The problem with sharing office space with a gun shop is that sometimes you do silly things. GunUp Gun Sales has had these VZ-58 Sporters in stock since the panic, and because it’s a 10-round gun with a thumbhole stock, haven’t been able to move them. So, I took one off their hands (there are still two left, btw) and now I have a VZ-58 Sporter. Obviously, the big difference between this and a “regular” VZ-58 is that this gun has only a 10 round magazine and cannot accept a 30 round mag without milling the receiver.
So perhaps I’ve been watching too much Strike Back (where they use SBR VZ-58s), but I think this rifle is cool as hell. It’s not perfect, and I need to figure out what to do with it. Quick list of features that I like and don’t like to help establish a plan. First, I don’t really care that it only takes 10 round magazines, at least for now. I can get the 10 rounders cheap, and I’m not going to be operating in any operations with this rifle, so milling the receiver is probably a last priority. The iron sights don’t actually suck too badly, with a fairly wide rear notch. Plus, mounting optics on AKs and VZ-58s suck. Now, the one thing I do loathe is the thumbhole stock. It’s just bad. But it does have a sling swivel attachment right in the place where I’d want to put a sling. But it really is awful, so that’s going to go. I can’t decide if I’m going to replace it with a wood stock or an M4 style stock, that will be tbd.
There are really two directions I could go with this build – go with putting it back in the wood, or move it forward and use modern components. As I’ve been writing this post, the beginnings of a plan have formed in my mind, because in its current configuration this rifle weighs 7.4 pounds fully loaded. That’s about a pound and a half more than a fully loaded M1 Carbine. See where I’m going with this? The atrocious thumbhole stock is heavy, so if I could get rid of that and replace it with something lighter, I could get the total weight under 7 pounds. If it’s under 7 points, suddenly I have a lightweight, iron sighted rifle capable of engaging targets out to 100 meters chambered in .30 caliber. That’s actually pretty appealing, and even though it gives up 5 rounds to an M1 Carbine, 10 rounds of 7.62×39 is certainly nothing to sneeze at in a truck gun.
So, the next installment of the VZ-58 Sporter build will have me ditching the godawful thumbhole stock, and adding something new and interesting!