Author Topic: Garand Thumb: The Czech's took an AK but made it better. The VZ. 58 (smol) Czech  (Read 911 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline RSR

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4184
Military Arms Channel argues AK>Vz58

Offline MeatAxe

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1105
Keeping your head down as low as possible on a rifle (with low sights with a low-slung butt stock) was probably a priority during World War I : static warfare over blasted-open flat terrain where riflemen often engaged in sniper duels from trenches and shell holes at long distances or had to dodge getting raked by emplaced, dialed in heavy machine gun fire in No Man’s Land.

Low slung butt stocks are fine on bolt action rifles where you have to pause between shots to manually cycle rounds, but in semi and full auto they cause pronounced muzzle flip and inaccurate automatic fire. As warfare evolved into mobile blitzkrieg warfare during WWII, soldiers had to maneuver and keep their heads up and on a swivel for closer range combat with full and semi auto fire. The Germans developed the StG 43 / 44 with taller sights and a straight line butt stock, along with a medium caliber rifle round with selective fire out of extended mags to press their technological and tactical advantages in combat.

First, I agree that stocks being inline w/ the bore are tremendous mechanical advantage with rapid semi-auto or f/a fire.  Muzzle devices like brakes, comps, and hybrid brakes & comps also can serve to accomplish the same.  Double or triple them up for max advantage...  Also remember the difference between full caliber/power cartridges and the intermediate and small caliber cartridges/caliber that now are general issue infantry weaponry...

Second, I don't think optics have to be cowitnessed with irons in this day and age given improved reliability of optics.  But there can be an advantage in cowitnessing depending on optic/reticle/magnification/etc.  If not cowitnessed, there is also a benefit to having irons and an additional benefit to having your optic on a QD mount.

Third, I think it's worth noting that the Vz58s' build quality and performance appears to indicate a nation that was looking to increase capability and therefor survivability of its soldiers, primarily based upon lessons learned in WW2.

Fourth, your comment's historical take is a pretty big oversimplification...
Like assaulting WW1 trenches, human wave attacks have also occurred in WW2 (look at pretty much all Russian advances pushing Germans out of Russia all the way back to Berlin), Korea, Vietnam, various African conflicts, and up into Afghanistan. 

Temporary and hasty firing positions remain a staple of the US infantry -- effectively a modern trench system whenever possible for cover, not concealment. 

Sniper and counter-sniper battles have occurred in every major conflict -- Juba Sniper of Baghdad for instance in Bush 2 Iraq War.  Sniping in Afghanistan regardless of inherent accuracy has been well document.  Modern fighting positions referenced on previous and their shooting only or primarily to oblique are also to help mitigate the efficacy of snipers...

Machine guns in WW1 like most since but also in bolt action rifle preceding were as much about beaten zones at distance as transversing sectors.  Look to the British's volley fire with Martini Henry and Mad Minute with Lee Enfields, both predating WW1.  WW2, it was the Germans' light and medium machine guns that were widely fielded throughout the war, not the Sturmgewehr, that defined the biggest advancement in German small arm combat and tactics.

While the US hasn't fought a peer or near-peer military since WW2, the US air, sea, artillery, comms, information, tech, etc, dominance in modern conflicts has allowed us to transition to largely a vehicle-borne infantry that has been engaging irregular enemies in 4th gen warfare where there's no clear front lines and no clear enemy and civilian, but such dominance and confusion is far from certain in possible future ones.  In such cases, hard-learned old and forgotten lessons of 3rd gen warfare -- what you're referencing as no longer applicable -- will have to be relearned...

Well, by and large, if you look at modern infantry rifles and sub guns, they’ve all evolved towards the straight line butt stock, heads up, optics ready configuration in a medium caliber selective fire weapon.

The StG44 set the standard when it hit the stage, including being optics ready. If you’ve ever had the opportunity to shoot a StG44 in full auto vs., say a Thompson SMG, which is basically a WWI weapon with its low (ridiculously optimistic) sights and low slung butt stock, the difference is night and day. While both weapons weigh about the same, the StG44, even though it’s cartridge is 3 times as powerful, is pretty easy on the recoil and easy to keep on target, while the Thompson is a hand full - takes a lot of effort to keep its .45ACP slugs on target and not flying off into the sky.



Offline RSR

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4184
Well, by and large, if you look at modern infantry rifles and sub guns, they’ve all evolved towards the straight line butt stock, heads up, optics ready configuration in a medium caliber selective fire weapon.

The StG44 set the standard when it hit the stage, including being optics ready. If you’ve ever had the opportunity to shoot a StG44 in full auto vs., say a Thompson SMG, which is basically a WWI weapon with its low (ridiculously optimistic) sights and low slung butt stock, the difference is night and day. While both weapons weigh about the same, the StG44, even though it’s cartridge is 3 times as powerful, is pretty easy on the recoil and easy to keep on target, while the Thompson is a hand full - takes a lot of effort to keep its .45ACP slugs on target and not flying off into the sky.

