is Czech 7.62x25 safe for cz-52


September 5, 2008, 12:44 PM
strolling over at AIM surplus, I was going to pick up some x25 for my cz-52 The Romanian stuff I bought last round cycled nice burnt clean and was accurate, but I had to throw more than half of it away due to the brass being cracked. Prvi Partizan is fine, just crazy expensive compared to surplus, So I was wondering about the Czech ammo on the chargers. someone once told me it was loaded very hot for use in subguns like the PPsh. is this ammo safe to run in my pistol or no?

If you enjoyed reading about "is Czech 7.62x25 safe for cz-52" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
September 5, 2008, 01:02 PM
The roller-locked CZ52 was designed to fire ammunition much hotter than the Russian 7.62x25. It was designed to penetrate the cars of the 1950's, with enough force to still be lethal. I'd say that it should be fine.

September 5, 2008, 01:09 PM
I only ask because ive heard stories about people shooting the ammo meant for subguns and the slides blowing themselves apart

Jorg Nysgerrig
September 5, 2008, 01:11 PM
From what I recall, the ammo folks were mainly concerned about was Bulgarian. Here's an archive of the page about it:

September 5, 2008, 01:12 PM
Oh, I don't want to get in the middle of this, but before you go shooting subgun ammo in your CZ52, wait for a few more posts. Yes, locking on the CZ52 is strong, but the barrel can be the weak link here. Clark's posted a fair amount on blowing up CZ52s this way.:eek:

No, I'm not the expert, but I've been shooting CZ52s for years and have heeded the advice of people who're better engineers than I am. I still have all my fingers.:scrutiny:

September 5, 2008, 02:57 PM
Oh yeah.

The story of ONE guy who marketed his ONE story all over the 'net so much, it became "truth, cuz I saw it on the 'net".

A friend and I bought a few cases of that Bulgarian stuff and have not had one problem out of it.

A lot of folks have not had any problems out of it.

Oh, I don't want to get in the middle of this, but before you go shooting subgun ammo in your CZ52, wait for a few more posts. It's all subgun ammo.

September 5, 2008, 05:20 PM
Hmm, I shall wait then and get the expert's opinion. I'm still fairly unfamiliar with this weapon so I dont know

September 5, 2008, 05:45 PM
I've fired that stuff from AIM in my CZ52 with no problems, although I can't figure out what to do with the chargers. It's ugly compared to some of the other surplus (discolored / oxidized cases).

September 5, 2008, 05:48 PM
Nalioth I agree. I went through two tins (800 rounds a piece) of bulgarian w/o a single problem!

September 5, 2008, 06:02 PM
I doubt our ex enemies would have made ammo ON PURPOSE that would be safe in subguns but hazardous for the handguns. We do know, however, that some surplus batches were... shall we say... "out of spec.":scrutiny:

We also know that the CZ52 barrel isn't as strong as it should be (like a Tokarev) and that there were metallurgy problems in some reported cases. :what:

That's why I put in a word of caution. I've shot a pile of milsurp through my CZ52, too, and no explosions, but I do a net search when I buy "new" milsurp ammo just to make sure I am not getting a 'bad' batch.

Crazy Fingers
September 5, 2008, 06:12 PM
Does anyone know how the primers are on the Czech surplus? I had some other surplus stuff that had terribly hard primers. I had to cock the hammer and hit them two or three times to get them to go off. :(

September 5, 2008, 06:30 PM
I shot some Czech(40rd box on chargers from Aim) & Romainian over the chrony. I heard the Czech was so much hotter than other stuff and was only for sub guns so many timr I wanted to see for myself before I blew up my CZ52. All the Czech ammo went boom the 1st time as did the Romo. I did a little testing, below are the results. Form your own opionion. Mine:Czech hotter but not too hot.

