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VZ-58 vs AK-47

Wednesday, March 21, 2012 8:19 PM

Back to the main page VZ.58 build project VZ.58 Pictorial

An Illustrative Comparison of the VZ-58 and AK-47

The similarities and interchangable parts are as follows. The 7.62x39 or M43 intermediate round; nothing else is interchangable at the least, and radically conceptually deviant at most. The audience of this is not just the lay person that sees the external resemblance, but those more familiar with firearms in search of an explaination the functionality of each.


To sum up the operating principles of the AK-47 as concisely as possible, it's a automatic firearm whos exhaust gasses are tapped from the barrel moving a gas piston affixed to the bolt carrier rearward, rotating a two-lug bolt that locks to the front trunion in which the barrel is pressed into thereby unlocking the bolt which continues rearward with the carrier, cocking the hammer before it reverses its movement, strips a new round from the magazine and locks back into battery.


In retrospect, the VZ-58 is an automatic firearm whos exhaust gasses are tapped from the barrel which act on a gas piston not attached to the bolt carrier which moves rearward and acts upon the bolt carrier to move it rearward. While the piston returns to its original position recessed inside the gas block, a wedge in the VZ-58's bolt carrier lifts the locking breech block out of the recesses in the receiver. The locking breech block pivots on its rear on the bolt. The bolt itself does not tilt and instead moves directly rearward. In the rearward movement the bolt carrier impacts the disconnector and cocks the striker which operates on a seperate spring from the bolt group spring.

Illustrative Comparison: I. Locking

Bolt Groups:

VZ-58 bolt group with breech block in locked position. Bolt Groups, continued:

AK-47 bolt group in locked position.

VZ-58 bolt group with breech block in unlocked position. Bolt Carriers:

AK-47 bolt group in unlocked position.

Left: VZ-58 bolt carrier. Means of unlocking:

Right: AK-47 bolt carrier.

Left: VZ-58 wedge inside carrier that lifts breech block. Bolt:

Right: AK-47 recesses that rotate bolt.

Left: VZ-58 bolt with locking breech block. Right: AK-47 bolt; notice two locking lugs. Breech Block:

Image: VZ-58 breech block, the AK-47 has no comparable component. Locking Recesses:

Left: VZ-58 locking recesses in receiver rail. As evidenced in the pictures, the VZ-58 locks by means of a dropping locking breech block while the AK-47 locks by means of a rotating locking bolt.

Right: AK-47 locking recesses in front trunion.

II. Gas System

Gas Block:

Left: VZ-58 gas block. Gas Piston:

Right: AK-47 gas block.

Left: VZ-58 gas piston removed, complete with return spring. Gas Piston, continued

Right: AK-47 gas piston rem carrier.

Left: VZ-58 gas piston in place, top foregrip removed. As illustrated, the gas system on the VZ-58 is a short-stroke as the piston returns to its initial position while the bolt group continues rearward. The AK-47 is a long-stroke as the gas piston is attached to the bolt carrier and therefore must follow the bolt group through its entire cycle.

Right: AK-47 gas piston in pl removed.

III. Fire Control Group

Firing Pin Striker:

Left: VZ-58 cylindrical striker. Striker/Hammer Spring:

Right: AK-47 ha

Left: VZ-58 Striker spring, attached to receiver cover and positioned directly below bolt spring. Sear:

Right: AK-47 ha

Left: VZ-58 modified sear to act as semi-auto only with striker cocked. Sear, continued:

Right: AK-47 se

Left: VZ-58 modified sear without striker cocked. Sear, continued 2:

Right: AK-47 se

Left: VZ-58 sear spring, also acts as detent spring for safety and detent spring for Right: AK-47 tri top cover retaining pin. sear spring. Disconnector:

Left: VZ-58 disconnector which disengages the sear from the trigger when struck Right: AK-47 di by bolt carrier. Disconnector, continued:

Left: VZ-58 disconnector spring integral to the trigger group. Safety:

Right: AK-47 di trigger/sear com

Left: VZ-58 safety, acts upon trigger arms to clear or engage from sear. safety on. Right: AK-47 sa movement. saf Safety, continued:

Left: VZ-58 safety disengaged. Safety, continued:

Right: AK-47 sa

Left: VZ-58 safety, external.

Right: AK-47 sa

The trigger assembly of the VZ-58 deserves more attention to adequately explain its method of op The trigger pivots on crosspin driven through the receiver, thereby pulling the trigger arms hinged top foreward. A projection on the semi-auto trigger arm acts on the bottom of the sear pulling it fo which in turn pulls the rear of the sear where the striker rests down, thereby releasing the striker.

Left: VZ-58 trigger assembly removed.

Left: VZ-58 trigger at rest.

The disconnecting function is also built into this trigger assembly. When the bolt carrier moves rea impacts the disconnector arm which is connected directly to the semi-auto trigger arm. This action the trigger arm downward to disengage the sear which then returns to its original position under p the sear spring. This functions in much the same way the safety does, to lower the trigger arm so engage the sear, but only temporarily.

