vz. 50

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vz. 50 (cz. 50)
Cz50.3.jpg
vz. 70 with grips for the vz. 50 and vz. 70 magazine
Type Semi-automatic pistol
Place of origin  Czechoslovakia
Service history
Used by Czech Republic police
Production history
Variants Vz. 70
Specifications
Weight 710 g (25 oz)
Length 165 mm (6.5 in)
 length 96 mm (3.8 in)

The Vz. 50 (also known as the CZ 50) is a Czech made double-action, semi-automatic pistol. Vz is an abbreviation of the Czechoslovakian term "vzor" meaning model.

History[edit]

Design[edit]

After the Second World War, Czechoslovakia's Ministry of the Interior requested a new pistol design from Česká zbrojovka Uherský Brod. The resulting gun was chambered in .32 ACP and designed by two brothers Jan and Jaroslav Kratochvíl. It combined elements from both the Walther PP and PPK.[1] The pistol is fed from an 8-round single-stack magazine, located within the bakelite paneled grip. Small fixed sights are located on top of the slide. The pistol functions via the blowback principle - recoil causes the slide to move backwards, thereby compressing a spring around the fixed barrel. After it reaches the end of its rearward travel, the recoil spring returns the slide to its forward position, stripping and chambering a new round from the magazine as it does so, rendering the gun ready to fire again. Hammer and trigger operation is single and double action .[2][1]

Manufacture[edit]

Vz. 50s were sold commercially but most were distributed to police agencies under control of the Ministry of the Interior. They were produced initially at Strakonice and later at Uherský Brod. Manufacture ended in 1970 with the refinement of the pistol in a new model known as the Vz. 70.[2]

Markings[edit]

Serial numbers[edit]

Serial numbers start at 650001, continuing from the discontinued vz. 27 serial number range. Pistols manufactured at the Strakonice factory fall in the 740000 range. Pistols manufactured at Uhersky Brod have 5 digit serial numbers preceded by a letter (which may change in the middle of a number series).[2]

Date stamp[edit]

The last two digits of the year of manufacture are stamped on the left rear of the slide next to the proof stamp (a lion superimposed on an "N").[2]

Government property stamp[edit]

Vz 50s bearing a stamp of crossed swords indicates they were government property.[2]

Variants[edit]

Vz. 70 (Cz. 70)

In 1970, an update of the Vz. 50 was released with minor cosmetic changes and internal improvements called the Vz. 70 (also known as CZ 70).[1] These changes included:

  • New grip shape with a larger recess (Called the "tang") for the web between thumb and finger.
  • Milling on the trigger guard was changed to a more blended merge with the frame, removing sharp angles.
  • New grip pattern using a grid of dimples instead of grooves.
  • Top of the slide is engraved with a fine wave pattern to reduce glare.
  • Serial number is stamped on the slide under the ejection port instead of below and behind it.
  • Slide serations are wider and there are more of them.
  • Take down lever has a cross hatched instead of grooved surface.
  • Larger hammer with a hole in it.
  • Smaller magazine release.
  • Magazines have new base with a more angular and less curved shape
  • Grip extension via a modified floor-plate on the magazine (for the pinky finger).

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Fitzsimons, Bernard (1969). The Illustrated encyclopedia of 20th century weapons and warfare. 24. New York: Columbia House. p. 638. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Traister, John (1 July 1996). Gun Trader's Guide. Stoeger Publishing Company. p. 63. ISBN 978-0-88317-193-6. 

External links[edit]