The path to ergonomics. Automatic rifle ZB-530 (Czechoslovakia)

The path to ergonomics. Automatic rifle ZB-530 (Czechoslovakia)
One of the experienced rifles ZB-530, the store is removed. Photo Palba.cz


In the early fifties, Czechoslovakia began to create a new family of small arms. weapons under an intermediate cartridge of 7,62x45 mm of own development. One of the representatives of the new family could be an automatic rifle ZB-530, developed on the basis of one of the most successful serial machine guns. However, this sample was never brought to mass production.

Course on independence


Czechoslovakia had a well-developed defense industry, which was planned to be maintained and developed in the future - by limiting foreign participation in the rearmament of its army. As part of this course, new ammunition was created, as well as various types of weapons and military equipment. In 1952, an intermediate cartridge of 7,62x45 mm vz.52 added to the list of independent Czechoslovak developments.

The new cartridge took into account foreign - primarily Soviet - experience in the creation of ammunition, but implemented new ideas in a slightly different way. In the same 1952, work began on the creation of promising weapons under the cartridge, designed to replace obsolete systems. The possibility of creating a self-loading carbine, automatic rifle (machine gun) and light machine gun was considered.

Soon all the major Czechoslovak arms organizations joined the program. One of the participants was Zbrojovka Brno. Under the guidance of renowned designer Vaclav Holek, it developed an automatic machine with the working designation ZB-530. In the future, this product could go into service.

Familiar design


The ZB-530 project was based on a curious idea. Back in the mid-twenties, the team of V. Holek created a very successful machine gun ZB vz.26, later adopted by a number of countries. It was proposed to use such a machine gun as a source of solutions combined with new ideas and components. All this led to a certain external and internal similarity of the two samples.

The machine has retained the characteristic layout of the basic machine gun and the corresponding appearance. The store’s receiver was left on top of the receiver, and therefore only the control handle was placed on the bottom. Automation has undergone refinement, as a result of which a gas pipe disappeared from under the barrel. The principles of the weapon remained the same.


Another prototype of the ZB-530 assault rifle - the store is joined. Photo Guns.fandom.com

The ZB-530 was built on the basis of a stamped receiver of complex cross-section, with a closed removable lid on top. Only the trunk went beyond the front cut of the box; elements of a gas engine were placed inside it. The main volume of the box was given under the bolt group and return spring, partially extended inside the butt.

The gate group ZB-530 was based on the design of ZB vz. 26. Automation was based on a gas engine with a long stroke. Locking was carried out by skewing the bolt, in which its rear part was engaged with the combat emphasis of the receiver. Cocking was carried out using the handle on the right side of the weapon.

The ammunition system was built on the basis of detachable box magazines with 30 rounds. As on the basic machine gun, the store joined the weapon from above. The store's receiver was a little tall; behind it was a magazine latch. The ejection of shells was carried out to the right through the window of the receiver. The location of the receiver and the location of the moving parts with certain reservations made it possible to classify the machine as a “bullpup” class.

The trigger mechanism for the ZB-530 retained the capabilities of the previous design. It provided single and automatic fire, and also blocked the descent. Fire control was carried out by a traditional trigger. The translator-fuse is located above the control handle on the left side of the weapon.

An adjustable sight was placed on the front of the store’s receiver. Due to the specific location of the store, the whole pillar had to be moved to the left. The fly in the ring muffler was located at the muzzle end and was also shifted to the left.

The metal parts of the machine were complemented by wooden fittings. Provided for the use of fore-end under the front of the receiver, solid pistol grip and stock. There are two known accessories for the ZB-530. In the first case, the forend was made in the form of a flat part, and the butt had a Y-shape. The second version was distinguished by increased forearm sizes and other contours of the butt.

Victims of unification


The development of the ZB-530 machine started in 1952 and took about a year. In November 1953, the experimental products were sent for testing. As part of the field tests, it was possible to remove the characteristics and determine the list of necessary improvements. In addition, it was already possible to make forecasts about the results of the competition for the development of the machine.


