View Full Version : SA vz-58 5.56mm with AR-15 magazine adapter, Updated, second trip

March 13, 2012, 23:28
Test and review of the Czechpoint vz-58 rifle
in 5.56mm with AR-15 magazine well adapter
It is always a good day that starts with a cheerful phone call, “Sir? Just wanted to let you know your rifle came in today!” So off with a bounce to see the local gun shop guys to pick up something new and unusual, the new Czechpoint USA SA vz-58 Tactical semi-auto military style rifle in 5.56mm with the AR-15 magazine adapter and M-4 collapsible stock, built by Czech Small Arms of the Czech Republic, formerly known as D-Technik, then finished by CzechpointUSA. Happy day!
When the rifle came home with me I was struck by the appearance, looking very much like several so-called modern rifles. It had the AR -15 magwell already installed, but Czechpoint USA was thoughtful enough to include not only the original mag release and bolt stop, but two original magazines if I or my wife, (the ultimate end user of this rifle), should ever decide to switch back to the Czechpoint/Czech Small Arms proprietary magazines, both polymer, one smoke and one clear. Nice touch!
I took the rifle out and just as when I picked up my own vz-58, I was struck by the balance and feel of the rifle. My wife handled it and was immediately impressed with how well it shouldered for her, an important consideration for a person with back issues. One click of the stock, and she said it was perfect.
I did a close look over of the rifle and the fit and finish of the original rifle was perfect. Stampings were also bright and clear, as well as the two granted US Patent numbers – no poaching, guys! The sights are pure SA vz-58, fully functional. The Tactical model came with some furniture I am very familiar with, the FAB quad rail forearm and the FAB ergonomic pistol grip, same as my personal vz-58, with one important difference – the side rails were installed on this one…I never seemed to get around to doing that with mine… The other aftermarket furniture is the M-4 style collapsible stock, which had positive engagement in all extensions. The adaptor to keep the stock straight was almost seamless in installation, as the original SA vz-58 stock had a slight down angle on the mating end. Czech it out next to its older brother.
This particular rifle also came equipped with the CzechpointUSA Short Rail Adaptor, a nifty optics mount with a left side rail mating to a mount that rides over the top of the rear receiver. The rail mount was tight and lock up very positive, with no detectable play whatsoever. I immediately began thinking about my TRS-25 red dot on my other rifle that might work well on this baby. The other thing that caught both mine and my wife’s attention – the mount is see through to use the original iron sights as well. Even though the mount is quick detachable, the ability to transition to irons in a heart beat is something I can only call a plus.
The AR-15 magwell adapter is polymer, and also a product of CSA, bearing the crest on one side. It exhibited some minor movement side to side and fore and aft, but when utilized with a GI 30 round aluminum magazine it locked up tight with no issues. It is important to remember this is a drop in part installable by the end user, not a machined and gunsmithed in item. I had been cautioned that this magwell was optimized for GI issue magazines, and aftermarket polymer ones may not fit or function well without trimming of the magazine. With this in mind, I placed an order for six thirty round GI style magazines, all the brand new Brownells aluminum ones said to be GI spec by the manufacturer.
Imagine my chagrin in being told those also might not work well. When tried in the mag well at home, they fit tightly and wouldn’t lock the bolt back. Testing at the range revealed that while the Brownells magazines needed to be snuggled into place, they locked the bolt back every single time under fire.
Whoops. I did have one GI magazine that worked flawlessly, but all magazines needed a good smack to get seated fully.
The specifications of the rifle state it has a 16.14 inch barrel, which was comforting when I got to the other end of the rifle and discovered the nifty muzzle break was not welded in place, rotating very slightly against the plunger installed. See, the original SA vz-58 7.62x39mm rifle barrel is 15 inches long, and under the National Firearms Act of 1934 rifles are required to have barrels of 16 inches, which is why it came with a permanently mounted barrel extension. This barrel is 16.14 inches, just OVER that length, so the threaded barrel with interchangeable break isn’t such a bad thing – in fact with the bill going through in the Arizona Legislature to allow lawfully held suppressors for hunting, this could be VERY beneficial if I “borrowed” this one back to do a little coyote hunting. Just need to get a suppressor threaded to fit, and go through all the NFA hoops. Nice!
Here are the specifications as provided by CzechpointUSA on this rifle,
Caliber 223 Rem (5.56 x 45 mm)
Muzzle velocity 1, 083 yds/s
Number of grooves in barrel 4
Twist of the rifling 1 in 7 inches
Overall length of Tactical rifle 36. 50 in
Overall length of Tactical Folder rifle with stock extended 37. 20 in
Overall length of Tactical Folder rifle with stock folded 27. 95 in
Barrel length 16. 14 in
Length of sight line 14. 76 in
Extent of rear sight from 100 to 800 by 100 m
Width of rifle 2. 32 in
Height of rifle with magazine 9. 45 in
Practical rate of fire 40 shots/min.
Maximum range of fire 2, 000 yds
Lethal effect of projectile up to 1, 500 yds
Weight of rifle without magazine 7. 37 lbs
Weight of rifle with loaded magazine 8. 49 lbs
Weight of empty magazine 0. 33 lbs
Weight of full magazine 1. 12 lbs
Trigger pull 5.51 - 5. 95 lbs (24.5 – 26.5 N)

