CZ52, 7.62 Tokarev/'Czech load' opinions?


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Col. Plink
July 16, 2009, 05:19 PM
Hey y'all!

Doing some research on milsurps and reliable autoloaders in general, and have found something interesting in a make that seems to get raves around here, namely CZ. Long story short, the new CZ's are priced supposedly in accordance with CZ's good reputation. Having discovered the CZ52, I'm excited about the potential for finding a rock-solid autoloader, with a price in line with the numbers in which it was produced, and chambered in a really zippy load.

My questions are whether these pistols (with respect to good condition) are as good as CZ is considered to be, are there downsides of the CZ52 I might not know about, and are the 7.62 Tokarev and 'Czech loads' of that caliber as good as advertised? Any info y'all might have would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

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phoenix79
July 16, 2009, 05:45 PM
The CZ-52 pistol has very little to do with the modern day company CZ-UB. That being said, it is a great gun to shoot and loads of fun. The 7.62tok round is not well suited for self defense (too high velocity = over penetration), but it is great at the range for making objects disappear. If you're ever shooting indoors or just after sunset you'll see what is likely one of the largest fireballs out of a full-size non-magnum handgun around. Also, don't let anyone tell you that there is "super-duper-hotter-than-the-sun-loaded subgun ammo," this is an internet myth, just make sure your ammo looks ok if you buy milsurp and watch for cracked necks.

The pistols are generally well built and hold up well with regular maintenance but have a roller locking system that is a bit funky. DO NOT TRUST THE DECOCKER. They have a tendency to fire the gun... Also, if you're paranoid, have an extra firing pin laying around for it. Supposedly they break if you look at them wrong. I have 2 CZ52's and used to have another and have shot about 3k rounds through them all and never had a problem.

Col. Plink
July 16, 2009, 06:19 PM
Thanks, Phx, that's the kind of info I needed. Do you have experience with the milsurp ammo (esp. the corrosive stuff)? Are there in fact loads from Czech that are hotter than others? How's general availability? HD loads in Tokarev? Thanks!

jonnyc
July 16, 2009, 08:40 PM
There was just a thread on this very subject. Use the SEARCH function here and you will find it and other similar threads.

amd6547
July 16, 2009, 09:57 PM
Not everybody loves the CZ52...Me for example. I much prefer the Tokarev.
I also don't agree that the 7.62x25 is unsuitable for SD. With proper JHP ammo, it would be fine, plus a spare mag of FMJ would be great for defeating cover of ventilating vehicles.

Bigdtc
July 16, 2009, 11:25 PM
I love my CZ52. It is a well built, good quality gun. I do find it suitable for SD for the reason stated above. I use Wolf hp's in the gun with 2 spare mags full of fmj's. No hiding from that.
The only downside(that is very easily fixed with resonably priced aftermarket parts) is the brittle stock firing pin and the de-cocker safety. The firing pin can be replaced in about 20 minutes with a hardened steel pin from BCA Industies. This pin also fixes the stock de-cocker problem that really has more to do with the notch on the firing pin that activates the safety to prevent the firing pin from moving forward. The stock firing pin can wear around the notch, making it not "lock-in" and possibly contacting the firing pin when using the de-cocker. Fix these 2 things with the aftermarket firing pin and you Cz52 is good to go. I do test my de-cocker at the range EVERY TIME I go and use the CZ. After 600 or so rounds it has worked perfectly. I carry "condition 1" when I carry and follow safety rules, no problems.
The Czech ammo Is certainly hotter then the Romanian and Wolf ammo. It is noticeably hotter when shot. Bigger fireball, noise, recoil, etc. It is fairly accurate too.
On the downside, It is older ammo and will give a ftf about evry 10 rounds. The Romanian ammo is easy to shoot and pretty accurate and clean, for surplus.

Keeterbird
July 17, 2009, 06:06 AM
Glad you like the 52. I have been a lover of the gun for a while. I can run to the range and put down 2 or three boxes (72 rounds per box) and only have spent $15-20. That beats 50 rnds of 9. It is a hoot. I have three each still has the original firing pin and the safety works for each (I also test mine with the last round I am going to fire.

