Although it has the same reliability as the AK-47, the Czech Small Arms VZ.58 is not technically an AK-47 – it’s a competing rifle built by Czech firearms designers. But it has similar ergonomics and will feel and handle just like the original model.
The VZ.58 is built with a milled steel receiver, which makes it stronger than the standard stamped steel receivers used in AK-47s. The receiver on this model additionally is much smoother and more natural-feeling than an AK-47 receiver.
The ergonomics are also greatly improved, featuring a simple, thumb-operated fire selector switch and an open-locking bolt when the magazine is empty that allows faster reloading.
The barrel is chrome-lined and nitride-coated for corrosion resistance, and machined by Walther in Germany.
The VZ.58 is extremely accurate for its platform with a high-quality barrel combined with a smooth trigger and a crisp break. Unfortunately, this accuracy is mitigated by the sights, which are very similar to the original 300-yard AK-47 sights. Optical accessories will significantly increase the shooter’s accuracy.
The furniture is a wood and plastic blend that’s durable and inexpensive. Although there are no rails for accessories on the furniture, polymer furniture with rails is an available option.
The price on the VZ.58 may be higher than the other AK-47 models, but one can argue that it’s an excellent option for competitive shooting and tactical operators who want reliability without discomfort.