Well, I don’t think I will test this rifle at either 2,000 or 1,500 yards, as my local range has a maximum range of 300 yards! I think 100 yards is about where I would like to try it, maximum, as I am NOT the world’s greatest rifle shot.But wait, we need something to shoot, don’t we? But of course!
The two selected, Prvi Partisan 62 grain FMJ BT and Brown Bear 55 grain HP, represented common ammo found inexpensively, with two exceptions, no Wolf or Tulammo, as I have had negative experiences with both in the past. Burn me once… Ah, but I almost forgot – I am a reloader! So another quick request brought in some nice stuff, including an order to Berry’s Manufacturing for a special on 500 Lake City unfired brass with 500 55 grain FMJBT bullets. The rifling twist of 1-7 means some heavier bullets should be tried as well. A very small selection was made, within my diminishing budget, so I had loads from the Hornady 60 grain soft point, and the Sierra 65 grain Spitzer boat tail.
The worst news in all of this was – THE RANGE WAS CLOSED!!! That’s right, the excellent Casa Grande Elzy Pearson Memorial range was closed Thursday, Friday, Saturday AND Sunday for the Cowboy Action Shooting match, Gathering of the Posses. So, I spent a few days cleaning and taking pictures. Always fun! The rifle showed signs of test firing, and was reasonably clean. A quick pass down the bore with a BoreSnake and some old sock with Weapons Shield removed the little grime that was inside the action. Considering this was originally designed as a military rifle, I have zero doubt that little dirt would have had any effect, and honestly – it came cleaner than many firearms I have purchase over the years.

Also I posed the rifle in my ersatz studio to pose with a Czech Military issue Winter Hat and a can coozie with the SA vz-58 on the front. That’s a diet soda hiding in there, for those who really want to know. Note that this pic also shows an aftermarket MagPul Angled Foregrip, but the loving wife said she prefers the setup the earlier way, without a foregrip. Considering how much those lower rails might chew on hands, I’ll be looking for another vertical set up similar to mine, or a rail cover.
Then, finally, the day dawned…RANGE TIME! Not being able to hop out there for a weekend was telling…and I wasn’t the only one, dagnabbit. It seemed half the city showed up to go shooting. Well, I left the 300 yard line as it was packing them in 3 deep, and went to the 80 yard line with a couple of friends who had showed up. It was very windy and surprisingly cold for an Arizona March, windy enough my Target Meister stand blew over many times, and I finally had to go rock hunting for some BIG rocks to keep it firmly on the ground.
It was time. One Brownells magazine loaded with Brown Bear HP, and let’s rock! OK, so I started rocking at 25 yards, almost subminiature range for this rifle, but I wanted to make sure it was on target close enough to adjust. Oh, yeah.

All groups pictured were fired off a Caldwell Rock Jr front rest, a new item for me.
See what a cluttered bench it was?
The Prvi Partizan and Brown Bear both showed potential to give 2-3 inch groups at 100 yards off the rest, and since I was told the vz-58 5.56 might be a 4-5 MOA rifle, so those results with generic ammo were pleasing. At 50 yards, the battle sight was too low and the 100 meter too high, so I stayed at battle sight and “adjusted”. Good ol’ Kentucky windage, since I didn’t want to play with the front sight right now, not until I could get to 100 yards.
I was told the lighter bullets in the 1-7 twist could be less accurate, and a few loads did show that.
4 MOA right there. Well, that’s alright by me. I tried the 60 grain Hornady Soft Points,

I forgot to adjust my hold, whoops. Not bad, 1.5 inch group, not going to win any medals, but this isn’t a target rifle. This load was pretty consistent, when I remembered the hold I was using – gee I wish that 100 yard line had been clear enough to use.
The 65 grain Sierra Game Kings were not the wonder bullet I had been told. Shot low at 50 yards, for one thing, surprisingly low compared to the others.
I shot far less than I wanted to this first day, and was unable to use the chronograph due to the incredible crowding, but that will change.
Observations on malfunctions; there was one failure to go into battery from bolt release with Brown Bear, and a tap to the operating handle fixed that. Everything else worked perfectly…UNTIL…until I offered the rifle to a friend to try.

