Written by Sierra Bullets Ballistic Technician Gary Prisendorf
As I’ve mentioned before in previous blog posts, there is just something about old military surplus firearms that fascinates me.
I think it’s probably that they are battle tested, rugged and reliable. And the CZ-52 pistol is definitely no exception to that rule.
The CZ-52 pistol went pretty much unheard of until the mid-to-late 1990’s, when thousands of them were released by the Czechoslovakian government for the U.S market.
Approximately 200,000 CZ-52 pistols were made from 1952-1954. It served the Czechoslovak army for 30 years before being replaced in 1982, by the VZ-82 chambered in the 9×18 Makarov cartridge.
I purchased mine in the late 90’s for $129.00, simply because it seemed well-made and was inexpensive.
I never did any serious shooting with it and didn’t need to reload for it, because at the time I bought it, I purchased 2000 rounds of 7.62×25 Romanian surplus ammunition for it. The surplus ammo is stout to say the least, and accuracy with it is really nothing to write home about, not to mention it is mildly corrosive. But I would break it out on occasion, shoot a few soda cans with it, give it a good cleaning and tuck it back into the safe.
A couple of weeks ago, I decided to try some handloads in it and see just how well it can actually shoot. I loaded up two different loads using the Sierra 85 grain RN SportsMaster #8005, Starline brass and Winchester WSP primers. My two powder choices were Hodgdon HS-6 and Hi-Skor 800X.
This last weekend I put approximately 150 of my handloads through it, without a single hiccup. The old CZ fed and functioned every single round. My only complaints about the pistol, is recoil is a little snappy, the sights leave a lot to be desired and honestly the trigger probably breaks at around 8 pounds. Other than that and the fact that I lost twenty some cases that were ejected into the next zip code, I was pretty impressed with how well it performed.
Shooting off of a bench at 25 yards it consistently held 3-4” groups, with the best group coming in a 3.067”.
Off hand at 15 yards I was able to consistently shoot 2-3” groups, with the best coming in at 1.822”.
You would be extremely lucky to find a CZ-52 pistol for $129.00 today. When you find one, they typically are asking between $300.00 and $400.00. Even at that price I still think it is a good deal on a well-made, no-nonsense pistol.