CZ vs. Brno quality


December 11, 2004, 01:00 PM
Hi all, I placed an order with SOG yesterday for a Brno zom451 rifle. As I've mentioned previously, I've been interested in a rifle with a straight-pull bolt action for my collection, having watched the skiing biathlon shooting events with Anschutz rifles on TV in Switzerland.

The quality of the Brnos is supposedly top notch, but I wonder how it compares to the CZ-452 trainer I own. I'm sure some of you have ordered this Brno. What are your thoughts on it? Is the accuracy very good? My CZ-452 is a tack driver.

Also, is Brno arms an actual company? I read somewhere that CZ products were exported with the Brno name during the cold war.

There's very little info out there about this rifle. I'll post a report when I get it next week sometime.

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December 11, 2004, 01:55 PM
After a minute of searching, I came up with this explanation from Paco Kelly at

Ceskoslovenska-Zbrojovka is the whole name CZ stands for. The confusion with the name Brno comes from the name of the city the factory was first situated in. The company was the Austro-Hungarian Armament Co. in Bruno Czechoslovakia. After a series of names, in 1924 it was named Ceskoslovenska Zbrojovka A.S., which simply means Czechoslovakian Arms Factory Ltd. the rifles built by them from 1924 on till the 1980s had the name Brno in the markings, both military and civilian. It is just recently that the company went back to the CZ name and markings, dropping Brno.

So maybe the same company made both rifles?
I have a VZ-24 with Brno markings too.

December 12, 2004, 08:07 AM
As best I recall from looking into this a few years ago...

What we Americans call CZs, like the 75B and and 452, are made by CZ in Uhersk√Ĺ Brod - CZUB.

Going back almost 100 years, guns were made in Brno and then later on in UB. Under the Commies the production facilities were nationalized and the guns were marked Brno even though most were made in UB. After the fall of the Iron Curtain the companies were separated and now we're back to Brno and CZUB.

The last time I looked Brno still made a few models, but nothing compared to CZUB.


December 12, 2004, 08:15 AM
A better explanation. JT

"A ''corporate history'' of Ceska Zbrojovka-- the Czech armory.
by Kyrie Ellis

Kyrie posted this excellent history of the armory that manufactured the CZ weapons on the c-r-ffl board in September of 1998.
A bit of the history of Ceska Zbrojovka and CeskoslovenskaZbrojovka (and Ceska Zavody Motocyklove) for anyone interested :-)

Ceska Zbrojovka

The company we know as Ceska Zbrojovka was founded in 1919 in Pilsin, a the Jihoceska Zbrojovka (South Bohemian Arms Factory). It moved in 1921 to a new factory in Strakonice, and, in 1922, merged with the Hubertus Factory and changed its name to Ceska Zbrojovka (Bohemian Arms Factory). Its trademark is "CZ", where the "Z" is inside the loop of the "C" and the "C"is in a circle.

Ceska Zbrojovka was the sole supplier of handguns to the Czech military from 1926 to 1954 (and possibly beyond). Among the military pistols produced b Ceska Zbrojovka are the Vz-24, V-27, Vz-36/45, Vz-38, Vz-50 &Vz-70, and the Vz-52. (Note: "Vz" is the abbreviation for "Vzor", or "Model").

Ceska Zbrojovka was preparing to move to Uhersky Brod in1939 when Germany invaded Czechoslovakia and seized the factory. During WWII,Ceska Zbrojovka remained in Strakonice and continued to make pistols for theThird Reich. Germany used a number of Czech Vz-24's, Vz-27's (as the"Pistole Modell 27") and Vz-38's (as the model "P.39(t)"). Pistols made during the Occupation can be found marked "Bohmische Waffenfabrik A. G. Prag". CeskaZbrojovka also produced parts for the Walther P.38, and such parts will havethe code "fnh" and the Waffenamt "WaA 76". Ceska Zbrojovka was considered for production of the P.38 during WWII, but whether they actually produced any complete pistols is a matter of dispute. This subject is clouded by the post-war (1946) production of some P.38's by Ceska Zbrojovka using parts andsalvaged pistols.

In 1955 Ceska Zbrojovka finally moved to Uhersky Brod and the Strakonice factory was turned over to the Ceska Zavody Motocyklove Narodni Podnik to produce motorcycles.

Ceskoslovenska Zbrojovka

Ceskoslovenska Zbrojovka was founded in 1918 in the city ofBrno, acquired Mauser's tooling to produce Model 98 rifles, and began production of M98 Mauser rifles. Its trademark was the letter "Z", inside a rifled bore. This trademark originally belonged to the Praga Zbrojovka whose assets were purchased by Ceskoslovenska Zbrojovka in 1926. As Ceska Zbrojovka had the "lock" on Czech military pistol contracts, so Ceskoslovenska Zbrojovka was the sole supplier of long arms to the Czech military.

Probably the most well known rifle produced by Ceskoslovenska Zbrojovka is the Vz-24. WithGermany in general (and Mauser in particular) banned from producing military arms, Ceskoslovenska Zbrojovka moved into the void and became one ofthe major exporters of small arms following World War I and during the inter-War years. Ceskoslovenska Zbrojovka was also occupied during WWII, and produced rifles for the Third Reich under the manufacturer's code "dot". Oneoften ignored>fact is that the British BREN light machinegun is a Ceskoslovenska Zbrojovka design, and was produced by the Royal Arms factory in England under license from Ceskoslovenska Zbrojovka.