The corrosive ammo must be cleaned with a water based. If you are lucky you can find some "milky" old military cleaner, if not use windex and dry and oil. I have recently found "gunzilla" the company claims that it neutralizes the corrosive salts, but I still am not sure so I stick with the milky until I run out.

I have put 4 cans of 1225 rnds through my three.

As others have said, they are only a range gun.

good shooting.

Ash
July 17, 2009, 08:02 AM
Avoid Czech surplus ammo because it has very unreliable ignition. Ditto for old Yugo stuff. Click bang. Click Click bang. Click click click. Bang.

The CZ-52 was designed and produced by CZ Strakonice and, while this is not technically the CZ Uhersky Brod factory, both companies were the same government entity, so one could easily argue that they were the same. It would be akin to one GM plant producing the Bel Air while another one producing the Impala two decades later. You might say that the 1977 Impala is produced by a different company than the 1957 Bel Air, but in reality they were the same. CZ-UB produced the VZ-52 rifle while Strakonice was producing pistols.

You can trust the decocker once you establish it is working properly doing the pencil test. Personally, I just don't go that route - I have experienced a bad decocker - but my 52 has a properly functioning one. The firing pin issue led me to buy an extra one, but that was twelve years ago and but I have not broken my first firing pin. Just don't dry fire it. Personally, I do like the lock up on the 52, something that has been duplicated in several very high end pistols. I don't consider it necessarily any stronger than other locking methods, but it does keep the barrel constantly aligned. There is no tipping of the barrel and so it has the potential for being more accurate. Mine is not my most accurate pistol and so that rests within the realm of theory and not practice.

In any case, it was an advanced design, incorporating a firing pin block, novel locking method, tool-free field stripping of all major components, and an overall sleek design. It is clearly an evolved CZ-50. Why the Czechs did not produce an export version, given their propensity to export arms, I cannot say. In any case, it was an effective side arm that could have easily been updated to correct some serious deficiencies in materials.

I personally like it better than the Toke if only because it was far more innovative and modern (not to bash the Tokes, but they represented no attempt to advance firearm design). Yet, Tokarevs are durable and reliable pistols (even if most that enter the country cannot be in original military condition).

I have 7.62x25 hollow points and they work well, by the way.

amd6547
July 17, 2009, 10:22 AM
My CZ52 was very inaccurate, regardless of the ammo used...S&B, surplus, didn't matter, it couldn't stay on a paper plate at 25yds. My Tokarev, on the other hand, will shoot a tight group well centered at the same range with Romanian surplus.
Was the CZ "innovative"? Yes.
But, the Browning design was not only innovative, it was sucessful. The Tokarev fought through several wars with flying colors, and is still being used today...I just saw a picture in the newspaper of one being used in China by a riot policeman. In Pakistan, the Tok is held in the same regard as the 1911 is here.
The Tok is more compact and thinner than the CZ52, it is, in reality, a stronger design than the CZ52.
As far as the firing pin, my CZ52 broke it's pin with exactly one dry fire (unintentional, happened while cleaning and lubing).

Ash
July 17, 2009, 11:04 AM
The CZ design is also used. Roller locking is quite successful.

I have owned both Tokes and the 52. My 52 was every bit as accurate as either my Chinese or Yugoslavian Tokes. I like the tipping barrel design, which is exactly what is in my CZ-75's, Witnesses, SIGs, etc, all of which are better pistols than any Toke, regardless of how well regarded they are. I especially don't like the Toke's complete lack of a safety beyond half-cock notch. They cannot be safely carried hammer down on a loaded chamber and they cannot be safely carried cocked - a major design flaw that the Soviets corrected with the introduction of the Makarov or that the Chinese and Yugoslavs corrected in their evolutions of the Toke.

jonnyc
July 17, 2009, 02:28 PM
Ash, I believe the Chinese and Yugoslavians always issued their Tokarevs sans safety. They were only added to allow importation into the US. The safeties were not a correction, only a commercial necessity.

amd6547
July 17, 2009, 04:13 PM
I am not nearly as concerned about a safety as I am with having a pistol that is utterly reliable, and hits what I aim at.
The Czechs themselves dumped the CZ52 as soon as practical, and gave up the "innovative" roller lock for...a tilting barrel.
The CZ52 is an interesting pistol, flawed in both execution and design. The Tokarev is a practical combat pistol, tough as nails, reliable and with decades of sucessful use in the worst warfare the world has known.
My first Tokarev was a Vietnam bringback. Pitted, mismatched, lacking most of it's finish. Dark bore from decades of corrosive ammo...It was 100% reliable, and still much more accurate than the like new CZ52 I owned.

