7.62x45 and VZ52

I got a VZ52 today, just to have it, not to shoot. The only 7.62x45 I know is military surplus. I also saw some recently manufactured 7.62x45 for sale online at a major premium. Who actually manufactures 7.62x45 presently? Also, any other guns using 7.62x45? And, lastly, why all VZ52 I see look like they went through multiple WWII conflicts, they are all banged up and look like hell? Were they in some kind of secondary war in the tropics?

The only conflict I am personally aware of where the VZ52 was used was in the invasion (liberation?) of Grenada, must have been used somewhere else also. The Cuban troops there were armed with them. I knew an Air Force Staff Sergeant who had been part of the operation. I think he said they were using the 7.63x39mm version though.

As an aside, it’s ironic that part of the importation of the 7.62x45mm ammo preceded that of the rifles. Thunderbird Cartridge Co. here in Phoenix got in a large amount of the ammo but there wasn’t anything to shoot it in. So, they pulled it down and made 7.62x39mm from it. Then the rifles showed up, wouldn’t you know!

I looked at my gun, it is made in 1956, so it must be 7.5x45 it is supposed to shoot, but importation info on the barrel says “CZ52 Czecho 7.62x45”. Was it re-chambered or Century Arms in Vermont screwed up?

As I said in my post, it was Castro’s Cuban troops who were supporting the bad guys in Grenada that were using the VZ52’s.

Wikipedia has this to say:

[i]After pressure from the Soviet Union to adopt its 7.62x39mm M43 cartridge, existing Czech rifles were rechambered to the Soviet caliber, and all further production of the rifle was chambered in this caliber and re-designated the vz. 52/57. The vz. 52/57 is identical except for its barrel and its magazines. It is considered less reliable and accurate than the original vz. 52 rifle, on the other hand the vz. 52/57 has chromium-plated bore and chamber. The vz. 52 magazines can be used with the vz. 52/57, but they do not feed reliably.

All of the vz. 52 series were quickly replaced in Czechoslovak service by the vz. 58, but the earlier rifles found their way to Soviet allies during the Cold War, and have seen service in Grenada, Somalia, Cuba and Afghanistan and many of those were passed on to guerrillas. The Czech Castle guard uses chrome-finished, deactivated vz. 52 rifles with darkened wood stocks as ceremonial weapons.[/i]

Both types were imported into the US.

The 7.5x45 was more or less an experimental round that predated the 7.62x45 if I’m not mistaken.


My experience has been the opposite. All of the Vz.52 rifles I have seen were in beautiful condition… nonetheless, an interesting rifle and history.

The new production ammunition you saw was probably reformed from 7.35 Carcano, 6.5 MS or .220 Swift brass. All three of these calibers have been used to make 7.62x39mm, so I think it is not unreasonable to assume that 7.62x45mm can be made from them as well. If you want some ammunition, I know of a gun shop nearby with a bunch of it. 1961 dated on 5 rd. stripper clips if I recall correctly… Price was fair as well.


I know that some of that ammo was found in Lebanon, so the Vz52 rifle and/or Vz52 LMG must have seen some use there.

Wake up EOD,

time for you to make more people jealous and post the image of that Syrian box … :))

This is how mine looks, and a few I saw at shows looked similar. I got a camera tripod at a garage sale, and this is also a tripod test, I like it.

Your rifle has “charachter” and could probably tell better stories than the “pretty” ones…


[quote=“Hans”]Wake up EOD,

time for you to make more people jealous and post the image of that Syrian box … :))[/quote]

I was busy in that new ammo museum for almost a week. I just returned.

Yes, at least Syria and Angola have been using the 7.62x45 as well.

How long was this calibre supported (i.e. when was the last year of military production?)

Vlad, intereting question!
The latest I have seen so far is “ZV 67”.

Anyone else?

I am resurrecting an old thread here. An auction on GunBroker ( http://www.gunbroker.com/item/588697227 ) is purporting that 7.62x45 rounds with the six stab primer crimps are proof rounds.The cartridge up for auction is identical to Vlad’s ZV 64 round shown above. Such an arrangement might make sense, but I have seen box lots of these with no indication that they were proof rounds. I don’t speak, nor do I read Czech, so I may have missed the proof makings. Can anyone confirm or refute that these are proof rounds? Can anyone chime in on Cold War Czechoslovakian practice of marking other proof rounds?


Those HPT loads I know of are “bxn I 53” and have a knurled “rim”.

Thanks EOD

Further snooping on GunBroker turns up a seller offering “7.62x45 Czech c/ber 64 proof 5-15 rd. boxes”: http://www.gunbroker.com/item/591048652

Another seller has 7.62x45 that he claims is dated 1979!: http://www.gunbroker.com/item/590580246 I can’t read the headstamps in the photos, so I sent him a PM for a confirmation.


The 1979 7.62x45 (Gunbroker #590580246) turns out to be a misread ZV 64, just like Vlad’s pictures in the earlier post. I am going to go with the theory that these six stab primer crimp rounds are not proof rounds. After thinking about it last night, I figured that it would not make much sense to produce a great many proof rounds late in the service life for a weapon that that was already basically obsolete.

If anyone on the forum has photos of 7.62x45 proof rounds or boxes for these rounds, I would like to see them.


I have never seen or heard of a box, or a different example, but I have the same knurled-rim Proof that Alex mentioned.

One last stab at this topic then I will let it fade back into obscurity.
Do the knurled rim HPT 7.62x45 have the six stab primer crimps?
Were the six stab primer crimps used after 1964?
Any guesses why the six stab primer crimp was adopted? (It seems like overkill)

I can’t tell the reason for the 6 stabs but saw this also on a Czechoslovak PE 7.62x25 (bxn 63).
Here I wonder if the 1963-4 time period is somehow related to this (tests going on?).

Where I know for sure about numerous crimps ond a primer is a Russian 9x18 Mak.case which has 2x4 crimps.
Reason: the primer pocket was too wide and the (mil hs) cases did not pass QA and were allowed on the commercial market to make LTL cartridges of.