Surplus Czech(Stuff I got from Aim in the 40rd box on strippers)
1. 1533
2. 1635
3. 1577
4. 1601
5. 1595

AV: 1588
ES: 102
SD: 37.32

Romainian Surplus(headstamp 22,77)
1. 1585
2. 1554
3. 1535
4. 1586
5. 1540

AV: 1560
ES: 50.72
SD: 24.28

September 5, 2008, 07:04 PM

Join Date: 08-16-08
Location: N. Georgia
Posts: 37

The roller-locked CZ52 was designed to fire ammunition much hotter than the Russian 7.62x25. It was designed to penetrate the cars of the 1950's, with enough force to still be lethal. I'd say that it should be fine.

I have been designing things and enduring design reviews and writing design evaluations for design reviews in other cities for ~30 years.

Who ever decided that the CZ52 drawings were ready for full scale production was making a serious error.

The CZ52 may have been designed for allot of things, but hot ammo is not one of them.

It has the thinnest and the poorest quality control steel of any pistol chamber I am aware.

What does it all mean?
Some of us are more careful how we use the word "designed".
A better verbs for the CZ52 would be "shlocked" or "kludged".

September 5, 2008, 07:22 PM
You're certainly entitled to your OPINION, sir. However, the Czech military designed the pistol around a high-velocity 7.62x25 round that was faster than the Soviet round, by over a hundred fps. That's an historical fact that won't go away. The pistol was in use for nearly a decade, and they were used with that ammunition. There was no recorded problem of chamber or barrel failures in the literature of the day, or in Czech Army records.

The Soviets never issued special ammunition for the sub-machineguns. They used the same ammo interchangeably between the Tokarov and the PPs series. I will have to assume that the Czech's did the same for their weapons.

Do you have an expert opinion on the unsupported chambers of the 40 S&W Glocks? There have been a substantial number of failures at that point.

September 5, 2008, 10:21 PM
Is the Tokarev more durable when it comes to hot loads? Will it eat anything you throw in it?

September 5, 2008, 11:27 PM
While there are repeated reports of CZs failing, I have NEVER heard any rumours of TTs blowing up. My belief is that Tokarevs are more durable than CZ52s.

September 5, 2008, 11:56 PM
My first self bought pistol was a CZ52, for $80. while I was waiting on the check to go through I mentioned that this was my first handgun, and as a welcome to the ranks of the armed, he tossed in two boxes of the SMG ammo on strippers. The only warning he gave me was that it was corrosive, so to make sure I cleaned it well after firing. I used all of that ammo and have fired it on and off when I've found it for sale. The only problem I've ever had w/ it was an old box I found that had numerous fail to fires in it. I say it's good to go. And Clark, I had a Captain in Bosnia who carried a CZ52 that had been run over by a Tank, and the only damage was that it cracked the grips.

PS don't dry fire it too much. It's never happened to me, but I've heard that the firing pins are prone to breakage, when not under a load. I use a 9mm SnapCap in mine.

September 6, 2008, 02:49 AM
Well I believe I got my answer that its all pretty safe, but i dont want to start a flame war on whether or not the cz52 is an engineering marvel, or dud. thanks again for the insight gentlemen (and ladies if applicable)

September 6, 2008, 01:12 PM
Could someone actually document the repeated failures of the CZ52. Not in anecdotal fashion, but in real-world scientific ways?

I've been around these weapons since they originally came into the country, having one that was recalled for the safety campaign. It has approx. 7k rounds of mixed ammo through it. Romanian, Bulgarian, Czech military, S&B, Winchester, Russian, and Chinese (both military and Norinco). I've experienced no failures, nor have I seen any signs of chamber or barrel problems. I know of at least a couple of dozen others with the same use, and no problems.

I have researched the Czech military records of the 1950's, and can find no reference to failures in the CZ52 due to metallurgy, or design.

While I'm not a firearms designer, and freely admit it, I find it a little hard to understand how a lack of failures in the past fifty plus years is indicative of poor design and metallurgy.