Col. Plink
July 17, 2009, 05:32 PM
OK, I'm confused.

I thought the CZ52 was a a Czech pistol chambered in 7.62x25, a round called the "Tokarev"(?). Now I see a different pistol altogether called a "Tokarev".

What round does the CZ52 shoot? Is this called a Tokarev round?

What is the "Tokarev" pistol? What does it shoot? Who made it? Why am I confused as to the origin, make, and round of these two(?) pistols?

Thanks!

jonnyc
July 17, 2009, 05:52 PM
OK, the Soviets developed a pistol called the Tokarev TT-30 then TT-33. It was chambered for the 7.62x25 Tokarev cartridge, their version of the 7.63 Mauser round. Through the 1930s and 40s they also developed a number of SMGs that used the same cartridge. During and after WWII, all the European countries occupied by Soviet forces adopted the Tokarev cartridge for their pistols and SMGs, including the Czechs and their CZ52 pistol. Hope this helps.

krs
July 17, 2009, 06:32 PM
"CZ-52 pistol (known in Czechoslovak service as 7,62mm Pistol vzor 52, or Vz.52 in short) was born from Czechoslovak army trials for a new military pistol, conducted between 1947 and 1951. Early trials requested pistol to be made in 9x19mm Luger / Parabellum. The basic design of the CZ-52 is attributed to Jan Kratochvil, who worked at CZ-Strakonice arms factory. This was a double-action, locked-breech pistol with an unusual roller-locking system, borrowed from the German MG-42 machine gun. Under pressure from the USSR Czechoslovakia standardized the 7.65x25 round of Soviet origin as its pistol and sub-machine gun ammunition, and the new pistol was redesigned for the “new” cartridge by Jiří Čermák, who worked at CZ-Uhersky Brod (CZ-UB) arms factory. During the redesign this pistol also lost its double-action capability (but retained decocking feature of its safety).
Introduced into Czechoslovak army service in 1952, this pistol was declared obsolete in 1982 with adoption of the 9mm vz.82 pistol, and most retired pistols were sold as surplus after 1987. The Vz.52 was not a popular weapon among its users, but mostly because of over-powered standard issue ammunition intended for sub-machine guns and loaded to higher pressures. With the standard, “pistol grade” 7.62x25 or 9mm ammunition it more manageable and may show good accuracy and an adequate life cycle."

"The Tokarev TT ("Tula, Tokarev") pistol was developed as a result of continuous trials, held by the Red Army in the mid- and late 1920s. Red Army looked for a new, modern semiautomatic pistol to replace obsolete Nagant M1895 revolvers and a variety of foreign semi-automatic pistols. One of the most popular foreign handguns, purchased in numbers during 1920s, was the famous Mauser C96, and the Red Army really liked its powerful 7.63mm cartridge, which, in slightly modified form ,selected for its future pistol of domestic design. Red Army tested several pistols of various designers, and in 1930 eventually selected the design of the famous Russian arms designer, Fedor Tokarev. During 1930 - 1932 Red Army procured several thousands of new pistol, and after initial field testing requested several improvements, which resulted in the adoption of the model 1933 Tokarev pistol early in 1934. This pistol was manufactured in increased numbers prior to the Great Patriotic War. Before July 22, 1941, about 600 000 TT-33 pistols were delivered to Red Army. During war pistols were made in increasing numbers. In 1946 the TT was slightly modified to cut production costs, and its manufacture in USSR finally ceased circa 1952, with the adoption of the more modern 9mm Makarov PM pistol. However, TT served with the Soviet Army well until 1960s, and with the Soviet Militia (Police) - until 1970s. During late 1940s and 1950s USSR also supplied some of its new allies from Warsaw pact with licenses to manufacture TT, and it was produced in China, Hungary, North Korea, Poland, Romania and Yugoslavia, in more or less original forms. Most military TT pistols of non-Soviet manufacture were also in 7.62mm, with some commercial export versions available in 9x19mm Luger, and fitted with some sorts of manual safety.

