alternative. Combining the added punch of the 7.62x39mm cartridge in a compact, handy and ultra-reliable package, the VZ2008 can easily fit the role of the ideal patrol carbine
CALIBER/GAUGE: 7.62 x 39mm
FINISH: Matte Black
FINISH TYPE: Black
STOCK: Wood Stock
STOCK/GRIPS: Wood Stock & Handguard
CAPACITY: 30 + 1
# OF MAGAZINES: 2
MAG DESCRIPTION: 30 rd.
SIGHTS: Open Rifle Sights
SIGHT TYPE: Adjustable Sights
THREAD PATTERN: 14x1mm LH
SPECIAL: Threaded Barrel Model
SAFETY FEATURES: Thumb Safety
ADDL INFO: Milled Receiver
ADDL INFO: Last Round Hold Open
ADDL INFO: Cleaning Kit, Oiler, Pouch