Folks frequently confuse the trademarks of these companies - a situation not helped by the fact the country code for Czechoslovakia isalso "CZ". The place-name "Brno" is also frequently misused as a company identifier. Possibly because few non-Czech speakers want to attempt to pronounce "Ceskoslovenska Zbrojovka". But be that as it may, the name "Brno" came into such common usage that it was utilized as a product name after the Communist take-over of Czechoslovakia. Speaking of which, with the Communist take-over in the late 1940's both Ceska Zbrojovka and Ceskoslovenska Zbrojovka ceased to exist, at least as we thinkof them as separate companies. Rather they became State owned manufacturing facilities ("Narodni Podnik", or "National Enterprise"). At this point it becomes unclear the degree to which commercial firearm markings indicate what factory was involved in the production of the firearm.

At some point the manufacturing facility in Brno was renamed to Zbrojovka Brno (Brno Arms). The manufacturing facility in Uhersky Brod became a member of the Zbrojovka Brno Narodni Podnik in 1965. At this point the firearms produced at Uhersky Brod were also marked (I won't say "used the trademark") "Brno". I think it's important to note here that while these were still physically different manufacturing facilities, both were a part of the same National Enterprise. That's an important distinction since what we, in a capitalistic society, think of as "companies" and "trade marks" either donot exist or have different meanings in a Socialist State.

With the deterioration and eventual dissolution of the Soviet Union, private enterprise again came to Czechoslovakia. The National Enterprise located at Uhersky Brod is once more "Ceska Zbrojovka", and appears to be well on the road to private ownership. It even has a new trademark; theoutline of a pistol in a circle.

Ceska Zbrojovka has an Internet site at, and an office here in the States. The last address I have for their US office is: CZ USA; Building B, Unit 119; 1401 Fairfax Trafficway; Kansas City, KS 66115 (tel) 800/955-4486 or 913/321-1811 (fax) 913/321-2251 E-mail:

As of 18 May, 1995, Zbrojovka Brno/Brno Arms was still in operation and producing fine shotguns, rifles, pistols, and airguns.Individual shareholders held 50.43% of its stock, with the remainder of itscapitalization provided by governmental entities. Reportedly, 40% of its production goes to 52 countries worldwide. To the best of my knowledge, Zbrojovka Brno does nothave either a US office or an Internet site. Zbrojovka Brno still uses theletter "Z" inside a rifled bore as its trademark."

December 12, 2004, 01:18 PM
To the best of my knowledge, Zbrojovka Brno does nothave either a US office or an Internet site. Zbrojovka Brno still uses theletter "Z" inside a rifled bore as its trademark."

They do have an internet sight, not great but it has the history and the current production rifles. If you see a CZ side by side with a BRNO they are both different, and the crest stampings are different. This is a BRNO crest:

The web site for BRNO is:

I think the confusion for Americans is that "BRNO" is used synomomously with both CZ and BRNO. And they were lumped together when Czechoslavia was communist.

Zbrojovka Brno has been in bankrupcy for a couple of years and I in no way understand the Czech legal proceedings, but good rumors are they are working out of it.

In my estimation from owning both BRNO and CZ rifles the BRNO's are higher quality than the CZ counterparts. It is a history item today but the ZK-47 rifles from BRNO were extremely high quality and one of the nicest production bolt action rifles ever produced.

This subject should have a research paper done up on it, as these two companies while currently seperate, have links in the past, and even hard core BRNO fans get vague on the details, especially during the communist years. I am not convinced that both didn't make parts for the same guns, such as barrels from one factory and recievers from another, but this would have been pre war and post 1950's. If you notice on the BRNO webpage there is no mention of this period. CZ's euro website is some help as I found a historical list of the weapons they produced:

And I see no reference to known BRNO models such as the G33/40's, VZ-24's, ZK-47, or the type 26 machine guns. You will notice in the 1939-45 timeframe CZ was making components for several machine guns. CZ was also founded in 1936 and BRNO was founded in 1918. BRNO during the 1920's was a major arms manufacturer, really replacing DWM and Lowe ( all German manufacturers really ) who were restricted by article 168 of The Versailles Treaty from weapons production.

I hope this helps a little, and I wish there was a single source that got the history and details of these two straight but I haven't found it yet, but if someone has access to this please post this.

December 12, 2004, 02:39 PM
Wow, great stuff. Thanks for all the info!

December 13, 2004, 01:57 PM
I've had one of these little rifles for a few years now. All-in-all, I like it very much. While the action was rather stiff as it came OTB, it has smoothed up nicely with use. Extremely accurate with its preferred ammo, I consider it to be one of the better values out there for the money. With standard velocity Aguila, CCI Green Tag, or Federal Gold Medal, it'll keep five inside of 5/8" from a solid benchrest at 100 yds using a 2.5-7X Weaver rimfire scope. If I could figure out how to adjust the trigger properly, or mounted a pricier scope on it, it might do a bit better. Still, not too shabby for an under $200 rimfire and middleaged eyes.

December 13, 2004, 03:49 PM where does the 22/98 Brno Mauser fit in with the others like the 24 etc etc ?

I know its a large ring, and its action is rather nice...I am guessing that it came along after 1922....but when did production stop?


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