For its time Tokarev TT was a formidable weapon, with good penetration and effective range. It was of good reliability and easy to maintain. What it lacked most was the manual safety, and its grip shape was not too comfortable.

The Tokarev TT is a short recoil operated, locked breech pistol. It uses Browning swinging link system, borrowed from the Colt M1911 pistol, modified to simplify production. The single action trigger had no safeties, other than disconnector to prevent out-of-battery fire, and a half-cock notch on the hammer. The only safe way to carry TT was to always have an empty chamber. The hammer unit was made as a single unit, easily detachable for cleaning and maintenance. Some years later Swiss designer Charles Petter developed similar system for the French Mle. 1935 pistol. Steel magazine held 8 cartridges. Fixed sights were factory zeroed for 25 meters. Grip panels were usually made of plastic or wood (wartime production)."

BigJakeJ1s
July 17, 2009, 10:49 PM
My CZ-52's a great shooter, accurate, and the de-cocker works safely. Best $125 I ever spent on a gun. The cartridge is not the best for self defense, but it is a hoot and a half to shoot.

I'll admit I like unusual or unique firearms actions (and ground-breaking, initial versions of more popular ones), so the 52 is a lot more interesting to me than the TT-33 (an unremarkable translation of the 1911). It is interesting that both were ultimately replaced by excellent pistols, both firing the 9x18 round, with much more similarity in design than the CZ-52 and TT-33.

Andy

NC-Mike
July 18, 2009, 10:55 PM
I am not nearly as concerned about a safety as I am with having a pistol that is utterly reliable, and hits what I aim at.
The Czechs themselves dumped the CZ52 as soon as practical, and gave up the "innovative" roller lock for...a tilting barrel.
The CZ52 is an interesting pistol, flawed in both execution and design. The Tokarev is a practical combat pistol, tough as nails, reliable and with decades of sucessful use in the worst warfare the world has known.
My first Tokarev was a Vietnam bringback. Pitted, mismatched, lacking most of it's finish. Dark bore from decades of corrosive ammo...It was 100% reliable, and still much more accurate than the like new CZ52 I owned.


Plus 100!

If you want to shoot cheap 7.62 x 25 and have a blast doing it, get a TT.

The CZ-52 is a crude, beastly device that is more a curiosity than a viable, practical firearm. The TT has been to Hell and back and got the T-shirt to prove it.

I owned two CZ-52's. Key word is "owned" and I don't normally sell guns... When I die, someone will get the Tokarev I now own and love.


http://www.jgsales.com/product_info.php/p/romanian-ttc-tokarev-pistol-very-good-condition/products_id/1573?SID


Southern Ohio Gun has spare TT mags for 7.95. The last 5 I bought were beautiful. :)

BigJakeJ1s
July 19, 2009, 12:01 AM
The CZ-52 was replaced by the CZ-82, which is a fixed barrel, blow-back 9x18, some 30 years later. The TT-33 was dumped by Russia after 19 years, likewise, for the fixed barrel, blow-back 9x18 Makarov.

Truth be known, the CZ-52 was too expensive to manufacture for its intended use, the same fact that did in the Russian T-33.

Andy

amd6547
July 19, 2009, 01:08 AM
The Tokarev is still in active combat and police use today...Where does the CZ52 serve today?
And, though the Makarov was adapted in the '50's, the Tok served into the '60's and '70's in Russia.
http://world.guns.ru/handguns/hg20-e.htm

Elvishead
July 19, 2009, 07:07 AM
$150 (CZ52), what else can you say.

Of course, they are now gone at that price. To bad for you!:neener:

And if you were smart, you could have got a custom "chromed" one for $199.:D.

phoenix79
July 19, 2009, 12:40 PM
$150 (CZ52), what else can you say.
Of course, they are now gone at that price. To bad for you!
And if you were smart, you could have got a custom "chromed" one for $199..

Unless you have a C&R, you can still get them pretty cheap that way.

:loves his chromed CZ52: :D

paradox998
July 19, 2009, 12:55 PM
I have a couple of cz52's. Lots of fun to shoot and fairly easy to strip in order to clean the barrel of corrosive salts. I have had good luck with Romanian surplus - cheap and always goes bang. Parts are also readily available for cz52's. They are not too bad to take completely apart and fix if a new part is needed.

