Tuesday, July 27, 2010

ZK-383 submachine gun (Czechoslovakia)

ZK-383 submachine gun, right side

ZK-383 submachine gun, left side

ZK-383P submachine gun; note that it has no facilities to mount a bipod

ZK-383H submachine gun of post-WW2 manufacture, with bottom-feed magazine that can be folded forward for carrying

Data for ZK-383 submachine gun
Caliber 9x19mm Luger / Parabellum
Weight, empty 4.25 kg
Length (stock closed/open) 875 mm
Barrel length 325 mm
Rate of fire 500 or 700 rounds per minute
Magazine capacity 30 rounds
Effective range 250 meters

The ZK-383 submachine gun was developed during late 1930s by Czechoslovak arms designers brothers Koucky, who at the time worked at the Zbrojovka Brno arms factory. Produced since 1938, this submachine gun was exported to certain smaller European countries, as well as to Latin America (most notably the Venezuela and Bolivia). Production of the ZK-383 continued at Brno during German occupation, with most wartime guns being  supplied to German Waffen-SS troops and occupation police forces. The ZK-383 was also briefly produced after the war, before being replaced in production with more modern and compact weapons such as Cz. Vz.48 / Sa 23. One of most notable European users of ZK-383 was the Bulgarian army, which used these guns until about 1966. The ZK-383 is an interesting weapon because it was initially developed more like a squad support weapon rather than an individual weapon - it was heavy, solidly made, and capable of some serious firepower (considering the pistol ammunition used, of cause). It was also fitted with 'long range' rifle type sights and integral folding bipod. there also were two later versions of the ZK-383 - the 'Police' ZK-383P which had no bipod, and post-war ZK-383H which also had no bipod and had folding forward magazine housing below the receiver (rather than fixed housing on the left side). Total production of all three versions of ZK-383 is estimated as no less than 20,000 guns.

The ZK-383 submachine gun is blowback operated, selective fired weapon. Unlike most other submachine guns, it had a quick-detachable barrel, with barrel lock / release mechanism located in the front sight base, at the front of the barrel jacket.ZK-383 fired from open bolt, and featured removable bolt weight which, when removed, increased cyclic rate of fire from about 500 to roughly 700 rounds per minute. Feed was from box magazines, inserted from the left side, with magazine slightly canted down, ejection was to the right. Manual safety was made in the form of the cross-bolt button located above the trigger, and fire mode selector was located on the left side of the receiver, above and to the front of the trigger. Gun was quipped with two-piece wooden stock and folding bipod, which was attached to the barrel jacket. When folded, bipod was partly concealed within the cut made in the bottom of the forend. Sights were adjustable for range between 50 and 600 meters.



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