It is safe to say that the old adage, “simpler is better” certainly applies to the firearms designs of the former Warsaw Pact nations. During WW II, the Russians fielded a limited number of designs of small arms. None of these were very innovative in design, although they did pioneer the use of metal stamping to facilitate the huge quantities of individual weapons necessary for The Great Patriotic War.
The Czech CZ 52 has the same racy modern look that was exhibited by the flying wing or the nuclear powered ship Savannah, a look distinct to the 1950s. And while the CZ 52 was largely unknown in this country until recently, it is a fascinating shooter that many of us enjoy using. A great plus is the fact that the pistol is dirt cheap. Ammunition is finally available from a reliable resource, in the form of Winchester white box ammunition. During the past few months I have fired a recorded 1,000 rounds of the new offering with excellent results. While an import, Winchester has assured me the new offering is held to exacting standards. They are correct. The loads are very consistent, very accurate, and blistering fast. But I am getting ahead of myself. Lets take a hard look at the pistol itself.
Americans have some sort of weird fascination with oddball European handguns. There are collectors who gush over Russian Nagants, Polish Vis (often called the Radom), and Spanish made Astras and Ruby pistols to the point of obsession. One of the latest additions to this list of hot collector’s pistols from European lands is the CZ 52. Its looks like a Walther PPK on steroids, but it’s one interesting, deadly effective, and affordable pistol.