<BR< tr>

Image: disconnector protrusion on semi-auto trigger arm. <P< tr>

Unlike other aspects of the VZ-58 and the AK-47, the fire control group cannot be directly compare eachother because of the radical differences in design. The only similarity they share is that the de cocked with the rearward movement of the bolt group. > >

IV. Construction

Construction differers in several key aspects, most notable is the receiver. The VZ-58 is milled from steel and the barrel presses directly into it which is then retained by a barrel pin either pressed in hole drilled fully through or blind pinned. The AK-47, atleast the AKM of post-1959 manufacture covered here, is stamped 1mm 4130 steel with front and rear trunions riveted in which the barrel presses into. Like the VZ-58, the AK-47 barrel is retained by a pin driven through the front trunion. Headspace on the VZ is determined by how far the barrel is pressed into the receiver in relation to bolt face, while the AK-47 headspace is determined how far the barrel is pressed into the trunion i relation to the bolt face that locks directly into the trunion. In both the VZ-58 and the AK-47, the fi control groups are retained by crosspins. Receiver:

Left: Top view of VZ-58 milled receiver. Ejector:

Left: VZ-58 ejector is a seperate piece pushed into the receiver and retained by detent. Barrel Pin: IMG Left: VZ-58 barrel pin in lower of receiver. Stock attachment:

Left: VZ-58 receiver with threaded hole in rear to accept either side-folding stock or fixed. Magazine well:

Left: VZ-58 magazine well milled into receiver. Magazine Latch:

Left: VZ-58 paddle type magazine latch positioned to one side. Receiver Cover:

Left: VZ-58 receiver cover, with bolt and striker springs, retained by push out pin with detent stops the receiver. Bolt Spring:

VZ-58 bolt spring attached to the top of the receiver cover. Gas Piston Hole:

Left: VZ-58 gas piston hole, notice piston stop at the front to retain piston and spring. Handguards:

Left: VZ-58 top handguard retained by detent secured pin at its rear. Handguards, continued:

Left: VZ-58 top handguard removed, exposing piston. Rear Sight:

Left: VZ-58 rear sight secured by lugs that fit into recesses in receiver and held fixed by a leaf spri Muzzle Device:

Left: Flash hider on VZ-58 with 14x1 right-hand threading, secured by detent pin. Bayonet Lug:

Left: VZ-58 bayonet lug, operates indepentant of muzzle.

In contrast to the AK-47, the VZ-58 bolt hold that can be manually actuated, or triggered by an em magazine. The AK-47 lacks anything comparable.

Image: VZ-58 bolt release situated next to mag release

V. Accouterments

Left: Side view of VZ-58 magazine. Magazine, continued:

Right: Si

Left: End view of VZ-58 magazine, notice exposed floorplate on rear edge that engages the bolt holdopen. Cleaning Rod: IMG Image: AK-47 cleaning rod secured by lower handguard and gas block. The VZ-58 has no comparable part.

Right: En

Similarities to other designs I. VZ-58:

Gas System: The VZ-58's gas system more closely resembles that of the FN FAL without the ability to adjust bleed as on the FAL.

Left: VZ-58 short stroke gas system. Locking System: The VZ-58's locking system is similar to that of the Walther P-38. The P-38 is not gas operated, but has a hinged block much like the VZ-58, however oriented upside-down. When the P-38 is fired, the recoil moves the barrel rearward until the pin impacts the receiver which pushes on the slope of the locking piece thereby pushing it downward and pulling the locking lugs out of the recesses in the slide allowing it to continue its rearward movement and cycle.

Right: FAL shor

Left: VZ-58 bolt group removed, breech block in locked position.

Right: P-38 barr position.

Left: VZ-58 bolt group removed, breech block in unlocked position.

Right: P-38 barr position.

Left: VZ-58 breech block.

Right: P-38 bree

II. AK-47
The AK-47 more closely resembles a Desert Eagle than it does a VZ-58 as shown by the following. Gas System: The AK-47's gas system is a long-stroke, as with the Desert Eagle. On the Desert Eagle, the piston is attached directly to the slide and recoils fully with it.

Left: AK-47 gas piston attached to bolt carrier. Locking System:

Right: Desert E

The AK-47's locking system consists of a rotating locking bolt connected to the bolt carrier, while the Desert Eagle's bolt is also rotates to lock inside lugs on the barrel and is attached to the slide.

Left: AK-47 bolt showing locking lugs. FCG: The AK-47's firing system also shares its basic design with the Desert Eagle as its hammer fired instead of striker fired like the VZ-58.

Right: Desert E

Left: AK-47 hammer cocked inside receiver.

