Makarov owners are often value-minded individuals who share an interest in
Soviet Bloc firearms. Another great value in surplus East Bloc pistols is the
Brought into service in 1952, the correct name for these large-framed pistols is Ceskoslovenska Zborjovka Vzor 52. Note that there is also a CZ-52 rifle, and the two should not be confused.
The pistol was originally chambered in the 7.62x25 or 7.62 Tokarev bottle-necked cartridge. While this cartridge shares the physical dimensions of the Tokarev cartridge, it can be loaded hotter than the standard 7.62 Tokarev (see text on roller lock below). As such, care should be taken when selecting ammunition to match the pistol.
Several East Bloc submachine guns, including the PPSh-41 are chambered in 7.62x25. These fire a yet more potent version of this caliber. Again, care should be taken to avoid firing these subgun rounds in both the Tokarev and CZ-52.
The CZ-52 pistol can be converted to fire 9x19 simply by changing the barrel. Some pistols have been retrofitted from the factory with a 9mm barrel, and aftermarket barrels are available. There are some feeding and extraction issues related to this, which are discussed below. From a safety standpoint, be sure that you are firing the correct ammunition from the correct barrel.
The C-52 is single-action only, meaning that the hammer must be cocked
before firing the first round. As with other auto-loading pistols, the recoil
forces the slide rearward. This ejects the spent case and forces a new cartridge
from the magazine into the chamber.
A magazine follower tab locks the slide open after the last shot has been fired. While not as handy as the Makarov's slide release, the slide may also manually be locked back with the external slide lock bar.
The magazine holds 8 rounds. The safety is located on the rear of the frame.
Similar to the Makarov, down is
fire, up is safe. The safety also acts as a decocker when pushed up beyond the
"safe" position. The pistol can be carried "cocked and locked."
See notes below on the safety issues regarding the decocker!
The slide may be moved while the pistol is on safe, allowing the user to
eject a round the chamber. Similarly, the pistol can be made ready to fire by
racking the slide, thus inserting and round into the chamber, with the safety on
Roller Locking Action
Unlike the Makarov, the CZ-52 does not use a straight blowback mechanism. Because of the high power of the cartridge, the CZ-52 has a rather complicated, but strong, roller-locking mechanism. The roller lock is composed of the barrel, two rollers, and a locking cam. When at rest, the pressure of the recoil spring compresses the cam which forces the rollers outwards towards the slide.
During firing, the rearward motion releases the cam and the continued pressure will eventually push the rollers out of the detent and allow the slide to travel relative to the barrel. Therefore, the strength of the recoil spring determines when the the slide begins to move backwards.
A version of this locking mechanism is found in some modern Heckler & Koch
Curio and Relic Status
The CZ-52 is considered a curio & relic by the BATF and is on the BATF's
C&R list for collectors with C&R Federal Firearms License. Note that only the original caliber of 7.62x25 and not the
9mm conversions are considered C&R. Converting your 7.62x25 to 9mm is a gray
area as far as its C&R status. However, there's nothing illegal about the
Check out the CZ-52 owner's manual PDF file
(Adobe Acrobat Reader required [free on
courtesy of Timothy Hoeflich.
Click on links to see pictures or bigger version of the thumbnails.
- The firing pin of the CZ-52 is a weak steel, which makes them relatively brittle. Dry firing the pistol, that is firing without a cartridge or "snap cap," is not recommended. Here's a picture of a busted firing pin.
Picture of broken CZ-52 firing pin courtesy of J. Vickers
If your pistol does not appear to fire at all, remove the firing pin and check to see that it is still intact.
To remove the firing pin:
The firing pin should be inspected for breakage as shown. If the tip is gone, it's useless and you'll need a new one. See the options below for replacing the firing pin with a similar type or an enhanced version.
The firing pin channel should be inspected for dirt and left-over storage grease (cosmolene). Clean well and only lubricated very lightly to avoid attracting and trapping more dirt that can cause firing pin sticking and possible slam fires (cartridge is fired with out trigger pull by the closing of the slide with a protruding firing pin).
I had a negligent discharge at the range today, downrange and in the dirt fortunately, that scared the shit out of me, and need feedback from you. When I inspected the gun, I noticed that the upswing motion of the decocker actually raises the firing pin disengage (same action as having the trigger fully to the rear). I probably have a worn intercept notch, and it has enough 'play' to spank the firing pin hard enough to fire.
Indeed the decocker raises the firing pin disengage and what stops the hammer from falling appears to be an intercept notch. If this is worn, the firing pin plunger in the slide may or may not stop the firing pin from striking the primer when decocking. Other guns, such as the Makarov have a cam from the safety move directly in the hammer's way. We have yet to rip apart the pistol and determine what causes this. In the mean time please be careful about decocking the pistol with a round in the chamber and do not rely on this mechanism to safely decock the CZ-52!
Special note for Harrington CZ52-2 and CZ52-3 users: The redesigned firing pin plunger does not stop the firing pin from moving forward. Therefore, if your decocking notch is worn, your pistol will likely fire when decocked. Please check this function before relying on the decocker. In fact, do not rely on the decocker anyway!
Use the basic laws of firearms safety:
The original magazines have been difficult to find lately, with most places
just selling aftermarket magazines that don't feed right. We found a nice stash
of original Czech-made magazines in brand new condition. Check them out:
Ported Muzzle Brakes
This custom-made muzzle brake for the CZ-52 with threaded barrel reduces
muzzle flip and hides some of the muzzle plume as well.