It IS possible, however, that a certain run of barrels were sub-standard, and that not all of them were weeded out. This happened with bolts in the early M14 rifles, but only from a single maker, and only a small number. That didn't, however, make ALL M14s unsafe.

September 6, 2008, 02:12 PM
It IS possible, however, that a certain run of barrels were sub-standard, and that not all of them were weeded out.Some aftermarket barrels and rollers (korean) have been too soft for safety.

September 6, 2008, 10:05 PM

When I destroyed two CZ52 pistols in 2000 with experimental handloaded
overloads, and then could not harm Tokarevs with much higher overloads,
I found the weak spot, the bottom of the CZ52 chamber was very thin,
[.058" CZ52, .125" Tokarev], because the underside had been milled out
to make room for the roller blocks. I began to question the premise that
the CZ52 is stronger commonly printed in books, magazines, ammo
manufacturers etc., though out the gun culture.

This is what I now believe probably happened to get this error into the
gun culture:

1) In 1970 the US army published an account of the CZ52 pistol.
Knowing that:
a) The Russians had a TT-33 pistol designed in 1933 that Russian Tokarev
ammo loaded to 31 k c.u.p.
b) The Checks had a CZ52 was designed in 1952 and that Czech 7.62x25mm
Tokarev ammo was 42 k c.u.p.
c) The CZ52 has a roller block locking system.

Fromthe U. S. Army Foreign Science and Technology Center's publication
titled"Small Arms Identification and Operation Guide - Eurasian
Communist Countries", (FSTC-CW-07-03-70), page 211, Table XI, Cartridge
Data and Color Codes, in reference to 7.62 x 25 mm pistol ball type P;

"Do not use Czechoslovak-made ammunition in TT-33 pistols."

2) In March 2000, I got a Letter [as did many others, and the letter was
handed out at the shot show] from Ted Curtis ballistician at Accurate
Arms. Ted Curtis, a very old ballistician already was bald and had jowls
in his 1966 photo in "Speer 7". All the typos are Ted's:

"7.62 X 25 Tokarev ..
Due to the large number of handguns imported into the U.S. chambered
for the 7-62 x 25 Tokarev Accurate Arms has developed the following load
data for those shooters who wish to reload the little powerhouse. In
determining the appropriate pressure limit for our load data we tested
various military ammo from China, Russia, Austria Bulgaria and the
Czech Republic. Commercial ammo produced by Sellier & Bellot was also
tested. Based on these tests we arrived at a maximum pressure for our
lad data of 42,000 C.U.P. Only the single lot of Russian ammo was
significantly below this pressure averaging 31,000 C.U.P. The consistent
pressures between all other type sand manufactures was a welcome
surprise . Indeed, the fact that CZech ammo, made for the CZ-52 pistol,
produced the same pressure as that of the other countries was perhaps
the biggest surprise of the whole project. This in spite of the "tribal
lore" regarding this particular handgun and the ammo loaded for it
claiming that shooting Czech ammo in any other firearm so chambered will
causes spontaneous disassembly. The pressure data produced by the ammo
tested certainly doesn't support this theory.

[Ted presented some loads with AA#2, AA#5, and AA#9 that were at 42 k
c.u.p. and very high velocity]

...We feel that the maximum loads shown here are suitable for the CZ-52 so
long as the firearm is in good condition. Other models of foreign
handguns of a lessor quality should probably be loaded in a more
cautious manner. "

3) What I believe happened was that:
a) 1970 the army was not aware or did not realize the implication if
China, Poland, and Bulgaria were also producing 42 k c.u.p. Tokarev ammo
and it was for their domestically produced Tokarevs. The army's
technical writer working on the paper either did not have a CZ52 sample
in 1970 or was unwilling to do destructive tests, unwilling or unable to
do a mechanical strength analysis, or was distracted by the roller
locking mechanism.
b) If Czech ammo for CZ52s is 42 k.c.u.p. and is the same as 42 k
c.u.p. ammo China, Austria, Bulgaria, and Poland make for their
Tokarevs, the ammo being used does not imply the CZ52 is stronger.
c) When Ted measured the communist block Tokarev ammo, he realized
there was an error in the 'tribal lore', but he did not realize that his
data implied that the rational [ used infer the CZ52 was stronger than
the Tokarev] was gone. He then published his loads for "the CZ52 only".