StG44 is locking-block action vs most Thompson SMGs being straight blowback.  So just like 9mm blowback ARs have more recoil than 5.56 ARs at same weight, it's a similar function to what you're describing here -- although 5.56 vs 9mm is more like 4x energy vs 3x you quote for T-SMG vs StG44... 
The Thompson SMG's rate of fire is also about 50% more than StG44's, which also plays a significant role in control-ability given equivalent muzzle devices.

I agree stock angle matters, but I think modern stocks being relatively standardized around M4 stock configuration are really a factor of three functions:
1) Evolution of modern weapon evolutions designed off of Stoner's original M16 platform and then the M4 -- desireable to keep same manual of arms, muscle memory, etc, to sell new weapon evolutions or designs
2) Ubiquity of AR Carbine stocks optimized for M4's sight alignment/height (common to use M4/.308 carbine, or Vltor A5 intermediate, buffer tubes even when weapon isn't an AR--have one on my M92 PAP w/ Arm Brace)
3) The introduction of modern tech like over the ear pro with radios, night vision goggles/attachments, and fractional seconds advantage for shooting sports like 3 gun where weapon is already configured for next to no recoil (lightweight bolt carriers, comp/brake muzzle device, etc) --and also the GWOT's urban/CQB tactics that this and similar shooting sports mimic, but are a unique reflection of this particular type of 4th Gen warfare against insurgents, not near peer army/frontline combat.

The point of my original comments were historical context and believing the Vz58 makes a lot of sense in such analysis (and shared some of what I see relevant in that) -- not that it's optimal and especially isn't modular to suit all needs of modern shooters.  Begrudgingly, I too own a number of ARs, currently even more than Vz58s.  I view them as knockabout and replaceable guns; whereas, I have greater respect and value of the Vz58 and other more "craftsman" or unique guns -- make no mistake, I don't abuse my guns and such feelings are also no reflection on my beliefs about inherent capabilities and effectiveness of each.

As always, YMMV. 

Offline briang2ad

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2793
RSR:  Thanks for linking the MAC video. If that's his argument, its a bit weak.  Mostly conjecture.  MAC has interesting videos, but I generally don't find them as analytically based as others.  His accuracy and reliability comments in this video are JUST conjecture.  I do think other folks saying that the VZ is more reliable are mostly theoretical like a P226 vs. an M9 - open vz. closed, yadayada. 

I do like the VZ a bit better for reasons of 'quality/workmanship' and nuance.  The mags lock up nicer, the bolt hold open is a GOOD feature, the tad lighter weight is nicer, and I do think it is a tad more accurate which helps at range. 

Yes I think there are AKs out there that are just as accurate - but in general not quite.

I honestly think the recoil is snappier and not as pleasant in the VZ.  (This becomes a real problem with some stocks).

Without the adapter, the VZ is IMPOSSIBLE to change mags left handed without gymnastics.

There are fewer guns out there by a mile, so accessories are fewer, but there are enough.  New more innovative light mounts are needed.

Just to beat the horse deader, the aquilles heal of the VZ is the sight height. The ONLY reason the rifle has a sloped stock system for BOTH the fixed and folding versions is the ridiculously low sights.  For me the fixed setup is brutal unless I hold it just right.  The snappy recoil along with the hump makes is painful.  The folder is LOW enough to be much better, but not ideal.  EVERY stock AK setup is easier to use irons with. 

I will likely SETTLE on the SIG minimalist stock and a rear RS Regulate mount.  (I find the CP rail to be unusable - I know that is generally not the case, but there it is).  In this way, with a prism optic, I can comfortably use the rifle, get a good cheek weld, and have a substantial stock that folds to the right - and detach the optic and use irons in an emergency.  I don't ever want to use a rifle than cannot fall back to the irons in a pinch.  I cringe to see rail setups that eliminate the use of irons.  It seems that people do this all the time to use inline stocks, but the sacrifice of irons use is a fail. 

I do NOT have to have cowitness, but note that it WOULD be a better situation - but you really cannot do this in the AK either without the front mount.  I think driving weight to the rear will be better in the long run, and again, a durable optic that detaches offers an optimum but not perfect solution. 

I think the two latest videos are lacking.  GT has a specialized gun and his comments are qualitative and MACs are just speculation for the viewer.

Overall, the VZ rifle as a system would have been better with higher sights, an ambi mag release, and an inline stock system. 

A SIMPLE fix to the stock system is EASILY achievable - make the 1913 adapter on the SW model ONE notch lower and make the M4 adapter sit lower by .1-.2 inches lower and you have the perfect solution.  I don't understand why this is not already the case, but that's the way it is. 
« Last Edit: November 26, 2021, 10:30:06 AM by briang2ad »