Please note: These are intended for 7.62x25 and 9mm threaded barrels only.
9mm Largo Conversion Barrels
The Federal Arms 9mm Parabellum barrels lend themselves to rechambering to
the 9x23 Largo round. We worked with ART Enterprises gunsmithing to do just
that. We had a limited production run made in stock length, threaded, and ported
configurations. THESE ARE NO LONGER AVAILABLE.
Please note: These are intended for the 9x23 Largo round only, not 9x23
Winchester, not .38 Super, nor any other cartridge. Since Makarov.com has
not control over parts once they leave our facility, your use is at your own risk and Makarov.com will
not be liable for damages or injury resulting from such action.
Federal Arms at one time made a nice array of replacement barrels for the CZ-52 in both the original 7.62x25 caliber and 9x19. One problem that people have reported with these is that the rollers included with these are not hard enough and tend to lose their round. Once they start deteriorating, they slide rather than rolling and they begin to abrade the barrel.
Harrington hardened rollers
Consider that if your Korean rollers begin to lose their round, they start to take the barrel with it, but no longer rolling but sliding. Pretty soon, they'll grind into the metal and the first evidence you're likely to see is pieces of disintegrated roller flaking into the frame. By that time, your barrel is on its way out and you're looking at a new barrel...plus you're back to substandard rollers.
One way to protect your firing pin during dry firing, whether it's the surplus pin or one of the aftermarket pins, is with properly make "snap caps". Snap caps, otherwise known as dummy rounds, are non-firing facsimiles of cartridges including a specially-designed "primer" that allow you to dry fire because it absorbs the impact of the firing pin rather than having the weak shoulders of the CZ-52 firing pin take that shock.
CZ-52 Extended Slide Release - Early Extended Style no
This is basically an aftermarket hold-open catch with a small tab to act as a slide release and manual hold-open catch found on Makarovs and many other pistols. Very handy!
These are a brand new design made exclusively for Makarov.com! Drop-in replacement for your hold-open catch to have a real working slide release and manual hold-open catch.
CZ-52 Compact Slide Release
Drop-in replacement for your hold-open catch, but these will not interfere with thicker grips such as the walnut grips.
Please Note: The above two styles of Slide release are no longer
HandAll Slip-On Grip
While nobody that we're aware of makes a rubber grip set for the CZ-52, Hogue makes a comfortable universal slip-on grip that fits the CZ-52 very well. The HandAll adds a soft rubber feel to reduce perceived recoil, slight palm swells, and finger grooves in the front for a better grip.
Here's are some pictures
Walnut and Exotic Wood Replacement Grip Panels
We found a small shop that makes these gorgeous walnut grip panels specifically for the CZ-52. That means they as simple to install as removing the grip clip, dropping the old grips off, putting the new ones on and replacing the grip clip.
Here are some pictures:
All styles of Exotic Wood grips, are now out of production.
Due to the strength of the pistol, it is possible to purchase and safely use
9x19 aftermarket barrels with 9x19 ammunition. DO NOT fire 9x19 ammunition with
a 7.62x25 barrel or vice versa.
The armorer's kit:
MJ Facets, the same people who make the extended
floorplates for the Makarov, now have the same investment cast brass floorplates
for the CZ-52. Enhances the feel of the pistol and makes it easier to pop out
Falco Custom Molded Holsters
We have a source for high-quality leather shoulder holsters specifically made for the CZ-52. They are available in horizontal and vertical (shown above) configurations. The horizontal configuration can also be used as a belt holster.
9x19 Federal Barrel Feeding Problems - as quoted from the Federal
conversion instruction sheet
Some CZ-52 pistols converted to 9mm NATO will show feeding problems. This is
primarily casued by the fact that the 9mm NATO round is shorter in length than
the 7.62x25 Tokarev round. There are 2 areas of concern: magazine feed lips and
the way the extractor pushes the live round into the chamber.
Surprisingly the extractor is the main cause of feeding problems. The lower
1/2 of the front end of the extractor actually contacts the round, pushing it
into the chamber. By smoothing and rounding the angled surface on the lower 1/2
only, the extractor hook will not disrupt the movement of the round as it jumps
around the rim of the cartridge being chambered. To remove the extractor, use a
small punch to drive the pivot pin through the slide. This will release both the
extractor and its spring. When you reinstall the extractor and its pin and
spring, check the firing pin to see if there is free movement by pushing on the rear end
against the spring pressure.
Examine the feed lips of the magazine. Look for jagged or bent edges. The
metal at the lips is heat treated, so you may not be able to bend them back
without weakening them. It may be necessary to have a welder add metal to the
leading edges of the feed lips. Excess metal would be removed by a Dremel tool.
Among the accessories and replacement parts available for the CZ-52 are barrels, replacement firing pins, sears, locker rollers, and ejectors.Some samples of accessories available:
Greg Covington has done some work on his
Here are the pics of the CZ52 that I modified. I have added a white dot
Novak low-mount rear sight and a dovetailed green fiber optic front. Also, you
may note that I've removed a considerable amt. of metal where the trigger guard
meets the frontstrap to make the gun sit lower in the hand. I then stippled the
frontstrap. I've rounded all the sharp edges and refinished the grips in grey.
The exterior finish on the pistol is black teflon.
Here are some sites with chronograph data:
Makarov.com 7.62x25 Reloading information
Makarov.com 7.62x25 Load data
Starline Brass carries 7.62x25 Tokarev brass.
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