1) I blew up 2 CZ52 pistols that split the barrels
2) Ken Marsh pointed out that the crack propagation seemed to start from a thin spot in the chamber chamber where there was undercutting for space for the roller blocks.
3)I notified AA in 2000 that I was blowing CZ52 up with small percentage
overloads of their 2000 data.
4) When I notified Sierra [a very good company with a very good rifle
handload book] that their "CZ52 is stronger" line in their handgun load
book was wrong, I got a typical reaction, ~ "We are impressed with your
load data, but we were just printing what WE read."
5) When I notified GUNWORLD magazine that their line, "The CZ52 is
stronger" was in error, Jan Libourel wrote me that he was just ~"
printing what HE read".
6) When I posted on the internet that "The CZ52 is not stronger" I
got many negative reactions from CZ52 owners that missed the nuance
between [that CZ52 are not as strong as the Tokarev] and [that CZ52s
will blow up with factory ammo].

1) Jaque Clarke "Uncle Jaque", a CZ52 owner, makes a drawing of this thin spot.
2) I am unable to blow up any of my Tokarev pistols, with what blows up CZ52s and much more.
3) I bought a broom handle 1896 Mauser 30 Mauser to compare to CZ52 strength. It blows primers, but does not blow up at the loads that blow up CZ52s. I cannot go higher with these primers.

In 2004 AA took the CZ52 load data off their web site.

1) John Becrovitz and I buy 10 CZ52 barrels and tests them for hardness. Measurements between RC25 and RC35 were taken on intact 7.62x25mm barrels. A more modern 9mm CZ52 barrel tests at RC47. What does it all mean?
My 9mm CZ52 barrel steel might yield at 220ksi, while my 7.62x25mm Tokarev CZ52 barrel steel might yield at 120 ksi

2) Accurate Arms "revised" their hot loads for the CZ52 only. This example is for 110 gr SPR RN 1.3":
a) The hot load from 2000: 11.7 gr AA#9 41,800 c.u.p 1688 fps
b) The wimpy load from 2005 8.5 gr AA#9, 34270 psi, 1248 fps

September 7, 2008, 12:45 AM
A couple thousand through mine, including the suspect Bulgarian, no problems.

September 7, 2008, 02:24 AM
Should be OK but watch out for the Bulgarian stuff that was made specifically for submachine guns.

September 7, 2008, 08:52 AM
"Bulgarian stuff that was made specifically for submachine guns"

This SMG ammo you mentioned DOES NOT EXIST. There is no such thing as Tokarev SMG ammo.

September 7, 2008, 09:01 AM
What about the Czech ammo that comes on links for the belt-fed CZ52? Can you just delink it and shoot as normal?


September 7, 2008, 09:21 AM
"comes on links for the belt-fed CZ52"

Not sure if this is a joke, but if you mean the ammo that is loaded onto stripper-clips, yes, just take them off and load them into your pistol. It is ammo intended for both SMG and pistol use.

September 7, 2008, 11:49 AM
I read about the Bulgarian stuff elsewhere, funny headstamp and wrapped in an awful pink paper, and it would blow your 52 apart instantly. It came in odd numbered bundles and was strictly for sub guns.

I read this after a range trip where I put several hundred through my 52 with no incident. It was dirty, it is corrosive, but I still use it with no ill effect.

September 7, 2008, 12:01 PM
Truth be told, my polish tok prefers the bulgarian stuff! SUPER accurate and zero ftf's!

September 7, 2008, 02:31 PM
That's a wonderful chronological ordering of "experimental overloads". Is it important to the life-expectancy of the CZ52? ONLY if you use overloaded ammunition. While it's nice to know that the Tokarov will survive deliberate abuse, it's meaningless.