Ash
July 19, 2009, 10:54 PM
The 52 was issued by only one nation - which is where it was served. It was considerably more refined than the crude, safety-less Toke. I have owned two Tokes and still own a 52.

I have heard many internet rumors about subgun ammo, but that is really just a rumor. The Czech ammo I had, which of course was what fed the 52, was no more powerful than any other 7.62x25. It's problem was souring due to age. Ditto for my case of Yugo stuff. The Bulgarian, Polish, and Romanian stuff has been good.

Ash

BigJakeJ1s
July 19, 2009, 11:14 PM
The Tokarev is still in active combat and police use today...

Where? In what caliber? w/ or w/o safety?

Andy

sokygunner
July 20, 2009, 12:22 AM
One of my best friends had a wild hair a couple of years ago and bought a few of the CZ52's he found on shotgun news somewhere...He got really interested in them and started doing a lot of research on them, consequently I ended up learning a lot about them from him. A good one is a good one, if that makes any sense. If it isn't a piece of junk then you won't have any problems out of it...although some do have a tendency with some age to break a firing pin, which isn't hard to fix. As for as the 7.62x25 round...well...holy crap that thing knocks the crap out of things!!! A good box of wolf gold or SandB ammo will shoot clean through a car with no problems and it sounds like a rifle going off. It reminds me a lot of a .357 sig, but better. The guns are a lot of fun and are pretty darn reliable and accurate from what I've seen. Definitely wakes up the neighbors on the next ridge top when you let go with a few rounds!

Mastiff
July 20, 2009, 02:08 AM
I've owned at least two Toks continuously since 1992. I had over 55,000 rounds through one of them without even a hiccup. That pistol was the most accurate handgun I've ever owned, dead on reliable. Right now I have 5 Toks (1 Chinese, a Romanian, a Polish, and 2 Yugo's).
I have bought extra 9mm barrels with links for $35 each. The 9mm barrel and a 9mm barrel bushing were all I needed to fire the 9mm Luger in these pistols. I have converted some of those $35 barrels to chamber 9x23 Winchester, which gives me .357 Magnum ballistics in an auto-loader. The 9x23 Winchester is easy to shoot, with less recoil, less muzzle blast, faster reloads, and holds more rounds than the 357 revolvers. I don't consider it even a contest. To me, the Tok is the hands down winner. The CZ-52 can't handle the power of the 9x23 Winchester, the barrel is too thin where it was cut away for the roller.
Incidentally, the Yugo Toks being imported mow have a manual safety that functions the same as that of the 1911, and it holds 1 more round than the rest of the Toks. Thats why I bought 2 (I believe in New York reloads :)).

cougar1717
July 20, 2009, 06:15 PM
I enjoy shooting my CZ-52, but there are two sides to every story.
Surplus ammo is cheap, but corrosive. From personal experience, I would stay away from Bulgarian surplus since what I received was SMG ammo. While still advertised as "7.62x25", some ammo was made for Ppsh sub machine guns and can sieze up your slide since some rounds chamber and others are dimensionally too large to chamber in the CZ-52. Mine was so stuck, I had to get a gunsmith to free it. Factory fresh ammo is available from Privi, Wolf (made by Privi), and S&B.
The the trigger pull is rough compared to modern firearms and even with it's weight, I consider the felt recoil to be more than a 40 S&W. I call mine a "flinch machine" because at some point I anticipate the recoil. With that said, http://www.harringtonproducts.com/ produces aftermarket parts for it that can help, but you have to weigh improving an inexpensive pistol with buying a more newer pistol with modern features included. Even if you don't go that whole route, I would suggest getting a new recoil spring from Wolff - either the #16 or #18 since an original one is over 50yrs old and too light IMO.
The sights are standard issue military - no white outlines, dots, etc. - just three black lines to line up. As it has been threaded to death, the weak point of the CZ-52 is right underneath the chamber, where it has been cut to accept the locking slider mechanism. It is unusual for a caliber of this magnitude to use such a thin barrel at this point and I check it regularly.
The 7.62x25 caliber is powerful in the whole scheme of calibers: an 85gr. bullet that goes 1400+ fps. I don't have the link at the moment, but a testing lab has shown that at 10 feet this caliber will penetrate kevlar body armor and has enough to power left over to penetrate at least 6" into the ballistic gelatin beyond the vest. This really shouldn't be any surprise since the caliber is really better suited for a carbine firearm IMO.
One thing that I can attest to is the range of a CZ-52. From a standing position, I can put it on paper with relative ease at 50yds. Mine shoots about 6" low from the point of aim at that distance.
It's also loud. Expect people to approach you at a public range and ask you what you're shooting since its definitely louder than 9mm/40S&W/45Auto.
Anyway, those are my thoughts. I hope there's some sort of practical advice that you were looking for.

