View Full Version : VZ 52/57 7.62x39 Grenada Trophy

02-13-2012, 9:33 PM
I purchased this rifle, from a Marine who was in Grenada, back in 1993. It is in EXCELLENT condition with matching SN's. The furniture is odd...it has a "greenish" hue. There is NO IMPORT STAMP! It has the original sling, 1 magazine and the cleaning kit, intact, in the buttstock. I fired 20 rounds through it back when I purchased it and have not touched it since. I am very curious to what you all might think the current "value" of such a "rare" offering would be(?) I will follow on with photos once I realize what the "demand" for such a rifle would be. Any takers on this? Any feedback is MOST welcome!

02-13-2012, 10:02 PM
You mean 1983 ? Seen pics of this interesting looking rifle, but never have had the opportunity to actually check one out personally. Posting pics of it soon??? :D

02-13-2012, 10:11 PM
There actually not "rare" just uncommon in new condition. A number of "Grenada" guns did make it into the US. However they were not brought back by GI's. If truly the Marine you purchased it from "brought it back" he would have official paperwork, however since service personnel were prohibited from bringing firearms back with them from Grenada I would imagine his story is not entirely truthful. He may have been a Marine and he may have gone to Grenada. However it's doubtful he brought any firearms back with him.

I'm not trying to rain on your parade, As I'm sure your rifle is as nice as the one below. It's just that sometimes sellers are not always honest in their stories and often have no evidence to back up their claims. So it's always best to "Buy the gun not the story". Especially regarding claims about a firearms source or history.

As to value. Probably at least $700 to $900 or more if in similar condition to the one below. That is if it's all stamped matching with no line outs or over stamps. I took the one below out of it's shipping crate. So I know it has not been fired since it left the factory. Neat rifles and a definite must have for anyone who is a serious collector of Com. block military rifles.

This example is not import marked and did come from Grenada. However as I said it was not brought back by anyone in the military. I also have Mosin Nagant rifles which came from Grenada which are not import marked. They too were not brought back by GI's.


McNally M.
02-13-2012, 11:59 PM
Beautiful rifle. Such an interesting look. Were these the Czech versions of the the German G43?

Paulie Lugnuts
02-14-2012, 7:13 AM
They're closer in size to an SKS, but with a different type of gas system. Ours is a VZ52, that uses kind of odd 7.62x45 ammo.

02-14-2012, 7:14 AM
Never seen nor heard about these - any more info? Caliber? Years made, etc?

02-14-2012, 11:59 AM
The Vz-52 was in 7.62x45. The Vz-52/57 was in 7.62x39. They were made between 1952 and 1959. Not real common here.

The Czech's were very independent with a great history of arms manufacture so when they fell under the influence of the Soviets after WWII they kept their quasi independence related to arms manufacture and designed and manufactured their own weapons for their military.

McNally M.
02-14-2012, 12:03 PM
What was the reasoning behind the metal half of the handguard? Was it part of some type of cooling system?

gun toting monkeyboy
02-14-2012, 12:19 PM
IIRC, it protects part of the operating rod or piston, or whatever it has. But it has been many years since I handled one.


02-14-2012, 12:48 PM
What was the reasoning behind the metal half of the handguard? Was it part of some type of cooling system?

Thats where the gas system and operating spring is. (the spring surrounds the barrel) If the hand guard was wood it would have to be too thick and would be more subject to failing. In addition it would also block the view thru the sights.

02-14-2012, 2:50 PM
Groovidad, I was in Grenada for an extended stay in 1980-81, and later after the "Intervention". I believe that the "Revo" was in 1979. I had some interesting times during my first stay there. The Peoples Revolutionary Militia and Peoples Revolutionary Army were highly suspicious of Americans and especially white Americans of military age (yours truly). I was there because my best friend was an American medical student at St. George's Medical School and wrote to me that I should come on down there and watch what was taking place. I stayed with him at the Grand Anse campus, and we spent a lot of time watching the commie military buildup around Pt. Salines where the Cubans and Russians were building the airstrip. As a gun guy, I payed special attention to the weapons that were showing up. The militia and PRA were armed with all sorts of cast off, badly worn weapons supplied by the Russians via Cuba. On more than one occasion I was in very close proximity to these armed PRA. They typically carried early Soviet milled receiver AK's with little finish remaining on them, or old M-16's that had "United States Property" stamped on the left side of the magazine well. At the time this surprised me. I was later told that they came from Vietnam, no doubt surrendered by ARVN troops in 1975, then channeled through Russian and/or Cuban hands until they reached Grenada. On rare occasions I saw the rifle that you all are talking about, the VZ 52/57, or it may have just been the VZ52. I also saw a soldier with an M-3 "Grease Gun". Anyway, AK's and M-16's were the predominant weapon carried by the PRA. After the "Intervention" (Oct 1983), Mike and I returned to Grenada to check on friends (natives), and to check and see what had happened down there. Battle damage was very apparent in area at the south end of the Island, and up at Calaviny (NE side of island), where there was a jungle airstrip. When the Americans attacked Grenada, I think that most of the PRA and militia chucked their uniforms and weapons on the ground and headed for home, FAST. I found firearms scattered everywhere. The local Grenadian civilians were not allowed to own firearms, so they did not attempt to pick these up and take them home. I found AK's, M-16's, and a single VZ rifle, which I kept for about an hour. I called them "SHE's" for years after that, not knowing what their proper name was. Then sometime later, 1990(?), Century Arms started importing VZ's into the US, and I would see them in gun shows. I still do on occasion. Mostly VZ52's and I'd say the average asking price is around $225.00 to $350.00. Now and then I see a VZ 52/57, and they have been around $400 to $500. I'll bet yours is "green" from prolonged application of cosmoline. SVT-40, nice photos by the way. Thanks for posting them. Sorry to ramble, Geologyjohn

Paulie Lugnuts
02-14-2012, 4:16 PM
Our VZ52 is a Century import. There are pics in this thread, http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=532978

Geologyjohn, real Viet Nam era M16s? .....................If only. $15k to $20K for one now.

02-14-2012, 8:33 PM
Another reason for the switch to 7.62x45 was that the 7.62X45 is VERY corrosive ammunition and would easily foul the action. The Soviet answer certainly gives rise to common caliber, as well.

02-14-2012, 8:43 PM
Geologyjohn, interesting story. I have talked to several SM's that were involved in the capture and destruction of weapons caches there. Undoubtedly, "some" weapons made their way back. Many that tried were caught and prosecuted under the UCMJ. All except high ranking officers....they were "reprimanded". Basically, slapped on the hand and a letter was placed in their official record. Army Times wrote an article, in early 1985 about the issue.

02-14-2012, 10:26 PM
I have a non-import marked Vz52. It's a nice rifle. I was lucky to happen onto a group buy for a custom set of Lee dies for 7.62x45.

02-15-2012, 8:55 AM
In reference to the unauthorized removal of AK-47's from Grenada in the days immediately after the fight. I seem to remember that there was a large number of them taken onto one of the U.S. ships, but as Groovidad pointed out, some folks got in trouble over this event. As I may have noted in an earlier post, the AK's that I saw in the hands of the PRA were very old and worn looking. I suspect some better ones arrived just before the fight. Geologyjohn