I still believe the VZ-58 was of the most entertaining departures from traditional Soviet ‘Nyet, is fine’ness that exists. It had to be 7.62x39mm but they gave the rifle several rather nice features the AK didn’t get, like a last round bolt lock.
The VZ is very same-same-but-different, different mouse trap to solve the same series of problems and integrate with militaries running the AK and SKS. The action, striker fired. Neat!
Brandon hits on the fact that magazines and muzzle threads are the same, but different and incompatible. I suspect that this was done so that the wide variety of AK parts couldn’t be added and mess up anything with a wildly out of spec part. Nothing would almost fit and then grenade the gun in a classic ‘but if not supposed to go together, why fit?’ type methodology.
That is merely my off the cuff thought process and it may be that the VZ-58 engineers were a group of contrarians who wanted to bug the Soviet Union’s logistic system on everything except the ammunition.
Anyway, I like the VZ-58. I wouldn’t choose it first, or second, or probably even fifth for a rifle in a fight if given a choice. Key phrase there, if given a choice. But I wouldn’t feel under gunned with it and a couple of its available upgrades to put a dot and a light on it any more than if I were handed an MP5 in an “I need a gun” situation. It is a very functional .
Strike Back was a really awesome show where they were rocking.