In March, 2000, a letter "debunking" the "myth" that Czech ammo was loaded hotter was submitted. How nice. Was the Czech ammunition tested from the original specifications, or export ammunition? We know that the CZ52 was replaced in military usage in the 1960s. Ammunition manufactured afterwards could quite possibly have been loaded to the Soviet standard.

In 1970, the Army did testing on the ammunition that it had obtained. It lists 42k c.u.p. as the discovered standard pressure. The Russian version was loaded lighter, for whatever reason. Again, so what? In 2000, had the Russians uploaded their ammo for the PPS guns, as the TT33 was obsolete?

Velocity isn't attained ONLY via pressure. However, the Russians, themselves, in the 1960s published a warning on the use of Czech Ball in 7.62x25 in their Tokarov pistols. Evidently, they felt it necessary, but the TT-33 was a substitute standard by then, having been replaced by the Makarov.

All I can find in this entire missive is that you will destroy a CZ52 barrel at OVERLOADED pressures below that which will rupture a TT-33 barrel. Why are we overloading the ammunition in the first place, and how does this concern the user who fires commercially available ammo, or even uses the latest re-loading manuals?

The Title is Czech 7.62x25 safe for CZ-52. I find nothing in the information presented that would question the safety of the CZ-52, or it's user, unless deliberately over-pressure ammunition was used. If that happens, it's the person who uses it's fault.

I will say, however, that the research presented is no doubt true, as far as it goes. It's been done in a scientific manner, and is arguably the best presentation that I've ever seen.

FYI, my ability to speak on Czech records for the CZ52 was provided by the military attache' at the Czech Embassy in D.C. in 1992. Through contacts in the government, I was allowed to interview him on this subject. He had researched it purposefully prior to the meeting.

September 7, 2008, 04:47 PM
I guess it works the same as the belt fed 1911!!

September 7, 2008, 08:40 PM
The CZ is a good pistol, not terribly strong as it is reputed to be, but accurate.

I have heard warnings to stay away from the stripper clip ammo as that was supposedly intended for SMGs and not pistols.

September 8, 2008, 12:54 PM
Is it important to the life-expectancy of the CZ52? ONLY if you use overloaded ammunition.

Why are we overloading the ammunition in the first place, and how does this concern the user who fires commercially available ammo, or even uses the latest re-loading manuals?

Hmmm. You do realize that proof testing is an industry accepted process, Right?

October 15, 2008, 10:26 PM
Owning the CZ-52 should not make one argue its' strength in the face of evidence. Hey, the Czechs didn't even trust their own pistol.

October 16, 2008, 07:54 AM
Actually, the Czech's used the pistol for at least a decade in primary service. It was then relegated to secondary service for at least another two decades. The Czech forces had to conform to the Soviet standard, one reason why the VZ58 rifle was first converted to 7.62x39, then replaced entirely.

The CZ52 was replaced by the CZ50, originally designed for the police. That was later upgraded to the CZ70. Handguns for Soviet Block forces weren't for offensive use.

October 16, 2008, 10:40 AM
one reason why the VZ58 rifle was first converted to 7.62x39, then replaced entirely. Wait, what?

The Vz58 has been in continuous service with the Czechs since it's introduction. It has never been replaced by the Czechs and can be seen today arming Czech soldiers on peacekeeping duty.

October 16, 2008, 10:45 AM
I think he may have been thinking of the vz.52 (rifle, not pistol), which started out in the Czech 7.62 intermediate round, then was converted to 7.62x39. (And then was replaced by the vz.58, though not for Warsaw Pact commonality, but because the 58 is a better assault rifle design than the 52.)

October 16, 2008, 01:46 PM
I apologize, I was thinking of the earlier rifle, but my fingers got ahead of my thinking.

If you enjoyed reading about "is Czech 7.62x25 safe for cz-52" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!