By Bob Walsh
The Gun of the Week this time around is the CZ-52 pistol.
This pistol was designed in the early 1950s for the Czech military. It replaced several different pistols of foreign manufacture for the military, and was eventually supplanted by the Makarov pistol.
This has an interesting roller locking device pretty much identical to that used by the H&K submachine guns. It is a single action weapon fed by a single column magazine which holds eight rounds of 7.62X25 ammunition. The original design was supposed to use 9mm ammo but it was redesigned to use the higher pressure, higher velocity cartridge.
It is now possible to buy aftermarket 9mm barrels for this weapon that work fine with the original magazines. There is also a cartridge known as the .22 Reed Express which is the 7.62 X 25 case necked down to take a .22 caliber bullet. It is capable to pushing a 30 grain bullet at 2,500 fps.
These are very sturdy and well-made pistols with the usual mediocre military sights. It has a European style magazine release. In the normal configuration the slide lock does not have a manual release and the slide must be released by pulling back on it. The weapons are common enough that an aftermarket slide lock with a manual release capability is available, as is a better quality firing pin. These weapons do not take kindly to dry firing.
For a small caliber bullet this cartridge is very effective and there are some boutique loaders that load very hot hollow-point ammunition for it. There is also at least one firm that makes do-it-yourself tools for turning FMJ rounds into hollow-point rounds.
I don’t shoot mine much anymore but every once in a while I take it out and pump a few magazines downrange. Surplus ammo is no longer easily available, but brass and bullets are available for load-your-own enthusiasts, and commercial ammo is available though you have to hunt for it.