Cartridges 7,62x45 mm vz. 52. Photo Valka.cz

In parallel with the ZB-530, two other automatic rifles under the same cartridge were developed at other Czechoslovak enterprises. In the near future they should be tested and compared, choosing the most successful. However, the program for creating a machine for ammunition vz.52 did not give real results. All three samples, including development of the Zbrojovka Brno plant, did not receive a recommendation for adoption.

Apparently, the ZB-530 assault rifle could have some technical problems associated with the processing of the finished structure to use less powerful ammunition. However, these shortcomings could be eliminated during the refinement. Much more serious difficulties took place in the field of ergonomics. The overhead store was acceptable for a light machine gun, but not for a machine gun.

However, the fate of the new weapon was determined not by characteristics, but by completely different considerations. In the mid-fifties, in Czechoslovakia, a fundamental decision was made to transfer infantry weapons to a unified intermediate cartridge of 7,62x39 mm of Soviet design and to abandon their own 7,62x45 mm. Soon this was enshrined in the rules and regulations of the newly created Warsaw Pact Organization.

At Zbrojovka Brno, they decided not to rebuild the existing machine gun under the new unified cartridge. The result was the closure of the project. As a result, the development of the Czechoslovak small arms went a different way. A few years after the abandonment of the ZB-530, the vz.58 assault rifle entered service. It was not based on the existing structure, and it did not differ in its unusual appearance. However, such weapons showed the required characteristics and suit the army.

Good luck and failure


The basis of the ZB-530 project was the idea of ​​redesigning the design of the ZB vz.26 machine gun for a new intermediate cartridge with the simultaneous production of rifle ergonomics. We managed to solve technical problems of this kind, but this weapon did not reach the army due to inappropriate ammunition. Nevertheless, another sample of that time solved the tasks posed, including on the transition to a new cartridge.

In 1952, the Czechoslovakia received the machine gun ZB vz.52, also created by V. Holek and his colleagues. Initially, he used a cartridge of 7,62x45 mm, but then a modernization was carried out with the restructuring of the structure under the Soviet 7,62x39 mm. The ZB-530 assault rifle did not begin to be redone in this way, which was the decisive factor that determined its fate.
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  1. K-50 10 March 2020 18: 06 New
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    The Czechs have a strange craving to have a carob store on top. They did it on a machine gun and "go off" on it, apparently they thought about the convenience of shooting last. what
    1. Avior 10 March 2020 19: 00 New
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      It was believed that the store below causes the shooter on the battlefield to rise high, unmasking himself
  2. Ural Cossack 10 March 2020 18: 12 New
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    Construction from the crafty one! In the year 52, they could already go crazy with their brains
    What to attach to. TTX not disclosed. The author missed or did not want to. I don’t want to google and I won’t. But the initial speed is more than 790m / s with a 8,1g bullet. will not be.
  3. Operator 10 March 2020 18: 22 New
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    What is the relationship between the wretchedness of the Czechoslovak post-war crafts in the field of small arms and the caliber of ammunition - the Krivorukov Czechoslovakians and 7,62x39 got the same crack as with 7,62x45.
    1. Vladimir_2U 11 March 2020 04: 29 New
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      Why wretchedness? Those PP 23 and 24 are quite advanced models, and the later 58 normal machine.
  4. Constanty 10 March 2020 19: 07 New
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    In this machine you can see the clear influence of the German FG-42 - the rear butt and the handle - well - two types of handles, almost straight and strongly inclined like y German
    1. Catfish 16 March 2020 14: 03 New
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      rear butt

