LADA CZ-2000 LMG

Notes: The CZ-2000 weapon is the latest Czech squad automatic weapon. It is a member of the CZ-2000 family of weapons, including the CZ-2000 assault rifle and short assault rifle. Most of the components of the three weapons are actually interchangeable.

The operation of the CZ-2000 LMG is essentially the same as the assault rifle and short assault rifle versions. Obvious differences include the longer barrel 22.7-inch barrel with a somewhat larger flash suppressor (along with a longer handguard), a folding bipod which is adjustable for height, and the drum magazines normally used to feed the CZ-2000 LMG (which can also be used on the CZ-2000 assault rifle versions, and vice versa). Like the CZ-2000 assault rifles, AK-74 and RPK-74 magazines and drums may also be used. The CZ-2000 LMG, however, is unable to mount a bayonet or mount an underbarrel grenade launcher. (It can still fire rifle grenades.) Sights consist of a fixed, hooded front post and a rear adjustable aperture sight, and have glow-in-the-dark dots to aid night shooting. The receiver is also topped with a rail for use with most NATO and Eastern optics, accessories, and night vision devices. The folding stock from the CZ-2000 assault rifles is retained.

The CZ-2000 also comes in a version chambered for the 5.56mm NATO cartridge; this version has been receiving more and more attention on the assembly lines since the Czech Republic joined NATO. It is for the most part identical to the 5.45mm Kalashnikov version of the CZ-2000 (except for the changes necessary to convert it to the 5.56mm cartridge), changes in the sights to make them more compatible with the 5.56mm cartridge, and the magazines and drums from which it is fed (essentially any magazine which can be used with M-16-series weapons).

Twilight 2000 Story: The 5.56mm NATO version of this weapon is used in small numbers by Czech special forces that operate behind NATO lines, so that they may use captured enemy ammunition. The 5.45mm Kalashnikov version is used by some front-line units in Czechoslovakia, Poland, and (in very small numbers) North Korea. This weapon began production just before the Twilight War, so numbers of these weapons are low, and they are primarily found in the hands of airborne and special operations units.

Weapon

Ammunition

Weight

Magazines

Price

CZ-2000 LMG

5.45mm Kalashnikov

4.08 kg

30, 40, 45, 60, 75 Drum, 90

$1755

CZ-2000 LMG

5.56mm NATO

4.3 kg

20, 30, 100 C-Mag

$1907

Weapon

ROF

Damage

Pen

Bulk

SS

Burst

Range

CZ-2000 LMG (5.45mm)

3/5

3

1-Nil

5/7

2

3/5

69

(With Bipod)

3/5

3

1-Nil

5/7

1

2/3

90

CZ-2000 LMG (5.56mm)

3/5

3

1-Nil

5/7

2

3/5

66

(With Bipod)

3/5

3

1-Nil

5/7

1

1/2

85

VZ-26

Notes: This weapon is the grandfather of the British Bren light machinegun that is so famous around the world. It is similar to many such light machineguns of the period, but far superior in operation, reliability, and robustness. The action was not violent, many of the parts were plated in stainless steel to reduce corrosion, and barrel changes were quick and easy. It could be fired from the integral bipod or a tripod. The Czechs used the weapon throughout World War 2 and offered to continue building it for other countries after World War 2, but no orders came after that war. A large number of them were captured by the Nazis, who called them the MG-26(t).

The VZ-30 is an improved version of the VZ-26, first appearing in 1930. Improvements include a gas regulator for the gas block, and a heavier barrel with an improved quick change interface so that the barrel cannot be installed improperly in the heat of battle (a problem with the VZ-26. In addition to Czech manufacture, the VZ-26 was license-produced in Romania, Yugoslavia, Na nationalist China (pre-communist China). The VZ-30 was still in use in many third-world nations by 2009, particularly in Africa and Southeast Asia, where they had been held in reserve stocks.

The actual "father" of the Bren is the ZGB-33, a weapon that the Czechs made specifically to take to England and demonstrate to the British. Perhaps no more than a dozen or so were ever built, and British armorers made their modifications directly from these guns to produce the Bren. It is presented here as a curiosity.

Weapon

Ammunition

Weight

Magazines

Price

VZ-26

8mm Mauser

9.6 kg

20, 30

$2847

VZ-30

8mm Mauser

9.69 kg

20, 30

$2847

ZBG-33

.303 British

10.03 kg

20, 30

$2633

Weapon

ROF

Damage

Pen

Bulk

SS

Burst

Range

VZ-26

5

5

2-3-Nil

7

3

7

94

VZ-26 (Bipod)

5

5

2-3-Nil

7

1

3

123

VZ-26 (Tripod)

5

5

2-3-Nil

7

1

2

189

VZ-30

5

5

2-3-Nil

7

3

7

94

VZ-30 (Bipod)

5

4

2-3-Nil

7

1

3

123

VZ-30 (Tripod)

5

4

2-3-Nil

7

1

2

189

ZBG-33

5

4

2-3-Nil

7

3

7

86

ZBG-33 (Bipod)

5

4

2-3-Nil

7

1

3

111

VZ-52 LMG

Notes: In the short time that Czechoslovakia was able to design its own weapons before the Soviets forced them to use Soviet calibers, the Czechs designed the VZ-52 LMG. The VZ-52 LMG looks very much like a streamlined Bren gun, and indeed the basic external form is taken from the VZ-26. It is a much lighter weapon; the parts are largely of stamped steel, and the handguard and stock are of lighter wood. Operation is a simpler version of the VZ-26s operation, removing several unnecessary steps in the operating cycle. The cocking method is novel one one unlocks the pistol grip and rakes it forward and back. The trigger unit is based on some early World War 2 German designs, with a two-piece trigger; one pulls the upper portion for semiautomatic shots, and the lower half for automatic fire. The VZ-52 LMG can be fed by top-mounted box magazines or non-disintegrating belts from the side (belt feed was considered the "standard" feed method). Hinging dust covers can be snapped shut over the belt feed and extraction ports when magazine feed is used, and the magazine feed well has a similar dust cover. To change a barrel, one opens (or empties) the magazine feed well, then uses it as a handle to rotate and unlock the barrel. The barrel is then removed using the carrying handle; the folding bipod is attached to the handguard and the gun is therefore supported while changing a barrel.

The original VZ-52 LMG fired 7.62x45mm Czech ammunition, the same as early models of the VZ-52 LMG assault rifle. Later, after the Soviets forced the Czechs to use their caliber of ammunition, the VZ-52 LMG was modified to use 7.62mm Kalashnikov ammunition and called the VZ-52/57 LMG, or simply the VZ-57 LMG. The VZ-57 LMG did not enjoy a long period of use, however, and was eventually supplanted by the RPK.

Weapon

Ammunition

Weight

Magazines

Price

VZ-52

7.62mm Czech

8 kg

25, 50 Belt, 100 Belt

$2742

VZ-57

7.62mm Kalashnikov

8 kg

25, 50 Belt, 100 Belt

$2577

Weapon

ROF

Damage

Pen

Bulk

SS

Burst

Range

VZ-52

10

5

2-3-Nil

11

3

14

141

With Bipod

10

5

2-3-Nil

11

1

7

183

VZ-57

10

5

2-3-Nil

11

3

14

134

With Bipod

10

5

2-3-Nil

11

1

7

175