jonnyc
July 20, 2009, 08:03 PM
"I would stay away from Bulgarian surplus since what I received was SMG ammo. While still advertised as "7.62x25", some ammo was made for Ppsh sub machine guns and can sieze up your slide since some rounds chamber and others are dimensionally too large to chamber in the CZ-52."

This is absolutely incorrect. There is NO SUCH THING AS TOKAREV SMG AMMO. That is a total myth. If you read East Bloc literature and the box and packet labels, and study the history of the cartridge, you will be as sure as I am. For example, your Bulgarian ammo came in 16 round packets, unless it was rebagged at some point in the US. The packet is for two TT mags. The 70 round boxes, usually marked for the TT PISTOL CARTRIDGE, are more convenient for a 70 round mag (or 2x35), but meant also for pistols. After 1940, I believe, all Soviet Tokarev ammo came in 70 round boxes, for both pistols and SMGs.

BlackHand1917
July 21, 2009, 01:30 AM
I like my CZ-52 because I can fire cheap corrosive ammo out of it for less than half the price of a lot of handgun ammo out there. The 52 isn't my first choice for a defensive weapon. Its a little ammo sensitive. I have good accuracy with Yugo/Serb surplus, but get some hard primers that require a second strike. I had some terrible Polish ammo ten years ago that would not even hit paper at 20 feet. If you must use it for self-defense use the Sellier and Bellot cartridges made in the Czech Republic. It shoots 100% in my CZ-52 and is quite accurate.

Gelgoog
July 21, 2009, 01:58 AM
$150 (CZ52), what else can you say.

Of course, they are now gone at that price. To bad for you!

And if you were smart, you could have got a custom "chromed" one for $199..

yup, got two of them :D

I really like my CZ52s for the reason that they are very cheap to shoot and get alot of range time in. I also love the 7.62x25 round, I wish more guns were chambered in it. However the lack of a decent safety and slide release ( this can be added) as well as a heel magazine release mean that as far as a Self defense pistol goes, the CZ52 becomes a very dated design.

now the CZ82 is pure love! one of the most accurate and compact firearms I have ever had. The CZ75 is also full of pure win!

Ash
July 21, 2009, 09:43 AM
Heel-mag releases are, in my opinion, excellent for self-defense. They are slower for a magazine change, but they are far more secure and provide a more solid grip of the magazine than push-button releases.

Bob L.
August 11, 2009, 05:13 PM
I purchased my cz52 back in the mid 90's, at a price of about $150.00. It looked like a very odd but interesting surplus shooter with cheaper than dirt surplus ammo readily available. I started out with a couple of boxes of that old hot czech ammo at an indoor range and quickly realized three things: The ammo was in fact a "click and a boom" with a milisec delay, it was LOUD!! AND IT WAS VERY FLAT-LINED ACCURATE. I knew that the first time I took it to my outdoor range, I had to see if I could hit something out at 100 yards. I tied a red ballon out there and it took me four rounds to pop it in the standing two handed postion. The milisec delay forced me to follow through and actually helped my accuracy.

My best fun with this gun came when a buddy and I went shooting at the same outdoor range one day. I asked him if he wanted to play "hundred yard headshot" with a red balloon and he said that it would only be a waste of ammunition. I made my bold statement that it would only be a waste of ammunition if it took more than one round. And as fate would have it that day, I popped the balloon with my first shot! To this day my friend has to admit it was the best pistol shot he ever saw and I was lucky enough to make. The cz-52 is a great gun to own.

jonnyc
August 11, 2009, 06:10 PM
With that story in mind, I would never play poker with you...too lucky!

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