He managed to do the one thing that just cannot be done with vz-58s – he stovepiped it. I have never ever seen that happen with such a large “ejection port” on this rifle, but there it was, big as day. Other than those two instances, functioning was excellent, and the rifle was a joy to shoot. There was a little more recoil than I expected, figuring with the muzzle break and lighter caliber this would recoil like a 22lr. Me be wrong again. No problem, it was easily managed. Controls were easy to use and fully functional. Nothing broke and nothing fell off, two factors I am fond of - you have no idea how many high dollar guns have done that around me. All in all I was well pleased with this little carbine. It was mentioned to me that just because it took AR magazines, don’t expect it to shoot like an AR, but I feel it will put a high speed pill where I want it to go. Some quick off the shoulder work was done on far end range junk, left over broken clay pigeons, and the 55 grain reloads seemed to just seek them out.
I’m happy, time to tweak the loads and see how well we can really do at 100…if I can get everyone to go home…

March 14, 2012, 21:58
nice review!

just out of curiosity, did you try any P-mags in the mag well?

March 15, 2012, 16:38
No, the manufacturer said that the polymer magazines might not work without some "shaving", so I elected to stay conventional. :) Still need some plain Jane GI aluminum mags, too.

March 20, 2012, 17:58
A beautiful day dawned, clear, crisp, clean air, frosted car windows…what? Arizona in March and I have to scrape frost? TANJ… Oh well, scrape frost and I am on my way to the range! No wind, no rain, no clouds, nothing but great shooting weather!
Today I am going to wring out the CzechpointUSA SA vz-58 5.56mm rifle some more and sight it in at 100 yards, optimum distance for me, with whatever oddball selection of ammo I have in the range bag. I met my friend LAGS, who also brought goodies, (different thread, sorry), and I proceed to get down to…I left my rest behind. DAGNABBIT! I left the rest behind, soooo, I am shooting with iron sights at 100 yards like this, braced, not rested.


Better have my A game on for this one. OK, she’s shooting low at 100 with the sight set at 100, so borrow a sight tool, and start cranking. Along the way I see the 65 grain Sierra Game Kings are doing…OK.


I also see an ominous red light in the camera…”low battery”. Double dagnabbit. OK, we’ll keep this pictures to a minimum. But I do have to say one thing.

This is a 1-7 twist barrel. I am shooting 55 grain handloads. This rate of twist is not supposed to be accurate with that bullet weight. It’s not rested, just “braced”, and I got consistent groups like this, keeping in mind I was adjusting the front sight at the same time.



For what it is and how it’s shot, I like that. That’s definitely minute of coyote…and when I fired my last round for final zero, I am thinking about the detachable scope next to me, with the quick mount, we’re gonna sight this baby in!!!

Disaster strikes!!
Last round I have no BANG, no recoil, feels like a dud, so I wait for hangfire. My buddy is looking at me strangely. Why? He heard the primer pop, which I did not. That’s right…

I HADDA SQUIB! I am incredibly careful loader, visually checking every case powder levels 3 times with a flashlight to make sure they are all charged. I HADDA SQUIB!! I don’t have squibs, I am careful!!!

And whaddya know, it wasn’t my fault…somehow. The primer detonated, and forced the bullet into the barrel, but did NOT ignite the powder. LAGS and I watched as the manually ejected case spilled powder everywhere. Every other round in this group fired perfectly, but this one fizzled. Now I have a bullet stuck in the barrel, and no clearing rod. Dang, drat, filth and FOUL! Darn.

So back in the case it went, to wait for a trip to Home Depot for a metal clearing rod, which gave two light taps and the bullet dropped free, barely scored by the rifling. Back in the range bag went the scope with mount, for next time.

But I still had a blast with this rifle, serious fun.

March 21, 2012, 10:14

Nice rifle two questions though:

1. What did the whole set up cost?

2. With optics mounted do they sit high, like on an AK?

BIL is Czech and wants to buy a Czech gun this looks like a good pick possibly.


March 21, 2012, 18:49
I got a "good deal" on my set up. The base rifle is $1,100, then add in the side mount and short rail, plus the AR adapter, and you're probably looking at $1400 or so. That's why it has a cheap no name Chinese scope on it. :eek: Ran outa money.:cry:
Best thing to do is contact CzechpointUSA directly, http://www.czechpoint-usa.com/ and ask what the best price is. :)

March 30, 2012, 04:44
That is so cool! When did they come out with a VZ in 5.56?