      Is that in what sense? laughing
  5. Undecim 10 March 2020 19: 32 New
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    In the early fifties, Czechoslovakia began to create a new family of small arms under an intermediate cartridge of 7,62x45 mm of its own design.
    Czechoslovakia began to create intermediate cartridges and weapons for them immediately after the end of World War II, and by 1949 a 7,5x45 mm Z-49 cartridge was created and a self-loading carbine Vz.52 and a light machine gun Vz.52 for it, and began to develop what is described in article ZB-530.
    And in the early fifties, the USSR began to prepare the creation of a military-political bloc as opposed to NATO created in 1949. The armies of the East European countries began to be reduced to a “common denominator” with the Soviet army, both in terms of organization and tactics, and in terms of weapons.
    In 1950, only 1000 advisers from the USSR were sent to Czechoslovakia to organize its armed forces. In light of these events, Alois Farlik in 1950 developed an intermediate ammunition of 7,62x45 mm Z-50, which was put into service with the army under the name arr. 1952 (7,62x45 mm vz. 52).
  6. igordok 10 March 2020 19: 34 New
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    Tell me, the appointment of the third cartridge on the left, with a blunt bullet, in the figure for the article.
    1. Ural Cossack 10 March 2020 21: 11 New
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      Perhaps a subsonic cartridge. For PBS
      1. Doliva63 12 March 2020 18: 54 New
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        Quote: Ural Cossack
        Perhaps a subsonic cartridge. For PBS

        With such a bullet, the PBS obturator, to put it mildly, will not last long, so it is unlikely.
    2. Undecim 10 March 2020 22: 32 New
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      Based on the markings adopted in Czechoslovakia, the residual white paint on the bullet head suggests that this is a cartridge with a reduced charge for firing practice.
      1. dokusib 11 March 2020 08: 21 New
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        And the cartridge with stamped grooves on the sleeve?
        1. Undecim 11 March 2020 08: 29 New
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          All over the world this is what training inert (without charge) ammunition looks like for training personnel. You, probably, did not teach NVP at school?
          1. dokusib 11 March 2020 08: 56 New
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            NVP taught, but by the time he went to high school a normal military commander was sent to retire and his lessons were taken part-time by a drawing teacher. We then once given the machine to disassemble and assemble.
  7. Nova 11 March 2020 12: 37 New
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    The article is called "The Way to Ergonomics." About a rifle with a magazine on top. Fine. No contradiction, look, the author.
  8. aglet 11 March 2020 12: 52 New
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    Quote: Constanty
    FG-42 - rear butt

    something I have not seen the front butt anywhere, well, nowhere
    1. Narak-zempo 11 March 2020 18: 32 New
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      Quote: aglet
      Quote: Constanty
      FG-42 - rear butt

      something I have not seen the front butt anywhere, well, nowhere


      Not exactly that, but a curious pattern.
  9. Operator 11 March 2020 13: 50 New
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    Quote: Vladimir_2U
    PP 23 and 24 are quite advanced models, and the later 58 normal machine

    PAINT laughing
  10. tolancop 11 March 2020 14: 17 New
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    Quote: Undecim
    All over the world this is what training inert (without charge) ammunition looks like for training personnel. You, probably, did not teach NVP at school?

    I taught NVP at school (late 70s). Partial disassembly-assembly of the AKM was trained for a while. There is also ammunition store equipment. But the cartridge, as far as I remember, did not differ externally from the military one: a sleeve (without longitudinal nails), a bullet, ... the capsule, however, was impaled.
  11. Alexfly 11 March 2020 18: 13 New
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    The cartridge is very interesting, it should be more powerful than M43. It’s a pity that he went nowhere ..
  12. zombee 15 March 2020 16: 16 New
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    Quote: Narak-zempo
    Not exactly that, but a curious pattern.

    a very necessary thing! to issue generals instead of TC or, in the current realities, PSM
  13. DDT
    DDT 4 May 2020 21: 18 New
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    Yes ... such an average yeah ... this device. Probably to shoot from the trench, the bottom sight added
    And you turn it over, there will probably be an inverted Kalashnikov assault rifle wassat
    Here's the question, and what to put on the side, it was not kosher? Or at worst, like everyone below?