Right: Desert E

Inserted from <http://50ae.net/VZ-vs-AK/>

How to take apart an AK-47

Wednesday, March 21, 2012 8:43 PM

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Takedown and Cleaning an AK47

1. Remove the magazine and set it aside. 2. Move the safety lever to "fire" 3. Pull back the bolt carrier lever and eject any round from the chamber. 4. While holding back bolt carrier lever, visually inspect the chamber to make sure it is empty. 5. Push the bolt carrier forward. 6. Press in the button on the rear of the receiver cover. 7. lift the rear of the receiver cover, disengage the front of the receiver cover from the slot in the rear sight housing. Pull the receiver cover free and set it aside. 8. Notice that the button you pressed in step 6 is the rear of a rod with a long spring around it that goes into the rear of the bolt carrier. Push the rear of that rod forward until it disengages from the rear of the receiver. 9. Lift the rod up and backward to remove it and its spring from the bolt carrier. Set the rod aside. 10.Push the bolt carrier lever to the rear and lift the bolt carrier upward to remove it and the bolt from the receiver. 11.Remove the bolt from the bolt carrier by moving the bolt forward and rotating it until comes free from the bolt carrier. Set the bolt and bolt carrier aside. 12.With a punch or your hand, rotate the lever on the right

side of the r ear sight upward about 90 degrees. 13.Remove the gas tube and hand guard by lifting the the rear of the tube and disengaging the front of the tube from the barrel attachment it slides into. Set the gas tube aside.

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Assembly is the reversal of disassembly

How to take apart the AK47 recoil spring Click Here

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Package of three universal military cleaning kits which include a weather proof pouch, small oil bottle, bore brushes for .30 and .45 caliber and small brushes for chamber and tight corners. Works for .308, .30-06, 7.62x39 and other .30 caliber rifles and handguns. Punch and drawstring all fit in a neat metal tobacco can for easy carrying. Original German surplus item came as standard issue with AK type rifles.

Easy right?
OK Here's more help with pictures and video;
NOTE - Pictures taken on a cut receiver which turned out to be too much disassembly, DO NOT CUT YOUR RECEIVER

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On a real rifle use a rubber mallet Rest the trigger guard on a table edge (padded) Pull down hard on the stock If more force is needed I use a few taps to the receiver area to help jar the wood free (Usually a folding stock will fit right in where the wood was if you get the correct type.)

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Now up front move this lever up and back to release the top hand guard

Lever moved hand guard moving out

Now we are headed to where the arrow is pointing

Flip this lever up and over to release the metal part that will slide fore ward on the barrel (I wish I would have taken the cleaning rod out before I took the pic, act like you don't see it) Now replacing the top hand guard wood is easy as heck but tough to explain so here's the explanation then watch the movie to see it done Hold the metal part of the gas tube in your hand, then grab the wood also. like you would a sword or light saber. Now twist your hands like if you were going faster on a motorcycle. That twist will rotate the wood on the tube and poof it's off. Now watch the video

How to Remove the Top Front Grip on the AK-47 Click Here to See the Movie Have about this many parts left when it's disassembled

Worry if you have this many parts after disassembly;

The assembled Recoil Spring assembly How to take apart the AK47 recoil spring
This doesn't need to be done too often, maybe to add a recoil buffer (but many of them slide over the spring). But if you need to take apart the recoil spring, try this method. First compress the spring down to the first 'link' or section of the center wire. Then you can bend that center 'linked' wire support to basically trap the spring while it's compressed. Be aware this spring is now under great pressure, so pay attention. Next 'twist' off the end retaining 'nut' it basically falls right off with no spring tension. To remove the spring carefully let it un compress and it's apart. To get it back together, reverse these stops. Push the spring down as far as possible until you can lock it back. then using the wire 'link' like chopsticks grip both side of the hole though the end 'nut' as the spring is let back SLOWLY (so it doesn't shoot the 'nut' across the room) it will put pressure back on the end 'nut' and the assembly is back together. A picture is better and I think this one pretty much explains the steps. Keep in mind it rough to hold this with one hand and take a pic with the other. The nut is in the brown part of the cammo below, it looks like a nut with a hole drilled through it the wrong way. No fancy screws or threads it's just held in place with the spring tension.

The spring compressed and 'locked' in place while the end 'nut' is removed

Here's a Book someone scanned and sent to us

Most of the AK47 rifles were made with completely machined receivers. The receiver of the AKM is made from the stamped sheet steel, with machined steel inserts riveted into the place where required. The receiver cover is a stamped sheet metal part, with stamped strengthening ribs found on the AKM covers. The gas operated action has a massive bolt carrier with a permanently attached long stroke gas piston. The gas chamber is located above the barrel. The bolt carrier rides on the two rails, machined in the receiver, with the significant clearances between the moving and stationary parts, which allows the gun to operate even when its interior is severely fouled with sand or mud. The rotation of the bolt is ensured by the curved cam track, machined in the bolt carrier, and by the appropriate stud on the bolt itself. The return spring and a spring guide are located behind the gas piston and are partially hidden in its hollow rear part when bolt is in battery. The return spring base also serves as a receiver cover lock. The cocking handle is permanently attached to the bolt carrier (in fact, it forms a single machined steel unit with carrier), and does reciprocate when gun is fired.

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