April 02, 2012, 23:58
They have single stack versions out for the last two years - the AR magwell version is new. Going to be trying some new magazines, well, "new" old magazines from a friend, including a couple of vintage Adventure Lines. :)

April 28, 2012, 18:25
It was a nice overcast day, still cool enough to shoot past 10AM...that won't last, as summer is inbound with a full head of steam. Darn. I had also hoped the overcast weather would make people think it was going to rain, and stay home. That was wasted hope - this was the most crowded I've seen this place on a weekday in a long time! I was there with two friends, one who was using the venerable CZ P-01 for practice, and the gentleman who gave me the short rifle scope. Good people, and with some of the incidents at range recently, (not reported around here yet), I like to have at least one extra set of friendly eyes on the super expensive gear while down range. We had to use the popular 300 yard range, as I wanted to try sighting in that cheap scope at 100 yards. We'll get to THAT later...
So I set up the Pro Chrono...and wonder of wonders, I didn't shoot it! The funny thing was when I got the chrono and target set up we called a hot line...which is when I realized I had forgotten to turn the darn thing on! After we enjoyed a laugh, I sat and waited for the next cold line to turn on the doodad. This was also when I discovered I had brought 5 baggies of .223...all of the same load. Dang. I was wanting to chrono the 62 grain loads, but left every dadgum one at home.


The load, 22.5 grains H-335, is either too cold or too warm, depending on what 55 grain data set you use, but with the Hornady 55 gr FMJ-BT, it gave me an average of 2427.86, with a HUGE SD of 95.8! What the heck did I do wrong, there...After looking at the data, I think I need to jack that up a notch of 4. Later data showed me it was indeed below the normal starting load, even though I hadn't found that info. More testers of a higher power have been prepared.
OK, well, I know the load is reasonably accurate, so lets get this scope working at 100 yards! Now, remember, this scope was a gift, and I sincerely appreciate it, really.


Yes that's the Big Gong Show target next to my target stand. The Big Gong Show target is now dead, with a dent in one leg that looks like somebody took a bite out of it. I think I bounced one off the dirt up at an angle. So, I left it alone, and worked on the paper target, working from previous zero. Except there was no way I was getting it on target. It was good at 50, but there was no zero at 100. I will try again, but I believe I will have to get a real scope. The giver commented that he paid $8 for it about 10 years ago. The mount locked up tight as a vault door, so I really doubt it was that. Anyone have a shorty low power scope they're not using? :) ;D


Oh well, I remembered both my seat and rifle rest, so lets find out - is this thing accurate at 100 yards with irons???


Yes, yes it is. 8)

3 shot sighting group


5 shot group at the end. I was going to raise that POI up a skosh, but I was running over time limits. Do note the taped up 3 shot group - not every group was perfect...I think I sneezed on that one.


I had other groups at 100 yards with irons that were pretty much the same as these good ones, so I think I can state it's likely a 2MOA rifle with irons. From a military rifle with a carbine length tube, I'll accept that. Functioning was, again, flawless, and the rifle a grand joy to shoot. All groups shot front rested only, and the wind was bad enough I had to fill some shot bags with rocks and drape them over my target stands legs to keep it from falling over. Not blaming the wind for bad shooting, just sayin'... ;D
All in all, not a bad morning at all.

May 12, 2012, 10:47
really good report, if you ever get up to gallup there is an nra 500 m rifle range, pistol & shotgun range, $10 per day without the big crowds. full auto is welcome last i heard. or just go shoot in the national forest.

May 12, 2012, 12:39
22.5 gr of H335 is way too light. You are probably getting inconsistency due to powder shift. You should be around 25 gr. Check hodgdon's load data.

May 13, 2012, 22:51
I found that out and posted it in that report, new load is 24.5 grains of H-335, which works just fine and is within specs. Chrono's out of a 16 inch tube at 2679, in the ballpark for the same load data I have for a 24 inch test barrel. I don't need to load it to super zapper specs. :)
Also moving up to the 62 grain FMJ-BT, and testing far warmer loads of those, too. My problem was the online Hodgdon data doesn't cover 55gr FMJ BT or 62gr FMJ BT, either. I now have plenty of H-335 to play with, so I can experiment more.
Also going to get around to dismounting the AR magwell adapter, first to see how easy it is, and using the issued factory 30 round mags.




May 25, 2012, 03:26
thank you for the great review.

June 06, 2012, 23:57

June 14, 2012, 00:25
I HAVE to see how well this thing shoots at longer ranges! Splurged on a new scope, not the greatest, a Barska, but all I could find, and I bought local as that Optics Planet debacle STILL rankles.


Now to get out and sight it in.:cool: